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Walking alone at night

(26 Posts)
Somebloke Fri 24-Aug-12 21:53:48

Help me out here, with a dilemma I've had a few times over the years.

Imagine you're me, i.e. Bloke, 6 foot, well built, and born with a face that apparently screams 'sex offender'.*

You're waling along a road at night, when you notice a woman walking alone it ahead of you, on her own.

Do you:

a) Hang back and possibly make her think she's being followed.

b) Speed up and pass her, and possibly make her think she's being chased.

c) Cross the road to avoid her

Generally I've gone with c, but would appreciate if anyone knows the 'right' answer to this one...

* according to various friends over years <sigh>

ShesADreamer Fri 24-Aug-12 21:56:59

Crossing the road is great but if not possible, just keeping a considerate distance is fine.

JoyceDivision Fri 24-Aug-12 22:01:02

c is very considerate, if not poss then b and if really look like a sex offender then unless will be mown down maybe walk round the worried lady by stepping onto road to emphasise your desire to not be in her 'space'

You're a very considerate chap aren't you? Any pics to judge the sex offender-ness of yer mug?

Shakey1500 Fri 24-Aug-12 22:01:48

A mixture of b and c. As in cross the road, speed up on other side to pass. If you can manage no eye contact and walk with a sense of purpose then all the better grin

Used to walk down many secluded roads when I worked an early shift and always appreciated people doing this.

senua Fri 24-Aug-12 22:11:43

You can only be a 'potential sex offender' if you are close enough to do anything - keep your distance, eg cross the road, and the woman has nothing to fear (in the short term, but she will be carefully tracking your moments).
Keep a constant speed - if you speed up / slow down in conjunction with her then that would freak her out.
Be fairly noisy (jingle keys, cough, etc) so she knows where you are.

exoticfruits Fri 24-Aug-12 22:22:34

Just cross over and overtake-if you are faster-otherwise drop back.

Somebloke Fri 24-Aug-12 22:27:57

"You can only be a 'potential sex offender' if you are close enough to do anything"

Yeah, but I was born with a mardy Crimewatch face, so generally people react badly long before I get close...

senua Fri 24-Aug-12 23:08:58

Are you being paranoid? smile If you are approaching from behind, how does she know what you look like?
It is a well-known tactic for the woman to slow down, thus forcing the man (any man) to overtake. Now he is in front of her and she can more easily keep an eye on what he is up to.
Don't take it personally - we do it to all men.

exoticfruits Sat 25-Aug-12 06:49:28

We don't all do it. I walk faster - I can walk extremely fast and if they started to keep pace I would think there was something to worry about.

SigmundFraude Sat 25-Aug-12 10:10:15

Truthfully? I would continue walking at the same pace, on the same in the knowledge that I wasn't going to harm anyone.

CookieRookie Sat 25-Aug-12 10:24:13

I actually think it's quite sad that you feel your face is scary.

...and wtf does a sex offender look like? Wouldn't we have put them all behind bars as soon as they matured enough to their adult sex offender face?

You're very considerate. I don't know what the right answer is because all women are different. Someone followed me before, I went to the other side of the road and they followed. Thankfully there was someone else over there whose presence scared off the blokes following me. Busy dual carriage way but I don't like to think what would have happened had I decided to slow down and let them pass.

exoticfruits Sat 25-Aug-12 11:48:49

I meant as the woman I would just walk faster. If I was the man I would just walk as normal-I doubt I would think about it.

anairofhope Sat 25-Aug-12 11:52:56

C and b

or a if first not do able.

senua Sat 25-Aug-12 12:08:44

Good post, Sigmund. In fact, you could go one further and say

d) go about your business as normal with a warm glow, knowing that you aren't going to attack her and your presence actually makes it more unlikely that anyone else will either.

You being there is a good thing, not a bad I have long thought that we need more pedestrians on the street. \rant over

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 26-Aug-12 11:32:01

Got to go with sigmund here.

I was sent this from a feminist friend of mine, I'm not sure if i'm supposed to find it funny, disturbing or if it is just about "menz" lack of empathy.

John Mulaney

Technoviking Tue 02-Oct-12 15:52:44

OP, I'm 6'2, well built and look like a miserable git. I go with Sigmund's method. I just amble along in my own little world, knowing that any real nasties will stay away as I look so bloody grim. grin

TiggyD Wed 03-Oct-12 08:45:56

e - have plastic surgery on your face until you look like H from Steps rather than Jimmy Saville.

I would use a,b and c on different occasions. If she's going slow I would pass quickly. If she's fast I would walk slower and keep distance unless it was going to be for a long time. If she's a similar speed or I would have to follow for a long time, I would cross the road.

Technoviking Wed 03-Oct-12 09:05:15

You could catch up level with her, on other side of road, shout "ready, set, go" and then walk off really fast...

getmorenappies Wed 03-Oct-12 09:40:14

I'm 6'3" and well built. I usually cross the road if possible, if that's not possible I try and over take as I imagine it's less intimidating to have someone in view ahead than hear footsteps behind.

I did have one situation recently, late at night, dim pavement with no opportunity to cross the road, single woman coming towards me, so I edged as far to side of the pavement as possible. She must have thought I believed her to have the plague or something.

I actually felt bad about it and wished I'd just chirped a cheerful 'evening' as we passed.

I have to add though I have on a number of occasions walked stranger women back home late at night.

getmorenappies Wed 03-Oct-12 09:42:01

... their home, not mine obviously.

Nishky Wed 03-Oct-12 09:45:01

My brother when pissed at age about 19 asked a woman on her own the time and genuinely couldn't understand why she acted oddly. - I think she may have screamed- it is 30 years ago.

After the tongue lashing I gave him the next morning with full explanations I don't think he ever made that mistake again.

Personally I would prefer the crossing the road and walking slightly ahead scenario

TiggyD Wed 03-Oct-12 09:46:44

Or just shout "I've never been convicted of a sex offence!" at her before offering to escort her home.

KoPo Wed 03-Oct-12 10:41:49

I personally prefer a bloke to head past me so I can keep an eye on what he is doing. (then feel like an arse for basing my actions on his gender)

But if a man hangs back it draws more attention to him and I wonder what he is doing.

Somebloke Sat 06-Oct-12 23:01:12

"e - have plastic surgery on your face until you look like H from Steps rather than Jimmy Saville."

Thank you Tiggy... if anyone was going to make that comment it was going to be you. hmmgrin

Sadly, plastic surgery is out, as my budget will just stretch to a paper bag with two holes cut in it. Which isn't going to help me look less suspicious...

austenozzy Tue 09-Oct-12 17:18:10

When I lived in london, I used to have to walk from the DLR (docklands light rail, east london) station, through a poorly lit park, and along a couple of streets to get home. My stop was quite a popular one, so I often found myself walking behind a lone female at a similar pace. I was always wary of scaring them, so I'd usually phone my wife (then girlfriend) to let her know I'd be back in a few minutes. I'd do it loud enough to alert the person I was walking behind to the fact that I was there, and she'd hopefully realise I wasn't a threat. Not a lot more you can do, really.

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