Last night, I was watching a beautiful movie (Palmeras en la nieve), in which one particular scene stood out to me. Mind you, this scene has become such a norm in other movies, it never stands out and is sadly a normalcy in any society around the world. In the film, one of the female characters decides to visit her father’s past life and travel to Equatorial Guinea, where he had lived out his youth. Her aunt proceeds to tell her “you must be careful, it is not safe for a woman,” and instantly this struck a nerve in me. As mentioned, this comment IS common in movies and in real life, but it has always been accepted that women MUST be more careful than men in most situations. The question is, why is this normal? Why do women HAVE to be more cautious than men?
Now, I’m not going off on some “feminist” rant (as many people attach a negative connotation to this word that is just a synonym to egalitarianism), but honestly, parents and future parents, do you want to inhabit a world in which your daughters are in more danger than your sons? Do you wish to teach your daughters why they must be more vigilant because of the potential wrongs others may do to them for simply being a woman?
In my opinion, and what should be the opinion of everyone, the “lesser” and “gentler” sex should not ever have to worry about these concerns. A woman should not ever have to feel afraid of walking alone at night and having to makeshift a weapon out of her keys by adjusting them in between her fingers. A woman should never have to be advised to travel with a male because it is too dangerous to travel alone. A woman should not have to be more attentive of her drink at an outing because someone could drug them. A woman should not have to worry about the undesired catcalls and behaviors she may “ignite” for wearing a provocative outfit. A woman should never have to be fearful of being violated, attacked, or hurt, for being a woman.
This particular scene stood out to me because I realized, even though the prospect of me having children in the near future is bleak, I yearn for a world in which I wouldn’t have to tell my daughter to worry for being who she is. To protect herself because she is in constant danger. Plainly put, it should not be normal.