Women's safety on streets

Discussion in 'Corner Coffee' started by Ellaoftheball, 9th Apr 2021.

  1. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    As a young woman this thread is quite upsetting and scary to read and honestly I think I'll regret posting in it. The recent talk around this issue I feel has been wildly misunderstood by many men. As women we know that most men are good, most men aren't a threat, but so many of us have had many terrifying experiences that we are wary of all men in order to try and keep ourselves safe. This isn't "tarring all men with the same brush" because we KNOW it isn't all men, the problem is we don't know WHICH men. I wish that more men were more empathetic when conversations like these come up, but often many are straight to the defence.
     
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  2. Ellaoftheball

    Ellaoftheball TowersStreet Member

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    This is EXACTLY what i was trying to say on this thread. Thank you so much for saying this. I could not have put it better myself.
     
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  3. Trooper

    Trooper TowersStreet Member

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    Earth is dangerous. Danger is scary.

    It's been 300,000 years. How are we still shocked by this?

    Seriously though, sad as it is, I think carrying a weapon is the only practical solution.
     
  4. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I don't have a lot to add from what I said earlier in the thread as I take issue with the irrational fear mongering from disinformation and some of the sexism that I've seen written (it's still there for all to see, unedited) rather than the (maybe good) intention of starting a debate about a subject as serious as assaults on women.

    Let me put this to you all though. Read every post on here again, especially the OG post, but this time swap the words man/men with woman/women and vice versa every time you see them written. Then imagine, let's say, that I posted them. Sit back and reflect about what the response to such a thread would be.

    I make no apologies for calling out and challenging disinformation to fit a sexist narrative, as evidenced by the suggestion that the solution to said disinformation is for our judiciary to impose harsher sentences on one particular gender.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    I hate "if the roles were reversed" arguments. Yes the response would be different, because it wouldn't be true. Men aren't afraid of women like women are afraid of men. Men don't take precautions in their daily lives because they are afraid of women. Crimes are committed against men by women, yes, and they are awful, yes. But they don't happen as frequently as crimes against women by men to the degree that makes us afraid.
     
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  6. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I don't understand why people jump on stuff like this. Raising awareness of the fact that something happens to one demographic is not to suggest there aren't similar things happening to others. If you see someone collecting for a cancer charity, your first response wouldn't be run over and say "What about people dying from strokes?". To raise awareness of one thing is not to deny another.

    What I don't like about such 'campaigns' is that there is a lot of generating of awareness of something, but not much more than that. Massively the fault of the internet. You can't make change happen with awareness alone.

    Male or female, anyone suffering abuse should be listened to - but I do somewhat agree with @Matt.GC that society/the media is wired to listened to certain groups about certain topics more than others, but I think that is down to statistics rather than overt discrimination.

    I think you have to be very careful with a "it wouldn't be true" narrative. If you're listening to a victim, all your generalisations are irrelevant.
     
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  7. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    I mean in regards to the OP. If statements such as "All women have made a fake phone call" or "All women have gotten off a tube stop early" etc, were reversed to men, it wouldn't be true. Men don't take precautions to the extent that women do, and if they do, it is not out of fear of women. That is my point. I avoid walking at night for fear of being attacked by a man, and if I do I dress masculinely to avoid drawing attention to myself, I don't wear my headphones so I can be aware of my surroundings, I carry my keys between my fingers so I can use them in self defence should I have to, and make sure someone knows where I am and when I am home. I doubt men avoid walking at night out of fear of being attacked by a woman, or take these precautions, or dress femininely to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

    Let me be clear, I am in no way trying to say men are not victims of sexual harassment, domestic abuse, violence, etc. But the amount of sexual harassment women endure is horrifying, and very disproportionate
     
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  8. Tim

    Tim TowersStreet Member

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    If this had been the first post I think this thread would have gone in a different direction.
    Because this is the real core of the problem. We need to be doing everything we can to be removing the few individuals that make everyone else seem like a threat. I'm all for making sentencing harsher on those that do.
     
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  9. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Agreed, if the debate is framed right you have the opportunity to create an incredible alliance between women and the men that aren't responsible, which is an enormous proportion of the population.

    I don't think it's just this cause that has done this, the tribal nature of social media and the world in general pushes things down this route. Lots of things are the oppressed vs. everyone else, when large swathes of the latter could be really valuable.
     
