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Dark Shadow

Female safety is something that was constantly drilled into my head throughout my adolescence. It’s become all too common to hear about horrendous crimes against the female sex. But for the male readers out there, have you ever thought about what it’s like for us as females in organising plans based around our safety?

Every week there is a missing person’s story plastered across the news. Over a few weeks that evolves into a murder and then the autopsy reveals that the poor woman was raped.

We females are continuously reminded of our vulnerability. The fact that we have a target on our backs for those disturbed, dominant males that crave power over us. These males can be drunk, high as a kite or simply psychotic. It’s never an excuse to take advantage of a female, but it happens. We are built so differently to males, we don’t have the natural strength or the athleticism to run from you. But why should be so careful as to train all our lives in the case that something were to happen to us?

I attended a catholic ladies college back in high school and they took it upon themselves to educate all of us females on self-defence and safe partying. But when the self-defence teacher went forth to explain about abortions and contraception following a rape scenario, she was cut off by a teacher. As a school that somewhat worshiped God, every conceivable human is a living being. I apologise in advance to any religious people who might read this, but why would you chose to keep an unborn child whom will remind you continuously of your ordeal, your mental and physical scars, your experience. What will you tell that child when they ask about their father? Will you tell them that he is in prison? Will they have self-doubt about being a constant burden on you?

As for other religions and cultures that condone and promote arranged marriages and still abide by the law of adultery? How about those women whom face jail time because they were raped unless they marry their rapist? How about those poor preadolescent females that are married off by their own family to a full-grown man in order to pay for food? Those innocent girls have been known to die of internal bleeding because those men tore them apart upon sexual intercourse. Where is the justice and human rights for females around the world?

I understand there is no common law around the world, but awareness of some of these horrendous events is so small.

The other day, I became a part of a heated conversation with a few other people. The male in this conversation struggled to understand female safety in travelling alone late at night and he in fact belittled the arguing female because she said she was driving in to the event and paying for parking. Now these two people are basketball referees like myself, and what he also couldn’t comprehend is that we are the minority. We don’t have the highest of chances to grow to six-foot, we don’t have the muscle power or the demeanor to come face to face with these men. As one of the highest ranked female referee’s at my basketball association, I have come face to face with some terrible men. We are belittled weekly and the only way to win is to have a hard shell.

I cracked once, a few years ago. The name calling, the abuse and the belittlement of having 6’8” men stand right in front of you and yell down at you – this is what we females come up against, even on the streets. Yet this male referee couldn’t understand how we had a problem with these men, because he never had an issue.

So yes, we do exude our own safety when it comes to making plans, especially at night-time. We prefer to drive and pay and arm and a leg than catch public transport alone. We prefer to stay sober than to have any chance of altering our train of thought. We prefer to give the address of a date we have to a close friend in the case of an emergency. We prefer to stay in more than we do go out. We prefer to avoid a terrible chapter that could expectantly enter our lives.

It is hard being a female in this world, and having very little power in the equality of almost everything just makes it a little bit harder. But to all the males out there reading this, just know that we think about our safety first before we think about saying yes to most things.

We don’t plan to live under a dark shadow, we do plan to avoid it though.

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