When my mother wants to go out at night, she always asks me to come along. When she and my sisters went hiking for a few weeks, they carefully planned their route so that they would never be too far from help in case they were attacked, and the outdoorsy store they went to had a sale on pepper spray. My older sister attended a women’s college. It was practically a fortress. The local police offer classes for women on how to defend themselves from attackers. At first I was mystified by all these precautions; I never had to worry about walking home after dark, let alone something as simple as taking out the trash. I never really liked camping, but that was because I hate setting up tents, not because I was afraid someone would attack me. It never even occurred to me to carry some means of disabling an attacker. Now, on further reflection, I’m horrified. Why should half the population live in fear? Don’t they deserve the same level of safety that I take for granted? What is wrong with the world, that people living in the richest country on Earth need to act as though they are in a war zone?
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