My shoulders clench and my hand tightens around the blunt sides of keys, the little grocery store card digging its plastic edges into my palm and fingers

He isn’t even on the same side of the street as me

I remember the few self defense moves I know and remind myself that my asthma is weakened and affects me less when adrenaline is running through my system.

He’s looking at soup cans and hasn’t even looked my way

I hear a van coming down the road and immediately identify exit routes and reach to put my cell phone in a place where I can access it with my hands bound

It turns the corner

I look around and pick out every store and person I can go to if I need to start running, safe places that can hide me from harm

They laugh and continue drinking soda while sitting on the park bench

These reactions aren’t natural

I have never been abused verbally or physically, but society makes me feel as though I have been

I am conditioned to fear men and strangers from stories of rape, kidnapping, sex trade, and killings

Fear has become my perpetual underlying emotion

Society has turned women into victims, even though I am not the main target and I am less likely to be one

This is not just in America

This is in India, in China, in Scotland, in France, in Haiti, in Ghana, in Nigeria, in Argentina, in Israel, in Iran, in Peru, in Jamaica, in Malaysia, in Guatemala, in Brazil, it is EVERYWHERE

This fear that I have is ingrained in every woman around the world, a majority made to feel like a minority

We are fetishized into damsels and demons, prizes to won by the strongest man, sold to the highest bidder, or killed for representing lust, envy, and other supposed sins

Female sexuality is both a commodity and taboo, used to sell vegetarianism and soda but at the same time women are shamed for wearing skirts that show off their thighs and tops that make them feel empowered

Women are killed for not meeting the standards of others or for not giving into the desires of men or not being born into the gender that is female

It is time for a revolution

Because I do not wish to teach my daughters when they are five that people should not touch them if they don’t want to be touched or that if they are in trouble they should look only for the police or women with baby carriages

I don’t want to be scared of partying in college because someone may try to roofie me and use me as a point in a game of who can have the most sex in a year, consensually and not

Because I don’t want any sons I have to be the only male friend that carries pads and tampons around in case someone needs one or be made fun of by their guy friends for defending the girls and his own ‘girly’ habits

I shouldn’t have to worry on dates if the man across from me wants to kill me if I don’t do exactly what he wants

We have to change society into a place where I can walk home at night without constantly looking over my shoulder

Into a place where all women are considered women, embracing the differences between each of them

A society in which women make up more than just 4.4% of powerful CEOs and earn the same amount of money as a man, expanding the economic opportunity for women

Where motherhood is respected and so is the ambition of women striving to be president

Where walking down the street is not considered an acceptable time or place to catcall at girls and eye women like pieces of meat in a butcher shop window

Where little girls are not sexuallized in their dresses and hair ribbons and where bathing suits are not considered invitations to look at a women’s breasts

Where fear is not taught from birth

Photo by new 1lluminati



  1. Maddie 4 years ago

    This is an a amazing piece of writing and I completely agree. You have given examples that many women can relate to and I belive that your vision of a changed society is something we all have to strive for.

  2. Abbi 4 years ago

    Wow. This was so incredibly written, about a topic that hits so close to home. Well done.

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