A South African woman's survival guide: How to not get killed

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A picture of South African women walking whilst holding posters against GBV.
Intersectional Women's March against gender-based violence

In South Africa leaving the house as a woman, whether it is day or night, you need to continually be on full alert. So, here is a guide to not get killed. Before you move, do a thorough check; so in front, check, rearview, check, left, check, right, check, oh yes blind spots, check; and then only you can move.

Continually monitor and screen the men around you, you can do this by asking yourself these questions; Are they walking too fast? Was their stare longer than usual? Does he look like the type that would…? Where might he be going? Could he be a predator? Why are this vehicle's windows tinted? Why is it slowing down? Who is driving the car? Is there another woman insight, so that I can feel a tad bit safe? Make sure you maintain a safe distance between you and any man on the street, so you can get a head start should you need to run.

You want to take a walk at night? Only in my dreams. A solo trip to another town? That is too ambitious. A solo trip abroad? Girl, now you are just pushing it. Also, don't forget to smile a little, don't seem too angry. Also, don't smile too much, you will appear like an easy target. Say hi to the strange men at the street corner so, I mean if you are "nice", that may buy you amnesty but don't be overly friendly he might think "you are asking for it". Don't dress too "sexy", don't dress too modestly. Don't date other girls, don't date men either. You know what? Just don't breathe, that is the only way to stay safe. Don't breathe, because your existence is target board.

We are born in a progressive world that is somehow still backwards. If this is freedom, I would hate to oppression looks like.

Poetry
South Africa