Safety as a Right, Not a Privilege

I was reading this story yesterday, and it really stuck with me because I couldn’t shake the thought of how that’s been so real in my life. I know women are harassed daily, regularly and I think it’s become so common to hear, that it’s become normalized.

When a guy hits on you at a bar – typical. Hits on you at the store – not surprised. But feeling scared every moment, everyday, why the eff do women deserve that? Reading Nathalie’s experience made me realize that none of this is okay and men, real men need to be aware, support us, and speak up.

I’ve recently been having landlord issues. Not because he’s a bad person or a bad landlord. But because he pops in anytime he wants. Two days ago, I was in my room and I heard him open the door and say hello. He didn’t ring the doorbell nor text me he was coming. I genuinely freaked out because why is there a man in my apartment without my knowledge?! He said he texted us last week, but after conversing with him, he realized he made a mistake.

I’ve been wanting to say something about this for months, but I didn’t want to seem rude. I hate that I even feel like I’m being rude for standing up for myself, my safety. He’s just trying to be a good landlord and fix our heater, change the filter, etc. I didn’t want to tell him to stop.

We told him to text us from now on, but he would keep it general. “I’m coming tomorrow.” Umm so anytime in the next 24 hours? I texted him today telling him to let me know exactly around what time he will be stopping by from now on. What if I’m in the shower, bathroom, changing in my room? What if I’m sitting in the living room, no bra and no pants? I explained this to him and he understood. I realized then and there that this is a woman’s problem. Because he’s a man, he doesn’t care or isn’t concerned with those things. Or it’s not second nature for him to even think of those things. But as a woman, I am fearful of all of those things.

My landlord may be the nicest person in the world, but as a woman I have to assume he could turn at any moment. I have to assume I don’t actually know him or what he’s capable of. I have to assume he could be a threat at any moment. Studies have shown that it’s usually someone you know who robs you, rapes you, harms you. So as a woman, yes, I need to always be cautious. It is extremely tiring. Extremely exhausting. But unfortunately this is what it means to be a woman.

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