Kim K’s Robbery Afterthought: Things Only Women Think About When Traveling

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I knew that being a woman, a solo one at that, automatically made me a target.

My experience with robbery

A little over a year ago, I was waiting outside my job in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, waiting for my Lyft to take me to a community event.

"Be ready outside in 4 minutes" is what the app read.

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So I waited on a stoop right in front of the skyscraper building's double doors and looked down on my phone to see where the driver was. Within seconds, my purse with my new Macbook, iPad, and wallet, was snatched right off of my left arm.

I chased the douchebag in my heels as I screamed all the bad words in my cursebook. I hopped over a few stairsteps, turned the corner, and saw him jump into a car that skirted up just in time for him to escape.

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It was too late. Had I not been wearing my beautiful Tahari heels, I would have had him.

Two months later, I moved across the country to New York for a job. I wanted to explore, discover, be bold and independent, and grow.

I tried not to let all the horror stories and past experiences affect the way I spent my time in the Big Apple. But it did. I knew that being a woman, a solo one at that, automatically made me a target.

I look back on how my destination shaped my decisions on wardrobe. Going into work near the Flatiron meant dressing up was almost mandatory. I should probably throw on a necklace too, and carry a nice business bag instead of my Nike backpack.

But for a dinner with my old supervisor in South Jamaica, Queens, my thought process was slightly different.

That night before I walked four blocks to the J train, I put on baggy sweatpants and a pullover, tucked my low ponytail inside my hood, and slipped into my black Reeboks. I figured that wearing these "boyish" clothes would help me blend in more and be less of a target.

Thoughts on Kim Kardashian’s robbery

Being cautious and aware of our surroundings is something we should all do. As I read about Kim Kardashian getting robbed in Paris yesterday, I'm reminded of how anyone could be a victim at any place, and at any time.

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I'm not the type to fall into the never ending hole of Kardashian news. In fact, more times than not I cringe when I see how much importance and attention people give Kylie's lip filler and Khloe's new hairdo, while our country is fighting against racial injustice, gender inequality, global warming, etc.

But today, I didn't think of Kim Kardashian as just some overly vain celebrity, with no role model traits to offer the young girls of America. Today, I saw Kim Kardashian only as a mother, daughter, wife, and woman. Because anyone who gets tied up, gagged, and robbed, would be traumatized, and should not be criticized or made into a national joke for it.

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People don't realize that as women, we have to think about things that men probably don't ever have to think about when they travel.

Traveling is supposed to be exhilarating, carefree, and fun. But as I look back on how I dressed in baggy sweats and a hoodie just to lessen the chance of being a target in the borough next door, I feel the need to share a few thoughts that have crossed my mind before traveling alone

Thoughts that have crossed my mind while traveling alone

Because the number one thing rapists look for is the hairstyle, in which ponytails, buns, or long hair are easier for the offender to grab, I think about how I should wear my hair before leaving the house.

Because I've seen thieves snatch purses hanging off on someone's side, I always make sure my purse is across my body and in front of me.

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Because rapists look for something easy to cut or take off, I sometimes wonder if I should rethink that cute dress I chose to wear.

Because cab drivers can sometimes be crazy and unpredictable, I think about taking a picture of the plates.

Because my phone is the only way of contacting people, I make sure my battery is full every time I leave the house.

Because I want to have a weapon to defend myself with, I think about having pepper spray and whether or not I'll accidentally hurt myself using it against offenders.

Of course not every woman thinks about the same things, nor should they have to worry every time they go out. I can't say that my personal experiences don't affect the way I see the world. But as much as I could see ignorance being bliss, it could also be harmful. So being educated and understanding how to stay safe the best we could is important to consider.

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