I toured a college campus in New York City today, along with my sophomore high school daughter. As expected, campus security came up as a question and lots of information was provided on how a young woman could get help at any point in time. I know they included young men as well, but most of the response was directed towards women.
As I came home and thought about it, I looked up a lot of information regarding safety for women at college. One website gives this information to avoid sexual assault.
- If you're in your room alone (or even with your roommate) lock the door, especially if there aren't rules against boys roaming the halls.
- Don't invite men you don't know well back to your room. If it's a study partner, meet in place where there are plenty of people, like a library or dorm common room.
- If you're in your room with a guy, leave the door unlocked so someone can get in if you call for help or they suspect foul play. If the man isn't a love interest, leave the door open altogether.
- Travel in groups and always know where your friends are.
- Make an agreement with female friends to never allow each other to leave with a guy while intoxicated (according to several studies, half of all assaults happen when alcohol is involved).
- If you're alone on a street and see a guy approaching, cross the street. If he follows, walk down the middle of the street or in a location that's well lit and makes you more likely to be seen by passing cars or people in buildings nearby.
- Don't go into your dorm if there's a man lurking. He may try to follow you in and when you're in a private place, he has control. Go to a friend's house, the campus police, a 24-hour convenience store... anywhere you can find people. Also, don't walk into an elevator alone with a man. If he gets on while you're there, you get off.
- If your campus allows it, carry pepper spray or other rape-defense weapons. Reconsider carrying a gun, even if it's legal. You should never pull out a gun unless you're sure that you're willing to fire it. If he's bigger than you and you hesitate, he could wrestle it away from you.
- If you feel like you're in danger at any time, walk confidently and call 9-1-1.
IT'S UP TO THE WOMAN TO PROTECT HERSELF!
If a woman were to be sexually assaulted, she would undergo a battery of questions to determine if she did everything possible to avoid such an attack. The meaning behind such an interrogation would be "If you didn't do all you could do, well, it's your own fault."
What happened to teaching the men in our society to respect women and to leave them alone? What happened to teaching men to NOT RAPE WOMEN? Where is the list of safety tools for them to respect their fellow classmates while at university?
This all brings up the idea that women are responsible for any breast cancer that invades their bodies as well. Did you smoke? Did you have children late or early? Did you lose any weight? How's your exercise program? Did you drink a lot?
When a women is diagnosed with early stage disease, the world rallies behind her in order for her to "fight like a girl," and to "beat cancer." However, in spite of the world class treatment that most women receive for early stage diagnoses, a disproportionate number of them have distant recurrences and become metastatic.
"Wait ... you have breast cancer again? What did you do wrong this time? I TOLD you to stop drinking Coke Zero! I TOLD you to stop eating at McDonalds! What's wrong with you?"
Blame, blame, blame. So many studies are going on right now to "prevent" breast cancer ... thus increasing the blame on those who get the disease ... and those studies get front page headlines written by editors longing for hype, not fact.
When will more money be spent on determining environmental factors contributing to breast cancer? What's in all those products that are promoting the fountain of youth to women? We have those who are afraid to age naturally, yet slap all kinds of things on their skin to slow down that process. What's in those things?
What's in our car exhaust?
What's in our air outside of the exhaust?
Why do we want to make it all about women having to stop a disease in its tracks rather than fully researching what else can be done? Enough already!
Why are the patients to blame?