“…but girls shouldn’t walk alone at night”

12 Jan

Annie C., this week’s guest blog contributer, had this to say about street harassment:

“I grew up a “typical American Girl”. I played with dolls but I was offered trucks. I knew how to use tools and rode a bike. I was encouraged to do well in school and always told I could be whatever I wanted when I grew up. I was also always taught not to walk alone at night.

I don’t remember when this lesson began or who the first person to tell me it was, but I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know that girls don’t walk alone at night. In middle school and high school this was general knowledge- any girl could tell you that it’s not safe for girls to walk alone at night.

I accepted this as a universal truth. In high school and college I wasn’t out alone. While in college, if I was walking home from a friend’s dorm, I would call as soon as I got to my room and requested she do the same. It was not until I spent a semester abroad that I learned this was not a universal truth. One night after walking home, alone, after dark, I remarked to my roommate, also an exchange student, that I felt oddly safe and how I would never have done that at home. She was confused and asked my why not and if I lived in a bad neighborhood. I told her no, my neighborhood was safe, but girls shouldn’t walk alone at night. She again was confused and asked why and I had no other answer than “you just don’t do that- something might happen”.

It was not until this conversation that I came to realize that the idea that girls shouldn’t walk alone at night is incredibly sad and needs to be changed. Everyone should feel safe where they are, even if that is alone, at night, walking down a street. Women and girls shouldn’t be afraid something will happen to them if they are unaccompanied! I’m grateful movements such as Safe Streets AZ are addressing this issue and working to make the streets safer for everyone.”
                                                                                                                                        Annie C.

Have something to say about street harassment? Submit your guest blog post to safestreetsaz@gmail.com (include how you’d like to be cited) and you could be featured on SAFE STREETS AZ.

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