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Why shouldn’t the men stay inside?

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?

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5 comments to Why shouldn’t the men stay inside?

  • Wow, that is exactly what I said to dp about exactly the same issue. I do understand that we can’t make all men stay inside because of the behaviour of a tiny minority, but at the same time why should a majority of women have to change their behaviour? It rankles. I would like to see a police officer suggesting the other at some point, if only so that other ppl would stop and think about it more deeply.

  • Annabel G

    Though I was too small to know what was going on at the time, from what I understand it was exactly these sorts of feelings en masse which lead to the ‘reclaim the night’ marches in the wake of the Sutcliffe murders (co-incidentally he was arrested 30 years ago yesterday).

  • Well, obviously I’d like it if we didn’t have to be scared, but how can we tell perverts and the like to stay home? I mean – obviously, you are right and it’s a pain, but I’m not sure how this problem can be solved, practically.

  • This is a very interesting point. But would we really expect the media or the police to urge men to stay indoors if a man had been beaten up a few streets down? The assumption is that most random, calculated crimes are against women by men. Which is probably true. And MWA’s right – you can’t tell sadistic rapists to stay at home tonight and put their feet up with a nice cup of tea.


    • Muddling Along

      Yes but how about if there were no men on the streets at all, how about if all men had to stay home in order to ensure that women could stay safe and that a man on the streets would be assumed to be up to no good – how about if it was about men having to modify their behaviour and being obviously in the wrong if they were out and about and women could perhaps live without fear as a base case?

      Ok so I know I’m dreaming but think…

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