Statement: I need to practice violin.
Complication: I can’t practice in my dorm; I have to practice in a practice room in the Old Capitol Mall which is a good ten minute walk from Daum (my residence hall).
Further complication: It’s usually evening/nighttime when I practice.
Even further complication: I am a girl.
Now, I’m not trying to play the “damsel in distress” card; in fact, I would like to avoid that card by all means possible. However, in this case, it is unavoidable.
At night, walking back from the practice rooms alone, I am indeed a “damsel in distress.”
Yes, the paths are lit and whatnot but still, there is something intrinsically unsettling being a female walking alone in the dark. And you know what? The feeling freaking SUCKS.
Let’s face it: no one wants to admit their weaknesses. We’d like people to think that we’re strong, perfect, brave, courageous, flawless. And perhaps deep down, we are these admirable qualities.
But being a female, there is a weakness built into us: the weakness of simply being a female. I’m not saying that by being a girl I’m limited from doing all the things guys do. I’m saying that by being a girl, activities like walking alone in the dark become dangerous regardless the mental or physical strength of a girl.
It’s so…frustrating! Because I’m a girl, I’m immediately dependent on someone to walk me home (or, I could walk home alone and cross my fingers…). I can’t wander on my own to look at the stars or get a breath of fresh night air. I can’t go practice late at night. I can’t go for a midnight run for food. I am chained to constantly be with someone or be at home simply because I am a girl.
For example, at the practice rooms there was also a guy from my rhetoric class with two other musician friends. The piano major guy had brought two other guys so he could perform his piece for seminar. And you know what? They were able to walk there in the dark of the night without fear of being attacked, in total ease, completely oblivious of how hard it would have been for them to do that if they were girls.
GAH I HATE THIS.
For me, the solution I have is to be vulnerable. Like today, I asked a floormate to walk me home because (and this is verbatim) “cause you know…it’s dark and weird things you know…” And as soon as he responded that he could walk me back, I felt a lot more safe. Which, yay, there’s my solution. But that means that I’ll have to ask a guy to walk me back every time I practice at night…
At least I’m in engineering, a largely male-dominated major. There’s two guys I feel comfortable enough to ask them to walk me back (one of them being the one who did today) but still it’s like, I don’t know you that well but I’m going to be vulnerable in asking you to walk me back because I don’t want to be raped or something.
Well, on the plus side (kind of?) I get to rant more about this in an educational setting for my next rhetoric essay. My topic is how practice rooms should be nearer to the residence halls, and boy oh boy do I have enough ammo to last through the essay…