"i was walking back home from lechmere. you came up from behind me and walked right next to me for a couple of seconds before going on ahead of me. that was so creepy. you should leave much more than half a foot between you and your fellow pedestrians at all times on an empty street after dark. thanks."
So, in summary, this woman had creeped this man out by walking. After thinking on this for ten or fifteen minutes, and as usual, unable to let it go, I posted a response:
"You were scared because a woman was walking next to you? She might have been trying to assist you...maybe by helping you find your testicles"
Yes, I threw the mundane and typical "Where are your balls?" jab at him. But, if any situation called for it, it was this one. He was creeped out by WALKING. The original poster, probably going through a similar "should I or shouldn't I respond" moment as I did, responded a few minutes later with:
"do you mean to say women can't be creeps? creepy behavior is creepy whatever the gender of the person. lol i wouldn't want her anywhere near my testicles"
So, a couple of things. Yes, women can be creeps. No, they cannot be creeps by walking next to you. That's not creepy behavior. I know that I'm blaming the victim here, but if men are going to start victimizing themselves because a woman is walking next to him, it's going to belittle all of the legitimate creepy things that happen to victims, like, oh I don't know...groping, flashing, raping, pillaging, plundering, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances, unwanted feels on a crowded T, public masturbation, throwing some Rohypnol in your liquor, positioning your camera up someone's skirt. You know, the stuff that is actually creepy. Not the stuff that everyone, including kids and dogs, do on a daily basis because they have to get from one place to another and that's how they do it.
At this point, another person responded with:
I call bull shit.
As I recall you've been begging that woman to do more than just touch your testicles.
Hmmm, wonder why she stays away from them?"
Which prompted an eyeroll and a "dude, I'll handle this" from me. My next response was a two-parter:
"I don't believe I would characterize "walking next to you" as creepy behavior. Maybe you were going too slow and her pace was just a bit faster and it took her time to pass you. Was she staring at you while doing it? Did she bump into you a few times? Was she doing some weird dancing arm movements? All of that might be creepy. Walking? Not sure i see the creep factor there. You may be oversensitive
Maybe she didn't feel comfortable walking alone at 2 am and thought if she walked with you, no one would bother her. It's not always about you, mr. Self-Righteous"
Now, I had already guessed, as you probably have, that this guy was a whiny baby sissy pants. He used "lol" in a sentence and didn't capitalize anything, so possibly someone on the younger side of the spectrum. I was picturing Francis.
"i had thought i could turn to CL to share the story of this horrifying incident without being subjected to this kind of ridicule. i suppose i was wrong?"
[Note: If I may interject here. What? You turned to CL hoping that you wouldn't be subjected to ridicule? CL is all about ridicule. Don't you have a mom or a best friend?]
you see [Note: I don't.], calling me self-righteous and over-sensitive, and even suggesting that i was going "too slow", is just blaming the victim of this type of creepy behavior. [Note: Hardly a victim, See above.] yes, staring, bumping into me and weird dancing arm movements would be much creepier. nevertheless, walking up right beside me, from behind me, in silence, when there was plenty of room on the sidewalk for her to keep her distance, is certifiably creepy. people have walked past me before in similar situations, but generally keeping the width of the sidewalk between us. i, myself, walk off the curb into the street to avoid creeping people out if i'm overtaking someone after dark on an empty street. [Note: Still not buying it.]
if this creepy woman was just uncomfortable and was hoping no one would bother her if she walked beside me, maybe she should have stopped to consider the possibility that *she* was very much bothering *me*? after all, i never signed up to be the personal escort/safety blanket of each and every woman. [Note: Always a gentleman, I see.] although, i would have been okay with it if she had just asked instead of acting as if she was entitled to my company without asking. [Note: Because asking, "can I walk with you? I don't want you to think that I feel as though I'm entitled to your company"; that's not creepy.]
i should also add that i was carrying a sandwich and up against a wire fence on my right, leaving me with fewer than normal options for defending myself or for escaping. [Note: "And officer, I couldn't defend myself, it would have meant dropping my sandwich."] i guess i should take the blame for deciding to carry a sandwich alone after dark on an empty street, limiting myself to just one free hand, and for not walking on the outer edge of the sidewalk so i could escape across the street if/when necessary? or maybe just tell the women you know not to be creeps?"
I laughed at this last response like the mean girls laughed at Josie Grossie.
He may have been messing with me, but I don't think so. Anyway, I couldn't help myself and I responded with:
"Dude, I can sympathize. There was this one time when a woman sat next to me on a bench. I relive it every single day."
And that was the end of it. Maybe he realized how silly he was being? I doubt it though. I think Francis, at this moment, is probably cowering in a corner because some "creepy" woman is eating chips across the street. Be brave, Francis. Be brave.