The last full moon was beautiful. The sky was crystal clear and was full of stars. Although cold, it was a still and very lovely winter’s evening. I live in a part of the country known for its stunning landscape and a river runs only minutes from my house. I looked wistfully out of the window and thought how lovely it would be to go for a river walk in the brilliant light of the moon.
But I didn’t go because I was afraid and the reason for my fear goes a long way to explaining why I’m a radical feminist.
It wasn’t fear of tornadoes or floods that stopped me. Or a fear of thunderbolts and fire. Nor was I afraid of lightning strikes or meteors. I wasn’t kept indoors by fear of packs of wild dogs or swooping birds of prey. I wasn’t afraid of women or children either.
What stopped me was fear of men. Of some random man (or men) harming me in some way. Even if I hadn’t already experienced rape, sexual assault and male violence I would have been afraid because female children are warned from a very early age of the risks posed by men. We are warned for a reason. The risk is very real, as the personal testimonies of tens of thousands of women bear out.
Radical feminists know that all men are potential rapists. Obviously, not all men will rape but as we women are in no position to know who is and who is not a rapist, we must treat all men with caution.
The other evening I was walking down my street when I heard footsteps behind me. I looked around in mild panic and a very jolly neighbour laughed and said: “You looked round as if a madman was after you”. Yeah, I thought, but it isn’t mad men we are afraid of, just men. And that fear controls our movements, curtails our freedom and keeps us indoors.
I looked wistfully out at the glorious full moon and closed the curtains.