I remember growing up in what I consider the last of the golden ages of childhood where a parent could literally put their kid out on the stoop and tell them "go play," and not worry about their safety for the most part, until they asked you to be in by dark. It was glorious. My brother and I would just roam our neighborhood with our neighbors kids. And there were only three rules we had to follow: 1) be in by dark 2)for me, stay with my brother, and my brother, watch your sister, and 3)stay within the 15 block radius of our house. That was it. Off we went. And nothing eventful ever happened.
Things changed dramatically though when I hit both puberty and went to middle school. Suddenly there were dire warnings directed at me specifically about my safety, and men lurking and wanting to hurt me. I remember one specific time where my mom had this super awkward conversation with me inquiring as to whether my male math tutor had looked at me or touched me in a way that I thought was wrong. He was a super nice guy and he hadn't, so I was totally lost as to where it was coming from back then, but now from her perspective, I know she just didn't want to find out like years later, she'd been sending me off to study with a pedophile.
Still, from that age on, it seemed like all men were out to get me according to my parents and society at large. Any time I wanted to go out after dark, it had to be with a group of friends or my brother. I could NEVER walk alone anywhere, not even in the day time despite living in a really quiet safe tree lined street little neighborhood. Men were the devil, all of them, they made it seem. If a strange one even said hi, I basically was told to break into a sprint in case he was out to potentially harm me.
In college things just got worse on that front, because now, there was no parental or adult supervision to intervene if any of the guys wanted to potentially cause me harm. My parents gave me mace, and numbers to call, and pointed out the nearest police stations. There were endless lectures about not being out at night or making sure if I went to any party, that I had at least 2 trusted friends to watch out for me, and I needed to call them at regular intervals during the week so they knew I was okay...none of which, by the way, was told to my brother who attended a neighboring college.
Do men think it's fair that society makes it seem like all you do is want to potentially harm women or should women live in this state of perpetual fear that harm will come to them, so as to remain vigilant all the time against would be attackers for their own safety?
It's not coming from no where unfortunately. In the the U.S. Department of Justice sponsored National Crime Victimization Study, statistically speaking, 75.6 percent of all offenders of violent crimes were male and only 20.1 percent were female. In the remaining cases, the victim wasn't able to identify the gender of the offender. The thing is, there just isn't a way to know specifically who is a good or bad guy if they are a stranger to you, but it often feels like you just can't relax and just like take a walk down the street at night without thinking every car that slows down, or every guy you see walking in your direction is going to try to cause you some sort of harm thanks to stats, parents, and society at large.