Almost every answer included being able to walk freely at night, with no particular plans, but just walking without any restraints such as fearing for safety. The comments made some of the men reading realise that some of life’s simple pleasures are in fact gendered privileges. ‘Me, I’d walk everywhere,’ wrote one woman. ‘I’d grocery shop late at night when it’s quiet. I’d take public transit all the time and could sell my car. I wouldn’t worry about my girlfriends when we were out listening to music, I’d go to the beach at night.’
‘I would run with both earbuds in, at night. Not cross the road to the other sidewalk. I wouldn’t worry about keeping my phone in my hand and locking my door the second I got inside the car. Walk in the woods, because it’s beautiful at night,’ said another.
Some men joined the conversation and came to the realization that women genuinely fear men in certain circumstances, like at night, in wooded areas or quiet car parks, or just on the streets.
‘I’m a white guy who regularly visits other countries by himself,’ wrote one man, ‘I walk city streets after midnight while listening to music on my headphones while not speaking the language. It never even occurred to me that this was a gender privilege.