Tuesday, 14 February 2012
BOOK NOOK; A Girl's Gotta Do What a Girl's Gotta Do by Kathleen Baty
It is 1am as I write, which technically means its Valentine's Day. Many of you will be going out tonight, with girl friends hoping to meet someone or on dates with men you trust; but how many of those men are worthy of your trust? If this seems like a cynical question/post then you need to read this book!!!
Kathleen Baty writes with the voice of experience; she was stalked and her life put in danger by a man she barely knew who had developed a fixation with her. Since then she has made it her mission to help women become more aware of the dangers all around us everyday of our lives. This is not a book of man-bashing jibes at the opposite sex; far from it; it is a book which deals with the issue of female personal safety in all areas of life, from the workplace and on holidays, to being home alone or dealing with unwanted attention from men. Like it or not, a woman is more likely to be harassed in the street than a man; we are viewed as easy and legitimate targets. If a man likes the look of a woman he feels entitled to inappropriately demonstrate his interest, or to modify her drink in order to compromise her natural inhibitions - he has no such entitlement.
In her book Kathleen Baty aims to give you the tools you need to stay strong when feeling vulnerable, to stand up for yourself when someone tries to compromise you and to keep yourself safe in any situation. Much of her work would seem to be common sense - but when a girl likes a boy, common sense takes a break as the hormones take over! A Girl's Gotta Do What A Girl's Gotta Do is not just about the dating game though and chapters on cyber stalking, safe shopping on the high street and online, identity theft, a girl's night in at home alone, workplace safety and relationship safety are all covered here by Baty. It might seem that her suggestions verge upon rudeness - don't answer your door, or phone, unless you are expecting someone - but being polite can get a woman into a tricky situation. Those who care about you will understand your reluctance to open the door to a random knock.
For me personally the most important chapter is Party Girl Watch Your Cocktail. Having worked in clubs and bars I thought I was savvy when it came to drink safety, but even I had a nasty surprise. It is a common misconception that drinks are only spiked in clubs by strangers, but this is really not the case. My drink has been spiked with Rohypnol, the date rape drug; not by a stranger but by a man I trusted. I was lucky in that a friend told me they'd seen my drink get spiked and I got home alone safely; but it was only with the tell-tales signs the following day, signs clearly listed in Kathleen Baty's book, that I understood the full implications of such a betrayal. Needless to say, I didn't see that person again!
Perhaps the most important thing reading this book will do is to teach you that its okay to feel uncomfortable and to cut someone out of your life completely; you are not being a neurotic female or developing a victim mentality - rather your survival instincts have been triggered by a threat, which/who may be closer to you than you like to admit, even to yourself. This book will show you how to spot the very first seeds of cyber stalking, domestic violence, drug abuse and drink spiking so that you can nip it in the bud and move safely on. Most of all it will teach you how to be more aware of your environment as a daily habit, so that the chances of you being in danger at all are considerably lessened. It is one of the most empowering books I have ever read and I firmly believe that every woman, of any age or status, should read it. It will only serve to make you a stronger, more independent woman and that can be no bad thing. I wish I could shake Kathleen Baty's hand and thank her for writing such a fantastic girl power book - I can't do that, but I can and I do highly recommend her book. Please read it and keep yourself safe.
It is available on Amazon UK. Check out Kathleen's website www.safetychick.com and feel free to follow me on Twitter using the Tweet birdie in the right hand side bar.