Practise Your Screaming Alone

 

Perhaps because I was born with nuts I feel less frightened than the average person walking along a street/canal/promenade/lake in the dark. I'm wary but not fearful of attack. I know some women are more wary of the sound of footsteps behind them. I've been walking along the street at night and noticed young women have sped up or crossed the road or kept looking behind them. Late night a woman once asked me if I'd keep an eye on her while she walked up the long front garden path until she got in the front door. There were lots of bushes in the front garden of the big student digs. A neighbour once phoned and asked if I'd meet her daughter on the lane as she was going looking for a lost cat that had been possibly sighted (I was out so couldn't.)

I used to get the bus to school and heard two young women in the seat behind me talking about the fear of walking home alone, one of them having been followed. I didn't know there was a mental checklist to tick regarding women walking home alone:- don't wear ear plugs, have your phone in your hand, keep out of the shadows, don't have flesh on show, avoid wearing a narrow dress/skirt (harder to run in), take appropriate footwear, avoid tight clothes that show your curves, don't have knees on show, don't smile, walk down centre of roads on car-lined streets, if you get a taxi sit directly the driver (hard for them to grab you), check the taxi door is unlocked, keep your mobile phone in your hand contacts ready.

 

One of the women asked the other if she "practised her screaming alone" - to see if she had a loud scream. I was about 16 years old when I heard this conversation and still remember it. With a 1 canvas from Pound Galore, a trowel knife and an hour to fill I thought I'd do a painting in line with the woman's question. Here it is in acrylic paint done quickly and a brush was only used to add the outline.

 

 

 

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