is that I’ve had dudes do shit like that to me on multiple occasions
almost always at night, always white dudes who get offended that I am trying to give them a wide berth or avoid them in the street. It’s always these dudes who decide that they are so fucking entitled to dictate where and how I fucking walk on the fucking public sidewalk that they are justified in rushing me, grabbing me, chasing me, in one case circling me tightly so I couldn’t get away, and then fucking laughing at my obvious panic and fear because “omg lighten up, lady!!!!”
like, this is an actual thing dudes do
their solution to women being afraid alone at night is to give them more reasons to be afraid, and then turn around and mock and insult them for being afraid
fucking logic/fucking basic human decency/fucking people
how do they work
yesterday I was at a bookstore with a male friend. I was staring at a shelf; he was just around the corner at a computer the store provides to search their inventory. This is significant because as we stood there, a dude just blows in and says, very loudly and intrusively, “Any good books on this shelf?!” It takes me a moment to realize he’s alone and talking to me. At that point I glance over at my friend, who’s wide-eyed at this guy’s arrogance, and boom, intrusive dude realizes I’m with a ~chaperone~. At this point, I was uncomfortable enough that I walked away. My friend comes after me and says, “Wow, that was weird.”
Of course, I then had to explain it wasn’t weird at all; this kind of thing happens to me all the time when I’m by myself. Men come out of nowhere and demand responses from me, knowing that most women are socialized to stand there and giggle uncomfortably while they impose on their space and time. I used to do that, even though I hated every second of it. We are taught to fear leaving and taught to fear staying, and of course, when we relate these stories, the maliciousness is so subtle and context-dependent that people who weren’t there feel free to assert that we must be overreacting.
What suddenly occurred to me was the sheer depth of the danger inherent in fact that men take care not to do this in front of men who might conceivably be sympathetic towards a given woman. It causes men, even men who are quite decent and aware of sexism, to wonder why they never see these things women keep saying are so common. Not only does it cause us to lose credibility, but it also allows the men who DO act this way to maintain the mental division between “having fun” and being a person who deserves to be feared and avoided.