3 years ago
The Politics of Safety
It was an ordinary Thursday night and I was out with girlfriends for some desperately needed girl talk. We ate, we drank, we moved to another spot because in this group, dessert was a must.
By the time we were ready to part ways, it was eleven. Since moving to NYC and particularly Brooklyn, I don’t get on subways past a certain time. For the most part, the subway is fine; it’s the city that never sleeps. Funny enough, none of those people are with me on my walks home.
I pulled up my Uber app and of course, of course, there was surcharge of 2x the rate. Yes, 2 freaking times the rate.
I opted to get on the subway even though I felt a bit nauseous about the walk home. I sent hubby the usual texts, letting him know I was on my way home so he wouldn’t worry.
I exited the train, left the station, and began my walk home. To my delight and relief, hubby was waiting for me in the car.
I jumped in and turned to him, “I didn’t expect you to pick me up!”
He shifted the car into the gear, “You know I don’t let you walk around at night by yourself.”
I loved him for showing up exactly when I needed him, however a small part of me was upset I depended on my husband for my safety.
It was just another reminder on how women are not fully in control of our own bodies. We can pick out our own clothes, choose our makeup and what foods to eat, but we cannot control how we are perceived. Our safety is something that seems to be completely out of our hands.
It infuriates me that I cannot walk around the streets of New York without the familiar feeling of fear straightening my spine, forcing me to pull out my ear buds so I can anticipate strange movements in all directions. It saddens me that every person I pass on that long walk home is a potential murderer or rapist. I second guess my clothes, the arch of my back, the swell of my breasts, hoping it will not draw the attention of the wrong person.
I hate that I needed him to pick me up but I am still glad he did.