Life Gives You Lemons


Take this big ribbon off my eyes
July 15, 2007, 3:44 pm
Filed under: lemons, rants

All these thoughts are still gelling for me, but I wanted this up in time for Tara Hunt’s birthday today, since I’m finally blogging her kick-ass post on danger.

I remember people freaking out at me, “Are you trying to get killed?” I don’t think I was. I guess I just wanted to continue to feel invincible. I looked around me at all of the boys who acted like they were invincible and I wanted to feel the same power.

I’m a big fan of wandering around unfamiliar cities, alone, after a few drinks. It’s twisted, and the lemons come in handy. It’s probably a bad idea for any gender, but what can I say? Bucking the CW on this fear stuff especially rocks when you’ve heard, your whole life, how much more careful you have to be. Because your body contains girl parts. WTF?

If it’s true that a fair amount of stranger-violence hits those whose demeanor suggests fear. Won’t telling women “watch out” “be careful” “it’s not safe” etc. Make them more likely to walk with fear? Browbeating “the vulnerable” (honey, we’re ALL vulnerable if a gun is involved, don’t kid yourself) into being careful all the time could actually set them up for violent attacks. It certainly triggers internal violence that cuts off all kinds of interesting adventures for many.

People fascinated by what Justin.TV is doing with lifestreaming in the same breath speculate that something terrible is bound to happen to i-Justine “because she is living her life so out in the open.” Somehow we ALL agree “women are in such danger,” but our agreeing to that, and our misunderstanding the actual stats, is part of the problem. Tara points out:

men are more likely to be assaulted in public (by a stranger) and women are more likely to be attacked in private (by someone she knows)

She didn’t have the reference handy, but about 1/3rd of murdered women and an obscene proportion of women who die during pregnancy are murdered by their partners. Depending on the study, murder is the #1 or #2 cause of death during pregnancy. And it’s not the strangers doing it, either.

Even if women really *are* more vulnerable to stranger violence and stalking, consider this. For the most part, women are NOT more vulnerable because something about femaleness makes you inherently vulnerable. Our accepted images and norms for women play a huge role. C’mon folks, we constantly glamorize obsession with and sexualization of women. Constantly. Massive, scantily clad breasts are a great way to advertise beer, but put a discreetly covered one in the mouth of an infant in public and all manner of policy and rights debates spin off. Again, WTF?

Ani put “pay me for my beauty/i think it’s only right/cause i have been paying for it all of my life” into the mouth of a stripper, but it’s just a little too easy to identify with that thought. It’s hella true in general. I’m just sayin’.

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