Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"girls and women who must be out alone at night, should be allowed to carry weapons...."

Shall Women Carry Arms?

   Editor The Missourian:--Is the protection of women, like the much vaunted "respect" with which they are supposed to be treated, a mere myth? Judging from the daily reports in newspapers of disappearances of respectable girls and women, of the accosting and frightening of women who are out at night and of even worse violations of law, it would seem so.

   There are thousands of women in the state who have no man to act as watchdog every time business or pleasure necessitates their being on the streets at night. Does the fact that they (poor things!) have no man to take them out, mean that they shall stay within doors all evening if there interests are without? Working women, bachelor-girls, suburbanites, and the miscellaneous number of women called out at night by accident or necessity, have a legal and indubitable right to safety. Yet we all know that many of them do not receive it. Whether this situation is due to a careless or a stupid police force or to the cunning of evil men, does not alter its significance.

   During the past winter, various girls in the University, while returning from an evening's work in the library, have been frightened by a man whose headquarters seem to be the shadows and bushes around the Commerce Building. From this point he can see the girls as they leave Academic Hall and he seems to derive much pleasure from springing at them as they pass.

   On the evening of the 17th, the writer saw this whimsical gentleman in his favorite haunts; but, fortunately, in time to take another route home. It seems no more than just and salutary that girls and women who must be out alone at night, should be allowed to carry weapons. Perhaps it is not absolutely necessary at a University where there generally are men within calling distance; but working girls and women who traverse, for any legitimate reason, urban and suburban districts, should demand and receive the right to carry arms. Men would not stand for the infringement of liberty, of personal rights and of safety, which women have been tolerating for some time.


[University Missourian, Columbia, Missouri, Sunday, May 23, 1915. Seventh Year Number 215 Pg. 2]

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