Walking a woman home(83 Posts)
My friend and I, both feminists, were discussing this last night. She expects that my Ds (18) walks her Dd (17) home when it's late at night; they are in a relationship and have been for 18 months. I agree that it's the appropriate thing to do. However, last night over
several a glass of wine we were questioning how this fits in with our feminist selves.
What do you think? In the cold, sober, light of day it seems very different.
Isn't it up to them?
And possibly the reason he walks her home is so they can spend more time together and delay saying goodbye to each other.
I think an important part of being a feminist is understanding the risks of male violence that women face on a daily basis. Your ds walking her dd home helps to mitigate that risk, it doesn't endorse it.
Statistically he is far more likely to suffer a violent attack than she is.
Of course he should walk her home if you are talking about it being late at night and potentially dangerous. If it's the middle of the day, no. Nothing to do with feminism.
She is more likely to be attacked by a man she knows than a stranger.
My DM was equally concerned for my brother and I as teens (since young men are more likely to be mugged or attacked) and until we moved out encouraged us both to drive, or (for boozy use reputable taxis (which she paid for). After moving out I wouldn't expect a bf to escort me home unless he lived very near by.
It's a bit complicated because: you can say he's statistically more likely to suffer violence than she is, but i dare say those reports dont take into account the amount of times women are followed, intimidated and otherwise harrassed. But, she's just as likeky to endure that in the day as in the night.
Either way, I'm a mean nasty feminist but given the choice of walking home alone or walking with a man, I'd choose the latter every time. Not because I'm a weak incapable woman but because it reduces the probability of male intimidation and violence from about 85% to 5%
Stats may show that more women are attacked in the home, by men they know but in this case it's more relevant to compare the stats of women who are attacked while walking alone v walking with company. I suggest she's safer in being accompanied by her boyfriend. And anyway, if she were to walk home alone and "something happened" we all know the victim blaming would centre on her daring to walk alone while female.
No, we don't think that he shouldn't, it's up to them. If for some reason he doesn't then one of other of us will drive but that's only really if it's chucking it down. We were just curious about the POV of other feminists rather than needing validation.
Is the expectation that he will walk her home emphasising the view that women need to be looked after by men?
Are there other ways she could get home safely? Driving herself? Cycling herself? Taxi? Other friends who lives near her (only if they're out in a group obviously)
If i was your friend I'd chat to her DD about how to get home safely without being completely reliant on a male to walk her. But in your position I would support your DS in offering to walk her back too.
More men are attacked by strangers than women but there are many times more men walking around in their own - so the risk per person is possibly higher for women, and the risk of sexual violence or hassle definitely higher. A friend's son was mugged for his phone and wallet on the way back from walking GF home though so neither option are risk free sadly. I imagine his GF may have felt pretty guilty about that.
Yes it does reinforce the view that men "look after" women.
Consideration should be given to both of their safety.
What would DD have done prior to this relationship?
Isn't the proportion of men attacked by strangers also higher because it includes men who have got into fights, e.g. football hooliganism etc? I have relatives for whom a fight on a Saturday night down the pub was a fairly common occurrence....
My POV as a feminist is that it's unnecessary and perpetuates the idea of women being weaker/more vulnerable. I personally always refuse it and have always seen myself home from leaving home at 17, and before, where necessary and have never had any issues (luck involved, of course). I do think though that in current times, I will be encouraging my sons not to walk around alone at night, so maybe we should be saying that everyone should ideally be going about in groups or pairs, irrespective of sex?
I think the problem I have with it, as a feminist, is the number of women I know now in their thirties or forties who are too scared to get in a cab on their own. So sometimes we have to arrange things to cost more so that certain women are dropped, to their door, by other women and never left last in the cab etc. As far as I know (and they say) this is all about perceived risk, not as a result of any previous bad experience. Often the husband's are made to wait at the door. I find this a bit pathetic in grown women, if I'm honest, but I accept that I have been lucky to never have had any issues in cabs or getting home. Its a tough one, for sure.
If she's out with other women then they all walk home in a group. As for driving, she can't yet drive herself and neither can my DS - we've had the discussion about not going in the car with a driver who has been drinking and either my friend or I will go and collect them if they are with drivers who have potentially been drinking.
As for her protecting herself, they both do martial arts.
So it sounds like they are both being sensible and well prepared, group situations are covered. So really it comes down to what happens when it's just the two of them. My first thought would be that it should come down to logistics. The one nearest wherever they are is accompanied home by the other one, who then has to complete their leg of the journey alone, taking sensible precautions and confirming by phone/text when they are safely home. I don't see why it should automatically be your daughter who is always accompanied, involving some doubling back for the boy presumably? But that's easy for me to say, and I don't have daughters.
It reinforces the view that, when the threat is violence from a stranger, there is safety in numbers. And that if someone has to walk alone, it should be the biggest/strongest who is fastest to run away or most able to withstand attack generally.
These are biological differences.
But when it's your own DS who is mugged, it's no easier than if it was your DD.
When i was doing the walking home thing,it was more about spending extra time together/we're going the same way rather than safety.
This issue really gets to me. Whilst most boys or men who walk girls or women home are doing so to be thoughtful, it annoys me that it's due to the risk of male violence and in a way is a way all men benefit from male violence even if they'd hate to think of it that way - some get to look nice and caring for walking a woman home, even though they only feel they need to do so or women only feel safer when they do so due to the fear of male violence.
As for girls/women all walking home in a group, who walks the last one left home?
With regards to males being more at risk, I doubt they are of serious violence or just the street harassment which is regular and intimidating for most girls and women I know of.
Why should he "of course" walk her home?
What is it that compels this?
Who then walks him home?
IAmAmy dismissing the violence most boys face is no better than dismissing the violence women face.
I know many, many teenage boys who have been mugged. The majority of these boys are very distressed and upset, they may put up a front but most are genuinely traumatised. I had a boy crying about his friend who was mugged a fortnight ago. Sobbing. He then pulled himself together went on his way joking with his friends.
We need to teach young women to be street aware and how to defend themselves NOT that they need a man.
I know very few teenage boys who've been mugged. Every teenage girl I know has been harassed on the street regularly, my first instance was 14 in school uniform. It's horrific, intimidating, degrading. I know girls who've been sexually assaulted by teenage boys too. When teenage boys experience violence it's abhorrent but it just doesn't come close to what girls face.
I wish I could just pull myself together knowing some things which have happened to girls I know.
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