My feed

to access all these features


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:
seagreengirl · 11/07/2017 12:38

But why should men have to do this?

It's not really putting them out that much is it, my DH does it because he is thoughtful and has some understanding of how many women feel. He doesn't have to do it he chooses to.

He does not feel threatened, or that all women think he is a rapist. He is just aware that doing a very, very small thing makes some women feel more secure.

WeyHay · 11/07/2017 12:51

It's just good manners- thinking of other people's comfort before one's own.

RockyBird · 11/07/2017 12:57

My DH does this too.

I wonder what happens when there's a lone female at each side of the road.

He walked home with a lady from work recently. We stay centrally and she stays about 200m beyond us coming from the direction of town. I heard him say cheerio to someone before he came in. I told him to get back out and see her home (it was 1am) but he wouldn't in case it offended her. I wouldn't have been offended if it was me.

ShotsFired · 11/07/2017 13:08

Joining the chorus of thank you for doing this OP. It all helps.

One other thing that helps is if you make some noise. Stuff like coughing, phoning someone and having a chat, sneezing, whatever.

Anything that means you know we know you are there and you aren't trying to be stealthy (but def not the "don't worry love" type comments as per pp, they have the opposite effect!)

thickgit · 16/07/2017 21:52

If I'm walking behind a woman I cough to make it apparent that in a woman

StickThatInYourPipe · 16/07/2017 22:04

What if there is a woman on the other side of the road too?

YANBU though

TDHManchester · 16/07/2017 22:18

I am male and i walk where i want when i want as long as its legal and im not trespassing. I refuse to recognise and re-enforce the ridiculous notion that all men are a threat to women. It is their problem ,not mine.

AdalindSchade · 16/07/2017 22:19

Well aren't you a fucking charmer

Andrewofgg · 16/07/2017 22:32

TDHManchester You are male. You are also an arsehole. The two do not always go together but sometimes they do.

fakenamefornow · 16/07/2017 22:57


Lots of posters on here have said they are scared to be walking alone somewhere with a stranger walking behind them. This would frightened most women I'd bet. You could do a very simple thing that'd make lots of women feel much more comfortable and by not doing it you are frightening them. Of course, it's entirely up to you which option you choose though.

To the op a big, big thank you. You're making the lives of lots of women just a tiny bit easier.

Datun · 16/07/2017 22:59


It is their problem ,not mine.

Hence feminism and this thread.

I love it when someone proves the point.

arkestra · 16/07/2017 23:14


It's about this:

And also this:

I'm a guy. I cross the road in that situation. As my mates do. It's not about your rights, it's about not being a dick.

Also it's about not thinking of women as "they". FFS

Datun · 16/07/2017 23:21

A man who deliberately gives no thought to women's boundaries, despite hundreds of women explaining.

Yup. Just the kind of person you want walking behind you.

Borangesandlemons · 16/07/2017 23:54

I would absolutely appreciate it. It can be very unnerving to walk alone at night with anyone behind you let alone someone much bigger and stronger than you.

MissyChicken · 17/07/2017 13:41

It is their problem ,not mine

Exactly. What next? men should refrain from being nursery workers or teachers in case they're a paedophile?

I'm a woman btw. If you feel uncomfortable with me walking behind you then simply cross the road. Why should i cross it for you?

Datun · 17/07/2017 15:12

Why should i cross it for you?

Since you're a woman I don't think this is directed toward you. But if you were a man I would say why not? Since 90% of the posters on here are saying they would be very appreciative.

Dervel · 17/07/2017 16:03

manchester did I read that right? You don't want to reinforce that women should be afraid of men, so you'll commit to an action that may contribute to anxiety in them? Surely the course of action is to cross the bloody road if you want them to be less anxious! Bit of a logic fail there mate.

lastlaugh · 17/07/2017 16:46

Lovely and thoughtful. Didn't know there were men who thought of this. Keep doing it I say.

Ifartrainbowsandglitter · 17/07/2017 16:48

I think it is very kind and thoughtful of you to do this and the people of Mumsnet seem to agree!

WhatLizzyDid · 17/07/2017 16:50

OP, I think this is really thoughtful and considerate of you Flowers

LorLorr2 · 17/07/2017 16:53

^ Thoughtful and considerate are the exact words I was going to use myself.
I would really appreciate that if it were me you were walking behind.

jellyfrizz · 17/07/2017 17:12

I'm a woman btw. If you feel uncomfortable with me walking behind you then simply cross the road. Why should i cross it for you?

I'd cross the road if I were walking behind someone who looked nervous about me walking behind them an elderly person for instance or perhaps a child.

It's just good manners. You don't have to do it but it's a bit like saying please and thank you or waiting in line; it's about consideration for others.

PerkingFaintly · 17/07/2017 18:16

If you feel uncomfortable with me walking behind you then simply cross the road. Why should i cross it for you?

This looks like a reasonable point. But I can answer it from experience.

If the followee can cross the road for an apparently natural reason, eg to take a turning, that works OK and is a good idea.

But anything that appears to interact with a follower can escalate the situation if they aren't 100% benign. (Turning round to look at them is also risky for this reason. It establishes "contact".)

If a follower is that way minded, they may take umbrage at one crossing over: "How dare you imagine I was going to approach you, you cheeky cow. Now you've made me want to show you what for."

So for the followee, crossing over may also be a risky thing to do. Again, one just doesn't know each time.

LuxCoDespondent · 17/07/2017 18:30

No problem with men walking behind me. The fact is, if I go down an alleyway at night and am "followed" by a man, I'm less likely to be attacked than if I'm on my own. Most men are not out to attack women, therefore the man behind me is unlikely to attack me. A potential attacker lurking down the alleyway is less likely to attack me if there is another person close behind me.

Ultimately it's a free country, and someone else has just as much right to walk on the pavement as I do.

To the original OP, you're free to cross the road if appropriate, but I don't see why you needed to mention it to your colleague in the first place, unless you were trying to boast about how "chivalrous" you are - in which case, her scorn is perhaps deserved!

FerretsAreFeminists · 17/07/2017 21:44

I refuse to recognise and re-enforce the ridiculous notion that all men are a threat to women.

Yet women are constantly told that we need to take responsibility for our own safety and not to put ourselves in risky situations. Funny that.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.