“I am terrified of men”

Perry students reflect on self defense

Perry+students+take+a+survey+regarding+self+defense+and+how+gender+affects+the+way+students+feel+about+their+personal+safety.

Lexi Amaro

Perry students take a survey regarding self defense and how gender affects the way students feel about their personal safety.

In the month of October, many of us faced our worst fears. Whether it be the PSATs or Halloween Kills’ premier, we’re all facing something scary this fall. For many, it’s not grades or any typical fears such as ghosts or spiders, it’s protecting yourself in a very dangerous world. Many of these genuine dangers are enough to keep you up at night.

In a survey of 53 Perry students, they were asked whether they carry a self defense weapon, what kind, and why. Of the 53 students that responded, 37 were female and 16 were male. 

Of the 37 female students who replied, 19 reported to carry a self defense weapon. One student said, “I am a young woman in a society that is danger[ous] towards women. I am terrified of being alone because of some of the horror stories I have heard. It makes me feel safer knowing I have some type of item that will help in some way if I’m attacked.” 

Emma Larkins carries pepper spray. She shared, “I don’t feel protected against creepy people such as men who may try to follow me or touch me.”

Junior Anna Fountain, who carries a whistle, said, “It’s something my great grandma gave me when I first got a car and started driving on my own because she wanted to protect me. I’m strong, but I’m not very big or threatening. And to be honest, we all know what it’s like to live as women and to constantly feel threatened. I mean, less than a week ago my friends and I were out for homecoming and as my friend and I were walking to my car, some late-20s drunk guy was saying how much he liked our dresses. That was all it was, but what if it had been more? What if we had to defend ourselves? You just never know what people’s intentions are.”

 

Although there are a fair amount of girls who don’t have one, responses varied, but one junior, Ainsley Reese said, “I feel safe in the areas I go in independently and when I feel unsafe, I stay with people or am extra alert. For example, when I go out for runs by myself I ALWAYS only have one AirPod in so I can listen for my surroundings.” 

Another student, junior Madeleine Woods, said, “I’ve been meaning to get one for a while but I haven’t gotten around to it; I never go anywhere alone for this reason.” Casey Greenlee agrees, “I feel like when I’m older, I might get some form of self defense, especially when I move out eventually but I always have a friend or family member with me most of the time so I don’t need any self defense weapon as of now.”

Of the 16 male students that replied, a large majority denied the use of a self defense weapon. Junior Jacob Andrew said, “I don’t have any self defense weapons because I don’t have a need for them.” Justin Ngyuen felt similarly, “I [have] never been put in a position where I felt the need to carry a self-defense tool.” However, four male students confirmed that they did carry a self defense weapon. Caeden Motley said, “I mostly keep it there as it comes in handy every now and then when I need to cut things but also it could be used for self defense if needed.”

Some students, both male and female, consider their keys to be a weapon, as they can be used in the case of an emergency for self defense.