It sucks to be a girl. Yell at me all you like but it is 2am and I am sitting in the dark because the power has been cut.
The adrenaline is still pumping through my veins, the police have just left after sweeping the house and now I can’t sleep. You see, for all my toughness, my butchness and my security training, when the power went out and all those middle of the night noises started I reverted back to a seven-year-old with a fear of the dreaded bogeyman. I was sure someone was trying to break into the house – dead certain.
If I were a boy I would have grabbed something big and dangerous to use as a weapon and stomped through the house to scare the would-be intruder away. But alas, no, here I am staring at the TV waiting for the little red light to come back on so I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing I have access to electricity and the security of instant light.
I have the same feeling of hairs on the back of my neck standing up that I get when walking through the city late at night alone. Not that I make it a habit but at times you have to. It is at those times I think it sucks to be a girl.
You have to be on guard, you have to have your mobile phone in hand, you have to walk in well-lit areas because you don’t want to become another news story.
And to make matters worse, if I feel like I can’t protect myself, then how am I supposed to protect a partner, a lover or even my puppies?
Of course we have the Reclaim the Streets protest march and there are free self-defence classes – both worthy things – but neither is giving me much comfort at the moment.
And I ask myself what would change this situation. What would make me feel safe?
Maybe I should become an electrician or a police officer. That would give me confidence so I would no longer live in fear.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the fun and exciting aspects of being a girl, but I don’t like the insecurities I and many of my friends feel because of our gender.
I think tomorrow I am going to enrol in the self-defence classes again so the next time this happens I will at least be able to check the fuse box on my own.
But right now I am going to stare at the TV light for just a little longer.

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