Wow, I finally get it.
My entire life I’ve never quite understood about women feeling vulnerable, or others perceiving women to be vulnerable.
The closest I came was when I lived in Boulder in my very early 20s and there was a string of sexual assaults. My friend Angie and I decided we’d start carrying knives with us. Brilliant idea! There’s really nothing better than trying to get a Swiss Army Knife out of your pocket and a blade open after a man jumps you. Plus, as a boyfriend pointed out, the man would probably wrest the knife away and use it on us.
Right. But I wouldn’t say I felt vulnerable then, not exactly. I was young and tough, the world was exciting, and nothing bad happened to me or anyone I knew. Our self-defense plan was more about excitement, I think, than a real concern for our safety.
Plus, I’d taken a self-defense workshop and generally considered myself careful and tough.
I wouldn’t run through a bad neighborhood at night, wearing headphones and a grabbable ponytail, either. Not that safety is always about common sense and carefulness, but really, I just never felt vulnerable.
So I never quite understood women who didn’t feel safe.
And now, physically impaired as I temporarily am, I do understand. I suddenly feel a need to have my husband or a neighbor close by when I am outside. I curl close to C at night. Today, two men are coming over. They will be moving some furniture we’ve been storing from our place to my mother’s place. As I await them, I’m nearly frozen with fear.
They are movers. OK, they are two guys my mother found on Craigslist, or the brother of someone she found on Craigslist, or something. They’re just going to pick up a few things and leave.
But yet. Suddenly this seems like the most dangerous thing in the world. I’m home alone. Pregnant, gimpy. Easy prey. Compounding it, I fear they will sense my fear, which will make it all the more dangerous.
Maybe this was a stupid plan, anyway, having movers come when I’m home alone, but honestly, until yesterday, I didn’t feel vulnerable at all.
Now I do.
The “movers” turned out to be about 15 years old and were totally fine. And now I feel silly.