Attention women

If you’re anything like me, you carry pepper spray. And you’re probably enraged that you have to. In this decade it’s “foolish” to walk alone at night, or even with a girlfriend. It’s “dangerous” to be in your apartment with your door unlocked or the windows open. It’s “naive” to drive at night without the windows up and the car locked. It’s sad and humiliating that women have to feel defenseless (unless you’re a bodybuilder). And it’s ridiculous to know that when harassed at a gas station, my girlfriend said to me, “maybe I shouldn’t have worn shorts.”

I don’t like being so paranoid I jump at shadows. I hate walking “briskly” through my parking lot with my thumb on the trigger of my “hot stuff.” And I despise the fact that I don’t have a choice if I want to feel that I didn’t “bring it on” if I am ever attacked. But most of all, I’m extremely annoyed with some of the women on this campus—especially at night.

As a transfer student, I’m new to this campus. Every night since I’ve moved here, I’ve heard women screaming. A couple of times, the screams brought me and my neighbor out on the patio, genuinely concerned for someone’s life—only to find out it was nothing at all.

Whether it’s drunken play or flirtatious childishness, this is one of the reasons I have to carry pepper spray. Ladies, it’s this type of screaming that desensitizes people. Do you think anyone pays attention to car alarms anymore? Do you ever notice them half the time? I no longer place any importance on my rape whistle because of desensitization to whistles.

I’m no longer in denial about my safety. I no longer think I’m immortal—it usually takes the hard way for us to learn things. But guess what! Most men are stronger than us. Most men who go out to attack can get what they want! And we’re making it easier for them!

Little kids are taught by their parents not to scream unless in danger. Most 6 year-olds learn that. Maybe we never should have “grown up”.

Jen Gadow


Speech Pathology