Ever Mainard is a comedian. She has this bit in which she talks about trying to go home one night in Chicago while being followed by a really creepy dude. Like all good comedy, her bit is humorous, but her message is spot on. She starts off saying, “as a woman we’re taught: NEVER WALK ALONE AT NIGHT! IF YOU WALK ALONE AT NIGHT YOU WILL DIE!” And continues with, “every woman in their entire lives has that moment when they’re like, ‘oop, here’s my rape. This is it….[checks watch] 11:47 PM, how old am I? 25? Alrighttttt, here’sssss my raaape [said as if you won a game show]!’ ”
She, of course, goes on and does what many women do: imagines a scenario in which you stand up to and outsmart your would-be rapist with wit and poise and threats of 25 to life jail time. In actuality, though, she called her mom.
Her bit is funny because it’s based on truth. I have a constant inner monologue whenever I’m walking alone. Sometimes I even practice my fighting skills in my head.
This behavior is not irrational, nor is it over-dramatic or unjustified. It’s a consequence of living in a world in which women are constant targets of sexual assault.
A coward (aren’t they all?) raped a woman by the park near my house last week at noon. The next day, I took my dog to the park around noon, remembered what happened, and immediately felt like a sitting duck. I hurried out of the park.
I’m writing this because I know that most women have probably had this same inner monologue at some point in their lives. Many, like me, might have this inner monologue daily.
And most men never have to.