Author Topic: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?  (Read 9859 times)

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gen xer

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #90 on: January 23, 2013, 07:35:30 PM »
 
Taking the chance of a real flaming here.... I find that a lot of women have a really warped sense of risk ingrained in them.  They're worried about the ubiquitous, shadowy rapist, serial killer, mugger, all around pervert, you name it lurking in bushes and alleyways, peeking through windows etc.  I had it ingrained in me too from all angles - at university I had one of the residence dons in my first year try to FORBID me from walking alone at night.  Trouble was I had night classes that ended at 10:00 pm and I didn't always have friends / fellow residents in the same class.  I could have called friends to walk me but the campus was well lit and there were always throngs of people around.  I just didn't get the big fear they were trying to instill and it was just too impractical to be worrying about that kind of stuff.  Was I really going to impose on my friends / acquaintances for an escort EVERY time I had to go somewhere after dark?  I was a university student - I lived after dark!!!

I have heard it from other sources too - people telling me I shouldn't be driving such long distances alone late at night when I worked shiftwork at an auto plant and asking how I manage being home alone at night in the city ( DH works shiftwork ).  The answer was - I do it because I have to - I have no choice.    This is my life. 

Now I admit I am kind of dismissive of these kinds of fears because it just seems so difficult to live like that....and frankly a lot of it is just overblown urban legend.  Sure you have to use common sense and I am not reckless or naive - but you have to be able to put theses fears in perspective.  We always tell people to listen to their instinct, go with your gut....but being afraid of everything is not doing that - you are not getting a chance to develop a good sense of something being off or not quite right if your mindset is that everything is scary all the time.

I know a lot of people will disagree ( and frankly my DH thinks I'm a body dumped in the woods waiting to happen ) but life has risks.  Some are worth taking.

SoCalVal

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #91 on: January 23, 2013, 07:45:53 PM »
Except Mary ALREADY does ride the train/subway, she just makes sure she has a companion with her when she does so.  IMO, this is a matter of timidity and a willingness to stretch her comfort zone, and it isn't LadyL's job to hold her hand.

Pod.  It's not like Mary has never ridden the train before; it's just that Mary hasn't ridden alone before.  It's time for Mary to ride by herself or figure out something for her transportation needs; it does not fall upon the OP, even under the guise of "kindness" to give up her own plans to accommodate Mary (and, honestly, I wouldn't consider it so much kindness or accommodation but coddling Mary -- again, she's taken the train before, it's one stop and she'll be taking the same route just in reverse so it's Mary's hurdle to clear, not LadyL's).  I, too, would be upset if I had to change my plans because Mary wouldn't do this on her own and wouldn't be inclined to make similar plans with her in the future (also, Mary is being told in advance so it's not like Mary can't make other arrangements).



Mental Magpie

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #92 on: January 23, 2013, 07:46:18 PM »
Trimmed the quote tree...

How do we know Mary hasn't sought help or isn't on medication?  Maybe she is in the first stages of that.  Just because she didn't divulge this information to the OP doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Just like EMuir and her friend, maybe Mary is trying to ask LadyL for help on this but doesn't know how.

She did ask - she asked to be inserted in to LadyL's plans and for LandyL to go with her on the train, she seems to be asking for LadyL to spend extra time parking, ect.  LadyL does not  need to  "help" in this way, or to take into account what works for Mary when planning things. Mary needs to work around her issues in ways that work for her, but making someone else into the 'crutch' or expecting them to spend extra time and gas driving around to get just the right parking spot, should not be her 'solutions'.  Expecting someone else to live with-in your anxieties is not fair.
  If I were in Mary's car and she wanted to drive around til we could find an 'acceptable' parking space, I'd be telling her to let me out and I'd go to do what I wanted to while she dealt with her issue - and going forward I would take my own car so that I did not need to be bound by this fear.  If it were a train trip, I would be up front with her that I had my own plans that might not coincide  with  her own...and I would brook no interference or "I'll wait for you", ect.  And I would not be taking her to the train or teaching her how to use it...she's been on the train before she knows how to use it.

