How Women Stay Safe In A Man’s World

I love the song “It’s A Man’s World” because while it highlights women do, indeed, live in a man’s world, James Brown so eloquently reminds us it wouldn’t be worth living without women. And while many men aspire to protect women, unfortunately, that isn’t the case for all. This post provides examples of how, in order to survive in this world, women learn to think a little differently about their safety. It ends with an appeal and reminder to men that it “wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl.”

Let me be clear, I’m not bashing men. There are plenty of wonderful, respectful, kind, generous, and good men in the world. Unfortunately, there are also lots of men that aren’t so wonderful or that don’t always behave so wonderfully.

woman digging in purse oblivious to masked man

I was preparing for a hiking trip recently and while I was consciously arranging my vehicle according to personal safety requirements, I realized men don’t even think about this. Most of my safety precautions are second nature by now but just in case a man is reading this, allow me to explain just a few of the unconscious things I do to stay safe.

  • Have my car key (FOB) in my hand and stay off the phone when walking to and from my car while shopping, dining, or going anywhere.
  • Before getting out of my car, be aware of my surroundings. What other vehicles are near? Does anyone look sketchy?
  • If I stop to have an alcoholic beverage, never leave my drink unattended or with people I don’t know well.
  • Keep a whistle and pepper spray in my car.
  • Have my car serviced and tires checked before going on trips. The last thing I need is to break down on the side of the road and have to worry about my safety.
  • When going into a hotel, make sure I’m not trying to carry too much inside at once.
  • Make sure the hotel room door is double locked and if it’s a sketchy place, also put a chair under the doorknob.
  • Pay attention to who is standing near you when providing personal information to a hotel clerk.

These are just a few of the things we do, as women, to stay safe. And here’s a few more.

  • Keep your door locked (house and car).
  • Never go home with a guy you just met.
  • Have a girlfriend with you whenever possible (there’s strength in numbers).
  • Don’t get drunk at parties lest you find yourself in a precarious situation.
  • Keep your phone with you at all times.
  • Get a dog if you live alone.
  • Keep windows shut at night.
  • Pay attention to who is following you when driving.
  • Don’t go out late at night alone.
  • Learn self-defense.

I learned most of these things through trial and error. Unfortunately, during my invincible years, I was in more dangerous situations than I like to admit.

We can complain, lament about the unfairness, and try to make changes in laws, but what would really help the most is if more of you good guys were out there looking out for us. We appreciate those that already do this. If you’re a guy and you’ve been hesitant to look out for us because of your uncomfortableness with women’s rights, please don’t be hesitant. Human rights come before women’s rights and all of us want to be treated like humans. That’s really what women’s rights are – we want women to be treated respectfully and equitably. So, a big thank you to those of you guys doing your part to help make life a little safer for all of us. And a big call to arms for those that have taken a back seat and not stepped in when you could have.

As a reminder of the lyrics to the song “It’s a Man’s World”

This is a man’s world, this is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

You see, man made the cars to take us over the road
Man made the train to carry the heavy load
Man made electric light to take us out of the dark
Man made the boat for the water, like Noah made the ark

This is a man’s, man’s, man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

Man thinks about our little bitty baby girls and our baby boys
Man made them happy, ’cause man made them toys
And after man make everything, everything he can
You know that man makes money, to buy from other man

This is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing, not one little thing, without a woman or a girl
He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in bitterness, he’s lost lost

Stay safe out there ladies!

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