Friday, 23 March 2007

Shareen Presents: Have We Got It All Wrong?

Following the vast number of deaths appearing in the news of the young boys being killed, it has sparked a theory in my mind that ‘we’ as a consensus have got it wrong with whom we perceive to be the most vulnerable sex. The term vulnerable is defined as being, ‘capable of being physically or emotionally wounded; open to successful attack.’ Chambers (1991), ‘Concise Dictionary’ p1204. The word itself is compared to being ‘susceptible’, ‘weak’, ‘defenceless’, and ‘helpless’. I don’t want to put words in people’s mouths, but I will go on to assume that when relating these words to a particular sex, we would associate the female sex with the terminology.

I believe as a female, going for an evening out, there are so many factors I should be expected to consider. Forget the, ‘what am I going to wear?’ and ‘does my hair look nice?’ I have to think about whom I am meeting up with, where I am meeting them, is it a safe location? Am I going to be isolated? How am I getting home? Am I going to be on my own? Have I got extra money for a cab? I could go on . . . Hope you get the general drift.

Our friends, family, the media and the government have always had an instinctive concern for women’s safety. You have family (in my case my parents) ensuring I let them no of my whereabouts. When I go out for an evening they tend to want an idea whom I’m going out with and also for me to give and approx time that I will be rolling through the door.

The focus is largely on ensuring the safety of females, making sure they are careful of accepting drinks from strangers as they may contain a date rape drug. We should walk around clubs with fingers or palms covering the top of the drink, we are told not to get too drunk so we can get home safely, we are told to get into registered cabs to insure our safety and to travel in numbers even if it means crashing at a friend’s yard for the night. We are told to watch our back when walking on a street, and to stay visible to others etc.

Other terms for vulnerable are, ‘in danger’, and ‘at risk’!

Should men be considered to be at risk more so than females? My conclusion is YES. There are no statistics or evidence, and I have not begun to look for a study on the matter, so if you don’t agree calm down its my own theory. I have various reasons which have lead to this conclusion but I will only name a few… its 00.24am … I do want some sleep you no!

From my point of view, men are more likely to be:

1. Beaten up
2. Robbed
3. Stabbed
4. Murdered
5. Threatened
6. Involve in fights/gangs

I am not excluding females being subject to the same abuse, but males are more vulnerable to these kinds of situations. And because we associate man’liness as being ‘strong, brave; dignified; noble.’ Chambers(1991), ‘Concise Dictionary’ p 630, we may not worry about a males safety as much as we really should. The world is not the same place.

I am not saying that mums and dads do not stay up waiting for their sons to come home safely, but I am sure guys do not give as much details to parents of their whereabouts. Not as much as their female counterparts. Whilst females may say, ‘I’m going to the cinema’, males may just say ‘I’m going out.’

This is a contested issue and so much more could be said, but my point is that males need to be protected as much as females, it doesn’t take away ones macho’ness. We just need to stop taking for granted that men should be able to stand up for themselves and be safe out there, anything can happen to anyone at any time as made evident on the news lately.

Take care of yourselves and each other.



Dave said...

I'd have to agree that parents don't spend nearly as much time warning sons of the dangers out there as they do daughters and the unprepared are always the more vulnerable

Sebastien said...

Life is full of dangers... and I think the most prevalent form of death for young people is car accidents... But violence is certainly a danger too. It's important to be aware of potentially dangerous situations, but at the same, I think it's important not to forget to enjoy life!

As for the male/female thing, I think you raise a good point, but I think economics has a lot to do with this too...

Ak-Man said...


What do you mean Sebastien?

Sebastien said...

Oh, (and by no means am I an expert!), here's what I think... I think that the lack of opportunities growing up is a huge factor in crime, like if you know you won't be able to afford university or you don't have people helping you reach your goals. Also if you don't see examples of success around you, seems like it'd be harder to believe that you yourself can succeed.

Seems like people from better off backgrounds have a higher chance of getting the jobs they want and going to the schools they want. At least that's the way it is in the US, it might be a bit different in Europe.

Lobeh said...

I agree with you 100% Shareen; and Sebastian has raised one of the important factors within this issue.
I feel that it is upon our generation to become aware that we are all 'at risk' whenever we step out of our homes. Males i agree are more likely to become involved in incidents that they do not forsee usually because the home does not emphasise the dangerous sitautions they are more likely to encounter than Females which would be on a different scale.

Personally in my home i have always ensured i safeguarded my brother (now 16) against the possible dangers he may come across. Advising him to lose his pride and walk away from situations and "waste men" (as he calls them)obviously i can only advise him what he does could defy that; however making him aware is the first step forward. With all the violence especially the violence within the black community of late...there are no questions being answered, just comments such as "he was a good student, was not involved in any gangs, its a case of mistaken identity etc...".

I think we know by now that if we do not look after our own and thats starting at the home, these mysteries will never be solved.
Enough Bloodshed Enough Hurt!