V is for Vulnerability

| March 25, 2014

I found Gail Weiss’ use of the term, “urban flesh”, to be very interesting in her essay, “Urban Flesh: The Fragility of Dwelling”. Urban flesh encompasses the embodied beings in cities. Urban flesh is also linked to one’s vulnerability; as such, the urban flesh of a woman is already more vulnerable than that of a man’s. As a woman, I rarely walk by myself in a city late at night. I have always been told to walk with others or to seek a group of people to surround myself with to ensure my safety. However, men typically do not even consider walking alone at night to be an issue. As a woman, I feel as if females are inherently more aware of their position in the city. It seems as if cities could potentially be dangerous and harmful if you have the urban flesh of a woman instead of a man. Furthermore, I thought Weiss’ discussion of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 in relation to our corporeality held truth. It seems as if it takes drastic events to make us aware that we are mortal. This seems especially relevant with the Boston Marathon explosions that occurred last year. When I heard the news of the explosions, I immediately thought of Weiss’ essay and how this tragedy made me instantly aware of how short life can be. Horrible events like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon explosions help us to never take life for granted.

Meagher, Sharon M., ed. Philosophy and the City: Classic to Contemporary Writings. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008. Print.