Men need to be aware of and sensitive towards the justifiable anxieties of women

I have learned to believe that men need to be more aware of the anxieties of women. Under certain circumstances, women can feel justifiably anxious. But under the same circumstances men often do not feel anxious. This reflects gender inequalities in society.

Anxious young woman walking home after dark
Anxious young woman walking home after dark. Image: DALL-E 3
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Walking home after dark

What got me thinking about this is a Times article which reveals (based on a study) that 50% of young women in Britain feel lonely and 40% of young women are scared to walk home in their own neighbourhood at night. Let’s think about that. That’s almost half of young women are frightened to walk from the station to their home after dark within their neighbourhood. It is a bit of a shocker. Men should be ashamed actually as it is arguably a man’s world (see below). How many men feel like that?

Not many I would hazard a guess. We need to be aware of this. And men need to take charge of this profoundly uncomfortable issue too because it is still probably fair to say that in many instances men create the environment in which women live. Women wouldn’t be scared to walk home at night if the environment had been created by women. They are scared of being attacked by a man.

Note: The source of the information on this page is various and from the Internet. Typically, it comes from the BBC, science websites and the UK government’s websites to name three sources. There are others. All are reliable and have been carefully selected.

Is it still a man’s world?

The question of whether it is a “man’s world” touches on complex issues of gender equality and societal roles. While there has been significant progress in many areas, gender disparities still exist in various sectors, including employment, leadership, and social norms. Discussions around this topic continue as society works towards greater equality and recognition of contributions from all genders.

But essentially it is still a man’s world and more so in developing countries.

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Do women tend to be more anxious than men?

Research suggests that women are almost twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as men. This could be due to a combination of biological factors, such as differences in brain chemistry and hormonal fluctuations, and social factors, such as different coping strategies in response to stress. Women are more likely to ruminate on stressful situations, which can increase anxiety, while men tend to engage in active, problem-focused coping. Additionally, women may experience higher rates of physical and mental abuse, which is linked to the development of anxiety disorders.

What percentage of young people in the UK feel lonely?

In the UK, about one in ten young people often feel lonely, with young women being more likely than young men to experience feelings of loneliness. This data from the Office for National Statistics highlights the prevalence of loneliness among young women in the country.

What percentage of women are scared to walk home at night?

In another survey it was reported that approximately 63% of women in general report feeling “always” or “often” unsafe when walking alone at night. Additionally, one in two women expressed feeling unsafe walking alone after dark in a quiet street near their home, and four out of five women felt unsafe in parks or other open spaces after dark. These statistics highlight the significant concerns women have regarding their safety at night.

Women might tend to stay at home more than men when single

The BBC reports that during the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic women, much more so than men, tended to stay at home because of anxiety about the infection. This indicates a general anxiety about potential hazards outside the home which I think possibly points to one reason why elderly women can more often become the companion of a domestic cat than men. It is one factor in that equation. The domestic cat makes a fine companion if one tends to remain at home for fairly extensive periods particularly when one is more elderly. I am speculating and making a proposition, no more.

Can a cat companion help make one less anxious?

Happy young woman and her cat
Happy young woman and her cat. Image: DALL-E 3

Yes, having a cat as a companion can potentially help reduce feelings of anxiety. Research suggests that cat owners who are more neurotic and anxious may experience more trust and affection for their cats, which could contribute to a reduction in anxiety levels. Additionally, people with strong emotions are often drawn to cats for stress relief, and interacting with cats can be beneficial for them. Cats provide companionship and can offer comfort, which might help alleviate anxiety for some individuals. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of a cat companion in reducing anxiety can vary from person to person. Sources: UC Davis and Science Daily.

Source: the source of the data in the first para is the Opinium survey of 10k people commissioned by the Belonging Forum think tank.

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