TOD: From Online to Real World — Meeting a Man in Person for the First Time

women-sexual-harassment-sexism-walking-alone-at-nightTopic of the Day: From Online to Real World

Thursday afternoon, I received a message over Facebook from a FB friend; it was an invitation to meet in person, as we had only known each other through the social media site.

Now, normally, I don’t do this sort of thing, but I knew from corresponding with him via Facebook that he was a progressive liberal type like I am, and we have about 30 mutual friends, so it felt okay. I agreed to meet up with him at a local, well-lit place where I know the employees very well, so I felt comfortable. And I also knew that if anything did happen to me, the evidence was in my Facebook Messenger, so police would have known who I was last seen with.

Yes, women think like this.

At one point, he asked why I agreed to meet him, and my reply was, “Because you didn’t seem creepy”. He laughed at that, but what many men do not realize is that this is a very real concern for women. Women walk with their keys gripped in their fist, each one sticking out from their fingers in case we are attacked from behind and need to “brass knuckle” the attacker. We love using the “check-ins” on social media apps so there is a trail of who we were with, where, and at what time. All to protect ourselves or leave clues, if needed.

On Twitter, the #yesallwomen, #fem2, and #feminism hastags are very popular with trying to get the word out about violence against women but also the everyday fear that some women live under.

A major dating website did a poll of its members and asked what was the main thing that made them nervous about meeting in person someone they had met through the website. The men’s #1 concern was that the woman would be fat or ugly. The women’s #1 concern was that they would be raped or killed by the man at some point during the date.

Clearly, this points to much bigger issues in society when a man’s biggest fear is dating a fat chick and a woman’s biggest fear is being murdered.





1 Comment

  1. This ^^!! Sorry, full sentences work best, I suppose. This article and the experiences behind it is what I think about EVERY time I read some “person” talk about the “tyranny” of feminism and/or the “not all men,” apologists. The myopic, narcissism neck-and-neck with the “women don’t want a man who treats them right–like me,” bullshit that I want so desperately to apologize for every time I read/hear/witness a woman go through it.

    Sexual assault is prominent in my family–honestly, it’s prominent in everyone’s family but I was aware of things my sisters, cousins, and mother endured when I was a child. That knowledge shaped my perception and attitude in life. And, knowledge of those crimes as well as the lasting effect has informed my interaction with women.

    Also, I’m creepy. Truly, not even trying for an ego stroke. I look creepy. Women have crossed the street to avoid walking past me. When I organized block walks for a gubernatorial candidate, a woman all but ran when I opened my front door. She would not come into my house until my wife spoke with her and walked her in. She kept an eye on me the entire time she was here. Needless to say I avoid physical proximity.

    My demeanor doesn’t help me. I am direct (demanding and critical) in professional interaction and rather frosty until I get to know someone. I do not flirt or entertain flirting IRL–too much risk of being the creepy guy in the room. And so I am awkward in social interaction with the exception of social media. And even there, I never, NEVER forget why women are defensive around me.

    See, it’s not about me–or any man. It’s about 16 variations of men that women encounter. Every single day of their lives. Thanks for share this.