last year, and, half-joking paranoia satisfied, she’s barely mentioned them since. As a child, I spent a lot of time looking around rooms trying to establish what in there could fall, collapse, and subsequently kill me. Cheery. With such a light-hearted, jovial temperament, a mother worried about axe murderers and an overactive imagination, I’ve been paranoid all my life. Nowhere has this been more palpable than with my fear of men. To clarify, I’m not some weirdo who can’t have a conversation with a man. I’m good with men, can spot a creep, take a joke, and have a wonderful long-term boyfriend. I am very aware that not all men are despicable. But when I’m walking alone at night I, like almost every woman I know, will have wolverine claws of keys in my hand; will have established how to incapacitate with a heel and then leg it. Every strange man on the street is a potential attacker, and must be watched. It might sound insane to some, some men, but this is life for a lot of women.
Strange men on the street are potential attackers. It might sound insane to men, but this is life for a lot of women. Since all these allegations have surfaced however, I feel like my mum with her mad axe murderers. Now that the horror story turns out in some cases to be true, it’s like that movie moment when the monster from the shadows becomes real, and he’s just not as scary any more. If anything, he’s a little pathetic. Women
have always known that we should be wary of men, particularly men in power. It’s just that now everyone else does too. Men will finally back a woman’s allegations, cross the street and smile to let a woman know she’s not being followed. Major artists such as Drake and Architects’ front man Sam Carter will stop their gigs to call out perverts, because they know to look for this behavior. It feels as though not only will anything which does happen be taken far more seriously, but that with so many eyes trained to look out for the monsters lurking in the shadows, it’s going to be a lot harder for them to reach us. We’ve cried wolf, and finally the pitchforks are out and on our side. If that’s not at least a little reassuring, then I don’t know what is.
Critical Questions: 1) Has the media hurt or helped the sexual assault victims who have recently chosen to come forward about their experiences? 2) What is the best way to combat and prevent sexual harassment or assault in your everyday life? 3) How do we create a society that is accepting and trusting of sexual assault victims when they accuse their predators?