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Not to feel vulnerable as a woman

(171 Posts)
Ribrabrob Wed 20-Sep-17 16:53:33

Before I start I hope this isn't a fiery subject and I absolutely do not mean to offend anybody.

I see and hear a lot of comments (a lot on here) about women who feel vulnerable because they are, indeed, female. I consider myself very lucky to say that I have never once felt vulnerable or unsafe because I am a woman. I've travelled to foreign countries alone, walked alone late at night in not so desirable areas etc and have never once felt unsafe or as though it's something I shouldn't be doing.

This is absolutely not a 'stealth' because as I said I consider myself lucky to feel this way and completely understand many womanay feel vulnerable in certain situations because of past incidents, assaults, rapes etc and this will of course affect someone's outlook.

I guess my question is not aibu or whether others are bu because people are entitled to feel how they do, but I just find this interesting. Do you feel vulnerable being female? If so why? If not, why? and whilst she shouldn't have to do this, should a woman ever think twice about doing certain things (ie walking down a dark alley) because they are female?

MyBrilliantDisguise Wed 20-Sep-17 16:56:05

I would assume you didn't have very good instincts, tbh. There are times when nobody should walk down a dark alley!

TheSparrowhawk Wed 20-Sep-17 17:01:48

Given that two women a week are murdered in the UK and 85,000 are raped every year, you have to be a bit...oblivious not to feel vulnerable. Then again, plenty of people drive like they're invincible so I don't think you're alone in your obliviousness.

coddiwomple Wed 20-Sep-17 17:03:22

I have never felt vulnerable as a woman, but I haven't been stupid either (I do not mean that you are OP!). What I mean is that I have been cautious at times, but the same way I would tell my son to be cautious: avoid certain areas, don't go into troubles. Not because I am female, or not, because it's sensible.

I am behaving a little bit differently than a man would: I don't invite male clients for diner unless I know them well and there's no possible misunderstanding (but I have invited female clients for diner without issues), I am more careful when I am in the Middle East for work, and on occasions had a colleague with me when I didn't know the set up well.

I don't enjoy travelling or holidaying alone, but being female is not the main issue. I would be scared for my boy to be mugged, assaulted or worst if he was travelling alone. He would be more at risk of a fight than I would.

No, I am not especially vulnerable as a woman, but I am as a lone individual - if that makes sense!

Ellisandra Wed 20-Sep-17 17:06:07

Some people are more cautious than others, some are more realistic. I think your personality is more driving this than your gender.

I had a work night out in Moscow. I was knackered at 01:00 but stayed out til 02:00 because my only option to leave at 01:00 was Uber. And I saw that as a risk. You might not have done. It was one of those moments where I felt really pissed off that solely because I'm a woman, I was felt unsafe and needing to stay with the crowd.

BossWitch Wed 20-Sep-17 17:06:31

What's your body type OP? I only ask because I'm tall (almost 6ft) and not overly slender and I don't often feel vulnerable. This is totally false confidence - I'm a weakling - but I tend to feel that someone looking for an easy target wouldn't pick on me.

Also - how old? I shudder to think of the situations I put myself in at 18 / 19, but at the time I didn't feel vulnerable. I might do now.

bridgetreilly Wed 20-Sep-17 17:09:55

I don't generally feel especially vulnerable, partly because I'm not usually out late on my own in places I don't know, and a lot because I'm privileged, having never been subject to any violence or abuse beyond a few suggestive remarks from idiots.

TheSparrowhawk Wed 20-Sep-17 17:11:11

I think that if you avoid doing things like inviting certain clients for dinner or going out late on your own, you do feel vulnerable - otherwise, why are you avoiding them?

allertse Wed 20-Sep-17 17:11:58


I think people are very ignorant of activities that are actually risky.

Walking around in the dark is probably far safer than driving in the dark.

There's an alley near my house - it's lit but its still fairly dark. But walking down that there's no chance of a car hitting me. The alternative is walking along the pavement on the main road, where cars often speed way above the 30mph limit, especially when its dark and late.
I worry less in an uber than a taxi as theres a record of where I went and who with in an uber.
etc etc

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 20-Sep-17 17:12:16

I don't feel vulnerable because I am a woman. I never have. I often go places alone and used to hitch hike. That may be because when I was younger I was more at risk from terrorism than violence because I was female.

guilty100 Wed 20-Sep-17 17:14:25

At last! I'm so sick of whiny, pathetic "I'm so scared" attitudes, especialy ones where the "I'm so scared" is basically just being used to discriminate against others! I can't bear the whole "I feel this way, therefore everyone must dance to my tune" brand of empowerment-in-disempowerment. It stinks.

