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Reclaiming safety in women’s life

Sunday September 8 2019

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The nightlife and the night time need to be deconstructed and reclaimed for women. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SCHEAFFER OKORE
By SCHEAFFER OKORE
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To be safe as a woman can be foreign feeling because most of us are prey.

In most places, navigating the world in a female body means living without guaranteed safety – and it seems like a privilege to be unharmed.

It's disheartening that there are no consequences for those who harm women.

Women's bodies are where scores are settled, frustrations are released, anger is expressed, fear is instilled, control is asserted and ownership is transferred.

Women and girls are constantly at risk of predatory men whom are barely held to account.

This is why women are raised with unending caution. However, no amount of caution has ensured women's safety.

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In fact, what has resulted from this is the increasing burden that women are made to carry because they alone are responsible for their safety.

ON THE EDGE

The inability to rethink women's safety as men's responsibility has meant that women are limited in their freedom to carefree lives.

Outdoor activities like walking, cycling, travelling, dancing and camping are terrifying because they increase a woman's vulnerability to predators.

Going for dinner or a drink by yourself is challenging because a woman sitting alone is assumed to be an invitation for unwanted company.

The worst is attending parties as these are where every possible harm to a woman is seen as justified.

This is why Strictly Silk, a women's only party with female guards, vendors, deejay, emcee and attendees is such a key shift in reclaiming safety in one of the most toxic and violent spaces — night parties.

SAFE SPACE

Strictly Silk is such a freeing space to be in without the anxiety and worries women feel in most night parties.

The relief of not being approached, touched and spoken to inappropriately is unreal.

This party makes it possible for women to be free of fear while having zero distress over things like their drinks being drugged, being assaulted, raped or even ending up dead for refusing to entertain unwanted advances.

It is important for club owners to rethink what safety is for women because they've only created space for men to be carefree.

Women are not certain of their safety within these spaces because it is dependent on attitudes of normalised aggression.

They need to rethink what a safe nightlife culture would be and the changes they'll need to make to achieve this.

NIGHTLIFE

Women deserve to live as carefree as men and be happy doing what makes them happy without the inhibitions of lurking harm.

The nightlife and the night time need to be deconstructed and reclaimed for women.

This is why I appreciate the women who have started reclaiming the nightlife for other women because the reality is that harmful strange, unwelcomed and unconsented bodies have violated women’s bodies in the name of fun – and it is enough.

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