#SafetyTipsForLadies - or, Why Victim Blaming is Moronic

****TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT******

The other day I was going about my business when I happened to read this moronic article explaining how advocating ‘risk management’ (barf) is not ‘victim blaming’.

I’ve read a lot of articles like this, but that one, for some reason, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I am absolutely sick to death of being told what to wear and what to do and how to be, as though any of that will somehow save me from being raped. It’s not a woman’s responsibility to prevent sexual assault. How about we teach men not to rape instead?

How about we recognise that being drunk, being ‘sexy’, being out having fun, being loud, being trans, being queer, being sexually active - none of it causes rape, because rapists cause rape?

How about we stop pretending that if women follow some stupid, byzantine set of ‘rules’ we’ll be safe?

But the real thing that gets me about these ‘safety tips’ is this:

THEY ALL ASSUME WOMEN ARE MORONS.

Every single article I read containing hot tips! on how to be safe reads like the author thinks women have never heard or thought about their personal safety before.

Fun fact: Women think about personal safety, like, all the time. We carry a spare pair of shoes. We don’t listen to music so we can listen out for people coming up behind us. We get a cab instead of walking, if we’re lucky enough to afford it (not that that’s exactly a safe option either).

We think and we watch and we listen because we know by being a woman we’re at risk. Every one of my female friends and I have our own list of things we do to be safe, a lot of stuff that has been conditioned in us since childhood and that we now do subconsciously, without thinking. Because we live in a rape culture.

SO STOP. Stop writing stupid, patronising bullshit articles telling us WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW.

Plus. Half your tips are fucking stupid anyway.

So, in response to the stupid Punch article, I decided to start tweeting my own ‘hot safety tips’, with the hashtag #SafetyTipsForLadies.

Then others began to join in, and it pretty much took off. Here are some of my favourites:

And finally, the best one of the entire list:

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