via Pat & AJ

This is NOT about politics. This is about the reality of being a female.

Look at this picture. These are all women who work in our radio building.

There's a mom in her 50s, a newlywed in her 20s, a single mom, and a married salesperson in her 30s. We all voted differently in the last election; we even cheer for different sports teams.

We all have different backgrounds and different political views, but we have one thing in common: we ALL have some form of weapon on us at all times. 

Pepper spray. A knife. Keys used as self-defense.

Why? Because we've been taught to protect ourselves against men OUR ENTIRE LIVES.

One of the first things I learned as a little girl was about being touched inappropriately. My mom dropped me and my friends off at a roller rink and said, "Be careful. If anything happens, tell somebody." And something did, indeed, happen - a grown man grabbed my butt as he skated past me.

I told an employee at the rink, but the man had already left.

Here's a list of things I was taught as I grew up:

1. Never walk anywhere alone

2. If you MUST walk alone, carry some form of protection

3. When you go to a bar or a party, never leave your drink unattended

4. When you're home alone, lock the doors and close the blinds and stay close to a phone

5. Don't dress "provocatively," because it might seem like you're "asking for it"

6. No means NO and a man should respect that

7. When you go out, arrive AND leave with a group of friends

8. Take a self-defense class - learn how to knee a guy in his crotch and shove your palm into his nose

9. If a man is assaulting you in public, scream as loud as you can so that people can hear and see you

10. If a man is assaulting you, scratch him so you have his DNA under your fingernails

11. Tell friends and family where you're going at all times

12. Don't drink too much because a guy might take advantage of you

These are literally "the basics." None of this stuff sounds weird to me; it's just what we're taught throughout our lives.

Of course, some of these things can be applied to men, too. But the bottom line is that MEN ARE NOT TAUGHT TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM WOMEN BECAUSE IT'S NOT A "THING." 

I had a roofie slipped in my drink at a Halloween party 13 years ago. I ended up in the hospital...but thank goodness, I had female friends with me. There were guys at the party that I didn't know, and we never figured out who did it.

I'm NOT saying that all guys are predators; most are not. We have a son, and I'm confident that Pat and I can teach him to be a decent, respectful human being. But regardless, women are taught from an early age to protect themselves from men.

I've talked to Pat about this - guess who HE was taught to be afraid of when he was growing up? OTHER MEN.

Think about scary movies. Crime shows. It's always a woman, alone, walking at night, who gets attacked by a man. Never the other way around.

So excuse me if I call BS on this "scary time for men" garbage. Ladies, ask your husbands, boyfriends, brothers, male friends, etc. if they were ever taught to protect themselves from women. Read them that list above (or make your own) and ask the men in your lives if those rules have ever applied to THEM.

They haven't.

I don't walk around in fear; I trust people TOO much most of the time. But the fact is that women are told, from an early age, to protect themselves from men. Men aren't told to carry pepper spray to ward off a predatorial woman, are they?

Think about it.