Growing up, my mum always told me to look both ways before crossing the road. It was one of many rules she shared to keep me safe as I started navigating the world. Then, as I prepared to leave home to go to university, my list of safety guidelines grew exponentially.
“Don’t leave your drink unattended.”
“Don’t walk home alone at night.”
“Only get into registered taxis.”
But, unlike the rules all parents give their children growing up, I knew these conversations with my mum weren’t happening universally. My male classmates weren’t being taught the dangers of date-rape drugs, or told cautionary tales of sexual assault happening in dark alleyways at night. These rules were being given to me specifically because I’m a woman. Because I am automatically in more danger simply because of my gender.
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