Being a Girl is Hard

Being A Girl Is Hard

By: Stacey Law ’16

16759057346_34b43183f6_bI have never lost anyone to drunk driving, and I consider myself lucky every day because of this. So that is not why I drive for SafeRides.

I drive because the first time that I was catcalled, I was thirteen. Seventh grade. A kid. Walking down a side street to my friend’s house, a car drove by with horns blaring and a boy hanging out of the window yelling at me. And I remember this eight years later because of how unsafe this act made me feel. Despite the fact that it was broad daylight and I was in a neighborhood that I knew well, I felt threatened. And that is not fair.

I drive because one time I was taking a cab by myself and the driver commented “Isn’t it a little cold outside for that short skirt honey?” I drive because I’ve been grabbed and pinched and touched by strangers at parties. I drive because I have friends that carry pepper spray instead of lipstick in their purses.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that men cannot be victims of rape and sexual assault. But according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 91% of sexual assault victims are women and 1 in 5 women will be assaulted while in college. So no, this is not just a female problem, but it is something that women consciously think about every day and something we are conditioned to think about every night that we go out.

So I drive because no freshman girl should have to be ogled by a middle-aged cab driver on her way back to her dorm. Because two best friends walking home at night should not have to deal with a group of drunk boys shouting at them. Because boys on the drunk bus can get off at any stop to follow a girl. Because a sober ride and a safe ride are not always the same thing.

I drive because being a girl may be hard, but giving someone a guaranteed safe way to get home is not.

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