The real war on women: Just Whistle or Maybe Vomit if Someone Tries to Rape You
Unbelievable. There was incredible indignation on the Left that women might not be able to get free birth control in order to be able to have control over their own reproductive systems (and this was a non-issue because women, in fact, can get free birth control measures through most universities and through all family planning clinics) but suddenly these same Democrats are coming out with bizarre statements like Democratic Rep. Joe Salazar of Colorado in asserting that “It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles, because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around, or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be…”
Then another Colorado Sen. Democrat Jessie Ulibarri chimes in with the idea that, rather than a gun, you’d be better off with a fighting your attacker with a ballpoint pen. Democrat Colorado Rep. Paul Rosenthal suggested that women shouldn’t wander the streets or anywhere else alone and should just use “the buddy system.” We have universities now telling female students not to fight back but to use passive resistance measures like peeing themselves or vomiting.
Right, so as females we don’t have the mental capabilities to assess that there is the threat or likelihood that we might be raped, not to mention lose life and limb. We should let our attackers get close enough to us that we should have to resort to using a ballpoint pen — yes, that incredible defense weapon that every Navy Seal regularly employs, I’m sure. We should bank, not only our bodies but our lives, on the idea that a rapist, a rapist and murderer, or simply a murderer will run away in horror if we release bodily fluids. We should never dare to be out alone. When will they suggest that we all don the burka? And there is dead silence on the Left. Sandra Fluke is outspoken about getting her condoms or birth control pills as freebies but is silent in the face of this real war on women’s ability to protect themselves in the face of life-altering violation and, in all too many cases, life-ending encounters.
Let me tell you, from unfortunately very personal experience, how effective the measures these Senators’ suggestions work out. I’ve written before about how I was attacked. I wasn’t raped and I wasn’t killed, though I was injured, but both of those outcomes were only down to sheer luck, a tiny bit of my own actions, the fact that it was around 3:45 in the afternoon on a bright sunny day, and that I had a bit of forewarning –more than most rape victims have –that something was seriously amiss.
Just a couple of weeks into my first semester in college I was walking home, in a “good” neighbourhood on a beautiful Autumn afternoon. There were people out and about in their yards and on the sidewalks. There were kids coming home from elementary, middle, and high school, looking just like me, with their little backpacks on their shoulders. There were people home. There was a tiny, very old and neglected, Jewish graveyard on the corner that I often stopped into and pulled weeds and set the small stones that had fallen off back onto the headstones. I thought about it but didn’t stop in there that day, an inconsequential decision that may have saved my life. I did see a car that was parked at such an angle that it caught my attention, made me wonder and give it a second, though fleeting, thought as I made my way across the small side street, around the car, and back onto the sidewalk.
Just steps beyond the car, I heard the car door open and only glanced back because that car had been pulled into a parking position (and overlapping the crosswalk) at such a strange angle. Had the car been pulled to the curb in a normal fashion, I’d never have noticed or have thought to look around and there is 100% certainty that I would not be alive to write this blog post. What I saw was a man lunging out of the front passenger door at me with his hands outstretched. I was a gymnast and a sprinter and fight or flight took over and I flew before I was even consciously aware of the situation. It was only seconds, a second (?) later when I heard his feet pounding behind me that it came home to me that this guy was trying to grab me.
I screamed. I screamed for help, I screamed “Fire!” (because I’d learned that screaming ‘fire’ will bring people out to help who otherwise would not want to get involved), I screamed for my mother. I dropped the backpack carrying my books and my new penny loafers off my left shoulder to the sidewalk in the hopes he only wanted to rob me and all the time I kept running for my life. I didn’t need a whistle. People were out on the street and in their yards and in their houses who could see what was happening and not a single one came to my aid. Not a single one so much as yelled. There could have been a bank of call boxes end to end for blocks and if I’d stopped to try to dial one, I’d be dead now. He didn’t want my backpack, he didn’t want to rob me. He wanted me. He just kept coming.
I almost got completely away. At a little less than 90 pounds I could get through the spaces between cars that anyone any chubbier could never manage and at the first runnable space between the bumper-to-bumper parked cars I tried to zip through. Maybe law-makers in Colorado should next suggest that girls wear crew cuts. He got me by my pony tail streaming out behind me and jerked me back. I kept screaming, I kept fighting and no one came to my aid. I struggled enough and, because he’d grabbed my hair and not my body, it took that nano second of him trying to change his grip from my hair to my waist to carry me back that was really, probably, my salvation. I’d gone airborne backwards and landed in a heap. I was, in the meantime, trying to scramble onto hands and knees and away on hands and knees.
There was a sewer lid there among the grass along that narrow track between sidewalk and street and it hadn’t been fitted down properly, so the edge was raised. In that last desperate struggle, I was pushed forward through the grass, across that sewer lid, the raised edge of which shredded my left shin down so the bone was visible, and was pounded and thumped black and blue by his big beefy fists. His accomplice, the driver of that oddly parked car, was yelling at him, with a number of expletives mixed in, to leave it, to come on, that they needed to get the hell out of there.
I can only assume that, because it was broad daylight and there were so many people around, they. very incorrectly as it turned out, assumed that one of the many people out and about and in their houses watching might intervene or at least call the police. I can only assume that it was because I had managed to sprint so far that he didn’t want to risk trying to drag me the distance back to the car. Was it one, the other, a combination of the two or something else? I’ll never know. Whatever the reason, he left me, taking my dropped backpack on the way, and the car peeled out. Even then, no one came to my aid.
I knocked on doors and no one would let me in. I limped to the end of the street and was shocked to see that damn car, having made a block or two, driving along the street in front of me. Finally, a kind woman walking her dog grabbed me and helped me to a nearby neighbourhood pharmacy and the police were called. They found lots of eyewitnesses then. It didn’t help the twelve year old girl, out playing in her own front yard with her little brother, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered a couple of blocks over, by suspects of matching description, matching car. They’ve never been caught.
I’m left with the memories of a big, muscular, beefy man wearing lime green pants chasing relentlessly after me on an absolutely beautiful Fall day. I’m left with the memory of people seeing but just turning away. I’m left with the knowledge that, if I’d have been carrying a gun, my memories would be completely different. And I’m left with an ever-present scar running from just above my ankle to just below my knee, reminding me just how damn lucky I am to have it and still be alive.