Friday, June 20, 2008

One Woman To Another: Protect Yourself

After surrounding yourself with mature and respectful men, it becomes easy for a woman to be genuinely nice to most men and to give them the benefit of the doubt. However, it should always be of first nature for a woman to put herself first, to protect herself, and to be aware of her surroundings.

So, From One Woman To Another:

The other night as I sat and watched the news, the broadcaster was covering a story about women throwing taser parties. It seemed out of the ordinary and a little extreme, so I laughed it off and thought to myself "That's silly". Seeing as I have never been in a situation where I was physically threatened or put to the test by a man, carrying something as a means for protection has never made my checklist when leaving in the morning. However, after yesterday's experience I definitely bit my tongue after making such a remark as "that's silly".
Stepping onto a crowded train you expect to be bumped or for people to try to squeeze through to the point you feel their breath on your neck. It's accepted. Everyone needs to get where they're going and waiting for a second train often slows down the process. I excused myself on many occasions and other's pardoned themselves when bumping into me. But little did I know, one hand was not as apologetic or accidental as I assumed.

I Prayed.

I will not go into detail about the entire situation, how it was handled, who he was, and if the police were involved, but as a woman to another woman I will tell you this. Your body is a temple and if you ever feel that someone is invading or degrading that temple, you separate yourself from them as far as you can. As a woman, we are built on intuition and our instincts. When you feel it, follow it. Despite how many people you bump in your efforts, you'll only serve yourself good by removing yourself from an unsafe environment. Scream, yell, move, or even swing. Someone will hear you, someone will see you, someone will help you. There are undercover officers who specifically ride the subways looking for perpetrators. Sitting home watching Oprah allows you to evaluate the situation,eliminating a true natural instinctive reaction. It becomes easy and logical for you to jump up and say " I would have . . .". However, when you are in the situation,many emotions come over you at once, mainly being one of invasion, shock, and sadness. After the situation has passed and the jitters and tears have sufficed, I look back and wish that I would have done all the things I tell the other victims and actresses in movies to do. But Ladies, there is only one take in this situation, and if its your first time, saying "cut" doesn't just roll off your tongue.

My advice: take all situations like this with a grain of salt. It may seem cliche but what doesn't kill you can and will only make you stronger. While I resent this man and know that if I ever seen him again take two would be more action-filled, I also realize that it has given me tougher skin. As a young woman, it becomes customary for you to rely on the physical protection of a man. But when it's time for you to stand on your own two feet you become your only safeguard.

Protect Yourself.

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