KATE EMERY: This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter

Kate Emery
The Nightly
4 Min Read
KATE EMERY: This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter
KATE EMERY: This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter Credit: Supplied

Always have access to your own money in your own bank account with your own bank card. Never give up control of your finances because he earns more, you’re not working while the kids are young or because “it’s just easier this way”.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Don’t walk home alone at night. If you call a taxi or an Uber, send the driver’s details to a friend, sit in the back seat and text when you’re home safely.

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This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Don’t run alone in the dark. Or, if you must, tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Don’t wear earphones.

woman, running, athletic
woman, running, athletic Credit: GAIMARD/Pixabay (user GAIMARD)

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

This is the column where I have to admit to being a hypocrite.

When women get attacked, raped and murdered it enrages me to hear anyone — politicians, the police, strangers on the internet — offer advice that’s tantamount to victim blaming. Women shouldn’t have to spend their life trading tips to stay alive. But will I pass on those I’ve scraped together over the years because of the possibility it might one day keep my daughter out of harm? Absolutely.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

When walking alone, walk with confidence. Put your chin up. Don’t look lost, afraid or like you don’t know where you’re going.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Don’t go to someone’s house for a first date. Meet them in a public place. Tell a friend where you’re going and who you’re meeting and when they need to get worried if they don’t hear from you.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Don’t drink too much or take too many drugs when you’re around people you don’t know you can trust. Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position by being out of control.

drink, woman, toast
drink, woman, toast Credit: OurWhiskyFoundation/Pixabay (user OurWhiskyFoundation)

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

I’ll also tell my daughter that a woman should be able to drink too much, to wear whatever she wants, to trust her partner and to walk home alone and not be at risk of being attacked.

That a woman should be able to go out naked, get trashed off her arse, go home with the guy she met in the line for the toilets and still be at zero risk of getting murdered or sexually assaulted.

But that’s not the world that we live in and we see more and more proof of that every day.

So this is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Always have enough money stashed away so you can leave if you have to.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Trust your gut when it comes to how someone makes you feel. Sometimes your body knows what’s up before you do. Don’t worry about someone thinking you’re rude.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Never let your partner decide who you can be friends with.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Or what you can wear.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Don’t spend time with men who make rape jokes, or laugh at them.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Never leave another woman behind on a night out.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Learn self-defence.

drink, glass, pouring
Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know. Credit: profq1123/Pixabay (user profq1123)

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

Girls and women shouldn’t have to pay the price for the actions of a minority of awful men. Men should be the ones who are in charge of making sure they don’t hit, murder or rape women.

But the older I get, the less optimistic I am that anything is going to change and the more I think that the advice at which I rolled my eyes back in the day might be the best I can offer to a young girl growing up in 2024.

The statistics. The stories. The hand-wringing. It’s all just so familiar.

This is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

And I really do hate it. I hate that part of raising a daughter involves teaching her how to prepare for worst-case scenarios and bad men.

I hate that she might grow up viewing men as potential threats instead of potential colleagues, friends, and partners. I hate the idea I risk encouraging her to demonise men when most men are actually pretty good eggs.

I hate that the message all this advice adds up to is to be cynical about the world and anticipate the worst rather than expecting the best from those around you.

Nevertheless, this is the advice I’ll hate having to give to my daughter.

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