And Then It Made Me Sad

I went to the mall last Friday. Just going to the mall makes me sad, but this time something else happened that made me even sadder.

I had to get the screen on my (crappy) iPhone repaired. To give you an idea of how mall-averse I am, it had been broken since October.

When I arrived, I parked as close as I could to the door nearest the Apple Store, in order to minimize my exposure to mall.

I ended up at the edge of the parking lot because even on a Friday afternoon, The Garden State Plaza (or Malebolge, as I refer to it) is an overcrowded zoo. As I exited my car, I saw a woman walking away from her car and toward the same entrance that I was, a few rows away.

I ended up almost catching up to her as we reached a sidewalk, near an overpriced looking clothing store who name seems to be a pun on Exxon’s Uniflo oil. She sped up.

Then I noticed her nervously watching me via my reflection in the store window.

And then she looked back at least once while we walked toward the door.

I continued walking the only direction that made sense; to the only door near us.

When we entered the mall, it was in an empty side hallway that has only a small lock shop and a closed bank. She looked back at me at least two more times, and then finally stopped to tie her shoe. I kept walking and rounded the corner to the Apple Store.

My first reaction was to be annoyed. I don’t think I look threatening,  and I was wearing a Linux t-shirt and carrying a Kindle, fer cryin’ out loud.

Then I thought; this is what it’s like to be profiled.

And then I remembered who’s in the White House, and it made me sad.

4 Replies to “And Then It Made Me Sad”

  1. Women have to be this cautious. Being attacked is perceived as our fault.

    If you look at the order of the white feather’S website, they show between 6.5% – 15% of men have committed rape.

    If you had a bag of M&Ms and you knew 10% of them were poison, how would you respond to the M&Ms? How would you teach your daughters to respond? Especially if you knew you were going to be blamed for the poison?

    1. I understand how bad it is. It’s just a shock to be reminded since, as a guy, I don’t live it the way a woman has to.

  2. I remember a similar situation on a very cold night in Edinburgh 30 years ago, when I was a student there. I like walking briskly and usually end up overtaking people on the pavement. This woman was in front of me started speeding up as I approached. I paid it no heed until I noticed her glancing back, nervously. Only then did I consider her situation. She found herself on a lonely street followed by a tall masculine figure dressed in a heavy dark parka with the hood up, walking at speed. At that point I crossed the road, passed her, and only crossed back some time after she had disappeared down a turning.
    I suppose this was an awakening of awareness of latent masculine privilege; I was oblivious to her (probable) fear and had to work it out, something that for her, sadly, was a survival reflex.

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