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Hey Bitch – Or the Dangers of Being a Women in America

July 10, 2012

I had a lovely dinner with a friend this evening.  Afterwords, I walked home.  It was daylight.  People were about. My walk home requires a stroll through a park and over a bridge.  While walking through the park I notice two men on a park bench.  Neither had shirts on.  They were tan and buff and douchy.  I decided to put some distance between myself and the douches rather than walk right in front of them.  I walked behind their  bench making sure to put a tree between us.  But that wasn’t enough.

“hey lady!”

I recognized that tone and did not turn around.

“Hey Person”

Right, that will work.  I love being referred to as generic person.

“Hey girl in the dress”


“Hey Bitch”

The blood in me started to boil.  I kept walking taking not of people around me who may help keep me safe.  Fortunately, they stopped after calling me a bitch.

I currently live in Missoula, MT.  Google it and you will read all about our rape problem which came to light when members of the beloved football team gang raped a person at a party. The city and the university are under investigation by several federal agencies.  What was once thought to be a quaint mountain college town is now showing its dark side.  And women live in fear.

We talk about women who are afraid to leave their homes like it something that happens in exotic far way places.  Those women live in houses made of clay or with tile roofs not 1950s ranch houses with geraniums growing in the windows.  We talk about women who fear for their safety like they have nothing to do with us or our lives. But in fact, women in Missoula, women in America, fear for their safety.  They, myself included, do not go out at night alone.  They do not leave the house without pepper spray.  They hold on to their drinks at social events.  They avoid eye contact with men.  They walk quickly enough to getaway but not so quickly as to not show fear.  Women of America are those women.

There are more women today who have been raped than women who smoke.  Approximently one in five females will experience sexual assault in their life.  Two grandmothers, a mother, a sister and a daughter – thats three women.  While Gold Meir was in office a series of rapes occurred.  When asked if she would enforce a curfew for women she said “But it is the men who are attacking women.If there is to be a curfew, let the men stay home.”  When I am being heckled in the park, I am not so against the idea.




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