pyrsandponies: (Joey)
There has been a debate, started in [livejournal.com profile] electricland's journal, and continued elsewhere, about the fact that women may snub nice guys because they need to be vigilant about their personal safety.

I just posted this to the person who has been a key figure in the debate, and carried it to his own journal, and I want to cross post it here, for my own reference:

From the poster's journal: It seems like to assume women aren't as capable of defending themselves (on the whole now, not one particular woman) is as sexist as assuming women can't be soldiers or should avoid the sciences.

My response:

honestly, I've conspicuously avoided this discussion until now, but really, I must step in. Because the fact is, women defend themselves in LARGE part by being vigilant, and if that means we sometimes snub well meaning folks, that's a shame, but that is how it is.

In the other journal, you commented that there really is no need to worry about a "fair fight" in situations where you are being threatened - and I couldn't agree more. If I need to maim or kill someone to survive myself, I probably will. And if I have to unfairly snub someone because in a given place or time this enhances my safety, or my perception of safety, then you better believe I will do it.

When I was riding the Parisienne subway alone in the middle of the night, I was carrying an open blade hidden in my pocket. And believe me, if I'd needed to use it, I would have - I probably would have struck for the eyes, actually.

But my first line of defense was to snub the probably perfectly nice French man (the only other person on the train at 2AM) who tried to converse with me. He didn't seem offended when I ignored his initial attempts to strike up a conversation, and when he continued to try, I said (in French, and I am fluent) "I'm tired and don't want to talk" while looking him straight in the eye (studies have shown that predators tend not to choose victims who have looked them in the eyes, because they can identify them and because they are more likely to fight back), he simply said "Ok" and walked to the other end of the train car.

I was what you would call "rude," but it meant I didn't have to be potentially deadly later on. I felt neither scared nor threatened, just assertive of my own needs when I knew I was in a potentially dangerous situation. If this makes me a bitch, or a non-feminist, so be it. I am here to tell the tale, and that matters more to me.

We are always told that prevention is the best cure and I am not taking chances.


And a statistical link:
In fact, women ARE more likely than men to be victims of violent crime, at least in Canada, where I happen to live.

ETA huh. This comment brought about useful dialogue with the journaller in question. That makes me happy.

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pyrsandponies

June 2010

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