I had a tremendous advantage when I was growing up.
I did not join a movement that brainwashed girls into thinking that, simply because they demanded to be called “Ms.” instead of “Miss,” they had automatically become invulnerable. Nor was I taught to believe that, merely by virtue of being female, I had the right to be ignorant, oblivious and credulous.
Unfortunately, as we read too often in today’s headlines, ignorance, obliviousness and credulity are characteristics exhibited far too often by far too many contemporary women when they go to bars, drink themselves silly, and depart in the company of strange men. Men who, in fact, are rapists and murderers.
Consider these notorious news stories:
Jennifer Levin. Drinking in a bar. Leaves with a stranger. Is later found strangled in Central Park.
Natalee Holloway. Spends her last night in Aruba dancing at a bar. Leaves with three men. Vanishes without a trace.
Imette St. Guillen. Drinking at a bar until 4 a.m. Leaves alone. Is later found raped, brutalized, dead.
Jennifer Moore. Described by her father as “bright and funny.” Last seen walking uptown in a black halter-top and white miniskirt after a night out clubbing. Found dead in a trash bin in New Jersey.
Drinking. Clubbing. Picking up strangers at bars. Trusting that being single and independent confers on them a mantle of indestructibility. All young. All female. All encouraged to believe that they were immortal, with far too few parents reminding them that they are not.
Let’s back up a bit. Once upon a time when I was of an age that boys asked girls out on dates, my father, who, to the day he died remained my father and never became my friend, pushed aside the coffee table and positioned me in the center of the living room. He stood opposite me in a threatening position, lurched at me in a feigned attack, and demanded, “What are you going to do?”
Initially, of course, my response was to fall to the floor in gales of laughter...