I recently came across the news that a young woman at my alma mater had been murdered. The Iowa State civil engineering student had been playing a round of golf when she was sexually assaulted and murdered. This news comes right on the heels of the news about Mollie Tibbets, a University of Iowa student, who was murdered when she was out for a run. At least 20 transwomen have been murdered in 2018 thus far.
This type of news is heartbreaking and shocking, but at the same time, it feels achingly familiar. Too many women find the world to be an unsafe place. Too many women have to be careful about where we go, what we wear, and whether we’re out alone. When these stories come out, we hear the same advice: don’t go out alone. Always carry your phone. Park in a well-lit area. Watch your drink.
What if, instead of warning women about how to stay safe, we created a culture where men didn’t kill women? What if we raised men to realize that they are not entitled to a woman’s body or attention? What if we addressed men’s violence instead of focusing on women’s safety? I have the right to go out by myself for a run. I have the right to play a solo round of golf. I have the right to exist in the world around me without the fear of being objectified, assaulted, or murdered. Do not tell me to be careful. Tell me what you are doing to create a world where men don’t commit acts of violence against women. My life depends on it.
I'm Lynnea Laskowski, and that's my perspective.