public space

Mujeres del Noche

Normally, I have not paid much attention to International Women’s Day because as a woman of color, many people barely see me as human, let alone a femme. No, apparently, only white femmes deserve consideration on a regular basis. However, it occurs to me that in this era of “faster, quicker, longer,” cities and suburbs have done a terrible job of making reasonable accommodations for people who work at night. Even though people demand 24/7 services, they have no interest in 24/7 public safety, relying on the police to ensure that they have a good time but avoid real problems. Instead, the onus is placed on the most vulnerable population, femmes of color, to protect ourselves so that we keep the parties flowing.

So many people feel that everyone else should be entitled to treat women poorly because **checks notes** the sun set. Service workers, custodial staff, overtime earners, and the like are forced to purchase vehicles because without cars, a) there is no guarantee that workers could get home, and b) femmes are frequently attacked at night and given the excuse, “Well, pick another shift.” Perhaps we should treat public safety like alcohol, and just like “it must be 5:00pm somewhere,” consider that at any given point on earth, daylight can be found. Otherwise, everyone is literally proclaiming that femmes deserve to be violated because of their jobs.

All folks did was go to work. Sorry if no one felt it necessary to send out a reminder on a daily basis of such an innocuous event. If people cannot control their impulses to commit violence in darkness, here are some new social rules. 1) No bars open after sunset. 2) No office cleaning before sunrise. 3) No one is allowed to order on-demand services (taxis, delivery, healthcare) during the nighttime. See how well those new rules work out for major metropolitan areas? See how ridiculous it sounds to suggest that the targets be responsible for behavior from aggressors?

No one is responsible for curbing the impulsive behavior of other people. Consider this scenario: someone is walking home from work–and no, their job is irrelevant. If a car pulls up to harass a worker commuting, maybe another vehicle should pull up behind and start honking loudly, indicating that the aggressor move. If a business wants to open up later, it should corroborate with other businesses to lobby the city to extend bus service. Instead of blaming femmes for the hours they work, start demanding that everyone act with some sense at all hours of the day.

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