Yes, I have fears, I am afraid of many things. I am afraid of bears and terrorism. I am afraid of AIDS and cancer. I am afraid that my children will need me and I won’t know. Other than that, I am pretty good. I want to be at the point where I am only afraid of things I CAN control. Or at the very least, be afraid but decide to take the risks for freedom’s sake.
I am not afraid of everything. I am a woman who must have the freedom to come and go as she pleases. I cannot be afraid to be alone at night, it gets dark at 5:30 in this country. I cannot be afraid to drive alone, walk alone or be alone. I cannot allow someone else’s fear to affect my freedom. As freedom is all I have left. My freedom is a right I would die for. If my having my freedom means I am left dead in the street, than I died for the right to have it. That is okay with me. Many millions of men have died for the right for freedom, why should I be any different.
There are many things I would die for. My children, one thousand times over with no hesitation. My country, I would lay my life down for this country. I would lay down my life for woman’s rights, children’s rights, and men’s rights. I would lay down my life as a sacrifice for ten million reasons. I believe in the bigger picture and one person’s ability to change it if only she makes an effort. I have seen the effort only one person can make. It is quite an impact.
You realize what my freedom is to me. The freedom to get in my car at midnight with no fear, no anxiety, no hesitation is truly a step towards true freedom. At 3.30 in the morning, I may want a coffee. I may feel like driving all the way to Niagara for it. I must be able to do that or I will lose myself in the fear. It is a risk I must be able to take. I cannot be afraid, if I can’t do my stuff whenever I want, this country has failed me. All the men who have died for my freedom, died for nothing. All the rapists, murderers and killers have been incarcerated for no reason then. There is no point in dying and jailing people if everyone is still too scared to go out.
Take back the night. This is a revolution of women, who want to be able to be safe in their streets. They picket, they gather and chant. This is not how you take back the night. Take back the night, by being in it. By being a strong woman with no fear. A strong woman with no fear will never be accosted. Walk at night, bring a friend, bring your dog, bring your man. But don’t stay in, they are winning the war if you are not even willing to fight the battle. Do you think the men that hurt and exploit women look at these demonstrations and say “ok, since they gathered together, I better never hurt someone again.” No, that isn’t going to help. They need to see women walking, women living before they realize they are losing. They are playing on your fear and they will abuse those who are afraid. Of course, if you never leave the house, yes, they cannot hurt you, correct. These little demonstrations do not help if the next day you are inside, scared of the dark..
Freedom, it’s in you to give.