Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm Your Venus, I'm Your Fire...

So the night before I went out with internet boy last week, I established some ground rules.

1. No I won't be having sex with you.
2. Ok, maybe I'll kiss you goodnight.
3. No I won't be picking you up at your place.
4. No I won't be driving you home.

He was confused by #3, and completely offended by #4.

I mentioned this to D2 while we were roadtripping last weekend. He didn't get it either.

Then I mentioned this to a couple of girlfriends. They all said "well duh." They got it immediately.

I find it both amusing (on a small scale) and sad (on a big scale) that men and women have such differing attitudes in something like this.

Men simply don't know that kind of fear. For the few women out there who go around boiling people's bunnies, there are hundreds of men who stalk and kill innocent women. Men can't know the potential apprehension we can feel when simply passing a stranger on the street. What if that guy looks twice at you? What if you suddenly become his object? What if he won't take no for an answer? What if...

Girls are taught from a very young age about defending themselves, and how most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. Our parents give us much more intense speeches about not walking alone at night, and checking in so they know we're safe. It's not that they love their daughters more than their sons, it's simply a fact that men are victimized only a fraction as often as women are.

I know men who have had women harass them. And I know of situations where it's ended quite badly. But that's the worst of it. I know women who have been harassed, stalked, assaulted and abused. And there's simply no comparison in the severity of the situations.

So as lovely as D2 and internet boy are, I find it silly that they couldn't figure out why I wouldn't get into a car with a stranger. Of course I understand that they are good guys, and they would most likely never hurt anyone. But the thing is, I think that men are capable of feeling rage to a degree that most women aren't even capable of producing.** Maybe it's a testosterone thing. Maybe it's a society thing. Maybe it's DNA. I don't know. But as women we have to be cautious.

Now I can appreciate the fact that the men reading this (I think I have 3 or 4 male readers) might possibly think that I/we are being paranoid. That we shouldn't dwell on the "what ifs" so much. But how can we not? Rape, and assault and abuse aren't new. They've gone on since the Neanderthals were clubbing women and dragging them back to their cave by their hair.

Oh Good Lord, this sounds like a bloody public service announcement. The point of this post, before I started going off on a tangent, is that it struck me as amazing that the women I spoke to about the driving home thing totally got it, and the men didn't. I'm not a big advocate of the Mars & Venus thing - but in this case it seems to be true.


UPDATE: ** OK maybe this is an inaccurate statement. It's been pointed out that women are just as rage-y as men, which is probably true.


PinkPiddyPaws said...

I'm right there with ya babe! Hell, I NEVER went out with anyone before I had there name, phone number and picture passed on to someone that I trusted -- just in case I didn't come back from that date. :)

There is NOTHING wrong with being smart about self awareness and protection. And no, most guys wouldn't think twice before getting into a car with a woman they had never met. Especially a pretty one like you.. you would be harmless, right? :)

Shana-Marie said...

I have to say, mainly because I never really 'dated' that I didn't quite get it at first. I think this is really because the only time I've ever even had the option of getting into a car with a male is if I either know them, or someone close to me knows them. And, when I think about it, I don't even like taking a taxi on my own. LOL, so I guess when I put it into a context that makese sense to me, it makes sense.

It's MUCH better to be safe, than it is to risk the alternative.

Avitable said...

I don't think you're being paranoid - you're being careful. Is there such a thing as being so careful as to come across as if you don't care? Yeah, but I don't think this is that line.

I do, however, take umbrage with your thought that men feel rage to a degree that women don't. I think that's completely and utterly erroneous.

Jen said...

Hmmm . . . In this day and age you can't be too safe. The husband completely understands what you've laid out and I didn't even have to explain it to him. He's been like this for years. Honestly, when my single gals go out on dates he really wants to know if they're okay, who the guy is (wants to see pictures and profiles) and when they get home.

But he sees bad stuff everyday. So, maybe that's the difference between the husband and other men. He's had to live through some of the trauma with women by the time they get to him.

