So I just got home from a dinner with my family, and there was a guy outside our door. At like 9:30 PM on a Friday night. Which is kind of a weird time for someone to come by uninvited. We only saw him from inside, so I don’t think he realized we had just gotten in or anything. My dad opened the door before the guy could knock. He was pretty non-threatening, probably in his mid-twenties, and had a bike. My dad asked him what he wanted, and the guy attempted to make conversation instead of answering the question. My dad threatened to call the police, and the guy left. Now, my dad is notoriously bad at dealing politely with people he doesn’t want to deal with, and I try to make up for this by always thanking telemarketers for their time after I tell them I can’t give them any money. It might also be worth noting that my house was broken into a little over a year ago, and my friend’s house was broken into this week while she was sleeping, so it was definitely bad timing for this kid. My mom, sister, and I all voiced the opinion that he probably could’ve found a nicer way to get the guy to leave, and my dad disagreed.
And this got me thinking. I never would have talked to that guy like that. Even if I was scared of him. Partly because I am a non-confrontational person, but also because women who talk to people (especially men) like that get called things like “bitch.” If I had dealt with the situation in the same way as my father, the outcome might have been seriously different. (Although it’s totally possible that this kid was just nice and harmless and trying to do his job and would have ridden away anyway.) I might have gotten something like, “Calm down, lady, I’m just trying to talk to you.” I feel like there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have been taken as seriously. And that really bothers me.