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 thoughts on “And Then It Made Me Sad

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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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