#Opinion

Does Fear of Public Spaces Lead Women to Share These Five Things Every time They Go Out?

Women's Safety
Every time we step out of our homes, we have a lingering sense of discomfort, and fear. It doesn’t happen to men. And for women it’s internalised. Will someone touch me, will someone stare at my breasts, will someone pinch me. Does fear of public spaces lead us to react in certain ways?

Spaces are gendered and so is our behaviour. Consciously or unconsciously we do trail over Newton’s third law which says every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Our reflexes are framed in tandem with social reproduction.

In the dimensions around us, men and women’s actions are conditioned to be different. Thanks to our patriarchal society which never leaves a chance to outrage a women’s modesty. The actions are normalised to an extent that we forget to get a hold of them and ponder over their existence. Here I list five things that women have to do while men enjoy the patriarchal spaces-

Women Reactions: 5 Actions That Are A Reaction To Fear of Public Spaces

Sending Vehicle Number

Travelling through any vehicle at night propels our instinct to be safe inside it. Thus the first thing which women often do is to send the vehicle number to their family members or friends. Women aren’t that afraid of theft as much as they are of facing sexual violence. Does the male fraternity of the society too behave the same way? The answer would be NO in a broad overview.

SheCab Uttarakhand Shruti Kaushik, fear of public spaces

Women Fear Public Spaces because they are conditioned to. Photo credit: Shruti Kaushik

Sending Current Location

It’s not just the woman alone who is concerned about her own safety but even her close ones too are constantly anxious about her well-being. As a result, many women send their location to their family and friends. If we look it closely, it’s such a great invasion of privacy, but hardly this society has left an option with us.

Carrying Pepper Spray

Pepper spray sellers, distributors, makers are basking in the market reach of their product because this essential find its way into most women’s bag or pockets. Women have to be prepared with their defense mechanisms as no outside space guarantees safety.

Talking To Someone

While women travel, they are often advised to talk to someone or pretend to have a conversation with somebody so that people around her know that she is in constant track and knowledge. This sounds so harsh; even if a woman doesn’t want to she has to do this talking game just for her safety.

The Drive To Reach Home As Soon As Possible

The spaces outside at night (even in daylight) are so eerie in terms of violence against women that home feels a comfortable landing ground. Also, throughout the time a woman is outside at night, there is a lot of pressure that reaching home as early as possible seems to be the only relief technique.

Though as women we have to do all the above for our own safety, the mere fact that we have to do it is so problematic. Till equality steps in, all we can do is to wait to see a world where women have their own share of freedom.