Why am I afraid?

Why am I afraid? Maybe I’m not. My fear is not the fear of those with less privilege than me.

I will be ok.

Of course I will – I am white. Yes, I’m female, but I believe both genders suffer in a world that says, “Men: be this way. Women: be that way” and then punishes those who say, “No.”

If I’m not afraid, what am I?

Well, I’m not surprised. Not anymore. If shedding my 20’s has taught me anything, it’s that being naive about how the world works is a threat to my safety. I thought it was cute to hope for the best and never consider the worst. My lack of preparation has cost me, more than I care to share in a blog, but I learned my lesson. Just, too late. A penalty for living in the world I wanted instead of the world that is.

Let’s talk about the world that is. Because I am angry.

I’m angry the argument following the Isla Vista shootings was #YesAllWomen vs #NotAllMen. If #NotAllMen, then why excuse Trump’s words on the 2005 hot mic as locker room talk? Boys being boys? “I’ve heard worse out of Bill Clinton’s mouth,” Trump said, as if now, suddenly, the discussion was #YesAllMen. Yes, all men talk about women this way. Yes, all men would take what isn’t theirs if given the power and opportunity.

To all of the men that love me: why didn’t you tell me? When I was younger, when I was vulnerable, when I needed a reason to learn how to protect myself, why did you let me live in ignorance?

I suspect the answer to that question will be #NotAllMenButWayMoreMenThanYouWouldLike. Enough men that you’d be wise to view them all with suspicion. Enough men that you realize to survive, to avoid becoming a victim again, you should view yourself as prey in a world of male predators.

Just in case.

Boys will be boys, after all.

So what am I? I’m learning my final lesson. The world is darker than I’d ever imagined. To survive is to cultivate the kind of paranoia you don’t learn growing up in the suburbs. And it’s a sad lesson, but it’s one that ends with me being safe. Er. Maybe. We’ll see.


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