Thank you for your concern, but I’m actually not a damsel in distress


By Jessica Jenks

When I was a child, I was only allowed to ride my bike up and down the street I lived on. I was not allowed to cross the street until I was old enough.

Of course, “old enough” was an age my parents never defined. Then once I was finally allowed to ride my bike around the neighborhood, I was never allowed to cross the busy street: Garfield.

In fact, if I was to ask my mom today if I was allowed to cross it, she would probably say, “When you’re older.” My younger brother, Budze, however, was always allowed to ride his bike around wherever he wanted to, simply because he was a boy.

This is just one example of the double standards that exist between men and women.

Lately people have been overprotective of women on campus. While I appreciate the concern, I just feel like once again a double standard is being set. The concern makes me feel like people think women are helpless. Guess what? I am not helpless. I do not need a baby sitter; I mean, someone to “escort” me across the street or to my car/apartment.

I understand people are worried about females being attacked or taken advantage of, but all the warnings and extra precautions scare people into thinking that if a woman is ever walking alone, she will definitely be assaulted. This is not true. I am not saying women should just start wandering around dark alleys, but they also should not be scared into thinking they can never be alone outside of their home.

Men get attacked too. A couple of years ago, one of my friends was attacked as he crossed the street…or at least, that’s what he remembers. The attack left him with enough problems to his memory and other mental faculties that he did not graduate until three semesters after he was supposed to.

Bad things happen everywhere to all kinds of people, and not just on this campus. I will not be scared into changing my everyday routine. It starts getting dark really early in the winter time. If it is dark at 6 p.m. and I want to walk across the street to get something to eat at a restaurant, I’m not going to call the Late Night Ride service. I am going to walk across the street and grab food.

I’m sure most people who have called the Late Night Ride have had an experience where your call does not get answered. Then you call back. If they answer, you sometimes have to wait a significant amount of time for them to be able to come pick you up. While the Late Night Ride service is a great resource if you are not in a hurry to get somewhere, it is pretty inconvenient if you are in a hurry while they are busy.

I understand that not everyone feels the way I do. I would also be lying if I said my mom has not bought me several keychains with mace attached to it to carry around in my purse.

People who feel unsafe walking alone can always take extra precaution. They can carry pepper spray, call the Late Night Ride or even take self-defense classes. Do what it takes to feel confident walking around campus or anywhere.

There is always a chance that something bad is going to happen, so be prepared whether you are male or female.