January 11, 2011

A woman’s worst nightmare? That’s pretty easy. Novelist Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men feel threatened by women, he answered, “They are afraid women will laugh at them.” When she asked a group of women why they feel threatened by men, they said, “We’re afraid of being killed.”

I definitely know how to choose articles to read in the morning. But this one, while being somewhat of a downer, was really quite interesting to me. See, I told the boyfriend about my motel stay, and I think he thought I was little bit ridiculous for being afraid. I thought maybe he was right because he really didn’t understand. But this article points it out exactly: women are acutely aware of situations where we would be physically vulnerable. There are all sorts of precautions I take, that when told to any other female, they seem like common sense. Like not liking to be in taxis alone or empty locker rooms. Guys just look at me like I’m crazy. And I never realized that they don’t see these as decisions to make all the time.



  1. For the record, I don’t think you’re crazy.

  2. Are you really afraid of being killed or are you more afraid of being sexually assaulted? I’m legitimately asking because I thought it was the latter and not the former.

    I’m surprised that women do anything alone in this world. I’ve seen sleazy dudes almost everywhere and while I feel perfectly safe, I do sometimes think that I’d never do what I do if I were a woman.

    • Personally for me, it’s a fear of being sexually assaulted more than killed only because I think it’s more likely that one would happen over the other. So my fear of being physically assaulted (not to the point of being killed) vs sexually assaulted – that’s about the same.

  3. I recently read de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear” which mentions that quote as well. The book is about using your instincts and awareness to keep you safe. It’s a good read too, consider checking it out: http://www.amazon.com/Other-Survival-Signals-Protect-Violence/dp/0440508835

    • I put some words in there, I guess they got pushed out by the link. At any rate, The Gift of Fear is good. Written by security expert Gavin de Becker, it’s about violence and how to predict it and therefore protect yourself. Helps you learn how to use that “acute awareness” instinct and turn it into preparedness instead of paranoia. Easy, interesting read.

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