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[personal profile] jespirals
So, today instead of teaching an English class at the local community centre, we went for a walk.

The UK is second only to Germany for the seriousness with which it walks. The Germans may be out there with their walking sticks and proper boots but the English have anoraks, ordinance survey maps and a mapped network of protected public footpaths.

My lovely English students live beside one of the longer protected & signed foot paths that encircles London, without knowing anything of the freedom that lies at their doorsteps.

So today, rather than spending the day indoors studying the uses of the past continuous, we went for a walk. And I learned so much.

In Pakistan a woman does not go for a walk in nature or anywhere else alone.
In Turkey a woman does not go for a walk in nature or anywhere else alone.

There could be snakes, there could be.... danger anywhere. There could be danger.

For me being alone in nature feels like freedom. For me running, walking, moving away from all that could confine me feels like freedom. The beautiful brilliant women who I am helping to learn English, who have left their families, their cultures, all that they know, these brave, strong women, for them this is a new experience. Walking alone is a new experience.

I have the privilege and joy of introducing them to rambling, walking in the not quite wild (this is England after all).

How do I tell them how safe it is? How do I cross the cultural divide? Woman to woman how do I say you are free?

I say "Walking in the park alone is safer than having a boyfriend."

Which is statistically true. But when I posted this on my Facebook page I got arguments from 2 men.

And you know what? Fuck the fuck off. If you really can't stand the fact that women are victimised in western society then women in other societies stand no chance at all. Fuck off.

Yeah, I know this is not the most eloquent defence but YOU are responsible for your own education. I'm so tired, I'm so DONE with all that society has decided is my responsibility as a female. I hope that you feel the same about what society tries to force upon you as a male. And for everyone in-between, yeah me too. I can't count the number of times an 'expert' on a program has described me and said this is what males are like.

Walking in the park alone is safer than having a boyfriend, girlfriend or any other friend.

but allies are precious beyond value...

Please, unless you are judged by your secondary sexual attributes, unless you are assumed to be a decoration for someone else's world, fuck off.

And if all of this is me stating the obvious and you can't believe I've had to explain it, I love you too.

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