Here’s where I think feminists have a point: Women are constantly being told “watch out, you’re at risk”. Men don’t get that message, despite the fact that we’re the ones at most risk. Consequently, women fear violence more than men, and it curtails their behaviour in a way that men’s aren’t.
Of course, it’s the feminists doing most of the fearmongering…
That has not been my experience at all. All the wacky “advice” about how to prevent stranger rape and abduction has come from my very conservative family.
Maia worries that a newborn girl might be victimised some day. She worries that a newborn boy might become a victimiser, but it never occurs to her to worry that he might be victimised, even though the risk to him is higher than for a girl. Not content with scaring her own readers, she posts the same on Alas. Q Grrl posts rape stats higher even than found by Koss, twenty years ago. The incidence of female rape has fallen in America by a third since then. Richard Jeffrey Newman says that “women, as a class, have to worry about being raped and sexually assaulted in a way, and to a degree, that men as a class do not”. Not merely that they worry more, (which is true), but that they have to.
Your very conservative family may have given you wacky advice, but at least they don’t blame other people for their own fearmongery.
So what’s the real situation for men and women? The National Violence Against Women Survey, a study which didn’t survey prisons, nor the homeless, nor others living in institutions where these attacks are most common, still found one male rape victim for every three females raped during the survey year. (Thanks to David for reminding me of this) When you take this undercounting into consideration the ratio is probably closer to 1:2 or even 1:1. Then consider that men are much more likely to face non-sexual violance and about 20 times more likely to be murdered.
But Richard is still right about men. They don’t have to worry, and neither do women. Rape is a truly crap thing to happen to anyone, but it only one of many crap things that happen to everybody at some point in their lives our lives. But you can recover from it. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s not even close.
So don’t listen to the wacky advice; take sensible precautions instead. Then go out and enjoy yourself. Enjoy your female privilege which is your relative immunity to violence. (I don’t begrudge you that. I object to feminist denial of it, but I woudn’t want women to face more violence, just to make it eeequal.) Then, if your taste runs to men, go out and find some nice ones, and have yourself a good time with them.
Do all of this in the certain knowledge that at some point in your life, and probably more than once, something really, really crappy is going to happen. It probably won’t be rape, but it will be something. Be prepared for that, but don’t worry about it, because whether it’s rape or something else, you will be able to deal with it when it happens.