Done.
Mister Alighieri
341

So, what’s cool here is how you did this immediate escalation.

I said, “Don’t engage in conversation with me.” And you said, “NOT ONLY WILL I NEVER EVER DO THAT BUT ALSO IF I SEE YOU IN A LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION I WILL NOT INTERVENE.”

Which is kind of silly.

It’s like if one of my kids said, “I won’t eat this food you made, Mom, I don’t like it,” and I responded, “FINE NO PROBLEM, DON’T EAT IT BUT ALSO I WILL NEVER MAKE YOU ANY OTHER KIND OF FOOD EVER AGAIN.”

That is interesting to hear that you make the same kind of calculations about other men. Thanks for telling me about that. Do you do that sort of thing all the time (say, in any situation in which you are alone with a man you do not know) or is it only when there is some sort of conflict or tense interaction or sketchy situation? I’m genuinely curious. Because while I hear your statistics, (and I also hear your helpful elucidation of my fears loud and clear), I think that the pervasive fear of being physically vulnerable at all times, in any situation in which you are a) alone in the world at night or b) near an unknown man/men is a bit different than your fears. But who knows? Maybe you’re paranoid, too!

One last thing: I don’t treat men like criminals. That’s an assumption you made about me. I treat men like humans who deserve respect — I don’t catcall them, make loud guesses about their penis size, randomly question their relationship status, or proposition them for sex when they’re walking by. (Well, sometimes I do proposition my husband when he’s walking by. But just him.) I don’t expect them to entertain me or interrupt what they’re doing to chitchat. And you can bet your mansplaining ass, Mister A, that if one of them wrote a treatise explaining that it makes him physically fearful to have me chat him up when he’s out for his nightly jog, I would refrain from doing so.