I based my argument solely on camian saying Mary hasn't sought help.

Also, I'd be willing to drive in circles with my friend if I knew she was actively trying to help herself in other ways.  I wouldn't be brusk or standoffish, but I would encourage her to try to help herself, too.  In LadyL's case, I don't think LadyL was rude at all, and I don't think that Mary's guilt tripping was OK, either.  However, I don't think it would be at all ridiculous for LadyL to waylay Mary's fears by having her call her when she got home.  As a friend, I would be more than willing to do that for Mary.  Now, if this was every day after every activity, I'd get pretty annoyed and exasperated, enough to tell Mary straight out that she needs to get help and that I won't enable her anymore; but for her first trip alone after expressing fears about it?  I'd probably call her myself to make sure she got home OK.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #93 on: January 23, 2013, 09:03:03 PM »
But Mary doesn't have a phobia, she's nervous and feels uncomfortable about catching the metro on her own

LadyL did more than enough to help her.

Sootikin, you might want to reread LadyL's post #48 in this thread. Mary has stated she has more issues than discomfort. This information wasn't in LadyL's initial post as I don't think she had the information at that time.

  But she is not calling them phobias ( which are a medical issue anyhow and we can't discuss them, just the etiquette behind this interaction. ) and phobia or not - how is any of that LadyL's issue? Mary needs to be the one to deal with it, rather than making it other people's problem to deal with.

I wasn't saying it was LadyL's issue. I was saying that what LadyL described in the referenced post would seem to be much more than just feeling nervous and uncomfortable.  I think LadyL did all she could reasonably be expected to do for Mary and has no further responsibility. 

Allyson

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #94 on: January 23, 2013, 10:38:17 PM »
For what it's worth, gen xer, I agree with absolutely everything you said. In reality, being attacked by a stranger is vanishingly unlikely compared to it being a family member/friend/acquaintance. But the way the media hypes things up, the fear is always 'a woman by herself is in peril!' Which just isn't true. I see this sort of thing affect people on a daily basis--the idea that relatively safe things are in fact death traps...but I think a lot of that's because the most likely situations to occur aren't ones that are easily avoidable. It's like the 'shark attack' media panic that happened a few years ago.

Sorry for the derail. I do think that this fear-mongering plays into people having the kind of issues Mary does. Not that it makes it better or worse for the person with anxieties, as knowing it's not likely statistically doesn't hold an emotional candle to the headline news about the one in a million time it *did* happen.

gen xer

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #95 on: January 23, 2013, 10:53:18 PM »
For what it's worth, gen xer, I agree with absolutely everything you said. In reality, being attacked by a stranger is vanishingly unlikely compared to it being a family member/friend/acquaintance. But the way the media hypes things up, the fear is always 'a woman by herself is in peril!' Which just isn't true. I see this sort of thing affect people on a daily basis--the idea that relatively safe things are in fact death traps...but I think a lot of that's because the most likely situations to occur aren't ones that are easily avoidable. It's like the 'shark attack' media panic that happened a few years ago.

Sorry for the derail. I do think that this fear-mongering plays into people having the kind of issues Mary does. Not that it makes it better or worse for the person with anxieties, as knowing it's not likely statistically doesn't hold an emotional candle to the headline news about the one in a million time it *did* happen.

Thanks for the support Allyson :) I was debating whether I should even post it because I was kind of ranting...but now I don't fell so alone...at night, with the woods behind my house.... :P

In all seriousness though I really think we have to stop with the fearmongering and see it for what it is.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #96 on: January 24, 2013, 12:31:49 AM »
For what it's worth, gen xer, I agree with absolutely everything you said. In reality, being attacked by a stranger is vanishingly unlikely compared to it being a family member/friend/acquaintance. But the way the media hypes things up, the fear is always 'a woman by herself is in peril!' Which just isn't true. I see this sort of thing affect people on a daily basis--the idea that relatively safe things are in fact death traps...but I think a lot of that's because the most likely situations to occur aren't ones that are easily avoidable. It's like the 'shark attack' media panic that happened a few years ago.

