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Polite or sexist?

(29 Posts)
LifeIsGhoulish Tue 15-Nov-16 18:11:20

Should a 16yo boy offer to walk a 13/14yo female friend (not girlfriend) home?

Bluntness100 Tue 15-Nov-16 18:13:51

Sure, it's a nice thing to do, it's certainly not sexist.

Sirzy Tue 15-Nov-16 18:14:59

I think it's polite.

BratFarrarsPony Tue 15-Nov-16 18:15:01

no it's kind and considerate.
Look on it as the good side of

Soubriquet Tue 15-Nov-16 18:16:40

Polite yes

Even as a girl I would walk a friend home

VestalVirgin Tue 15-Nov-16 18:22:05

More context? Would he offer the same to a male friend? From where to where does she have to walk home, and when?

It is a sad fact that a male after puberty is in less danger of being raped than a girl or woman.

Therefore it would make sense that he should be the one who goes home alone.

However, it is also true that most rapes are committed by a man whom the victim knows and trusted. A girl is safer when she is truly alone than when she is with a man.

So: Yes, he should offer, but he should not throw a tantrum if she says no.

LifeIsGhoulish Tue 15-Nov-16 18:26:45

If she was my 13yo dd's friend, I would not expect dd to walk her home, but would take her home by car, myself.

It's probably a 15min walk through quiet residential streets.

LifeIsGhoulish Tue 15-Nov-16 18:27:21


IAmAmy Tue 15-Nov-16 18:32:18

It's probably polite but it's infuriating that as girls/women we feel grateful for boys/men walking us home, just because of the threat of male violence. Not this boy's fault but another way in which our lives are inhibited.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 15-Nov-16 18:33:47

No. I don't really see the need for a 13/14 year old to be accompanied- unless it were late at night in which case I'd organise something.

What is the context? If the girl is visiting your home then it's polite but still I think unnecessary.

If they are both just leaving a venue , then no.

IAmAmy Tue 15-Nov-16 18:39:09

Lass there have been numerous cases which only make various local newspapers of girls of that age being sexually assaulted even in the last few months, not to mention general street harassment which is commonplace even at that age. Not at night either.

YonicProbe Tue 15-Nov-16 18:39:36

You could take her?

RebelRogue Tue 15-Nov-16 18:41:25

Are you sure it's a case of he's a boy,she's a girl and not he's older,she's younger?
Would he have done it for a 13/14 yo boy?
Was he raised that "you always walk a girl homes"?
Did he offered or someone else (the girl,a grownup) suggested it?
Was the girl ok with this?
There are many questions.
Unless the girl minded/didn't want to then it was nice. More info needed to decide if sexist.

IAmAmy Tue 15-Nov-16 18:46:49

RebelRogue I'd think it's likely a case of it being due to him being a boy and her a girl rather than age. I have never heard of a girl "walking a boy home". My brother is 14 and I highly doubt a girl my age (or me for that matter) would ever "walk him home".

I don't think it's sexist as the boy was probably doing it to be nice but it's a misogynist society which lead to him doing so.

dovesong Tue 15-Nov-16 18:48:34

I am very feminist and I think it's polite if they were both happy about it. It's probably the older/younger thing too. I'm a grown woman (well, sort of at 5'1) and I still walk very quickly and have my wits about me and my keys in my hand when I'm walking alone at night, even on quiet residential streets. My friends and I still text each other when we're all home from a night out to make sure we got back safely. Making sure your friends are safe in whatever way seems like a decent thing to do to me.

user1479139212 Tue 15-Nov-16 18:49:43

Ugh why do some people have to over analyse everything now hmm

Of course it's polite, he sounds like a perfect gentleman.....feminism has gone nuts.

Miffer Tue 15-Nov-16 18:56:29

I'm going to say sexist... kind of.

Taking this as a random girl and boy -

I think, statistically, the boy is in more danger than the girl of being attacked alone. I am sure that is true for the 15-24 demographic of men anyway.

I also think, statistically, the girl would likely be in more danger from the boy, who she knows, than from a stranger.

I say I think because I heard these stats a while ago and they may have changed or I may be misremembering. I know the limits of crime statistics too so you have to take that into account obviously.

If I am right though there is no practical reason for the boy to walk the girl home, indeed it actually increases the risk of harm for both of them. With that in mind you would have to look for another reason why the boy may offer to do this and sexism seems reasonable. That said most people have a very skewed view of the risk of crime so it may be that the perception of harm is wrong.

The other thing that springs to mind is if the girl may feel uncomfortable saying no, after all he is just being "polite". It's also reinforcing the idea that the boy is somehow responsible for the girls safety which is problematic.

All that said I am sure most boys just do it because they feel it's right, I would never admonish a young man for doing this.

Bluntness100 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:04:55

Honestly if it was late and dark, I'd be happy if my daughters 16 year old friend offered to walk her home.

I say this as someone who got followed out a pub at 17. Five mins walk to my home. Past a park. Heard footsteps behind me , turned round and was pushed roughly up against the six foot fence, when the man started to kiss me, slobbering, and down my chest, whilst holding my arms with his hands and my legs with his and his body up against me, so I couldn't move .the man I had been aware of at the pub, but there was nothing between us, no communication, in fact I thought he was interested in my friend. I couldn't pry free and all I could do was say please don't hurt me. Like a wimp. I was terrified. And I mean terrified. Eventually he ran off.

So we can call sexism, all we want, but when it comes to it, but the sad fact of life is there is bad people out there and they sometimes are just round the corner.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 15-Nov-16 19:20:50

I still disagree Amy. If the 14 year old were a visitor it would be polite to see her home. I don't however think it is healthy or reflects reality to be of the mindset or that it is unsafe for a 14 year old to be out on their own.

YonicProbe Tue 15-Nov-16 19:21:22

And now a different user147. That sucks.

The feminism has gone nuts argument is insightful and original though.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 15-Nov-16 19:25:21

And now a different user147

Is it a different one?

Honestly if someone can't be bothered to spend 30 seconds changing their username I definitely can't be bothered to check the exact digits or take their opinion seriously.

YonicProbe Tue 15-Nov-16 19:51:41

Yeah, the one on the music thread ends in 172.

I AS most of them so the numbers stick for a few hours!

OtherUser147, please change your name; it makes MN a better place for all, including you.

IAmAmy Tue 15-Nov-16 19:52:24

So horrible that happened to you Bluntness and I hope you've been alright in the years since. It's awful this happens.

Lass I think that's a good point. I do find the idea of normalising the thought that women and girls always need protection when out troubling. It also feeds into potentially blaming women or girls who are out alone and attacked. It is of course impossible for us to always avoid being out alone, nor should we have to. It's difficult as I know of some horrific cases including one quite close to home but do agree with you that putting the idea in our heads from a young age girls/women are at risk from being in public alone or without a boy or man to chaperone us is very dangerous and limits our freedom.

YonicProbe Tue 15-Nov-16 19:57:24


I think the other drawback is that men have been known to use "walk you home" to get a female friend or acquaintance in a vulnerable position.

museumum Tue 15-Nov-16 20:00:25

I think a 16yr old could politely offer to walk somebody of either sex who is two years younger than them.

I would find it sexist if a 14yr old boy was protectively walking a 16yr old girl home as I think age trumps sex in terms of maturity and awareness and looking after yourself (as much as anyone can).

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