Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
July 21, 2017
Now that I think about it, I never look behind my shower curtain before getting undressed and taking a shower. And I can’t imagine I ever will.
Late nights, I don’t have to spend money I don’t have on a taxi ride because there’s a block where a group of men always threaten and menace me. But if I got in such a cab, I wouldn’t first carefully check the driver’s ID so I’m not kidnapped and trafficked.
When I instead walk home from the subway after dark, I don’t carry mace. I also don’t intertwine my keys between the fingers of one hand and keep my fully-charged cell phone ever ready in the other hand.
If I ever did have to call for help, I am secure in the knowledge that the cops wouldn’t show up and immediately assume I was the “perpetrator” -- and thus start attacking me. In such a situation, I’d tell them what happened and why I called. My side of the story, I know, would be taken seriously.
When I owned a car, I didn’t check the backseat for male predators before getting in. I also wasn’t overly concerned about parking next to a van.
Each morning, before leaving to train clients, it never crosses my mind to look in the mirror and mentally gauge if my outfit might be crudely seen as an “invitation” for more harassment than usual. In fact, there is no “usual” harassment in my life.
No one demands that I smile or tells me what sex acts they’d like to perpetrate upon me or critiques my clothes, hair, physique, or vibe.
I don’t wear ear bud headphones to drown out the sound of men harassing me. If I ever do wear ear bud headphones, I don’t have to worry too much that they’d slow my response time in case of a sneak attack. (I do, but only because I'm a paranoid self-defense nut.)
I shave my head but even if I had long hair, I wouldn’t concern myself with a) my pony tail making it easier for a creep to grab me and drag me off or b) my lack of a pony tail allowing my hair to block my peripheral vision and thus make it easier for a creep to grab me and drag me off.
When waiting on a subway platform, I’m free to stand near the much emptier front or rear sections to avoid the crowds. I feel safe in such isolated settings but even if I do end up on a jam-packed train, I know my body won’t be subject to unwanted touch.
Unsolicited dick pics are not something I ever have to consciously or actively avoid.
I don’t do “blind dates” but if I did, the only thing I’d dread is incompatibility.
I also don’t drink but if I did, I wouldn’t seriously wonder if the bartender might drug me. I could safely leave my drink (or my water bottle at the gym) unattended if I chose to. And if I did drink, I could also safely get a little buzzed. And if I got buzzed and was subsequently victimized by a criminal while in that condition, I doubt anyone would accuse me of “asking for it.”
I could go on.
Not just because there are plenty more examples to offer, but because white males can just go on and on and on -- and still be listened to and taken seriously. (e.g. Back when I “did activism,” my ideas were relentlessly sought after and I got invited -- often -- to give talks, lead teach-ins, do interviews, and all that.)
Gee…being a white male really does make life safer, simpler, and less stressful, too!
Mickey Z. is the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!