Perspectives ~ The Girls
Updated: May 10, 2019
You will notice that these posts are written from either "The Girls" or "The Guys". This is done for several reasons.
The main reason is because we are very aware of our differences in gender when it comes to safety on campus, or anywhere for that matter. We are not debating gender equality, biases or stereotypes. Besides, we feel our knowledge is beneficial to everyone. We are speaking from our own female experiences which are real, raw and relevant. We worry about sexual assault more than burglary. We worry about a lot of things. We plan to break these fears down in future posts to be more manageable.
The secondary reason to have multiple perspectives going is because we see the world differently. Then based on what we experience, we communicate our understanding. We all hope that this will give everyone a chance to see both perspectives of all situations, gear and techniques.
Let's give an example from one of The Girls.
I went to the grocery store the other day which is my least favorite activity. Its always crowded inside and out and I find no joy in the process. However, I gotta eat. So, I pulled into a space that is near the front of the store. I looked around to scan nearby cars for all of the following: creepy vans that could house waiting killers, creepy people just hanging out in cars or creepy people just hanging out waiting to talk to people about creepy things. I made sure that I had my Tactical Pen in my pocket just in case. I felt my untrained secret agent scan had been thorough enough and I exited the car. I walked quickly with my eyes up (never on my phone) and I made eye contact with everyone I passed. I wanted to look aware and show everyone that I am no one to mess with (especially if you make me go to a grocery store). So as I was shopping, which I hate (have I stated this enough times yet?), I realized I had seen the same guy in every aisle in the store. It was more than a coincidence or random paranoia.
I was being followed and I was finished shopping. So...what do I do? Do I Leave? Do I confront him? I put my Tactical Pen in my hand and I looked around for items on the shelf to put distance between me and any possible danger if needed (spill items or knock things over). I looked for things near me that could become a possible weapon if needed (heavy cans or sprays). I changed directions and went back to other aisles. He was still there. But before I made a scene I asked for the manager who said she noticed the guy on the security cameras and they were going to ask him to leave. Now before I tell you my thoughts about that...you tell me how that should make me feel? The manager knew I might be in danger and that I was being followed (I had to go to her to find that out). The manager was then going to ask the guy to leave, putting him outside possibly between me and my car (I asked her to hold him if possible so I could get to my car). I looked around on the way to my car anyway and thankfully made it home with my grocery bags safely. I had to think...is this everyone's experience? What could I have done to be more safe?
Well you can't prevent dangerous situations. However, we can plan for situations that might take place so we have options. Now we know that was just one incident, but it is not uncommon for The Girls to experience this kind of thing when trying to do everyday tasks. It can be exhausting to be honest. This is why we need to train our brains to think differently. We truly hope if we share our stories (along with our humor) you will learn from us and you will BE AWARE.