If you think women are paranoid about their safety and overreact, let me tell you a story from yesterday :
While on the MRT I noticed a guy staring at me in a way that made me more than uncomfortable.
I put my headphones in, and pretended to space out.
Meanwhile, I was actually alert to paying attention to what he was doing, and when it came for me to get off my stop, he also got off the same exit.
When I exited the station, I still had my headphones in but had the music so low I could hear his footsteps behind me.
Then, he started saying, “Hello…Hellllllo!” and I kept ignoring it.
Then, he grabbed my arm from behind to get my attention.
I snapped at him and said, “Please, don’t touch me.”
To which he responded, “What? I can’t have a conversation with you?”
“No,” I said.
I sped up my pace and tried to get ahead of him, and thankfully he didn’t follow me. But for the five minute walk to the mall I kept looking over my shoulder, just in case.
And that’s the fear women deal with. We look over our shoulders and we examine if we are safe, whether it’s on the MRT, in a parking lot, while walking home, in a Park and pretty much anywhere and everywhere.
How often do men worry about being stalked by women down the street? There’s privilege in feeling safe, and assuming you’re safe.
Being a woman doesn’t guarantee or warrant that safety. So be kind to us and try to understand why we feel the way we do and help us feel safer by providing support when we need it, and not shaming us when we tell you why we don’t feel like the world is designed with women’s concerns or safety in mind
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to start a conversation with someone, even a stranger but the way to do this is to allow distance between and lay down some social cues indicating a conversation is hoped for. Unsolicited touching of anyone especially a complete a stranger is never acceptable and can be extremely upsetting and frightening. If you’re a person that doesn’t understand social cues or how to initiate a conversation that’s ok and maybe it’s not your fault but don’t be alarmed when we snap ourselves away from you and your too close of proximity at anytime while walking alone!? And now, we get to be scared you might retaliate. No one owes each other anything except me owing myself my own safety and comfort. Ugg. I hate this I’m sorry.