by Kyla Camille, GetHealthAccess.com |
(I am currently enrolled in a Women’s Studies subject. For our homework, we were asked to challenge ourselves, as well as other people, to only walk and stay at the right side no matter what. It is a simple activity to help us, as women, to assert our positions. No, it’s not easy.)
Walking in busy streets has always been one of the things I’d rather not do – which is why I stay in a dorm. I’ve never been comfortable walking far especially in a chaotic place like Taft because everyone is rushing and pushing. When it comes to dealing with people who would want to walk on the same lane as mine, I’d always get confused in trying to figure out if I should stay where I am or if I should just switch sides (but then the person might also change lanes).
At first, doing the activity was pretty hard. A lot of people really wanted to stay on their sides. Two guys that I’ve come across with, even walked sideways in an uncomfortable posture for them, just to stay on their lanes. One lady looked at me with disgust as she didn’t want to go to her right. We stood face to face for about three seconds before she realized I wasn’t going anywhere but right. I noticed that people would want what’s “comfortable” for them, that they’d rather walk sideways, come to a stop, pull their shoulders in to fit, or even walk completely to the side, leaving the sidewalk, instead of simply staying on their right. I never realized these until this activity.
As for myself, I realized that I am guilty of not being consistent on the right lane.
Most of the time, I walk in the middle, then look at an approaching passerby and try to anticipate which lane does one wants to stay on, then do necessary changes if needed. Another thing that I’ve come to discover is that even if I’m walking on the right side, which should be the norm for a more disciplined country, I have the tendency to switch lanes whenever I see someone heading towards me. When I was doing the activity, I was hesitant at first. I felt a bit embarrassed thinking that some might find me rude, insensitive, or a brat, which resulted to finding myself going to the left side if needed for convenience. But then, as I walked further, I’ve gained confidence and felt the need to stay on the right side, making sure that everyone who I’d come across with, would know and feel that staying on the right is what’s standard. I actually leaped a bit inside when people were actually moving to the right when I stood my ground. As someone who often lets other people’s convenience be a priority, I felt somewhat proud for being able to be firm in setting a standard for myself and for actually seeing people respect that.