Safety on shidduch dates

I was schmoozing with a friend and she mentioned to me that she and another friend (this won’t get more complicated, I promise) were discussing shidduch dating. (What else?) Anyway, my friend’s friend – we’ll call her Gevalt to keep it simple – mentioned that she doesn’t take purses with her on a date because HER friend (okay so it is more complicated) told her that you’re not supposed to take purses with you on a date. Must be a new ban I haven’t heard about. I guess ladies’ purses are untznius because of the potential for fetishizing. High heels must be coming next.

Anyway, MY friend – we’ll call her Relatively Normal, RN for short – expressed some surprise. Where do you keep your cell/wallet/keys? Gevalt said she never thought to bring any of these with her. RN expressed her surprise at THAT – meeting a new dude on a blind date and not taking anything with you. Gevalt said she “never thought of it that way.” Besides, even if she was set up by someone she doesn’t know, her parents look into the guy first. Naturally calling the guy’s best friend or rosh yeshiva (who’s contact info HE provided) is real FBI background check.

Not to sound paranoid or like a man-hating feminazi or anything, but – going into a car, alone, at night, with a guy you have never met, who may have been suggested to you by a person you don’t know and doesn’t know him, and you don’t bring a phone?! ID? A wallet, cash, credit card, or metrocard? Forget the possibility of him being an ax-wiedling murderer. What do you do if the guys makes you feel uncomfortable in anyway? If he orders a few drinks and is over the legal limit to drive? Of course the majority of guys are decent, but there are also plenty things can go wrong  with the most decent guys that have nothing to do with the dude’s character, like someone getting sick or getting into a car accident. I’m not saying not to date or even to carry pepper spray. Is it too paranoid to take with you ten bucks?

Anyway, my point (yes there is one) – I don’t think Gevalt is the only girl – frum or not – who “never thought that way,” but I also can’t help feeling that we lure our frum girls and guys into a fall sense of security. I know that for all my high school/seminary classes on “family living” (i.e. married sex life) and workshops shidduch dating, NO ONE ever mentioned anything about basic safety precautions – unless you count “dress tznius and date a ben Torah and no man will ever look at the wrong way.”

I don’t mean to insinuate that basic safety precautions are guaranteed to protect you, or that a girl who is attacked must have somehow behaved irresponsibly, or that a girl who doesn’t bring a purse on a date “deserves” anything. I’m just saying that we have to stop being naive, worry less about frank discussions about the dangers of rape being “untznius,” and encourage our daughters to do their best to keep themselves safe.

So – am I being paranoid or practical? Let’s discuss.


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  1. * Mak says:

    I completely agree with you, it’s not paronoia, it simple practicality and common sense. Actually, if you want a list of things one should bring on a date, check out Bad for Shidduchim’s List:

    Posted 10 years, 11 months ago
  2. * Snarkodox says:

    Thanks for the link – I’ll check the list!
    Wouldn’t it be great if papers like the Jewish Press or Yated would start putting such lists in ads from the OU or Hatzolah regarding shidduch safety?

    Posted 10 years, 11 months ago
  3. * s(b.) says:

    I’m so glad you have a blog! Welcome. 🙂
    I once tried to enter The Cutting Room (to see music; it’s a club on 24th St.). I was asked to show my ID at the door; I said I hadn’t brought it with me. I hadn’t. The female bouncer admonished me, saying (heaven forbid) if I pass out or anything else happens to me, I should ALWAYS, ALWAYS have ID on me. She’s right. Having money and keys on me went without saying, but I’d left my phone and keys in my friend’s car before we went to the venue. Purses are so inconvenient, and fanny packs are too hideous. What’s a gal to do? Wearing a bag diagonally offers a feeling of security, but it totally draws attention to the chest (unwanted, in my case). On one shoulder, it feels imbalanced. And I don’t want to think about where my purse is all night. Maybe I’ll just start carrying a jacket with pockets with me everywhere, even when it’s nice out.

    Posted 10 years, 11 months ago
  4. * Snarkodox says:

    Yep, the pockets work. But can’t the money and ID both be in your wallet…?
    On a side note, I just remembered another safety point: How important it is to NEVER leave your drink unattended or turn your head while holding a drink.

    Posted 10 years, 11 months ago
  5. * s(b.) says:

    I keep my cash in my front pocket, my ID and ATM card in my back pocket (pants/skirt permitting). This way, if I lose one, I have the other. Or something like that. lol

    That stuff about not leaving your drink unattended is NO JOKE. A friend of mine’s drink was tampered with last spring. No good.

    Posted 10 years, 10 months ago
  6. * Snarkodox says:

    Oh no! Was she okay?

    Posted 10 years, 10 months ago

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