By Cheyenne Connors
This weekend I am visiting my friend at Antioch College. In order to do this, I am taking a five-hour bus trip. I have books, music and bus people to entertain me, and I am totally comfortable with this.
Do you want to know who is not comfortable with this? My entire family. They aren’t stopping me, of course, since I am 20 years old and they learned long ago that I make my own decisions. They have all, however, warned me very specifically about “skeevy old men” and to “sit in front of the bus.” I nodded, smiled and agreed.
Of course, I was silently fuming. Not because they are wrong in these warnings, and not that they are trying to do anything but help me be safe, but because I am expected to keep myself from being raped on a bus. If someone did rape me, I can only imagine that part of my family’s reaction would be, “Why weren’t you more careful?”
As I got dressed, I thought about each article of clothing. Was this tank top too revealing? (Maybe). What about this eye shadow? Too much? (It’s dark purple because it brings out my eyes). What about my red lip stain, my scarf, my silver chain? Would they be used against me in the Court of Rapists?
I don’t know, but I hope not. And, quite frankly, if anyone tries anything, they may find themselves without corneas or testicles. But it’s ridiculous that I have to think about this. This is what rape culture looks like.
Cheyenne Connors is 20 years old.