Dangerous Situations or Paranoia?

October 15, 2009 at 1:38 pm (feminism, personal)

Over the last couple of months (and possibly longer, but most of my life pre break-up is kind of blurry) I’ve put myself in some not-so-good situations.  Some have been detailed in previous posts, some I’ve chosen to keep to myself because of embarrassment at my sheer stupidity, but none have been particularly smart.  And yet, through all of these incredibly bad decisions, nothing bad has happened to me.

I’ve been planning to write this post for a while, but on Saturday night I wound up in yet another one of these situations and it all hit home how careless I really am.  I was a party with a bunch of people from uni, most of whom I’ve never met before however there were a few friends mixed in there, and I got drunk.  Incredibly, sickly, drunk.  I ended up staying the night at a friend’s house, and hooking up with his roommate.*

I said a number of times that I would not be having sex with him, (see future post) and he continued to try and persuade me to change my mind.  The thing is, I’m fairly sure he’s stronger than me and there came a point where this realisation made me slightly scared.  There I was, in bed with a drunk guy who was very probably stronger than me, with absolutely no way of getting out of it if he pushed it any further.  And yet, nothing happened.  I got some sleep, woke up and drove myself home once I was sober enough to do so.

So when we live in this constant state of fear, based on all the stories we hear, are we really just being too paranoid, as all the anti feminists would have us believe?  I’ve been in beds with drunk, aroused men; I’ve been out drinking with four strangers (sailors!) in a random country where I had no friends – they were actually feeding me tequila shots at one point – and nothing happened; I’ve wandered around on my own at night, both in my own country and in others and nothing has happened; I’ve left drinks unattended in public places (parties included) and I’ve accepted drinks off strangers with no ill effects (hangovers excluded).  Am I just incredibly lucky?  Should I go buy a lottery ticket?  Or are the dangers not as bad as they seem?

I still maintain an unhealthy level of paranoia about all guys and all situations.  It wouldn’t seem like I do based on my behaviour, but I do.  I drive my brother up the wall by forcing him to talk to me on the phone whenever I have to walk anywhere on my own at night.  He insists I’m overreacting, but he does it anyway.  I lock my car doors when I’m alone.  I do everything  I possibly can to ensure that I’m safe.  And then I don’t sometimes, and I’m still ok.

Now, the logical part of my brain is telling me the only difference in any of these situations was the absence of a rapist/murderer/mugger.  I’m just curious how I’ve been so lucky to have that absence every single time, when the risk of getting harmed seems so incredibly high through everything I read.

Any thoughts or insights readers?


*a fact which was probably more responsible for the way I felt the next day than the alcohol was…



  1. feministatsea said,

    It could have something to do with the fact that patriarchy blames you, if things should go wrong. So perhaps being careful has more to do with the fear that people will judge you than with the actual danger?

    I honestly don’t know. Personally I feel that everyone should just be able to live their lives. If someone does decide to do something bad to you, can you really prevent it?

    I know that thought sucks, but we don’t always have control over our situation, no matter how safe and preferred that is. Sometimes something bad will happen and you are not to blame and can’t stop it.

  2. Aestas said,

    I think Feministatsea is onto something. Anti-feminists think we’re hysterical and paranoid if we do worry about these things, and then those same people will turn around and blame us if we don’t worry and something happens, which is then Our Fault. The truth is that you can worry or not worry, and if someone chooses to commit an act of violence against you, that’s their fault, not yours.

    You kind of reminded me of this post.

    And also this post.

    Maybe you’ll find these helpful or relevant to the things you’re thinking over.

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