The courage it takes to be a woman  

Not all men. But I am pretty sure that all women have been scared because of men. 

Student Commentary

By Anonymous / Contributor || Edited by Ilenia Reale

“The most intolerable difference between men and women lies in the misdistributed weight of fear” (Cathy La Torre). 

When I think about women, one of the first things that come to my mind is fear.  

Being a woman means being scared almost all the time.  

A kind of fear that increases as the sky gets darker and the streets get emptier. 

Every time you go out with friends you try to walk them to their houses, or they try to walk you. You get home and you wait for the message that says “I’m home safely!” 

If you have to walk alone at night, you don’t listen to music because you want to hear all the sounds around you. 

I don’t know how to describe the fear of when you are walking an empty street and you hear steps behind you. You squeeze keys into your knuckles. You don’t want to run because it will look like you are escaping, but you do speed up hoping to get home as soon as possible while thinking that it’s time to take those self-defense classes. 

Being a woman means constantly second-guessing your choices.  

You are expected to wear make-up, but if you wear too much then you are looking for attention. 

If it is hot outside and you wear a top that shows the shape of your chest, then it is your fault because you put yourself out there. 

If your skirt is long, you are a prude, but if your tights are showing then you were asking for it. 

If something does happen to you, beware that the first question they’ll ask is not “are you okay?” but “what were you wearing?” 

When you get whistled at in the middle of the street or somebody tries to touch you, they should be the ones ashamed, but society is so messed up that oftentimes you will feel dirty.  

You can’t be rude because you might piss them off. You can’t be nice because it’s going to sound like you are into it.  

When you get home safely you might find yourself thinking “I got lucky again”. Actually, your basic right to be respected as a human being has not been violated. Rights should not ever be a matter of luck. 

I envy all the women that have more courage than fear, those who even if scared do walk alone at night because they have a right to.  

Many people will say that I am exaggerating, that I am too scared, that I complain too much. 

I think that women are tired of being scared, of second-guessing themselves, of setting aside their comfort to make it home safely.  

Not all men. But I am pretty sure that all women have been scared because of men.