“Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…” ― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
There is something about walking in the city that is both relaxing in the anonymity it gives you and nerve wracking when doing so as a woman. So many things that men seem to take for granted have a hidden layer of danger when you’re a woman. Men work alone, live alone, travel alone and run errands alone with little fear of attack while women are often blamed if they are attacked while doing the exact same actions as a man.
If a woman is mugged while walking home from the store or work then anything from her dress, attitude, or lifestyle could be blamed for the attack. Have the same attack happen to a man and he is an unlucky victim. Why is the woman blamed for violence she didn’t invite while a man is simply the victim of violence done to him?
A woman in New York spent ten hours walking around town. She recorded men cat calling her and received 108 comments or propositions during her walk. Now she’s receiving death and rape threats.
Even in games women are often attacked and harassed simply for being female and trying to enjoy playing. Women journalists are speaking out about the culture of violent threats against women gamers and receiving death threats.
Virginia Woolf described the anonymity of being a person in the city perfectly in the essay, Street Haunting: A London Adventure. Check it out in the link below.