You didn’t criticize the author — you criticized #MeToo and feminism as if they were somehow the reason that women are afraid. That’s incredibly tone-deaf! All women are afraid all of the time! It runs at a very subconscious low-level for most women most of the time, but it’s always, always there and has zero to do with feminism or the very necessary and healthy demand for the systemic abuse in our country’s companies and industries to be halted (otherwise knowns as #MeToo). All women run a constant low-level threat assessment sub-routine for pretty much all of their lives. The understanding that this is necessary is not taught. It is learned from experience, beginning typically at about age 10, which is when harassment begins for most girls — when they aren’t even fully into puberty. Look on Twitter at #FirstHarassed for more on that.

Women live as prey animals. Someone is always trying to consume them, whether visually or literally. They have to be constantly on-guard any time they are in public, and often in private as well in a way that men don’t. “Is it safe for me to sleep with my window open, or will I end up getting raped if I do?” Sure, men have to take some precautions to try to not end up as victims of crime, but there are no “safe” neighborhoods for women. The things that happen to them happen everywhere. There are no “safe” people either, up until those people have proven over time that they actually can be trusted. To make a baseline assumption that someone is safe is very dangerous. Most women are assaulted, raped, abused and killed by men who are in their sphere by invitiation and not by total strangers. These are quite often men in suits, with nice cars, with good jobs and college degrees.

You should be able to see the validity of the content of what someone says even if their tone offends you. Was what the Black Panthers had to say any less true because they said it with anger rather than the more peace-oriented tones of MLK? Shooting the messenger for being too angry is a way to not have to deal with the actual dynamic being discussed. It’s an evasive maneuver. Maybe it’s not my place to say this, but I expect better from you.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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