Monday, November 30, 2015

A woman's life - danger

It doesn't matter where we live, how old we are or how well we fit society's view of beauty - danger is present in every woman's life.

For some it will be the extremes of poverty, being barred from education, denied a voice at the most rudimentary of tables. For some it will be less public and be in the corners of what should be safe homes and families. For others it will be random: working for a jerk or being female and in the wrong place at the wrong time (for this I still take a moment of silence for the Montreal Ecole Polytechnique massacre on Dec.6, 1989).

For some, it will simply be the burden of depression for reasons that are personal and/or reflective of a world where being different and feeling alone creates a stigma that can be unbearable.

I recently had a stalker. It was a creepy, unpleasant time. A male friend commented that he had experienced three stalkers in his lifetime and yet I felt no camaraderie. I twitched when folks stood too close to me in public spaces. The tree branch knocking on my window was no longer comforting. A male voice became "other" when I couldn't see the speaker. It was not the first or most extreme menace I had seen in my life; it was a reminder that that threats are constant in every woman's life. Sometimes we are lucky enough to forget for a while but that's a small percentage of us.

That was my recent small window into danger. As the darkness of our days gets longer, take the hand of your friends as they walk alone. Mentor in other countries. Give to charities that support women and children breaking cycles of violence and poverty. We are one world and everyone deserves a voice, safety and support.

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