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  10. BigT

    BigT TowersStreet Member

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    I’d like to put it out there that even as a man I won’t walk down a dark alley or across a dark field on my own for fear of been attacked, I’m not ashamed of admitting that.
    It doesn’t matter to me whether it would be a man or a woman either could do equal damage with a weapon.
    It’s best to keep your wits about you whatever sex you are.
     
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  11. Ellaoftheball

    Ellaoftheball TowersStreet Member

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    I agree with all of this.

    I also agree with this and i messed up and should have included this in my first post, and i apologise for not saying this in my first post.
     
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  12. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Again, here we are with the sexist generalisations that started this whole thing and I don't know any other way of explaining this. You say that statement's such as " All women have made a fake phone call" and "All women have got off a tube stop earlier" were said of men, it wouldn't be true. Well it's NOT true for all women either. I want to make absolutely clear that the opening post is false. It is not true.

    I'm sure some women have done these things, I'm sure many women have. I'm sure many men have also (I've made a fake phone call myself when I felt threatened and alone at night, I was mugged shortly after). But the narrative is based on false statements (I'm still unsure as to whether it's well intended or not because they seem to be being repeated and the OG post has not been edited) before making an incredibly sexist suggestion as to harsh sentences for one particular gender. This is sexism.

    Then you state that you take precautions at night to stay safe. Well I'm sorry to break it to you, but I think we pretty much all do, including me. I fear being attacked (and have been) by other people at night (men and women). You're right, men probably are less worried about being attacked by women at night than men are of being attacked by women. Personally I'm worried about being attacked by anyone at night.

    The reason I made the point about swapping the words man and women out was completely misinterpreted followed by a tangent as if I had made a "if the roles were reversed" argument. Did you actually read what I said? Simply swap the words out and read it back to yourself. I said nothing about reversing the roles, just reverse the words then read it back.

    If anyone wants to have a debate about men attacking women in the street, why statistics show men are more likely to attack women than other women, why the fear of these attacks appears to be getting worse despite the amount of attacks not getting worse and what needs to be done about it all then fine by me. But I await the removal or editing of the original post and it's repetitions to remove false claims and the sexist suggestion that our judicial system should bestow harder sentences on men due their gender before I can treat any discourse that follows it seriously.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. Ellaoftheball

    Ellaoftheball TowersStreet Member

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    If i'm being honest i think that is quite a harsh response to Heidi.

    On a side note, and i'm only asking, not trying to cause an argument, why does my original post need to be edited?
     
  14. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    Alright, not all women have done all of those things. From my experience, and that of the women around me, a majority have. The women who have not are very lucky to have never been in situations in which they feel as though they have to. I'm happy for them. Women do these things more than men.
    @Ellaoftheball do correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe she meant as sexual harrassment and violent crimes against women are so frequent at the hands of men, and all too often nothing is done about it, it is an issue that needs to be addressed, NOT that men should have longer sentences than women, as you seem to have interpreted it.
    From my experience of talking to male friends, they were surprised when they found the level of precautions women take, whereas my female friends take the same if not more precautions without question. This is my experience. I'm sorry those things happened to you.
    I did read what you said, and frankly if I misinterpreted it I still don't understand. By replacing the words woman with man and vice versa, are we not reversing the roles of men and women in the statements made?
    Men attacking women on the street is what this thread is about, I'll give you 3 guesses as to why men are more likely to attack women than other women are, and finally, the fear is not getting worse, it is just being talked about more.
    Again, I don't think this is the point she was trying to make.

    As a woman I have experienced countless times where I have been made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe by men. From the countless much worse experiences my female friends have unfortunately suffered, I'm still to believe I am one of the lucky ones. Only by listening to and empathising with the experiences of women, can we as a society begin to progress and allow women to feel safe. I would also like to reiterate that I have never in this thread attempted to invalidate the experiences of men, as I said here:
    But the fact of the matter is due to the disproportionate level of harassment women face, they are often afraid of men. And before you as a man (this is not aimed at any individual but men generally) try to discredit or refute this fear, when you have not lived the experiences of a woman, empathise with it, recognise it, and evaluate how you can try and make women feel safer.

