I live an activist lifestyle, and it's a man's world, so I experience a certain amount of backlash that not everyone I come across has experienced. I have unfortunately been in a lot of dangerous situations, and I’ve picked up some patterns that I’ve noticed from the men (and some women, but mostly men) that have actually assaulted me. I was reflecting on these warning signs tonight and wanted to share this with women.
Where better to do it than on MOGUL?
Here are 6 warning signs you should not ignore.
1. When a man normally in a position of authority lingers his gaze over your breasts for too long. Two men did this to me right before they attacked me—both were in positions of superiority over me at the time. It may be a form to throw a woman off, because it definitely shifted the energy in the room both times it occurred.
2. When they tell you that you do something harmful to yourself that you don’t do. For example, when men say something like “you stop breathing”—they are putting that image inside your head. Whether you believe in the concept of psychological warfare or not, the mere suggestion of putting this harmful image in your head can result in you actually believing it, and therefore doing it.
3. When you hear an explicit warning. Pay attention to it. Don’t dismiss it as “just nothing”, especially if it comes from someone in a position of authority.
4. When people hover too close to you in public. I’m talking strangers in a coffee shop, to locked in an institution, be aware when this takes places.
5. When a man shows up in your life in a "way-too-coincidental" manner when you're exceptionally vulnerable. I have been in two thankfully fairly short-term relationships that were physically violent. Both men approached me when I was very vulnerable. I'm not saying that you can't meet someone under those circumstances, but just be alert when you do.
6. When your intuition tells you somethings wrong. As women we are equipped with fairly strong intuitive capabilities. Men know that we have this. But think about how many times you ignored your gut instinct and ended up in a bad situation. Try and prevent that by just trusting your instincts. Listen to that inner voice, it's stronger than you may think.
If I reflect on more signs I will write a second article.