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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > May 2016 > ON TRAVELLING ALONE, RACISM AND RAPE

ON TRAVELLING ALONE, RACISM AND RAPE

AUTHOR EMILY CHAPPELL HAS TRAVELLED THE WORLD WITH HER BIKE, OFTEN ALONE. SO WHY ARE PEOPLE ARE SO WORRIED FOR HER SAFETY?

“But isn’t it dangerous? You know, as a woman?”

This question comes up again and again, when I tell people about my travels, and I’m getting increasingly impatient in my responses. Every time I’m asked it, I realise more clearly that it’s founded on racism and xenophobia: to put it bluntly, the assumption that as soon as I leave my own country, I am at risk of being raped by foreigners.

And it’s getting worse. I’ve recently come across other female cyclists who have admitted to changing their own plans to cross continents (including Europe), because of the perceived risk of travelling “as a Western woman”, or of “being the only white woman for miles around”. Now, I am not going to blame these women individually, any more than I’m going to blame the well-meaning people who like to label me “brave” and “intrepid” for going to places where the only thing that really differentiates me from those I meet is our skin tone and style of dress. They have made careful (though flawed) decisions regarding their own safety, much as I have done countless times during my travels, based on the information and advice I had to hand.

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Our bi-annual sex issue is sizzling hot with 40 pages of lesbian and bi hotness Also in this issue Lesbian sex: Expectation versus reality Travelling solo, and safely, as a woman Wonderful, not weird: Readers share their unusual fetishes Sex in DIVA: Are we being censored? Born this way: Intersex and proud From the vaults: Hot 90s lesbian photography revisited Sharon D Clarke Kiran Gandhi Anohni Jack Monroe Eleanor Margolyes binge watches the whole of The L Word Plus all the very best in life, scene, books, film, music and TV.
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