Feeling Safe is a Privilege.

I was walking to school today at about 9 this morning. As soon as I stepped out – I pulled out my phone to turn on some music for my roughly 30 minute journey to school. I look up and there is a guy – mid 20s – staring at me. Okay – that’s fine. I start walking and i see him bend down to tie his shoe lace – he has crocs on. I’m thinking – oh no – I know what’s going on….As soon as I pass him – he starts following me. I promptly take my headphones out – yes, I’m scared. I turn around as casually as possible –

knowing it’s just me and this guy on this street and he is on my heels….

and then he proceeds to talk to me – “Hey girl – you in college?” I say yes…He tries to get my name, number, age….It’s like a damn interview. But why am I engaging in conversation with this person that makes me feel so unsafe? – Because I’m scared – I was intent on studying off of my phone on my way to school but instead I’m forced to converse with this person – because I feel like I cant ignore them – I don’t know if he will get physical.

Just me and this man…walking slightly behind me.

Well – this continues until I reach a part of my neighborhood where other students are also making their way to school and he gives up. And the adrenaline is down now – and I’m furious. I’m exhausted. I’m a nervous wreck. He knows where I live and he is persistent. I didn’t study for my test. And I’m alone on the verge of tears with anger and resentment. Because i am a WOMAN….i naturally must feel unsafe. ALWAYS. I’m subjected to this treatment because of my gender.

I’ve had men say – “oh yeah – I don’t walk anywhere alone when it’s dark.”

It is NOT the same…

I’m tired. I’m so done. Do not tell me I should live in a better location. Do not tell me I have to walk with a buddy. Do not tell me – you don’t need to have your headphones in anyways – you’re just listening to music.

All I’m asking is to be safe. That is clearly too much to ask of a woman.