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To cross the street when I'm walking behind a woman at night?

201 replies

HarrietFTW · 07/07/2017 16:46

I've always done this and I thought it was the right thing to do but when I told a woman at work I did it she got all offended and upset with me.

OP posts:
FerretsAreFeminists · 07/07/2017 21:54

My DP always crosses the street if he's ever behind a lone woman at night. To him it's just common sense.

cuirderussie · 07/07/2017 22:49

(Also have to add my dh has done this from an early age. He is a gentle giant ..a big huge bloke who has never hit anyone in his life but is aware people might find him intimidating.)

Sn0tnose · 07/07/2017 23:38

I think it's a very considerate thing to do OP. My DH always does it (he's a big fella and can look a bit scary sometimes) and I'll always do the same if I'm behind another woman late at night. Or at the very least, cough or make a loud phone call so she can hear I'm female.

It's not about thinking that all men are rapists. That's a ridiculous reaction and certainly one unworthy of any sensible adult. It's about having the common sense to realise that walking down a deserted street at night with someone you wouldn't stand a chance of defending yourself against if they decided to attack you, can be intimidating.
And it's much less intimidating if you can see that they aren't coming anywhere near you.

ExplodedCloud · 07/07/2017 23:56

I agree it's good if the heavier footsteps behind you cross the road. I asked DH and he says he will try to cross the road in that situation. He feels uncomfortable in that situation. I feel uncomfortable with heavier footsteps coming up behind me. It is purely the fault of those who attack people from behind.
I am reminded of a thread from someone whose DP had had a reaction (spray?) from a woman he'd jogged up behind.
You dont know what's going to happen until it happens and a clear signal that it isnt going to happen works for both parties.

M00nUnit · 08/07/2017 08:03

When I read this post my first thought was to wonder if you were the man who was walking behind me when I was on my way home last night. He was making me really nervous (I've been feeling this way a lot since I got mugged on holiday a few weeks ago) and I really wished he'd cross over the road.

Skarossinkplunger · 08/07/2017 08:18

I think it a very sad state of affairs that you even have to think about doing this. If it was me I'd feel bad that you thought I thought you were a perpetrator.

AdalindSchade · 08/07/2017 08:26

skaross and the reason you'd feel bad is because you have been socialised into putting others' feelings, especially men's, above your own instincts. Why should you feel bad? There are dangerous men in the world. It's not irrational as a woman to fear them. There are also decent men who recognise the first facts as true and try to minimise the fear felt by women or not to add to it. Nobody should feel bad in this situation.

PoorYorick · 08/07/2017 08:41

I think it a very sad state of affairs that you even have to think about doing this.

Indeed, but with lots of violent and predatory men out there, that's how it is. Blame them.

WillowWeeping · 08/07/2017 08:42

I really appreciate when men do this - thanks.

A couple of days ago a man ran past me on the pavement inches from my side - it was so inconsiderate and made me really angry!

I first got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when passing a group of young men "hanging out" when I was about 11. Probably around the first time I was cat called or urged to "show us your tits" and some years after I was first flashed in a park.

As I got older nights out often ended with jangling nerves as I waited at quiet bus tops or on train platforms, observing lone men out of the corner of my eye and willing them to stay away, or in the back of a cab trying to avoid questions about my personal life. Clutching keys in my fist as I make my way to my front door is second nature.

Men have no idea.

GahBuggerit · 08/07/2017 08:45

After being attacked by a group of girls that came up behind me I'm much more scared if it's a female behind me but I do also appreciate it when men do what you do op

Colourmylife1 · 08/07/2017 08:53

Does anyone else remember that many years (decades) ago there was a public service broadcasting campaign asking men to do this?

For me I hate it when runners come running up behind me at night. I hear them approaching fast and don't know if I'm about to be over-taken or mugged.

Skarossinkplunger · 08/07/2017 09:23

Oh please AdalindSchade what complete and utter tosh! It doesn't take socialisation to feel bad about and entire sex being blamed for the crimes of the few. Did I say he shouldn't cross the road? No. I just said I felt bad that he felt he had to. A little
empahy for another human being. Please don't use my feelings to push your ridiculous agenda.

birdsdestiny · 08/07/2017 09:28

Have you watched the news recently. The next time you do, after every violent crime say which sex has committed it. Their is an epidemic of violence against women. They need empathy. And they need it without us prioritising men's feelings.

AnyFucker · 08/07/2017 09:33


Skarossinkplunger · 08/07/2017 09:40

I'm sorry, I clearly meant to say, that feeling bad that we live in a world where 50% of society have to take steps to prove they are not perpetrators of violence means that I have had a total empathy bypass and I am unable to feel sorry for women who have been assaulted. Hmm

VeryButchyRestingFace · 08/07/2017 09:44

Please don't use my feelings to push your ridiculous agenda.

What "ridiculous agenda"? Confused

The plain facts are:

1). Most violent crime against women is committed by men
2). By virtue of anatomical/biological structure, most fit, adult men could ( could , not would) overpower most fit, adult females with relative ease.

I might (probably wouldn't though) feel bad about an adult male feeling he needed to cross the road to signal his innocuousness to me. But ultimately, I would expect a decent man to recognise that my right to feel safe should trump his right to walk closely behind me in an isolated space.

BertrandRussell · 08/07/2017 09:50

Does the fact that the OP has not come back suggest that this was supposed to be a thread about how outrageous it is that women get all offended by men holding doors open for them - but it didn't go quite the way he intended?

Skarossinkplunger · 08/07/2017 09:59

And I did not argue about the facts. I, in fact did not argue any point. I didn't even say it was wrong that the op crossed the road. What I said was that I was sorry that he felt he dad to do it and then I was told I was 'socialised'. Poppycock!

Skarossinkplunger · 08/07/2017 10:00

Actually shouldn't have used the word poppycock. Men have cocks. Damn it's then patriarchy at it again!

VeryButchyRestingFace · 08/07/2017 10:11

What I said was that I was sorry that he felt he dad to do it and then I was told I was 'socialised

Are you disputing that female socialisation occurs, or that you haven't been subject to it? Or that it doesn't occur in this case?

Datun · 08/07/2017 10:14

Yesterday 20:11 DollyPartonsBeard

I think it's an OK and thoughtful thing to do, but don't do what a guy did while I crossed the road so he wasn't behind me, and shout 'It's alright, love, I wasn't thinking of interfering with you!'

And there you have it. Actually intimidating and shouting a sexist insult at a woman because she has crossed the road to avoid the possibility.

If all men pulled back when walking behind a woman, it would make it an awful lot easier for us to identify predators.

Shitalopram · 08/07/2017 10:23

I always appreciate men who do this. Thanks OP.

legfaced · 08/07/2017 10:28

I think it's a good thing to do. Thank you OP for being so considerate.

Skarossinkplunger · 08/07/2017 11:02

I am not disputing anything. I am telling you that the I have not been socialised to not like that we live in a world where a man feels that he has to cross the road to prove that he is not a sexual predator. It's basic empathy.

I don't know how to make it any clearer to you, and quite frankly as you are so intent on hearing what you want me to say and changing my words to fit your agenda, I can't be arsed.

user1497863568 · 08/07/2017 11:08

I would appreciate it myself..

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