    This will be my final post, as I am tired of defending my experiences and beliefs not just here on this thread but in general, reliving things I have been through only to made to feel as though I am talking nonsense. I have made my opinion clear and I hope to have shed some light on this issue.
     
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  15. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    You might be right, but that's because I'm getting frustrated that @Heidi is not actually reading what I said. If anything, I feel very sorry for her living in such fear because I don't think she needs to if it's based on false claims. She's raising some genuine concerns and her voice needs to be heard but the narrative needs to be correct to begin with.

    My points are based on two things that I find offensive and that alone. I probably didn't help my case by going on a tangent of my own in my first post but if I was to simply it : 1. That this debate was started with false statements that a believe actually cause unnecessary fear when it could have been started with either facts or an opinion (which would both have been fine) and that 2. The statement that there should be harsher sentences for "male" violence is the definition of a sexist remark.

    I appreciate you reaching out and asking me that question and the fact you have indicates that your opening post was in fact actually well intended. So I would like to illustrate my points.

    Firstly the love of my life is sat right next to me so I read your opening post to her for her opinion. You put an emphasis on 'every woman' quite alot so I did a quick poll of both our answers. Please note that you clearly stated every woman 3 times. Not some, not many, but EVERY.

    Every woman you know has taken a longer route. Her - no. Me - yes.
    Has doubled back on herself. Both - no.
    Has pretended to dawdle by a shop window. Both - no.
    Has held her keys in her hand. Her -no Me - yes.
    Has made a fake phone call. Her -no Me - yes.
    Has rounded a corner and run. Both - no.
    Has locked her car doors as soon as she has sat down. Her - "I don't even know how to lock the doors on the inside of my van" Me - yes.
    Has avoided the top deck at night. Both - no.
    Has got off a Tube stop earlier. Her "I got off the bus once because there was a creepy looking guy on there when I was 14". Me - yes
    Has sighed with relief on getting home safely while locking the door. Her -no Me - yes.
    Has told a cabbie to drop her off slightly further down the road. Both - no.
    Every woman you know has walked home scared. Her - "maybe when I was a kid because of the stories my nan used to tell me" Me - yes.
    Every woman you know.

    So I hope that illustrates that by making statement's like that presented as fact, it can hurt men when you follow it up with your last sentence. I'm really not trying to have a go at you, I was just really offended by the way this thread started. If you had started it with your own fears/opinion or presented some facts and figures about male violence against women or something then it would be completely different. But I'm asking you please just to consider whether you think such statements could be considered offensive to the many good, decent men, some of which are loving fathers of women and girls, on this forum who are as horrified and appalled by what some evil men do to women and you are.

    I don't think my point number 2 needs much further explanation, so I've taken the liberty of swapping to word male out myself to see if it changes anyone's mind about this point of view:

    There need to be harsher/longer sentences for female violence.


    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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  16. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    The original OP comes across as Misandry and this also comes across like this beyond this forum too.

    As a man I can tell you the streets are not any safer for us and I still have to have my wits about me out and about and I too don't often feel safe, I say that as a man that have been physically attacked as well as harassed on a number of occasions though out my life including early 2019 just before the first lockdown when I was physically attacked in broad day light for simply parking in a disable bay for my wife and if my memory serves me correct, I did mention about this incident here on the forum shortly after it happened. It wasn't a nice experience for me either (or for my wife witnessing this). The fact that I'm a man doesn't make it any less serious.

    I can assure you the the level of harassment that Jess and I endure each time we go out can be constant and all that we would love to do is to enjoy a simple day out and be left alone, so I do get it. But at the same for every one that harasses us, there are many people that don't harass us. We have to simple focus on those that are kind to us and ignore those that aren't. But yet I still have to keep my wits about me for those that think that they can physically manhandle Jess or her wheelchair.

    I've had a couple of previous negative experiences with both of my ex's, but you won't see we go around tarnishing all women with the same brush. I accept that there is good and bad in all regardless

    If you go back to my original post, you would find that I agreed and made it clear that "everyone should feel safe out and about" and "I agree the sentences should be tougher" neither of these comments despite my negative experience with my ex's were in any way misogynistic, unlike misandry in the OP

    I don't think the misandry is helpful to both women or men in anyway, it just causes more divineness.
     
  17. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    I think there's been some good points made in here amongst some misunderstanding about what people are getting at too. Glad to see tempers cooling a little and some proper discussion going on now in any case :). I think later posts have explained things better than the initial post, and thanks to Heidi, Ella and others for clarifying things as the topic has progressed.

