I started doing a full Cosmocking for April '10, but this article required its own post.
It's described on the cover as "The Rape Danger Zone Most Women Don't Know About." I assumed they meant the home--after all, most rapes are committed by partners, friends, dates, and such, and it's rarely publicized the way stranger rape is. Then I turned to the article.
Read This Before You Drive Alone
Your car can feel like a comfy little cocoon, but driving solo can put you at risk for a violent attack, rape, or worse.
Oh Cosmo. Your timing is hilarious. Your insistence that women--already forbidden from walking alone, obviously--not even fucking drive is positively Saudi Arabian.
And come on. Even if I'm not driving across the country alone like some reckless psychotic, am I really supposed to recruit a Safety Buddy every time I commute to work? Every time I go shopping? Even if I just need one thing from the drug store real quick?
If you are taking a long trip and will need to stop for fuel after dark, go to websites like exxonstations.com/locator to find full-service stations along your route. That way, you can stay in your car with the doors locked.
There are several insane paranoid precautions you should take specifically when doing anything after dark. Apparently rapists are vampires.
When you're shopping at night, or if the lot looks eerily empty, ask store personnel for a security guard to walk you to your car. If there isn't one available, keep a hand free of packages as you walk to your car, and stay in the middle of the parking-lot aisle, away from vehicles, where criminals might be hiding.
Apparently rapists are funhouse vampires, and they operate by jumping out and going "boogy boogy boogy!"
Above all, never text or talk on the phone on the way to your car--it's a sure way to encourage an attacker.
"Your honor, I wasn't planning to rape her, but then she made a phone call, and I realized she was just begging for it. You know what kind of woman makes phone calls."
[If your car breaks down] While you wait for help to arrive, do not under any circumstances get out of your car; roll up your windows, lock the doors,and stay inside.
For fuck's sake. Is air toxic to women? I don't know about rapists; this is how I would act if there were velociraptors outside the car.
And I hope "any circumstances" doesn't include when your car is in a position where it could be struck by traffic, or when the engine is smoking. (Let's just forget the possibility that you might actually be able to fix the car problem yourself, you are just a little lady after all.)
When a long drive is part of your plans, set up a safety net: Have roadside assistance available, and most important, never sleep in your car or take a break in any place that seems isolated. Avoid driving at night, splurge on a safe place to stay, and do all your shopping and gassing up in daylight. If you're careful and prepared, you'll feel at ease behind the wheel... and arrive at your destination unharmed.
Well, the message is clear: if I had been raped on the trip I just took, it would have been my own damn fault. Ladies have an obligation to conduct themselves at all times as if they're in velociraptor territory, because when they don't, they ought to know they've got it coming.
Of course, ladies who turn their car into a hermetically sealed Panic Room, then go home and get raped by their boyfriends, are just going to feel silly.
(And ha ha, try taking a break anywhere in Montana, Wyoming, or South Dakota that doesn't seem isolated.)