Imagine if men were afraid to walk home alone at night

From The Guardian UK: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/08/women-men-curfew-danger-fear

There was uproar when women discussed an imaginary 9pm curfew on men, but the anger is misdirected


Mon 8 Oct 2018

What do women really want? And what would the crazy feminists do if they finally managed to steal all the rights from men, lock them up at night and keep the power for themselves? Well, the answers are just in, thanks to a thought experiment, and they might surprise you. “Ladies … what would you do if all men had a 9pm curfew?” mused Danielle Muscato in a random Tuesday morning tweet, adding: “Dudes: read the replies and pay attention.”

Thousands of women responded, and the rather pathetic outcome is that if women found themselves in charge of the world, they would … walk places, sometimes, without feeling scared. Home from the station after work, maybe, or in the woods alone at night. Some would take the chance to buy their groceries while the shops are quiet. Lots would go for a run. Many said they would even listen to music on earbuds while doing so. Radical!

Men did read the replies, and some of them were furious. Demanding a 9pm curfew because you believe that all men are rapists is stupid, hysterical and basically the same as racism, they said, even though nobody had recommended imposing a curfew, or said that all men were anything. And, while it was sad to read how little it would take to make a lot of women really happy, it was also depressing to see people getting so angry about a hypothetical curfew, when women’s movement is curtailed in real life all the time.

Nearly four years ago, a man was sexually assaulting women in London, and police advised all local women to avoid walking alone at night until they caught him. This was December, so it was dark pretty much all the time. And the man still hasn’t been arrested. This is an actual curfew on women, recommended by the authorities (though of course I break it all the time to go out to work and back, and some men have told me that I jolly well deserve to be raped if I’m going to be so stubborn about it). Imagine if the police had instead asked men to stay in at night because of the behaviour of one man. The horror! Alongside the official advice, there is all the self-policing women do, sacrificing things we enjoy such as exercise or going out with friends or getting the night bus home. But nobody seemed to be angry about that.

A lot of the feelings seemed to be misdirected. Why were people so upset about several thousand women who spent a few seconds on a Tuesday morning enjoying imagining what they might do if they didn’t have to feel afraid? Where is all the anger towards the small proportion of men who make us have to be scared? And how could anyone read the thousands of responses from women who have reason to believe they can’t safely go out at night, and conclude that the real threat is to men?

Of course, some men did read the replies and pay attention, and their responses were very telling. “Wow, I feel horrible right now,” said one. “None of this has ever occurred to me as an issue. I run, I go do whatever I want whenever I want. Why aren’t women filled with uncontrollable rage all the time?” It’s a very good question, and I increasingly think he’s right, we should be.

Another man addressed me directly about this, asking, “When did it become socially acceptable to just bash men openly?”, and “Well what exactly do you propose we do about it, then?” Don’t tempt me, mister. Because when the crazy feminists finally take over the world, and steal your rights, and keep all the power for ourselves, people asking stupid questions like that will be the first to be locked up at night. And then we’ll go for a walk. A really long one. With our earbuds in.

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