Lottie Morris

As an 18 year old female in today’s society it worries me what the future holds for my children. Being told from a young age by my parents that it isn’t safe walking home alone especially as a female seems unfair since my gender shouldn’t impact on my safety any more than it does my brother’s when he’s only a year older than myself. Despite this I have found myself making the decision to walk back 20 minutes from the club to my uni accommodation because it’s not only free but I like the fresh air and seems more environmentally friendly even if that sounds stupid. My most recent encounter prompted me to post into the everyday sexism page, not because I suffered violence or extreme harassment but because the reality of the situation shocked me. The occasional catcall in the street I am used to (this itself shouldn’t seem right just because I have different physical features to my male peers) but after walking back around three quarters of the way I was on the home stretch of the university campus. I heard footsteps behind me as someone was running towards me which made me nervous as to what would happen but the “excuse me are you okay?” made me turn around to realise it was a hotel staff member from the establishment I had just passed. He then proceeded to ask if I needed a taxi and asked when I had been that night, after telling him where and reassuring him that I was okay since I could see my accommodation, what then happened was what made me more infuriated than the frequent sexual harassment myself and I know others deal with on a daily basis. “Can I have your number?” shocked is a massive understatement to say the least, someone I thought was looking out for my safety and checking that I got home alright led to an opportunity to ask me out after the 10 second encounter he had with me. It made me question whether he did actually care or worry about a lone female walking home or if it was his way of getting an opportunity to talk to me because he saw a girl in a dress (and scruffy trainers may I add) walking past his place of work. It’s hard to know if this was a genuine case of misogynistic behaviour or just someone that was genuine but later asked for my number. The fact that I have to question this as someone who has just started university and has yet to actually start life as an adult tells me it wasn’t a situation that was acceptable. I’m disappointed is all I can say and wanted to take this opportunity to share with others I know care about gender equality and removing threats and acts of sexism in everyday life. Thank you for taking the time to read this, it means a lot x