Sorry for the derail. I do think that this fear-mongering plays into people having the kind of issues Mary does. Not that it makes it better or worse for the person with anxieties, as knowing it's not likely statistically doesn't hold an emotional candle to the headline news about the one in a million time it *did* happen.

Thanks for the support Allyson :) I was debating whether I should even post it because I was kind of ranting...but now I don't fell so alone...at night, with the woods behind my house.... :P

In all seriousness though I really think we have to stop with the fearmongering and see it for what it is.

This is why I refrain from watching or reading the news. The media behave irresponsibly in this matter. (Also, it would seem that on some level, people must enjoy being worried and frightened -- or they wouldn't "lap up" the fearmongering the way that they do.)

jalutaja

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #97 on: January 24, 2013, 05:16:28 AM »

Taking the chance of a real flaming here....

Can you explain why do you disrespect posters on this board so much and expect us to be rude to you?

jaxsue

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #98 on: January 24, 2013, 06:08:07 AM »
Great post, Gen xer.  :)

MariaE

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #99 on: January 24, 2013, 06:13:15 AM »
For what it's worth, gen xer, I agree with absolutely everything you said. In reality, being attacked by a stranger is vanishingly unlikely compared to it being a family member/friend/acquaintance. But the way the media hypes things up, the fear is always 'a woman by herself is in peril!' Which just isn't true. I see this sort of thing affect people on a daily basis--the idea that relatively safe things are in fact death traps...but I think a lot of that's because the most likely situations to occur aren't ones that are easily avoidable. It's like the 'shark attack' media panic that happened a few years ago.

Sorry for the derail. I do think that this fear-mongering plays into people having the kind of issues Mary does. Not that it makes it better or worse for the person with anxieties, as knowing it's not likely statistically doesn't hold an emotional candle to the headline news about the one in a million time it *did* happen.

Yeah, I agree as well. I often walk/bike alone after dark, I'm often home alone with the door unlocked, I never remember to check the spy hole before opening the door. I might act differently if I lived elsewhere, but as it is I don't feel like I'm running any unnecessary risks.
 
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Mental Magpie

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #100 on: January 24, 2013, 06:46:06 AM »

Taking the chance of a real flaming here....

Can you explain why do you disrespect posters on this board so much and expect us to be rude to you?

Many people put that when they think many people will disagree with them. I don't find it disrespectful at all. Flaming isn't inherently rude; she could have just as easily put "flak".
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

blahblahblah

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #101 on: January 24, 2013, 10:29:07 AM »
Quote
In reality, being attacked by a stranger is vanishingly unlikely compared to it being a family member/friend/acquaintance.
I've always felt this to be a somewhat misleading statistic tbh. Sure, being attacked by an acquaintance or family member is much more likely. Why? Because said acquaintance or family member generally has more opportunity and access to you. And why do they have more access to you? Because you're generally less wary and more receptive to them. So IMO it's really not a good argument for letting down one's vigilance towards strangers. If people started accepting rides from strangers on a regular basis (for example), we'd probably see a spike in assaults via stranger. There's a reason why certain professions (e.g. prostitution) are considered high risk for violence.

So, sure, I'm aware that I'm more likely to be assaulted by a male friend than some random John Doe. But that doesn't mean I'm going to be more willing to let random John Doe into my house.

ETA: And for the record, I'm also saying this as someone who generally has no problem walking around solo or taking the subway late at night. I used to give my college roommate heart palpitations because I'd go out for late-night walks "just because", and this was at a college where the surrounding neighborhood wasn't the safest.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 10:33:37 AM by blahblahblah »

Dorrie78

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #102 on: January 24, 2013, 10:45:48 AM »
Quote
In reality, being attacked by a stranger is vanishingly unlikely compared to it being a family member/friend/acquaintance.
I've always felt this to be a somewhat misleading statistic tbh. Sure, being attacked by an acquaintance or family member is much more likely. Why? Because said acquaintance or family member generally has more opportunity and access to you. And why do they have more access to you? Because you're generally less wary and more receptive to them. So IMO it's really not a good argument for letting down one's vigilance towards strangers. If people started accepting rides from strangers on a regular basis (for example), we'd probably see a spike in assaults via stranger. There's a reason why certain professions (e.g. prostitution) are considered high risk for violence.

