I'm Not Mad at the Woman Who Probably Thought I Was Going to Rape Her
The other day I had an article that just was not coming together. I don't remember what it was... stupidest haircuts in Final Fantasy or something non-essential like that. I decided that I needed to go outside to walk and clear my head so I walked to the Sonic nearby to take advantage of the Happy Hour. Nothing makes a Route 44 Coke Zero taste better than only paying half the normal retail price.
Penny Arcade Penny Arcade's response to people offended by the "Dickwolves" comic
While I was waiting on my drink I noticed a woman walk past the restaurant wearing a Kroger uniform. She was obviously heading home after her shift. She was my age, maybe a little older, slight, pretty in a girl-next-door sort of way with frizzy hair and some rather impressively thick glasses I thought were adorable. I didn't think much about her beyond simply noticing her before being distracted to pay for my soda. Once accomplished, I started walking the same direction she was going on my way back to work.
I wasn't really thinking of anything in particular... just letting the wheels of writing turn in my head while I zoned out. I was brought back into focus when I realized I was about to walk right into the woman in front of me, who apparently didn't have as fast a gait as I did. She turned around startled just as I observed to myself, "It's probably not a good idea to give off the appearance of a man sneaking up behind a woman. That's a little rape-y."
She didn't scream or whip out a can of Mace or anything, and I smiled a little and held up my cup as a sort of, "Would a rapist have such an improbably large drink?" gesture. She somewhat hesitantly returned my smile, but immediately moved sidewise into a nearby parking lot away from the shadow of the trees and the line of bushes that grew along the sidewalk. Every bit of body language screamed, "I'm sorry, but I'm scared of you."
I just nodded, still smiling, and walked on ahead of her toward my door.
There's a recurring motif I find when I masochistically peruse Men's Rights blogs, and that it is somehow worse to have someone be worried that you might be a rapist than to actually be afraid of being raped. More than that, but that such a fear is proof of a woman's blatant hatred of men, and that it constitutes discrimination and attack.
I'm not going to pretend that a part of me deep down wasn't thinking about saying something along the lines of, "Jeez, lady, lighten up." After all, I was just a man with a drink walking down the street minding my own business and thinking the least rape-like of thoughts. Suddenly there's some woman treating me like a criminal.
Yeah, there's a bit of me that felt that way, but there's a bigger part of me that truly understands the concept of privilege. The Men's Right crowd likes to call what I feel guilt. I feel guilty that some men rape woman. I feel guilty that some men have taken advantage of women in a variety of ways over the course of history. In short, because men are this perfectly united and homogeneous group with absolutely no dissension among us, I must be assuming that the work of criminals among my "class" should speak ill of me personally.
Piece continues on next page.