(Yes, my gal pals are in line for if the husband and I split up. But I tend to keep things for long, long times. . . they might be waiting for a bit!)

I already thought you were intelligent, but this makes you Queen Princess!

Princess of the Universe said...

PPP- Ohh I would love to be all coy and stuff- but yeah, I'm pretty darn harmless.

Shana- Taxis kind of stress me out too.

Av- I wondered if I was going to get in trouble for that comment. I agree that there are exceptions, but it's what I've observed anyhow.

Jen- thanks honey! And you have an awesome hubby!

Avitable said...

I don't think it's merely an exception. Maybe you've been lucky that you've never had to experience a truly enraged woman, but they're able to maintain that rage for much longer than a man, and I think the fire burns equally hot for both of them.

Princess of the Universe said...

Av- I would never argue that I have most likely led a more sheltered life than a lot of people - so I'm willing to accept the fact that I may have been unfair in that statement.
Wow- go me, the first time I get you to comment on one of my posts and I pissed you off!

Avitable said...

Don't worry - you didn't piss me off! :)

Anonymous said...

I take it you have never seen 2 women fight?
Us women folk can be very violent, and we hold grudges for life. Well at least I do. LOL

Anonymous said...

When are you posting the winners of your quiz????

Princess of the Universe said...

Av- Glad to hear it :) xo

My Dear Anon- OK - I am TOTALLY taking that comment back. Cause yeah, you're all cranky and grudge-holding. :P And I'm posting the winners soon- promise!

SpanishGoth said...

I can truthfully say that I met a serial killer, face-to-face (on my own) before he was discovered to be such and I didn't have a bloody clue.

I think that what they asked of you was churlish and downright condescending.

Tell them that Goth disapproves....

SpanishGoth said...

or spear their hearts with a wooden stake - either way is good for me

canadian sadie said...

I didn't have a clue what you were referring to, and still didn't until I was half-way through your explanation.

I wouldn't generally do the car thing with someone on a first meeting (although I HAVE in the past)...but neither would I make an issue of it before the outing.

"I'll just meet you there, I have some things I have to do first/after/on the way home" It's a lot more subtle, and still gets you home in one piece, in your own car, with your virtue in tact. ;)

All Mod Cons said...

I'm not saying anything. I'm waaay too outnumbered by chicks on here to leave any sort of opinion!

Apart from "You bum does not look big in that outfit, at all".

Princess of the Universe said...

Goth- Geez your life is never boring is it?

Sadie- um OK. Well there was a reason that it came up, I just didn't want to bore everyone by typing out the whole convo.

AMC- someone has you well-trained!

Glamourpuss said...

Yeah, I think most men are harmless but don't understand that we girls are still vulnerable to the few who are dangerous.


MAdOo said...

Sometimes we need to let it go, we need to let the chips fall where they may, if u know what i mean

phishez said...

Women rage differently to men.

I once met a guy off the internet who I told I would only meet in a public place, and we had to go get coffee first. I was getting my hair cut when I got a message. He was parked at the bottom of the shopping centre, waiting for me. I told him I wouldn't get in the car. He refused to come into the shopping centre. I refused to get in the car.

I shouldn't have f*cked him. But I did. He's the only guy I regret. He had bad hygiene.

Z said...

I'm a girl, so I'm with you on this... I read it and was like, um? Offended? By what? Those are totally reasonable rules to have.

Princess Pointful said...

I totally feel you on this one... I am pretty independent, but I get so annoyed when my guy doesn't understand the few things I am reluctant to do because it doesn't feel safe.

Princess of the Universe said...

Puss- I think men just don't think about it- maybe because they don't have to.

Madoo- uh nope, no idea what you're getting at there.

Phish- yeah, bad hygiene is definitely regret-worthy.

Z- yeah, it was totally unexpected since he was so sweet about everything else.

PP- it's just another diff between men and women I guess...

Crashdummie said...

i guess there is no right or wrong here - all u can do is to relay on your gutfeeling and common sense.

and anyway, better to be safe than sorry innit.

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