A woman, travelling….alone? GASP!

Every time I tell someone I’m on a solo journey across Asia, they give me a blank stare. It quickly morphs into either a look of pity, concern, and happy to say, sometimes admiration. And every time I wonder how their reaction would be if I were a man.

An oil company executive’s Colombian wife, whose husband’s job has taken her all over the world, told me: “Your golden rule is: don’t trust anyone”. So I have to cover my drink and not talk to strangers. She asked me if I had seen the movie Taken. Yes I have. She asked me to watch it again.

I am not naive. I know these things happen, and I know that this earth is full of despicable men waiting to do horrible things to me. But in order to change a world controlled by a need to protect women, and realizing this protection is another form of oppression, we need to start somewhere. The belief that if something happens to me then I brought it upon myself, is, again the old rape-victim dilemma.

Fear of men stands as the justification behind burkas, behind the judgement against women having premarital sex, behind not allowing girls to go to school with boys or letting them out at night. Does this behavior not just perpetuate the cycle? (More…)

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  • http://feministing.com/members/miriamclaire/ Miriam

    Awesome. :) I happen to be a 20-something American woman in India right now and I spent a little bit of time traveling on my own (for the most part I’ve been in a group) and by far that was the time I was most able to learn and explore and generally have the best experience.

  • honeybee

    Definitely do not blame yourself for anything bad that happens to you.

    Having said that – please be careful and take precautions where you can. Even though we shouldn’t have to worry – fact is we do. Everywhere in the world, especially in developing countries, can be dangerous for anyone (male or female) but especially women. Doesn’t matter that we shouldn’t need to be careful we still need to be careful.

    Also don’t for a second assume that only men are out there to do horrible things to you. Women are waiting to do the same. So don’t assume that every woman you meet is your ally or is incapable of harming you, that’s far far far from the truth.