Saturday, April 14, 2007

Can't Take the Heat

Anyone who reads feminist and political blogs is already aware of this, so I won't recap the details. Relevant links are at: Feministing, Amanda at Pandagon, Chris Clarke at Pandagon, and elsewhere.

I left this comment on Creek Running North, Chris Clarke's blog. Edited slightly here.

I don’t suppose I have anything new to say about all this, except maybe that Markos and his ilk have no idea how thick women’s skins really are. We must constantly monitor ourselves and our surroundings, judging this to be not worth worrying about, that a risk not worth taking, and the other thing just plain scary. If our skins were all that thin, we’d never leave the house.

I was talking with some friends - all of us middle-aged women - about the recent murder of a young woman who made a bad choice of companions. We all teetered on the precipice of “we don’t blame the victim, but what the hell was she thinking?” We started toting up the ways our behavior has changed since our days of youthful invulnerability - not walking alone after certain hours or in certain areas, not being friendly to strangers in bars, etc. Age and experience have made us all too aware that the world is particularly dangerous for women, regardless of age or beauty.

I admire an earlier commenter for confronting her harrassers, but the fact is my fat middle-aged ass is not capable of such a response. I’ll forgo the pleasure of a walk on a hot summer night rather than risk being tomorrow’s headline. I hope Markos is satisfied.