A woman learns from a very young age that she is vulnerable. Most of the time she is taught safety skills and given advice, though, unfortunately, many young girls are not safe in their own homes. However, I am veering off from my point. Abuse is a topic for another day.
As a I used a familiar technique yesterday, I thought about how tiring it can be to be a woman. With all the news lately about women being attacked (and people saying ENOUGH!) it is uppermost in many minds.
Women are not safe out in the world, and we are not always safe in our own homes.
These are the various tactics I have used to keep me and my children from harm when I am in my own home, and have a contractor / repairman / builder / salesperson/ installer/ delivery person coming over:
(I am not including my plumber, because I am very fond of him and have always felt very safe with him. However, I am sure that the first time I met him I was on my guard.)
- Try to time visit from outsider when husband is home. Difficult.
- As I approach the front door, yell loudly, “I’ll get it,____________!” (The blank may be filled in with son or husband’s name. I don’t think I have ever made up a male name; however, I would never yell a female name.
- Make sure I am on the phone and giving the listener all the information about the stranger in the home.
- Pretend to be talking on the phone to someone and giving them all the information about the stranger in the home.
- Pretend that there is another male in the house.
- Act as if a male person is arriving home any moment.
- Keep doors open and watch where I position myself.
- Have them walk in front of me on stairs and through hallways.
- Notice potential weapons. (I read in a Louis L’Amour book years ago, that “there is always a weapon.” I have never forgotten that, and have always surveyed rooms with that in mind. Ok, perhaps that’s a little nuts, or maybe not. I know what I would use in every room of my home. I do the same in other places.)
- Observe their behavior closely and react.
Story here: Years ago I had a guy working on our furnace. He was sent from whatever company I had hired and I did not know him. While in the basement, I noticed that he had taken his jacket off and placed it a little bit farther away from his work area than seemed convenient. I noted it, talked to him, and moved upstairs. When he was finished, we discussed the work, I walked him out, closing and locking the door. A few minutes later, he knocked on the front door, and when I answered, said he had forgotten his jacket. I said, “Oh, yeah, I saw that—I’ll get it for you.” Leaving him on the front porch, with the front door open, I left him to go to the basement and retrieve his jacket.
On my way back up, I noticed scissors that I had left out from some project and something made me pick them up. I held the scissors in my right fist with the blades facing out. I came upstairs, and lo and behold, the guy had come into my house, down my front hallway,and was almost to the kitchen in the back of the house. I was startled. He glanced down at the blades as I handed him his jacket, and he paused for a second. I would have had no problem with using the weapon. I think he knew that and moved toward the front door. You never know….
Would my husband have had to do that? No. (Would he even have had to think about it? No.)
Was the guy intending harm? Possibly.
Might he have thought I was nuts? Who cares?
I have taken many self defense classes with the hope that I never have to use the techniques I have learned. I know that I would use them if I was in a compromised situation.
This is how we live, as women in the world, anywhere in the world.
My college-aged daughter told me that there is a term: “rape schedule.” This refers to all the scheduling young women have to do when they determine how late they can take classes at night, what areas they can walk in during certain times, what time they can go out and whether or not they will have an escort or safe transportation.
I’ve always thought the answer to that would be a male curfew. Let them stay home so we can go out. Really. Think about it.
What the hell is wrong with men? Really. What the hell?