Defend yourself from your gender


I usually like Dear Abby, but then there was this.

Because, you know, the only way we poor wimmins can protect ourselves is to pretend we have a MAN around.

I guess it’s our fault we female for thinking we can get along on our own. (Don’t EVEN get me started on how offensive the “suggestions” are to non-hetero and non-cis women).




9 Responses to “Defend yourself from your gender”

  1. ellehmenno Says:

    The way I understood it is that it isn’t that you are pretending you have a man around specifically, just another housemate. This means that as the housemate could come back at any time a would-be attacker is less likely to take the risk. One of the comments suggests that males leave female items of clothes out for the same reason. The same effect would of course be produced by creating the illusion of a housemate of the same sex but I suppose that opposite sex clothes would often be more noticeably unlikely to belong to the resident.

    • Olaf Davis Says:

      Yeah, I don’t see that this is sexist either. And it’s aimed specifically at someone who was worried about letting strangers know they live alone: she’s not telling anyone that they ought to create the illusion if they don’t want to.

      • pavlovsothercat Says:

        As I understand it, the original post relates to the advice given, not the comments to that advice. The original advice was to specifically pretend that a man lived there with the woman. What part of this are you not understanding as sexist?

  2. marchioness Says:

    People who visit a website called “My Fault I’m Female” specifically to comment “That isn’t sexist!” make me lol.

    • Olaf Davis Says:

      I visit it because I agree that the vast majority are examples of sexism. When there’s one I disagree with – probably less than one in twenty – I say so.

      • marchioness Says:

        Thank you for not resisting the urge to provide your objective opinion on whether or not an instance of sexism is, in fact, an instance of sexism. (Apparently, 5% of the time, it’s not.)

        Quote from the first submission to Dear Abby (which is the point of this MFIF post and which her readers, and she, agree upon): “I advise single women to keep a few articles of men’s clothing, such as a jacket, work boots and other items, visible in their homes.”

        The OP was pointing out that this is ridiculous on multiple levels. One, the idea that women must have a man to keep them safe (even if it’s an imaginary one). Two, that having a man around WILL keep you safe (according to the Violence Policy Center, about 2/3 of women killed with a firearm are killed by a male intimate partner). Three, the implicit assumption that women who won’t ever have a man around (real or imaginary) are endangering themselves. Oh, and it also disappears trans folks.

        This is different than having “visible items which are unlikely to belong to you” (as ellehmenno says) to indicate you have a roommate that will check on you, regardless of gender. This original point is specifically recommending women have articles from a man, which is the problem.

  3. ellehmenno Says:

    I think the advice was essentially to pretend you don’t live alone by having visible items which are unlikely to belong to you, having them as male items simply makes it more obvious. That’s not sexist, I don’t think. If I was to use anything belonging to my female housemate then anyone would assume it was mine but the male housemate’s clothing is clearly bigger and more aimed at men than hers or my own. Also, the point of this was a woman who was worried about her own security against a workman. So it was her saying she was unsure if she could defend herself, not anyone else assuming she couldn’t.

    • kktwain Says:

      I think it was sexist because it assumed that it’s okay for men to live alone, but women have to pretend a man is around in order to be safe.

      While I do think women are at more risk living along than a man is, pretending to live with someone else isn’t the solution to the problem. (Wish I knew the real solution.)

  4. starkiller99 Says:

    If you don’t want to leave obvious signs a man lives with you, then carry a gun, for your own safety. Only if you are prepared to take someone’s life in defense of your own. I am. If you don’t value your own life and sanity, how can you expect others to?

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