I'm not scared, I refuse to be scared. Yes, I've been discriminated against for my gender, yes I've been sexually assaulted, yes I've been raped. But they aren't going to make me their fucking victim. I am not fucking afraid.

Voiceforreason Wed 20-Sep-17 17:17:07

I have never felt specially vulnerable as a woman. Having said that I have always, having been taught by my dad, taken a common sense approach to safety. No more so though than any man might take. Imo vulnerability comes with the inability to read a situation. This is the trouble with stifling the independence of young people by driving them everywhere. I have seen high school students leaving school at 18 who had never journeyed to school except in parent's car. How streetwise will they be?

coddiwomple Wed 20-Sep-17 17:18:03

I think that if you avoid doing things like inviting certain clients for dinner or going out late on your own, you do feel vulnerable - otherwise, why are you avoiding them?

I don't invite male clients I don't know for diner, but my male colleague doesn't invite female clients for diner either. I meant that it works both ways. I wouldn't advise anyone to go out in some areas, so yes, because we would be vulnerable but not because of being female. Apart from the Middle East - where laws and views are drastically different - I don't think being female make me specially vulnerable here.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 20-Sep-17 17:20:13

I also remember telling boyfriends who walked me home that stats showed they were more at risk of assault than I was, when I was younger.

Flyingflipflop Wed 20-Sep-17 17:20:22

Certain posters will be all over this thread as it plays to an agenda.

user1495832265 Wed 20-Sep-17 17:22:11

it plays to an agenda.

Perhaps that's why it was posted?

TheSparrowhawk Wed 20-Sep-17 17:22:19

Does it Flying - what agenda?

Didntcomeheretofuckspiders Wed 20-Sep-17 17:23:35

Given that most women are murdered or raped by someone they know, I actually don't think it's that unreasonable to not feel unsafe...

I generally have no problem going for a run after dark for example! (Other than a concern about being run over on the country lanes!)

10storeylovesong Wed 20-Sep-17 17:24:33

I don't feel vulnerable as a woman in particular. I don't put myself in risky situations but I wouldn't do that as a male or female (in fact, I'm more cautious when my DH is out alone as he is a 6 ft male with a skinhead and pissed up blokes seem to like to assert their masculinity by trying to start with him. Luckily he is very skilled at conflict management). I'm probably more likely than he is to be involved in confrontation, e.g. If kids are causing trouble on the estate I will face up to them before he would. Im a serving police officer and have often thought that being a woman has actually saved me in certain situations.

polyhymnia Wed 20-Sep-17 17:25:23

I feel like you OP - ie not vulnerable specifically because I'm a woman. I am big and tall but I don't know if that makes any difference.

corythatwas Wed 20-Sep-17 17:25:48

I don't perhaps feel especially vulnerable: I used to go interrailing on my own and still walk home alone in the dark. But I do have some sympathy with women who do feel frightened and even I have to admit I take precautions which most men probably wouldn't. I know very few women who have not suffered some form of sexual assault, and I know quite a few men who have never been assaulted at all, certainly very few who have been assaulted sexually. I don't think just because you have survived a bad experience without being traumatised you can dictate to everybody else how they have to feel.

morningrunner Wed 20-Sep-17 17:27:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Slimthistime Wed 20-Sep-17 17:30:05

I've always noticed it but being petite has involved a couple of moments with guys in bars etc actually trying to lift me physically, which is fecking scary.

then when I was about 25 I had my first issue with sexual harrassment at work and that was a real worry, it has made me much more on my guard.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Wed 20-Sep-17 17:30:26

What's your body type OP? I only ask because I'm tall (almost 6ft) and not overly slender and I don't often feel vulnerable. This is totally false confidence - I'm a weakling - but I tend to feel that someone looking for an easy target wouldn't pick on me.

I think I am in the same lucky boat, and also a weakling really.

Slimthistime Wed 20-Sep-17 17:33:30

PS I should add, I live alone and don't worry about that at all. But I am aware that walking home late from the station isn't ideal and when I have to go past a group of lads, I worry.

there was one group I walked past who worried me particularly because of the cat calling. I later heard that a young girl had been raped on a street about ten minutes, so I contacted the police. They explained that it wasn't the same group. But of course there is no way to report "guys cat calling in the street at 1am" because that's not actually a crime.

I read that a couple of music festivals in Sweden were cancelled because of sex assault problems. My first thought was, how about running the festival as women only?

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