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  1. Marissa Vogelsang

    WOW such a well-written article on a relatively complex topic. I think you addressed it perfectly. Thanks for this!

    • The Blonde Abroad

      Thank you, Marissa!

  2. Nora

    While I agree with the article (and love your blog) , generally, as a Middle Eastern woman I think the following statements weren’t written very carefully:

    “But, there are key cultural differences and I know that as a woman in these countries, I might not be treated with the same respect I would expect back home”.

    “Women are still second class citizens in many countries”.

    Is that to say that men in the USA respect women more than men in Islamic countries do? I think like everywhere in the world, a man’s respect for women is dependent on how educated and well raised he is not where he comes from. In my experience, I have received more cat calling in NYC than walking around in Jordan or Lebanon. More to the point, both South Africa and the USA are in the top 10 countries of highest rape rates, yet no Islamic or Middle Eastern countries feature on that list (and while I acknowledge that reporting of rape may be lower in some parts of the world, the statistics in the USA when it comes to rape are staggering).

    As to the second comment, yes, the role of women in many countries has not progressed to the standards of the Western world but that is a gross over generalisation. What may be a “second class citizen” to you is not necessairly what those women view themselves as or how they are percieved by the society they live in.

    • The Blonde Abroad

      Hi Nora!

      I totally see your point and I’ve actually revised the blog post to modify those sections because that wasn’t at all my intention. The whole point of the article is about safety and it wasn’t about how men or women play different roles in society.

      From my personal experience, it’s not about how respected I am in a place—it’s more about general overall safety and how I want women who travel to understand the difference of being uncomfortable versus being unsafe and how to identify those things. It wasn’t meant to be a comparison of where women are treated the most differently, it was just to share a few examples of when you might be out of your comfort zone but then to realize it might not be a question of your safety and that some of these places that seem the most intimidating to travel to you’ll actually feel incredibly safe and welcome.

      I hope that makes sense! 🙂