Women shared everything we’d feel free to enjoy if men had a nighttime curfew
Fear and anxiety is something women everywhere internalize and are forced to normalize for a variety of reasons, but especially when it comes to being out at night. Once it grows dark, no matter where we are — the parking lot of a store, out at a bar, or simply running in our own neighborhood — we have to have our guard up, at all times, because men. So when one Twitter user presented a hypothetical question to women on Twitter about men having curfews, it’s no surprise it went viral.
In light of the Terrible, Awful, No Good Week many of us had due to the Kavanaugh hearing, activist Danielle Muscato addressed her Twitter followers with a simple question for women: What would you do if all men had a 9 p.m. curfew?”
The answers are simple, stunning, and more than a little heartbreaking. Because mostly, women just want to do normal, everyday things we enjoy without fear.
I’d go for a walk in the dark without leaping out of my skin at little noises. Just thinking about going somewhere alone without anxiety seems like a dream. Is this how guys feel all the time?
— Emma Smart (@IMEmmaSmart) September 25, 2018
Running with headphones, music as loud as I want, on a trail with dense trees if I so choose, without getting a little panicky every time I’m alone on a stretch with a guy who’s behind me.
— MCG (@McGilly07) September 26, 2018
Long, calm, solo nighttime walks. That would be amazing.
— Bronwyn Harris (@BronwynAnn) September 25, 2018
Public transit. I’d take all the public transit.
— Bronwyn Harris (@BronwynAnn) September 25, 2018
After tweeting the latter response, Bronwyn Harris admitted, “I’m surprised how emotional that just made me.” Because we just want to live, for crying out loud. These all sound like such simple things, but they are things that are stripped away from us. Simple joys we can’t let ourselves have because of the constant and valid fear we’ll be attacked, threatened, intimidated, or accosted.
Many women mentioned bars. Think about how often we see men sitting at bars alone, enjoying a game or a paper or a book. Undisturbed. Not afraid or nervous of anyone approaching them and ruining their night.
Oh, to enjoy a drink alone in a bar! Just me, my book and an excellent bartender.
— kidamy (@kidamy) September 25, 2018
Right?! And to look away from the drink and know that no one slipped drugs in it!!!
— Cait (@caitRgateR) September 26, 2018
can you imagine getting up to go to the bathroom and leaving your drink sitting there, knowing when you get back that you're not going to fall unconscious. Or getting as drunk as you want and stumbling home, no fear of being followed. that's twilight zone shit.
— HM Esmerie (@lizardwedding) September 29, 2018
Reading through the earnest responses, it’s hard not to feel a pang in your gut. Of sadness and bubbling rage. Because it’s just not fair.
As long as everything else stays open past 9…go live my best life!
Go to the grocery store
Go for a walk in the park
Drive out to where the light pollution ends & look at the stars
Go to bars & take a ride share home while drunk
Go outside & forget my phone at home & not worry
— OR4Now (@Or4Now) September 25, 2018
Late-night grocery shopping would be bliss sometimes. No kids, no lines! And we can do it. But doing it doesn’t come without the anxiety. There’s always a price to pay when you’re a woman, out alone, when it’s dark. Once when I was unloading my car at night, a man approached me and asked me for jumper cables. I was torn between wanting to be a good samaritan and wanting to get the hell out of there because the thought of being stuck, alone, waiting for this man to finish jumping his car terrified the hell out of me.
So I lied and told him they were in my husband’s car. And I left.
Also I would go out dancing, drink and dance and not constantly monitor myself? And not wait up for everyone to text back that they got home okay? Just to see what it’s like, just once.
— Erynn Brook (@ErynnBrook) September 26, 2018
I just booked an airbnb for a work trip which will have me out late into the evenings. Took me an hour of google mapping to see how I'd approach different properties, whether streets were lighted or populated.
So, for starters, I'd book any damn place I wanted to, without worry.
— Jessica Shortall (@jessicashortall) September 25, 2018
I've tried to explain this feeling, these feelings, to men, and always been told I'm exaggerating, but look at every woman on this thread, look at what we are saying. What would we do? We'd feel safe. We'd live. https://t.co/5YLZcX47OP
— AuroraBorealice (@AuroraBorealice) September 26, 2018
My husband, like many, has needed to be educated on just how deep male privilege runs sometimes, especially in cases like these. And he just shakes his head and feels sad — for me, for our daughter, for all women. And probably a little guilty, because at 6’5″ he’s never had to worry for one second of his life about being out after dark. I can’t imagine the amount of exhilarating freedom that must accompany that kind of privilege.
Okay, so who do we need to call and what petitions/GoFundMe do we need to start to get this whole curfew ball rolling? Who’s in?
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