So, sure, I'm aware that I'm more likely to be assaulted by a male friend than some random John Doe. But that doesn't mean I'm going to be more willing to let random John Doe into my house.

ETA: And for the record, I'm also saying this as someone who generally has no problem walking around solo or taking the subway late at night. I used to give my college roommate heart palpitations because I'd go out for late-night walks "just because", and this was at a college where the surrounding neighborhood wasn't the safest.
But there is a big difference between letting down your vigilence and being too afraid to ride public transportation by yourself because you are afraid. I'm always vigilant when I'm out in public. It doesn't mean that I act in a bizarre way or anything, I just pay attention to my surroundings. I also will walk through sketchy parts of town if need be and I've ridden metro systems all over the world by myself, even in countries where I not only didn't speak the language, but the language has completely different characters (Moscow, Greece). Riding the metro by yourself is not the same as letting any unknown John Doe into your house.

I completely agree with Gen xer's post. We have gotten to a point where with the constant access to the latest breaking news and the saturation coverage of every assault or kidnapping, people - usually women - see a mugger or rapist around every corner and behind every tree. And I think that this has an unfortunate affect of lowering some people's willingness to take a chance or explore the world arround them.

So be it, but I'm not going to limit myself because someone else is too afraid to take a train.

blahblahblah

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #103 on: January 24, 2013, 10:54:28 AM »
Quote
But there is a big difference between letting down your vigilence and being too afraid to ride public transportation by yourself because you are afraid.
Yes, I agree with this. I was just taking issue with the stat that the pp mentioned because I feel like it's always brought up in response to people who are wary of strangers in general, and like I said, I think it's misleading in its implications.

People who know me are more likely to assault me because they have more opportunity to do so. Strangers don't get that opportunity because I am more wary of them. However, yes, there needs to be a line between reasonable fear/precautions and outright paranoia.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 10:56:41 AM by blahblahblah »

LadyL

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #104 on: January 24, 2013, 10:55:10 AM »
Quote
In reality, being attacked by a stranger is vanishingly unlikely compared to it being a family member/friend/acquaintance.
I've always felt this to be a somewhat misleading statistic tbh. Sure, being attacked by an acquaintance or family member is much more likely. Why? Because said acquaintance or family member generally has more opportunity and access to you. And why do they have more access to you? Because you're generally less wary and more receptive to them. So IMO it's really not a good argument for letting down one's vigilance towards strangers. If people started accepting rides from strangers on a regular basis (for example), we'd probably see a spike in assaults via stranger. There's a reason why certain professions (e.g. prostitution) are considered high risk for violence.

So, sure, I'm aware that I'm more likely to be assaulted by a male friend than some random John Doe. But that doesn't mean I'm going to be more willing to let random John Doe into my house.

ETA: And for the record, I'm also saying this as someone who generally has no problem walking around solo or taking the subway late at night. I used to give my college roommate heart palpitations because I'd go out for late-night walks "just because", and this was at a college where the surrounding neighborhood wasn't the safest.

Another factor is motivation for attack. Crimes that are pre-planned are more likely to involve a purposefully chosen victim that the perpetrator knows. Someone who knows you is more likely to know, for example, that you have a stash of expensive jewelry you inherited - even if you live in an area where most households don't contain expensive assets. Other crimes of opportunity like muggings, kidnappings, carjackings, etc. are just not that common statistically and the likelihood of being a truly random target of one is probably even more minuscule. Simply passing through a bad neighborhood during the day may raise your risk but only slightly, especially if you take measures to not be a target (don't wander around looking lost, if you end up lost in a car or on foot in a desolate area turn around and retrace your steps immediately, don't walk around holding your smart phone, etc.).

Another way to put it is that people who live in constant fear of being a victim of crime are on the one hand, probably overestimating how desirable and likely a target they are, but on the other, actually making themselves a more likely target because instead of normal vigilance they are likely to panic at the first sign of threat.

There is healthy vigilance and then there is living in constant fear.