Sigh. Another day, another set of attacks/assaults on women in the Big City, another policeMan warning women that it’s dangerous to walk the streets at night. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the recent escape of this guy, or the recent release of this guy into the Vancouver area.

But even if it does, I’m so very, very tired of this script: bad stuff happens to women who go out at night alone, so stay in your homes after dark, huddle together for protection, or find a big strong man to escort you to and from the store, bus stop, parking lot, or anywhere else you might be after the sun goes down.

Obviously, we should always be aware and protect ourselves, men and women, because the world is unpredictable. Violence can happen anywhere – the campground, even. Guys walking to the store get swarmed and beaten – yet I’ve never heard a police warning for men to beware walking alone at night, nor for anyone to beware of large groups of teenagers and drunk men.

I get it. It’s easier to tell potential victims to watch out than it is to say, “Hey, freaks: quit exposing your junk to kids and old ladies,” or “Yeah, it’s not okay to attack people, no matter what your childhood was like.” Yep, the only ways we humans learn not to do something is by either positive reinforcement (praise, candy, money) for doing good or punishment for doing bad. So if bad is flashing the jewels to unsuspecting strangers, then punishment is severe, swift damage. A kick is a good self-defence move for women, since it allows you to use the power of your lower body, while allowing you to stay relatively out of range of the target. (Practice balance, however.) It’s not perfect, though, more tips here.

So invest in some pointy shoes for those evening strolls in the fresh night air, ladies. You’ll know what to do when the time comes.

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