pardon me while i dust off my soapbox

We've had some attacks recently on gay men at Rural State U. Yesterday, a rally was held on campus to raise awareness and show solidarity for the victims. I think it's great that people are organizing and taking action for the prejudices that led to the attacks. Moreover, I think it's even better that a community is showing support for a group of people who, just even 10 years ago, wouldn't be given support. It makes me glad for the time I am living in.

Ahem. This is where the soapbox comes in.

Safety precautions are something all people should be taught, regardless of their gender. Unfortunately, ours is a society of (white) male dominance, and males (especially white ones) rarely fear for their safety if they are walking after dark.

Women are raised and taught to fear for their safety more than (white) men. Women are taught to walk in well-lit areas, walk in groups, and if not with a person, walk while on your cell phone so people know where you are. Women, in theory, "know better."

(white) Men are not taught these things, as they are rarely the ones attacked.

Expecting to be in a completely safe environment all the time is ludicrous and something that we come to expect should be given to us with little or no effort on our own. No where is completely safe. You need to take precautions to ensure your safety. You also need to understand that no matter what you do to keep yourself protected and safe, that isn't a guarantee either.

Again, this is coming from the point of view of me, a woman, who's mother made her watch the Oprah shows on kidnapping and keeping yourself safe. I hated it then, but it's made me more aware when I'm out and about. This is coming from the woman who leaves her door locked at home and at work at all times. This is coming from the woman who has been chased across RSU's campus as an undergraduate the one time I chose to walk by myself late at night.

The point: take care of yourself. Realize that all you do isn't going to make sure something doesn't happen to you.

The last point: thank you, RSU community, for supporting the victims. Thank you for recognizing the fear members of the GLBTQ community face everyday simply for the people they love. Thank you for striving to make the world safer for all of us.

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