(Not sure if this is the right place to post this) In short: every evening I go on a bike ride, but my parents want me to stop.
I'm 17 years old, and since last year, during the school holidays, I head out at around 7 for a +/- 10km bike ride, on my own, which usually takes about half an hour (I go in the evening because it's too hot to go earlier in the day, and it's a way of winding down for me). My parents make me take a phone (something I totally agree with), and more recently, a pepper spray (which I think is a bit much, but if it makes them feel better...). But now, they want to me to bring my old brother with me or stop altogether, worrying about my safety.
I live in rural France, in a departément with one of the lowest crime rates and oldest average ages in the country. I tend to go the same route, but I often change and go different ways. I'm always back long before it starts getting dark, and don't go through any towns. I'm never further than about 5km away from. I usually wear shorts or trousers, and a tank top or t-shirt (I know what you wear has nothing to do with any potential crimes, but I could maybe understand my parents concern if I went round in a bikini or something...)
My parents are generally reasonable people. They're educated, intelligent, non-religious, and open about bodies and body issues. But now, they keep warning me about going off for my bike rides, and stating they're a bit worried, that there might be 'creeps', etc. I've never felt threatened, or had reason to, on my bike rides. I've never seen any 'sketchy' characters, or anything that's worried me. Earlier, my parents said that they're not happy with me going off my own.
I guess my question is: are they being unreasonable, or am I? Am I being naïve, or are they being overprotective/paranoid? I don't want to find myself seeing men as potential threats, which is obviously unhealthy for me and unfair for them. Is it really stupid for a young woman like me to go out without worrying about being sexually assualted?
Honestly, it sounds like you are being completely reasonable. While you may feel like their concerns are unfounded, it does come from their love for you and their desire to protect you.
I'd encourage you to mention to them that riding your bike every day is a great way to stay active and healthy.
Have you asked them what has changed that has made them want you to stop now?
Unfortunately, you do have to obey their rules while you live at home. While their protectiveness might be a bit over the top, it is their house, their rules.
(But, this is coming from someone who's parents were okay with me wandering around France, sometimes on my own, when I was your age. I did a homestay in Normandy. Their totally reasonable perspective was that France is overall safer than the US. There was a stretch when I was a teen when I wasn't supposed to walk around my *own* neighborhood alone in the evenings, but that's because we had a mountain lion problem!)
Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008
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