Irish Twitter Is On Fire Right Now With Women Sharing Experiences Of Walking Alone At Night

Sparked by a discussion on rape culture on RTÉ last night.

alone-at-night

Things got heated on Brendan O’Connor’s news discussion show Cutting Edge last night during a discussion about rape culture in Ireland.

Journal.ie‘s News Editor Sinead O’Carroll spoke about her experience on the show’s regular “soapbox” slot, describing rape as something that’s “used as a weapon” against women, that’s “joked about… sang about… and passed off as something else.”

Many viewers took issue with journalist Niamh Horan’s on-air response, during which she accused Sinéad of promoting “scared little mouse syndrome,” and added that modern feminism made women fear men.

Since the show aired, Twitter has been awash with women sharing their own experiences of rape culture, but it’s this thread from journalist Paul Hosford that has been getting the most reaction.

“I get why men get defensive on the issue of rape culture. I really do. I actually had a similar experience not long ago,” he wrote, going on to describe an experience he had one evening when he was walking the five-minute journey home from his bus stop behind a woman in her early twenties.

“I recognise the girl, she lives around the corner. So I think nothing of walking behind her. But after a minute she stops and makes this kind of OTT gesture (like a big “after you, sire” for me to walk in front of her.”

Paul described how initially he was “furious” that she would think he had any kind of bad intentions, but that he soon after realised he needed to check his privilege.

“And when I get in, it hits me right in the fucking jaw: It’s not about me. And now I’m just embarrassed for being offended. I mean, imagine living in a world where you feel you *have* to walk behind men? Imagine not feeling safe in the three minute walk to your house? And yeah, men feel unsafe a lot. But every single day?

“And *that* is rape culture. It’s not that men are milling around the streets raping women left and right. It’s more nebulous. And that makes it so much harder to tackle, to recognise our own behaviour impacts on women. But that doesn’t mean we can dismiss it.”

There have been hundreds of responses from men and women alike, describing their own experiences and, in some cases, their difficult realisations.

 

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