It's the same old story. In stead of teaching males, the world over, or even our local culture, to treat females like human beings when no one is watching, we instead verbally attack women, question them over the notion of traveling alone.
A lone American female was killed while touring in Turkey, and the only question people seem to be asking is, "Why was she traveling alone?"
Not, "why would someone hurt a tourist?" but, "Why was she unescorted by a male-protector?"
Why was she unescorted by a male owner, didn't she have a collar on? This one had a home! So sad when they get loose and roam around off the leash, those wild, lone women travelers.
I can tell you why women go places alone. I have been doing this for quite some time. It is in part, what makes me such a bad-girl. Yes, I am a middle aged bad girl. I wear pants, I travel alone, I use big words and dirty words, and I sometimes go it alone, because I need some alone time.
I have always been that way. Needing alone time. Luckily my male spouse is of a similar nature and so understands, despite my gender, the emotional needs of a genuine introvert.
I am the worst kind of introvert, I like to travel at night too. It's quieter, less crowded, and to me, more interesting. It's not that others never worry about me being alone, or being out after dark, its that they understand that this is how I am.
Some of us are just that way.
There is something sublime about quietly moving amongst a crowd, or weaving in and out of places alone, observing, and listening. Soaking every sight and sound and smell up like a sponge. No one to offer you small talk, to interrupt your thoughts or perceptions. Just you and the moment and wherever you are.
It sucks in this culture some times. When I was younger and better looking, there was always some guy, who felt the need to intrude.
Why--There is a female alone, like an outlet without a plug, I shall go to her and fill up the air with my incessant yammering whilst I stair at her boobs.There will always be males who think that a woman alone is an invitation. It's automatic. She needs a male to fill up that negative space--yes, we need that like a fish needs a bicycle. Some try to go much further than just talking. Some are criminals that look for women who are alone. Sometimes it seems that no one does anything about those males, until they accost or assault the right or the wrong woman--however you choose to say it. Then suddenly it matters.
There are some benefits to getting older. I don't often get that sort of attention any more. Perhaps I enjoy that too much, because the older a woman gets, the more invisible she becomes. Sometimes that isn't so great, but then again, being a fly on the wall has it's advantages. You get to see everything.
While my looks fade into the wrinkles of time, simultaneously the world opens herself up to me more, not less. Humanity doesn't care if I see into them, because old people in this culture are harmless don't you know. Considered even dumber than say, your parents were, when you were 14, and magically contained all the wisdom of the universe.
Women like solitude sometimes. We need it. Especially after we have children and our old lives come to screeching halt, only to disappear into a pile of laundry and a never ending river of cooking and kissing booboos. We need that adventure too, to remind us that we are alive, not just in the physical sense, but the intellectual one, the emotional one too.
People sometimes like to pretend that women are all of a kind. But that's not true either. As a long time, loner-tom-boy-woman, I have very little interest in traveling with most other females. My interests are often not their interests. And oddly I find the same issues with males. So I often go alone, to see what I want to see, to do what I want to do and not be limited by the whims of a crowd who prefer the well beaten path, the cheeseburger on a French Menu, and the touristy souvineers that were made in some sweat shop, over priced, fake and full of heavy metals.
I have also traveled alone because the children were small. Camping doesn't always suit small persons. So the spouse stayed home with the rugrats, so mommy could get some dirt under her nails and cook food over an open fire, listen to the owls calling in the night, and be under the stars, my breath fogging in the cold.
Something bad could happen to me. I am alone! Which is code for, "If something bad happens to you, it's all your own damn fault for being unescorted, for being off the leash!"
What I have learned is that, "Its going to be your fault no matter what." So when you learn that you can never please the world, you might as well please yourself.
Having someone to travel with, where the two of you are not intrusive to each other is a rare thing, and to be on the same schedule, even more so. You could spend your whole life waiting for such a being to appear in any capacity. In the mean time, there are places to go, people to see, new foods to try, pictures to take.
The fact is, women, lone women are targets on the way to their cars in parking lots, in public restrooms, on jogging trails in city parks, within their own homes, in elevators, on campuses, etc., Being here, doesn't make us safer, it only gives off the illusion of it in most cases. A woman's reality is quite different than many people realize, irregardless of her location.
For women, it's not a matter of where you go, to be taking chances, you only have to be breathing to be gambling with your virtue.
My condolences to the family of Saria Sierra. I hope you find justice and eventually peace.
I am glad that a suspect is in custody, but it saddens me to read that her life was ended over a kiss. A woman's body is her own, and that includes her kisses. This male had no right.