So yesterday I wrote about the way in which it is often suggested to me (and many other women) what we should do to stay safe. I don’t find this sort of behavior at all insulting but some women do.
The idea of being told what to do or not do so as to stay safe extends far beyond the realm of women and that’s where I find it difficult to answer whether this is “right” or not.
As a woman, I have been told not to take certain forms of transportation at night out of concern for my safety. As a white person I have been told not to go through certain neighborhoods because of the color of my skin. I have generally taken this advice at face value for what it is: concern for my safety, but what about the deeper implications? What are the implications made about the non-white people in the neighborhood I have been told not to enter? It suggests that these “others” would be dangerous to me as a white person. Would we ever tell a black person to not enter a white neighborhood because of their skin color? Yes, I guess we could but I would imagine the warning would be followed up with “the neighborhood is filled with racist, violent white people” and I’m pretty certain a black person is told to avoid a certain neighborhood because of their skin color far less frequently than a white person.
So am I to believe that there are far more violent, racist, nonwhite people in the country looking to do me harm just because of the color of my skin? I don’t think this is true.
I don’t really have answers to what I’m saying. Nor do I have a specific question. But just think about it. Have you ever suggested a person not enter a specific neighborhood because of their skin color? What are your reasons for doing so and what are you saying about the people in that neighborhood?
Just some food for thought.