I’m feeling disconcerted. Angry. A bit scared.
Apparently there is someone going through the downtown market here in Ottawa, sneaking up on women, and hitting them on the head. With a hammer. In the middle of the day.
The purpose is unknown. The women aren’t robbed or molested, just struck on the head. For some reason this bothers me most of all. It seems like pointless violence (well, most violence is pointless, true), but I am puzzled and alarmed that this is happening, and also that it has been happening for some time and the police have just thought to notify us now.
I’m angry because their response is to tell women not to wear IPODs and to keep aware of who may be following them. Once again, it’s up to women to guard themselves from men, not up to men to stop beating up on women. It’s hard not to get frustrated with this. Already we women are counselled not to walk alone in the dark, not to walk alone on bike paths, not to live alone in first floor apartments, not to drive long distances alone, not to speak to strangers, not to dress in a “tempting way” (defined differently depending on religious position), etc. etc., etc. as the King of Siam would say.
Now we are not to listen to music while walking in broad daylight in a busy market area? Come ON. Where will it end? Perhaps that is the motivation for this man’s attacks – to start more fear amongst women. What will he do when just hitting the women once isn’t enough? Who else will think this is a fun idea, now that it’s hit the press? And why the hell are we paying increasing amounts for policing when this sort of thing is allowed to go on?
I’m tired of it. In winter, I’m tired of feeling that frisson of danger whenever the sun sets and I’m out walking alone (or with my fierce protection poodle Chutney, who can growl up a storm). I’m fed up with a lifetime of restricted activity just because SOME men are knobs and some police are not doing their jobs. I’m tired of men just not understanding this restriction because they don’t ever ever think about it, where we women have to have it in the corners of our minds all the time.
I’m a pretty fearless gal, but I’ve got to admit the thought of some guy sneaking up on me and whacking me on the head with a hammer in the middle of the day is disconcerting. It makes me wish for a Good Fairy.