When I came across this article a wave of emotion went through me. But the most prevalent one of all was anger.
I am angry. Also confused.
Germany, a country close to my childhood country Switzerland, and not that much different from my country of current residence (Canada), is now introducing train carriages for women only. Because you see, innocent women were attacked during a New Year’s Eve celebration in Germany at a public square.
I get the fear. I get the anger. I get the fact that people, girls, women, want to travel without the risk of being groped, attacked, assaulted.
But isn’t this a step backward?
I do not know enough about the Muslim (or Orthodox Jewish) lifestyles to quote some of their choices. Segregation between sexes does exist, in some cases, from what I’ve read, in places that are foreign to me. It is not a lifestyle I follow or participate in, I don’t cover my hair or walk steps behind a male relative, or am denied to drive a car. I do not want to join such an idea or practice or live in a place that enforces these things.
I am simply a woman who lives (or lived?) in a free, progressive world who would at any given time board a train or other public transportation vehicle without a second thought about WHO was going to be in there that could potentially cause me some sort of harm.
My 11 year old boy, if he were to travel with me in Germany, would not be allowed to enter a women-only train carriage . If I wanted to travel in the perceived safety of a women’s only carriage, I would have to send him into a different carriage by himself. Alternately, I could join him in the ‘regular’ carriage, like we do now. And then what? Would I have to assume he will protect ME should someone want to harm me?
The entire thing is ridiculous.
But here’s where the confusion enters my mind. Would I feel better, or more importantly, would my daughter feel safer, if she could enter a female-only train carriage? At the moment this is a non-issue since she is only 8, but you get what I mean.
For young females in Germany who ride the train to school, work or elsewhere, they now have options. They now can choose to board an all-female train carriage and hope they will not be assaulted.
Or, could they?
I am just so irked. Irked enough to question my own sanity, and parenting method. Do I now remove my female kid from her sports team and put her in a self-defense class to adequately prepare her for what may be? Do I fall to the fear that is being spread by the world events that have lead to these decisions?
What is happening to our society?
I am so very, very tired.