    First up, I'm sorry for anyone who's experienced violence or harassment, and applaud anyone who's spoken out about it on this topic. But, I have to agree with others in that women are disproportionally affected. Stats only show part of the story, as many women don't even think it's worth bothering even reporting each incident where they have been harassed or attacked. And this isn't just about outright violence. It's right down to the childish cat calling from groups of "lads" in the street or in their vans, the lingering stares toward females without any sort of regard of how it's making someone feel. Those people believe its harmless "banter" but it's degrading, not to mention a cause for concern and legitimate worry for those targeted as they wonder whether things will escalate from that "banter".

    Yes we need to ensure that sentences are harsh for all violence and harassment, but we also need to ensure that reporting such issues are accessible to all - especially women, and suitable support is in place through to the conclusion of their cases and afterwards. We need to look at our laws and update them to ensure "get out clause" defences such as rough sex are removed and things such as revenge porn and financial abuse are more adequately covered. The Domestic Abuse Bill made steps towards this, but more needs to be done.

    Away from that, we need to address the root causes of all of this. Is a change to the education of young people that can be put in place to ensure people see why such behaviour is unacceptable? Can something be done to educate them on the impact their apparently "harmless" behaviour has on those they target? Further down, others should be calling out their friends who feel this behaviour is normal, the egging on or even just the quiet silence whilst it goes on in their presence needs to stop. The more those who feel that their behaviour as acceptable are called out, the quicker changes can come about.
     
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  18. Danza91

    Danza91 TowersStreet Member

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    I guess if some people tried to understand the points being made in the first place it'd be a lot easier. :tearsofjoy:
     
  19. Tim

    Tim TowersStreet Member

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    It's posts like this we need to be careful with when writing. They can cause these debates to get out of hand. If you deliberately target "some people" (when it's clear to everyone who you're talking about) and effectively tell them they are wrong of course they get mad and start ranting.
    The way Craig said it in the previous post was perfect as it acknowledge both sides without undermining either of their points. That's how you get people to see each other's side.

    For the record I know that post wasn't aimed at me and sorry to single out yours Danza91. We've all made posts like this (there are so many other examples in this thread), yours was just a good way to highlight how words matter because it quoted Craig's as well.
     
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  20. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Aren't the stats like 78% of all women have experienced some form of harassment?

    Goes up to 90%+ when you look at 20-30s

    That is the problem. And turning into a "well men do these things too" isn't helping anyone. We all do things to keep ourselves safe, no one is denying that, but that the odds are stacked against women.

    Especially given how awful the justice system is these days. It seems that most attacks and harassment never end up with anyone getting punished for it.

    Bear in mind as well that a woman was recently MURDERED by a police officer. Because she was walking home alone and he attacked her. This is where this has come from.

    I mean I've been attacked and mugged too (during daylights hours outside my home!), but 2 incidents in 30 years is nothing compared to my partner, and she's down 5 years on me.

    And that's before we consider the kind of abuse you see online. I saw a female gaming YouTuber recently mention that she'd had comments literally calling her names and saying she'd ruined her good looks by.... Wearing glasses.

    You don't tend to see a lot of men getting online abuse for that (atm it seems it's racially motivated abuse, but that's a different thing entirely).

    I just don't understand why men are "offended" by the idea that women are extremely tentative. Everyone knows not every bloke is going to attack someone on the street, but the abuse isn't just limited to that. How many people on here have received messages from completely random strangers online that are sexual harassment? Again the numbers are stacked against women but both genders suffer from it. But do men need to be offended because they don't do that? Not at all, but there needs to be a joint fight between it as opposed to getting underwear in a twist because women are speaking up about issues they suffer from on a daily basis.

    As for Roy's disability based harassment. I also have to deal with that, as the general consensus among people (especially older I've noticed) is that because my partner is young, she cannot possibly be disabled. Though I've not had experienced anything beyond dirty looks, but that doesn't demean others who have suffered this. It's a very similar problem to this topic, but isn't currently in the news cycle (and probably never will be as disabled people tend to be lower down the rung, especially with the current government). But these things can only change with joint work between everyone, rather than those feeling attacked because of a sad few railing against it.
     
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