FEAR SOMETIMES WINS
Upon reading "I Don't Trust You" (12/14/17) in the Inlander, I thought over my life from teenage years to adulthood and certain memories came back. The four times I have been followed in my car by a male that I didn't know. The first time I drove to my house. After that, I got smarter and parked in front of a business and ran in or drove to the police station.
I also thought of the many times I have missed movies, concerts, ballets, lectures, and other events because it wasn't safe to leave my car and walk into a building alone. I had an ex-Marine buddy in college who would walk me and my friends to events on campus at night. When my daughter went to college, I told her to find a buddy or a group to walk around campus with her. She listened and remained safe there.
I used to do my shopping late at night because I am a night person and because the stores were less crowded, but that stopped when I was accosted by a drunken male in the parking lot. Leaving work one night a man tried to open my car door. I sped away with fogged windows, not seeing exactly where I was going to get away from him. The next night I was accosted by a male wanting me to go "bar hopping" with him. I had never seen these people before in my life.
I try to explain this to my husband who would never do any of these things. He doesn't understand. He says you shouldn't let fear rule your life. I say you had darned well better.
Your invitation to local women to express their thoughts about the recent reckoning with sexual misconduct was a true success ("In Their Own Words," 12/14/17). I hadn't thought about my own "Unwanted Hobby" until I read Chelsea Martin's contribution. I shouldn't have to enjoy our local trail system and outdoor recreational opportunities with mace in hand, large dog by my side and my hair neatly braided, but I do. Thank you to this new generation of women who are finding their voices to speak up against behavior that I (a woman approaching 50) have always accepted as "normal" and have routinely avoided with small yet thoughtful precautions each time I venture out on my own.