Chicago Sun Times:
Women shouldn't have to choose between safety, mobility
Women today flex their power and freedom as never before -- in the workplace, in leadership positions, in the presidential race. So it's jolting when a serial rapist terrorizes a neighborhood.A serial rapist is among the lowest of the low. What these goblins take can never be returned or restored. A predator with sufficient strength and skill to overpower women, and a total disregard to the lives he ruins. It is not a very large step from serial rapist, to murderer.
Despite hard-fought battles for equality, this basic truth does not budge: The female half of the city's population is far more vulnerable to sexual assault; they are the ones whose freedoms are strangled.
When a string of attacks occurs, such as the five in Lincoln Park and Lake View in recent weeks and another on the South Side, this personal safety issue clouds the quality of life in an area. It becomes more than a crime story. It becomes a life lesson that we are compelled to repeat, to our daughters, sisters, female friends, mothers and grandmothers.Mayor Daley would leave the women of Chicago defenseless against the goblins, easy prey for those who enjoy taking by force what they will never be offered.
We implore them: Travel in groups in well-lit areas, carry your keys in your hands, lock your car doors, look alert, cross the street if someone sets off your radar. And if someone attacks, kick and fight and scream at the top of your lungs. It is far better to scare someone safe than to comfort them in a hospital emergency room. It is a brutal crime with lifelong implications for victims -- about 1,500 a year in Chicago -- and their loved ones.
So, what are the good public servants of Chicago doing to help women defend themselves?
This week, two North Side aldermen organized free self-defense classes and handed out pocket-sized pepper spray and safety tips to 1,500 women. That's empowering.No! Handing out pepper spray in not empowering. To properly empower women against goblins, you need to give them the tools and skills that allow them to meet force with superior force. Pepper spray just pisses goblins off. At the very best, the goblin runs away to rape again another day. Worst case, he rapes and kills the woman. The most efficient rape prevention tool available to women is a firearm.