What kind of society do we live in where at the first sign of danger we insist that women remain indoors ‘for their safety’?
That we demand that women do not walk alone at night?
That we suggest that women taken ‘normal precautions’?
Because it appears that in the aftermath of the Joanna Yeates murder women are once more being told to modify their behaviour.
But why should it have to be women who have to continue to look over their shoulders?
Why do women still have to live a life that, even in a small part, is ruled by fear?
Why is it that we, women, have to modify our behaviour and not men?
Why do the police not insist that all men stay inside after dark rather than that women do not go out unattended?
Why is it that even in the normal course of life, that women are the ones who are aware of the dark corners on roads, who are aware of the dangers of being the only one in a train carriage, who continually worry whilst out late at night about who or what is lurking around threatening us?
You see I do wonder how in what we consider a modern society, that women are still supposed to keep to their houses, stay in groups and not risk courting danger?
Why can’t we have a society where it is the men that need to amend their behaviour? What can’t we have a society where women are safe, where we don’t have to live with that little nugget of fear always there waiting to be awakened? We do we always have to live looking over our shoulders?
You see I don’t think we can consider ourselves to be an advanced society, a privileged place to be when there is now a whole city where women can’t be considered to be safe on the streets anymore.
Is there a way to educate our children so that, perhaps, my daughters won’t sit on a train home late at night worrying that there is only a scruffy man in the carriage with her and working out how to get into a safer place as quickly as possible. Is there a way that my daughters might not live a life with the continual (if mostly at the edges) fear that something, that anything, could and might happen to them because society cannot keep them safe?