You must have heard “a woman’s intuition” before, but as I was mentioning it to my partner the other day, he said that men had it too!
I paused, didn’t doubt it… but I feel women have a stronger intuition than men (please feel free to tell me otherwise in the comments), because we have a stronger need to survive and be on guard for our lives simply because we are women.
We are smaller, with less upper body strength, and more vulnerable to attacks just because of our gender and the way society is constructed.
(I have another post coming up on that last point so I won’t address it here.)
Women, famously have “a woman’s intuition” because we have to have some sort of edge up over others who could possibly want to harm us because women, over men, are the targets of harm, more often than not.
Sometimes, we completely ignore it. We feel this unease sliding down our spine, we think – oh but this is a harmless thing, I am just being silly, and we do whatever our instinct tells us not to do.
Just wanted to share a few stories I heard recently about instincts saving our lives, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments if you’re willing to share.
This is my story. When I was a little girl, about 12, and went back with my mother to our home country, my mother constantly on guard. She knew how dangerous it was to be there, especially as a mother with a young child, traveling alone, but she desperately wanted to see her mother for one last time before she died (we knew it was inevitable within this year or the next) and the rest of her family.
So, on the way to my grandmothers’, we stopped by a mall for something. I can’t even remember what, perhaps to go to the washroom after being on the bus for a few hours.
We get to the elevators, enter, and on the next floor, two guys join us.
Just as the doors were about to close, my mother grabs my hand and pushes me out of the elevator.
I squawked because I thought she got confused and misread the floor and she just told me to be quiet and tugged me out.
Later, she told me that she just had a cold shiver down her spine when the guys entered. She felt two hands, very strongly pushing her on her back, with her instincts screaming: GET OUT. GET OUT NOW., so she listened as she always did when she was a little girl growing up in stark poverty, struggling for her survival even fighting her other siblings, and she pushed me and her out of the elevator.
There was something that passed between the two guys, a look they gave each other, or the way they looked at us, that I was completely oblivious by, and my mother had a hair trigger instinct to perhaps, save our lives that day.
Not trying to cast aspersions – maybe they were perfectly fine young gentlemen, but better safe than sorry.
Another story my friend has, is when she was traveling alone, backpacking in Europe. She’s German, and to give you some context, these folks know how to travel FRUGALLY.
If you think sleeping in a hostel is cheap travels, Germans have you beat – they will pitch a tent on a beach and sleep there for free. That’s just how they are, and they are usually the other tourists we meet in grocery stores, picking out food to eat to buy, rather than going to a restaurant – we aren’t German but we do the same thing. LOL.
Anyway, she was in a country (I can’t remember which one now, I think it was somewhere in South America), and a guy was super insistent that she come and have lunch with his family, his wife, kids, etc.
She felt then and there, a suspicion that maybe he was being too eager to get her to go to lunch, but everyone else had been just as warm and as friendly, and she felt like she was being rude if she did not accept his offer. Besides, she thought, what was the harm of going to see his family?
She gets into this dirt hut, and then her intuition grew stronger. She just felt so uncomfortable because they had her almost surrounded, standing over her, encouraging her to drink drink drink.
She kept saying “No“, and she didn’t really want any alcohol, but they told her she was being impolite in this country to not accept alcohol, and drinks.
They basically tried to make her drink half a bottle of this alcohol they were giving her, and after the first tumbler, she tossed all the rest behind her on the dirt floor where it was quickly absorbed.
After the lunch, she got up immediately and left, and as she did, she felt woozy, sort of disoriented and sleepy just from ONE tumbler out of the ten shots they tried to make her drink. They had put something in the alcohol, or it was extremely strong for a reason.
But what could they have wanted to do with her? A whole family that would want to drug her (even the kids were encouraging her to drink)? To resell her into prostitution? Slavery of some sort? Harvest her organs?
At any rate, she left immediately, and quickly left for another area just in case they came back to try and find her.
In hearing this story, I felt my heart beating very fast because she ignored her instincts. She ignored the voice in her head saying that the guy was being far too insistent that she come and drink with them, and she got herself into a situation that maybe, if they had decided to overpower her, she would not have gotten out of there alive.
Another woman was recounting a story about her instincts, saying she traveled with a friend to Cuba when she was younger.
There, she was having an amazing time, everyone was so warm and friendly, and she even goes back often to see friends she made 20 years ago.
One night at the bar, a friendly waiter comes up to them and says – hey my friend and I want to take you two out onto the town and party, what do you think? … and she said she looked at the waiter’s friend and immediately felt like this was a terrible idea.
She liked the waiter, he was very friendly, outgoing etc, but the friend, she said, made her feel like she was a mouse waiting to be devoured by a hawk.
