More on ending male violence against women. Clearly this is on my mind a lot.
There’s a lot of burden in doing this – and a lot of frustration that comes from the (inevitable) failure! Or rather, the inability to achieve the kind of results we want – in our lifetime.
It’s really about women’s safety, and even more so about positioning the perpetrator as the one responsible for this violence. In this region, and everywhere, we’re still struggling with this – and part of my frustration is in the way we always place responsibility on the woman herself. Even now, I’m seeing the emergence of new technologies that allow women at risk to send signals or text messages or whatever through some little device (a ring, for instance, ohsopretty!) that alerts security and friends that they are in danger – miserable! Is this a high-tech version of pepper spray?! I never owned this – as I felt like it didn’t serve the purpose or get to the core of the problem. Practically speaking, I’d never even be able to find it in my bag!
I actually googled “rape prevention gadgets” [I rage in silence as I google]. So, friends, here are the 10 best gadgets to prevent rape. Meanwhile, the best rape-prevention I know of is JUST.DON’T.F’ING.RAPE!
I could go on about this – about how ingrained this is in our lives and our routines:
Call me when you get home. Come with me to the bathroom. Carry your keys between your fingers so you can impale someone’s eyeball with it if they try to touch you.
And and and… [rage!]
And for these new gadgets – cool tho they may be – I do not need to wear a constant reminder (even in pretty-bracelet form) that I am at risk of rape. Nor do I need to pay 100 USD for the “privilege” of doing so. Besides, this doesn’t help make this tool accessible to all women – and so then what is the point if it’s reserved only for those who can afford it?! Are only those with disposable income entitled to security?! [rage, rage, sister!]
For many women and girls around the world, they’ve grown up with the belief that their safety is THEIR responsibility – and anything that happens to them is a direct result of their irresponsibility:
Why were you wearing that? You had too much to drink! You shouldn’t have gone out! What did you expect?
The burden of our own safety has always been in our hands – and oddly NOT in the hands of those who jeopardize it.
Over and over again, we tell girls to be careful – because whatever happens is invariably their fault. There’s an Arabic expression we grow up hearing, roughly translated as: Be careful with yourself.
But maybe that message should go to guys: Dude, YOU be careful with yourself! Check what you’re doing before it’s too late.
No gadget replaces your own moral compass – and a clear understanding of what is absolutely undoubtedly inexcusably WRONG.