Recently, with the media focusing on women’s stories of sexual assault and harassment, many women are beginning to have conversations about the everyday situations they feel are much more dangerous to them than they are to men.
As a woman, I can name a dozen situations in which I feel unsafe–whereas, for example, my 6’4” boyfriend wouldn’t even think twice. Parking my car by our apartment at night, walking our dog before the sun comes up, going to wait for a friend at a bar, taking the Subway after hours–I can go on and on.
One writer, Jill Gutowitz, pointed out that taking Uber and other car services can be dangerous for women who are alone.
Gutowitz pointed out that if you give away too much information–like that your destination is your home, you’re going home alone, you live by yourself–it can give male drivers the upper hand.
Gutowitz pointed out that men tend to respect other men more than women, so replying that you’re going to your boyfriend’s house may be the safest bet.
She additionally pointed out that ride sharing and car services such as Uber can put queer people at risk if say, their driver is anti-LGBTQ or homophobic. Instead of coming out to a stranger and revealing her sexuality, Gutowitz stays safe by lying.
She made a bold statement–which is incredibly true–that women of color and queer women do have targets on their back. Some people are, without a doubt, homophobic, racist, and outright disrespectful towards both communities, and it can lead to a dangerous situation for them.
Women on Twitter began to confess that they, too, have thought the same thing when taking ride-sharing apps and car services and have had to lie to protect themselves.
Obviously, it goes without saying that not all male Uber/Lyft/taxi drivers are bad and disrespectful towards women. However, there are some that don’t understand professionalism and respect. The good thing about Uber and Lyft is that you can always send your route to a friend or family member. And, additionally, you can put your neighbor’s address or a close address as your own, just for extra precaution. It matters–especially when women take ride-sharing cars home after going out and having a few drinks. Stay safe, be alert, and it doesn’t hurt to let someone know where you are at all times.