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 could go on and on.
Writer Jill Gutowitz wrote a thread about one situation that can be dangerous for women who are alone—taking an Uber (or any other car service).
Gutowitz explained that if a woman gives away too much information–like that her destination is her home, or that she’s going home alone, or that she lives by herself–it can give male drivers the upper hand.
She 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 also shared 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 revealing her sexuality to a stranger, Gutowitz stays safe by lying.
She made a bold but true statement–that queer women and women of color basically have targets on their backs. There are people—disrespectful, homophobic, and outright racist people—who want to harm them, which could obviously make for a dangerous situation.
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.
Clearly, it goes without saying that not all male Uber/Lyft/taxi drivers are bad and disrespectful towards women. However, it also goes without saying that there are some who are. 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.