#ChalkAsks: What Are The Things You Don't Feel Safe Doing As A Female?
Karen Jane Ng
It doesn't matter if it's based on personal experience, an opinion made by secondhand account, or a product of our psychological biases, let's face it: The world has been a scary place for as long as we can remember. Every now and then, we hear crimes on the news, a neighbor got swindled, a classmate was beaten up, a friend was robbed, or a woman was raped.
Yes, men get molested, too, but there's no lie in statistics verifying that women, especially the younger ones, are at a high risk of being victims. Not to mention, we can't silence their fears of living a normal life as a woman while having the thought that, well, they are not safe. See how the reality truly affects the female population below:
"May time na natakot ako gabihin sa work kasi ‘pag madilim na, mas maraming perpetrators and mas vulnerable kapag nagcommute ka. Umabot din sa point na loose shirt and jeans lang suot ko sa work para ‘di isipin ng holdapers na may mananakaw sila sa’kin." -Sofia, 23
"Actually ako, honestly, takot ako magtravel alone. Mag-solo travel kasi ang pangamba ko, may mga lalaki sa ibang bansa or kahit dito lang sa Pinas na bastos na magte-take advantage of me. Takot na nga ako lumabas kahit daylight kasi may mga tambay lang sa kalye. Parang never pa akong naka-experience na hindi ako na-cat call. Always 'yan. Kahit ano pa suot ko. Mas lalo na kapag gabi." -Jem, 23
"Kasi ako bata pa lang ako, namulat nako sa danger ng rapists. May kakilala ako noon mas bata pa sa 'kin, hinarass siya ng isang lalaki na lasing. Sa first hand experience ko naman, one man, I knew him, sa province 'to namin nangyari. He tried to persuade me to come with him. Tawag daw ako ni ganito, whoever that was. Pero ayoko sumama, medyo persistent sya, bata pa ako nito. Buti na lang may kasama akong dalawang kalaro ko. And they also insisted na ayoko nga. So hindi sya nagtagumpay, whatever intention man ang nasa isip niya. Basta ang kutob ko hindi maganda. Until now, 'pag naaalala ko yun, I feel relieved na stubborn ako nung bata. It saved me somehow. Kaya may phobia ako sa mga lasing. 'Pag nakakakita ako ng lasing, umiiwas na agad ako. And kaya ayoko lumalakad mag-isa. It only takes one bad opportunity and a single mistake to ruin your life in this unsafe environment we have." -Clara, 24
"Sobrang takot ako mag-commute. Ang tagal bago ko natuto or, at least, ang tagal bago ko tinry. Hatid-sundo talaga ako. Hindi ako makapag suot nang hindi balot na balot or makapag-dress man lang kasi baka makatabi ako ng manyak sa commute. Minsan feeling ko judgemental ako, pero it's like I don't have a choice but to keep myself safe." -Kim, 24
"Wearing shorts when you have to go out and take public transpo. Because not all people can understand. Not all people will understand. They thought you want attention when all you really want is be comfortable." -Chang, 25
"I can't ever let my guard down whenever I'm outside. For instance, when walking on the streets, I keep a watchful eye on the people walking or standing close to me. I also make sure I'm equipped with whatever I can defend myself with. In public transpo, I refrain from falling asleep especially if I'm alone because who knows what can happen if I have my eyes closed, right? -Kristel, 22
"Minsan I avoid wearing dresses in public because I feel paranoid na may tumitingin sa 'kin na mga lalaki then nakikita ko sa mga balita na may mga nagvivideo sa girls in dresses sa mga jeep, ganon. As much as possible, I wear pants na lang to avoid this kind of people." -Grace, 25
"Even though I know that one's clothing is not an invitation for someone to harass them, I can't help but think twice about the clothes I'm wearing given that I always commute. Laging may takot sa akin na baka mabastos ako kung masyadong revealing or maikli yung damit ko and 'pag nangyari 'yun hindi ko ma-defend sarili ko. It irks me that girls are forced to make adjustments for the things that are supposedly within the boys' control." -Regina, 24
"'Di naman ako takot pero siyempre I don't want it to happen so I take precautions. Kunwari uuwi ng gabi tapos 'yung dadaanan ko madilim, either I look for another way or bibilisan ko lakad ko. If mag-isa lang ako tapos may pupuntahan akong place na maraming stranger, I wear pants instead of skirts. So basically ayoko lang 'yung mga situations na pwede ako malagay sa alanganin." -Bea, 24
This isn't women being dramatic, acting like they should be top priority, or making foul judgements against strangers. This is them opening up about being uncomfortable towards the people and the world that fail to make them feel otherwise. At this point, their only hope is that it doesn't stay that way forever. Here's to making our women safe and holding those who wrong them accountable.