Long before the recent mass murder incident I was thinking about this topic.
Men don't see how they behave the same way.
Amanda Hess was more articulate about it than I could ever be here on The Slate.
But it is not just the men who hit on you in bars - or yell at you on the street.
Men can unknowingly make women uncomfortable just by not giving you space or by acting "playful".
The reason I thought about this topic was that within the space of 24 hours I had felt threatened by men - who probably didn't see it that way.
I was walking out of the Y early one morning, VERY early as I get there at 5am when it opens and leave by 5:40am. It was still dark. A guy zipped into the parking lot by the sidewalk I was on - rapidly stopping and jumping out. And as he jogs past me says, "Good Morning." as if this were normal.
Are you a man and think I am crazy?
Ladies, what would you have done?
Me. Nearly peed myself.
I went into church the next morning to drop something off for a Sunday breakfast. I walked into the kitchen and this guy booms, "HEY. This is the MEN'S Breakfast - YOU can't be here!" And then after a beat - he laughed. He was totally joking, but it took me a full ten minutes to feel right again after I left. It made me acutely aware that I was being watched by all in that kitchen as I put berries and juice into the fridge. And like any good girl I laughed too in an attempt to ease everyone, including myself.
It's unsettling and startling to be called out like that - and I know he did not mean to upset me, but he did.
Men. I am not bashing you. I know we need you guys around and you are good and everything - but, bless your little souls you need to think about a woman's space and feelings of safety.