Escort service: good intentions but has faults

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    Women live in a state of constant fear.We were taught to be fearful since the day we were born.

    If I walk outside by myself at night, heaven forbid, my mom and friends freak out. They say I need to maintain the buddy system, or I just shouldn’t go anywhere.

    But who wants to stay indoors all day? I, for one, am not going to sit around and wait for some tough man to escort me to my car at midnight just because of a perceived potential danger.

    Well, why would they be so concerned about me walking from the University Recreation Center to my car parked on the street?

    Easy. They’re not doubting my capability of walking by myself (though, after almost 22 years, I am still scared of the dark). They know I am a very independent person and can take care of myself just fine.

    But they are afraid of bad people.

    You know the bad people I’m talking about. The ones lurking around the corner ready to leap out and kidnap you. The ones you checked under your bed or closet regularly for as a kid. Yea, those bad people.

    At any rate, this fear that is instilled in women because people – teachers, friends, family and police – tell us that we are not safe, never have been, never will be. Police officers are always giving women tips about staying safe and protecting ourselves.

    This constant fear creat-ed to keep women aware of their surroundings makes me wonder why TCU police are putting a woman on a golf cart, in the dark, by herself with a little walkie-talkie, to escort other fearful women around campus.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she is incapable of protecting herself (I think I am capable of protecting myself). I am not saying that she is fearful of her surroundings (though we women are told to be). I’m not even saying that the walkie-talkie can’t be used to call for backup (that’s why I carry a cell phone).

    What I am saying is that TCU Police are trying to protect women with the Froggie-Five-O drivers, yet they hire a female driver? That does not make sense.

    The TCU Police claim the reason the escort is not used for men is because there is a lack of resources. The way they deal with this lack of resources hints at the inherent gender bias at the core of Froggie-Five-0. If they have no problem assuming women need protection more than men, why do they care about equality in hiring?

    I know men like to act tough and put on a, “Me man, me no get scared,” act, but they really do have a fear of something – and I bet at least one is still scared of the dark. Yea, that’s right. Laugh at my assumption. Obviously, men are not going to admit to that fear because they’re tough, but I promise you, they are afraid of something.

    Men should have the option of a Froggie-Five-O ride now and again – resources or no resources. It is 2005, and women have demanded equal rights for decades. We finally got them. Equal rights mean not discriminating because of gender. Let the men ride!

    Now, if by hiring a female driver, the TCU Police were allowing men to ride and trying to protect them from their surroundings, that would make sense. But they’re not. They’re protecting women.

    But are they really protecting women?

    I think it’s only an illusion of protection, an illusion of safety.

    What can a golf cart do if someone really is out to get you? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

    Further, if you’re going to call for a ride at a huge emergency pole, with its bright blue flashing lights alerting everyone to your presence, and then continue to just stand there waiting for a Froggie-Five-O driver to pick you up, then you’re being stupid.

    In that five to 15 minutes of waiting, you could have been home, to your car or to wherever you were going. And in that five to 15 minutes of waiting, don’t you think that a “predator” could just as easily find you at one of those flashing emergency poles than while you are walking where you need to go?

    I would much rather be moving around than standing in one spot looking defenseless.

    Maybe the key to safety on campus is to have more TCU Police present at night. Or they could help escort students to “safety.”

    In essence, the driving service was set up with good intentions, but it is not serving its full purpose.

    Froggie-Five-O is pointless if it is not going to be funded properly and if it is only going to create an illusion of safety.

    Editor in Chief Gabe Wicklund is a senior broadcast journalism major from Anoka, Minn.