Fears women have that men don’t

Boys need to be better educated


She takes her car keys and firmly places them between her middle and ring finger. She looks around before taking the first steps to her car.

It’s routine, it’s familiar. She’s constantly looking behind and in front of her, at lingering cars and stragglers in the dark.

She circles her car, bending over to check for the possibility of anyone underneath it, and then races to the car door. 

Click. She immediately locks the car door and turns her head to check the back seat. She doesn’t relax till she’s driving.

If you’re a man, most likely this is not part of your routine.. This is not your reality.

From a young age all of us are told never to talk to strangers. But as we got older that’s where the similarities stop.

23 people responded to the Instagram story question,

“What’s something that women do that men don’t have to think about?”

 Four were men, the other 19 were women. These are the most common responses from women and the responses from the men.

Senior Emma Olsen explained, “If I’m alone I’ll always check under the car when I’m about 10 feet away, then the back seat when I get in and lock the doors immediately,” a precaution she does even with a group of people.

For sophomore Aimel Rai she reaches out to friends. “I call one of my friends just to have someone there with me if anything happens and I also always share my location with them so they know exactly where I am,” she explained.

Men in society are generally safe from danger. But for women as well as anyone in the LGBTQ community, the possibility is always in the back of our mind. Traffickers frequently target individuals who lack strong support networks, or those marginalized by society according to Polaris, a well known organization that strives to end human trafficking.

This isn’t to say that men don’t get sexualy assaulted about 1 in 71 of them do at some point in their lifetime according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center

But no matter the precautions that many girls like Olsen and Rai take, they are at higher risk.

 For woman and girls they are,“disproportionately affected by human trafficking, accounting for 71% of all victims,” according to the International Labour Organization, 2017.

And it seems that every girl is aware of the circumstances they live in, but most boys at Lake Stevens are still misinformed and confused. 

When asked if her male friends understood their privilege Olsen said, “Definitely not. I have a couple [of friends] who can see it a little bit, but their understanding is definitely just scratching the surface. Anytime it’s brought up, the guys think the girls are crazy for doing this everyday.” 

The “This” she is referring to is being prepared to be assaulted, mugged or stolen at any time of the day. 

Senior Colby Sayles said she genuinely believes, “Unless they were female themselves, they will never be aware of their privilege, and unfortunately some of them are completely unaware and believe we have equality, which we are far from.”

Some even go so far as to laugh at Olsen when she tries to explain her suspicion. “It’s like mansplaining and downplaying our own fears when they have never had to experience it,” Olsen said.

And it’s true, they’ve never genuinely had to worry about their safety whether they’re getting gas at night or someone is walking behind them

As for Rai, she tries to explain with examples throughout history. “I try and explain how for decades we have seen situations of sexual assault, rape and violence has occurred and therefore it’s necessary that I take these precautions to feel safe,” she said.

We can blame men themselves, but really this misinformation and ignorance stems from the root.

“I think so many people are focused on teaching girls how to protect themselves when we should also be teaching boys how to help us feel safe and not be predators,” Olsen said.

With the Me Too Movement, the conversation about what women endure is starting to be brought to the light.

“[They’re] talking over us, mansplaining things we are educated in, invalidating our own stories, pushing us around, the list goes on and on. And it sucks because even the best guys still do these things,” Olsen said.

This study shows that women can be harmed by anyone. No matter the relationship they have. Study and information found by Polaris.

The controversial movie “Promising Young Woman,” a story about a woman seeking vengeance after trauma, “entraps men at night into revealing that their own perception of their moral code is a form of denial” according to a movie review by Brian Tallerico.

In this movie, they talk about the most dangerous type of guy to watch out for. “It’s always the nice guy,” the movie points out. In a scene in the movie, the “nice guy” sees the main character heavily under the influence, and tells his friends he will take her home. And then doesn’t. 

It’s hard for women to trust men when situations like this come up time and time again. 

 “Yes, not all of them are bad BUT you have to be extra careful of all of them,” Rai said.

 Polaris points out a common misconception about human trafficking in the graphic above. Perpetuating our fear of everyone, and explaining why it’s hard for us to trust. 

For Rai, she refers to it as,“Playing Russian roulette.”

Olsen is hopeful for our future, “I’m hopeful things will get better, but it just might take longer than I’d like it to. I think there are enough people in the world who want to see change and are doing what they can to have that happen.”

The reality. Based off of data founded by Polaris. 

Men need to be educated about what women experience, and that education can come from home, school and the community.  “I would honestly want them to sit down and talk to young guys about what it’s like being a woman and some ways that they can help women feel safer,” Rai said.

Just teaching men to incorporate these precautions that women do into their own life, can help them understand how scary the real world is. Whether it’s reminding them to lock their car doors or check under their car at night. It can open their eyes and maybe even save them, because many need to realize they are not exempt nor invincible from the dangers of this world.