Her other friend said – Sure! Why not? Let’s keep the party going, let’s go. …. but she refused. Dead stop, refused to go and felt her instincts rise up in her that this was a terrible idea. Her friend was surprised, but they stuck together and they didn’t go.
She says she has no idea what happened or what would have happened, but later on when she told the same story to her Cuban friends, they said they knew who she was talking about, and there were rumours going around that his very influential and rich father had swept some rather nasty crimes under the rug.
What crimes? I have no idea. Rape to me, would be the least of those crimes, because my brain can imagine far worse things like organ harvesting, torture, slavery, prostitution and death.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
So, I don’t tell you these stories to scare the F out of you. I just want everyone to have a little reminder that we are, at our base, regardless of our intellect and brains, still animals, and animals have instincts.
If we intellectually override these instincts by saying to our brain: You’re being ridiculous, they are perfectly nice people! ... then maybe you are doing yourself a disservice.
What is the harm in the end, of taking another elevator, or floor, or saying “No” and meaning it? Feeling like you have offended someone? Who cares? Your life is what is at stake here, and even if it turned out to be nothing at all, you listened to yourself and had confidence in your intuition.
A young woman traveling alone especially, has to trust her instincts because I have (and all my friends have), shared stories of sexual assault, and stories about our intuitions.
Isn’t that sad that we ALL HAVE THE SAME STORIES?
Sure, the incidents were different etc, but we ALL HAVE THESE STORIES when we should have NONE AT ALL in a healthy society.
How sick, and sad is this?
SEXUAL ASSAULT IS A STORY ALL WOMEN HAVE
For the sexual assault part – I have two incidents that happened to me.
The first incident – I remember being 15 and having a guy pass by me on the street as we were crossing the lights, reach over and SQUEEZE my bum really hard. I was so shocked I didn’t know what to do at the time, but now, I would have turned, and screamed assault.
My second incident was when I was in first year, and a guy I knew for a while, studying to be a lawyer, had invited me over to hang. Being young and naive, and he was a good person (I thought), as we had gone out on a few dates prior, I said “Yes”.
So we sit on the couch, we’re chatting, and it is just like two people hanging out in my mind. I am sitting on the one side of the couch, he on the other.
Suddenly out of nowhere, he lunges at me, and basically PINS ME DOWN on the couch (I started to panic, I had zero upper body strength compared to him, and I was near tears), and starts slobber-kissing me. I managed to push him off me in a panic, squirm and get away, grabbing my purse, my things and just bolting for the door which luckily was unlocked.
He screamed after me: YOU GODDAMN TEASE!!!
I got outside, burst into tears, called an older friend who was horrified, and immediately assured me it was not my fault (though I felt like it was), and urged me to go to the police to report it.
But I questioned myself. What could I possibly report? Some guy got aggressive on the couch? I didn’t get raped, he didn’t try to beat me or hold me down after I left, and I just didn’t know what I’d say.
Isn’t it sad? Until he raped me or tried to, I would have had nothing to stand on in a police report.
In my mind, I was taught by society (how dumb) that only girls who dressed provocatively, and acted like “teases” and all of this, were the ones who got into such situations. It completely threw me off that I had done none of this, and I still got assaulted.
For the record – I don’t care how a girl dresses. If she wants to rock a dress showing everything but the goods, she has full right to do so, and that does not give anyone permission to assault her or to do anything without her consent.
I felt bad about it for years, until recently I thought about it, and realized I was not in the wrong, and I wasn’t strong enough to report it which means maybe some other girls have had to go through a similar experience. Maybe he thought this was the way to get a girl – to be aggressive because she doesn’t know what she wants and you have to TAKE it from her, you know?
Anyway, sorry this post is a little somber and depressing. I just thought it’s important, along with money, style and fluff, to bring up serious topics that have been on my mind as of late and will forever be a part of my psyche.
I will also be the first one to tell my story to anyone who needs a push or a boost to report someone, and to support them.
ONLY A FEW PEOPLE ARE TRULY MONSTERS
So a young woman, have to take care when they travel, far more care than what a young man has to because we are always going be seen as weak, easy targets for those in society who are monsters.
I also want to note that not all men are like this.
OBVIOUSLY. I have my partner, my siblings, cousins, my son… they are all men in my life whom I respect and care for greatly.
They are GREAT GUYS.
There are also other great stories of guys helping women feel safe and secure, and my son WILL be raised like this because I WILL tell him my stories rather than hiding them from him, and these terrible men are the ones who ruin everything for the good ones, and make women mistrust all men as a general protective rule, just as how a few terrible women ruin it for great women, making men angry and mistrustful of us.
So to end on a good note: