Women shouldn’t have to be afraid to get into a car for fear they may be kidnapped. Over the past few weeks, there have been attempted kidnappings around campus that have only heightened existing safety concerns. On Feb. 19, a woman entered a vehicle she thought was her assumed rideshare outside of Tigerland. Before she realized she was not in the right vehicle, the man posing as her driver inappropriately touched her and attacked her.
“Woman attacked in Tigerland near LSU by assumed rideshare,” “LSU students concerned, question campus safety amidst suspicious incidents,” and “LSUPD arrests man in connection with armed robbery on Monday” are all headlines from this semester alone.
Women aren’t safe, but this isn’t unexpected news. Women are often afraid to walk alone at night, be alone with a man in an elevator and now, to take an Uber.
A friend of mine suggested before entering any Uber to ask the driver to say who the pick-up is listed under. If they don’t say your name, don’t get in the car. This is a good idea and has probably saved women from getting into the wrong car.
When I first started driving and would drive at night, my mom gave me a tip on how to get to my car safely at night. She told me to hold each of keys in between my knuckles because I wouldn’t be strong enough to fight off an attacker on my own.
There are apps you can download that will notify the police if you press a button. There are mini pepper sprays and self-defense keychains. People are capitalizing on the fact that men attack women and women need to protect themselves.
There are all these ways for women to defend themselves, but no one is talking about the real issue. Why aren’t we taking a prophylactic approach to this issue? Why are we not working toward stopping men from attacking women instead of only focusing on how women can prevent their own attack. Why are we allowing these things to be normalized so much?
We are so desensitized to violence that we make cute, cat-shaped keychains with pointy ears to use to stab men who try and attack women. We know these things are happening and we aren’t doing anything preventative.
I don’t understand why so many people are just okay with violence against women. Why don’t more people care to do anything about it?
Ashlon Lusk is a 20-year-old mass communication sophomore from Houston, Texas.