To The Man At A Jackson Gas Station At 4:30 AM, It’s Nothing Personal
Ladies, we've all been there right? We go somewhere like a gas station, alone, early in the morning or late at night when it's dark out. Our heads are on a swivel and then it happens. Someone, most likely a man, approaches you...or worse, tries to interact with you.
All of a sudden every horror story, every warning from women before you, every episode of "Law and Order: SVU" goes through your head. Maybe it's nothing or maybe today's the day you become one of the many women who have had terrible things happen to them when they thought someone was just being nice.
I'm Just Trying to Get Gas, Man
Look, not every interaction with a man is like that...we've all heard the "not all men" argument. However, I saw and appreciated when someone else countered that with a comparison to Russian Roulette. Not every chamber has a bullet in it but are you willing to take that chance?
I was getting gas on my way to work at 4:30 in the morning. Yes, I know it is not the best time to be out, alone, as a young woman...but I have to get to work somehow, right?
I've always felt safe at this gas station and I think I'm becoming pretty cool with the attendant who's always working when I go in.
However, today, I ended up parking across pumps from a man in a truck. Thought nothing of it until I was pumping my gas and he said something to me.
I couldn't make out what it was but my instincts as a woman, as my heart races and I just think about how I could escape if something happened, I ignored him.
Then, as I was finishing up, putting the pump back and getting into my car, he said something again that sounded like "have a nice day" but again, I did not stick around to really find out.
I got in my car, locked the doors and just thought "okay dude, don't talk to women at a gas station before the sun's up...seriously?" I was actually annoyed.
"He Was Probably Trying To Be Nice"
You know, maybe he was. Maybe I shouldn't have been annoyed. Maybe I should have just let my usual "see the best in everyone" attitude lead the way. However, my head was already on a swivel.
Every time I stop somewhere that early in the morning, there is a pit in my stomach saying "please don't let today be the day."
My point here, fellas, is not to just be mean to women instead of trying to be nice...it's more just to be quiet...in the nicest way possible.
We women don't owe it to anyone to put our biggest fears aside to make sure you think we're nice. We can't afford to take that chance. Too many women have "just been nice" to a strange man because they feel uncomfortable and it has ended in the worst way possible for them.
If it is that early in the morning, you can bet I already don't want to be stopping there, I really don't want to talk to anyone, and I'm scared. If someone doesn't respond to you the first time or is visibly uncomfortable by your presence in general on top of the fact you've already tried talking to them, leave it at that.
Stroking a man's ego is not and will never be worth my own safety...no matter how "nice" they are.
Does this post come off very bratty? Maybe.
I don't enjoy coming off as a rude person; however, sometimes you have to be.
Women walk around every day scared of what could happen to them with just one "wrong" interaction with a strange man. It's a scary world out there.
So, I am sorry if you were trying to be nice, if you are truly a good guy, or if you were offended by me blatantly ignoring you...but I'm not going to apologize for not taking chances with my life.
All in all, men, please just know that there are a lot of times and places women are already fearing for their safety...please be considerate and don't push it.
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