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.

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10 responses to “The real war on women: Just Whistle or Maybe Vomit if Someone Tries to Rape You”

  1. Lynne says :

    I will add that these men shot and killed a young debutante who was walking through a gate to a house brightly lit for a party just a few weeks prior to this. Then they murdered a young girl, and as Yaeli points out, they were never caught. New Orleans…not only were there criminals all over the place, but the police force itself was basically corrupt. There were seven cops in prison for murder the year I moved. Maybe that’s why the crime was so horrible.
    But what about those society women who watched without a care from the safety of their windows in their stately homes? Not one was moved to shout out in defense of Yaeli’s attack to warn these men away or to call the police. It certainly did not have the appearance of anything but a brutal attack on a young girl (she looked about ten!) and two grown, scruffy men who looked like the criminals that they were. The pharmacist at the little corner drugstore and the woman who assisted her there did not turn away. It may well have saved her life.

  2. Lynne says :

    Oh, I forgot to mention that Joe Bidden FINALLY said something that made sense: Use a shotgun.
    How about the Democrat who said that women should faint? How could a murderer find a more cooperative victim than that???

  3. israeliminx says :

    Ema, I can tell you what was up the those society women (and a number of older men) who watched and did nothing; It was the Bystander Effect in action. Everyone looks around to see how everyone else is reacting and if no one is rushing in to help, they don’t react. They will also assume that someone else has certainly called the police and so not do so. If you run up and bang on their door, they will most likely not open it out of fear. Heroes who do react are few and far between. My own bro chased after a guy who attacked a woman (didn’t manage to catch him but also didn’t get killed) but a friend from high school who chased after the guy who stole his girlfriend’s purse was shot in the head and lost his life. I don’t blame them for being afraid to intervene in person, but I do have great resentment that no one who witnessed it bothered to call 911 or opened their doors when it was clear the attacker had fled. That, I still can’t wrap my mind around.

    Biden actually said that in the context of telling a woman who had written a question in that anything bigger than a shotgun would be “too hard” for a woman to handle. Still at well under 120 pounds, I’ve had no problem handling uzi’s, ar-15’s, ak-74s and H&K G36’s in target practice ranges and so call bullshit on him.

    *BTW women should wear their concealed carries on their bodies and not rely on putting them in their purses as it is all too easy to become separated from your purse/backpack/etc., especially in situations you may most likely need your weapon for self-defense.

    • Lynne says :

      In Texas, after a madman shot and killed numerous people who were quietly dining in a cafeteria, passed a law allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons. A woman who was eating with her parents told the state legislature that all she could do was to cower behind a table (her gun was in her car) while both of her parents were shot and killed and numerous other patrons were murdered…She explained that if she had had her gun with her, she could have defended herself and others. The law was changed allowing concealed weapons.
      Many years ago in New Orleans, a young woman was attacked as she left her car parked in front of her residence and walked up her front sidewalk. Luckily, she was aware of the crime situation and had her gun out, cocked, and ready to use if necessary. It was. She was able to save herself from being murdered, which would have been the most likely outcome of that attack.
      I firmly believe in self-defense.

  4. Lynne says :

    BTW, I’m proud of Joe Biden’s comment. He could have said something far more stupid; he usually does.

  5. Mac says :

    I’m sorry you had to go through that and glad of the not tragic outcome. What really makes me want to puke is that these are the out of touch reps. we continue to put into office and give power to make these decisions.
    And when I heard a clip of Biden talking about using a shotgun, it struck me as more Biden stupidity. It sounded like he was saying that you don’t need anything but just a good old shotgun to just fire a couple blasts into the air and scare them off. Apparently, he owns 2 shotguns but, has forgotten that they aren’t very small and people have them at home in the gunrack but, rarely take them out of the house for personal security. Kinda hard to go for a morning jog with that 12 gauge pulling your sweat pants down every few feet….

    • Lynne says :

      Mac, yes, Biden is stupid. I agree with you completely. He usually says something even more appallingly stupid, and at least he conceded that guns have their uses. Of course, he made that point stupidly as usual. When the madman in Texas shot down innocent people in the cafeteria, that was the last straw. So now for about the past twenty years , we can carry concealed weapons in Texas.

      • Mac says :

        Isn’t it interesting how these violent acts always seem to take place in “gun free” zones…..And why is it that Chicago with it’s super strict gun laws is the violence capital of the country….well, except for D.C. which is just as strict and just as bad?

        • israeliminx says :

          Mac exactly. Criminals and lunatics know that they can inflict far more damage without being challenged for far longer in gun-free zones because the people they are targeting are completely defenseless and it will take a good amount of time for any cops with guns to arrive on the scene.

  6. SirJohn says :

    That is exactly why my wife and my daughter carry a gun when out and about. Thank God we live in a state where we still are allowed to defend ourselves. We will fight for this right.

    Thanks Yael for this very impressive post.

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