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Bless You?

November 12th, 2014 . by Tim Babb (TANcast's #1 Host/Editor Fan)

I’m seeing a lot of talk lately about how bad men are at treating women. Maybe there’s been more of it or maybe I’m just becoming more aware of it. But things like that catcalling video have been making the rounds for a while now and I have to admit, it’s gotten me paranoid.

The other day at work, a co-worker who I don’t know and have never interacted with and I were riding the elevator together. SO far so good…I stayed on my side and played with my phone. (Which I would have done if she had been there or not) But then as we got off, she got out ahead of me and as I was a few steps off the elevator myself, she sneeze. Instinctively, I said, “bless you.” I immediately felt self conscious.

I was totally picturing this.

Like I said, I’ve been seeing a lot of these posts about unwanted attention from males and male privilege. Some guys think they are just being polite but they are actually harassing women. Did this count? Had I just crossed a line? Just to be safe I immediately turned and walked in the opposite direction she was going (even though my car was parked the way she was headed). This can’t be the answer for human interaction can it?

The thing is, ladies, most guys actually don’t want to be jerks. Every guy likes to think of himself as the good guy in his own story. (Except maybe Justin Bieber…pretty sure he knows he’s a douche)

Thing thing is I understand that my nervousness about politeness pales in comparison to the lack of safety women feel when interacting with men. I was walking back to may car from a gig the other night and there were a bunch of thugged out dudes everywhere. (Of all sorts of races, just for clarification). I was super on edge for the entire walk to my car. If women feel that way about all men, that would a horrible and exhausting way to live.

I want women to feel safe when they walk down the street. More than that, I want them to BE safe. I don’t want any guy threatening her or worse, making good on any threatening words or behavior. I just wish there was a way to accomplish this without throwing out chivalry and polite interactions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not lamenting that I can’t say. “hey good lookin'” to some random woman I pass on the street. But let’s be fair, I’m not really that guy…and now that I’m married, even less of a chance of that happening. But I have two sons and they are going to grow up to be men someday. I want to make sure I do everything I can to help them grow up to be the “good guys.” So do I teach them to ignore a woman sneezing or teach them to say “bless you?”

2 Responses to “Bless You?”

  1. DeanNo Gravatar Says:

    Teach them to say “Gesundheit.” Only your dopey Uncle Frank says “Gesundheit.” TRUE STORY… I was checking my phone, sitting on a bench in a UCLA hallway, when I sneezed. 25 feet away, on another bench, some lady said “Bless you,” more to the air than to me, without stopping to check HER phone.

  2. Andrew, TANcast's #[square root of -1] Australian fanNo Gravatar Says:

    Yes, teach them to say “bless you”, or whatever.

    It’s great to be self-aware Tim but give women some credit. In my experience you can bless someone for sneezing, or compliment a total stranger in the street, and not come across as a creep or a threat to women.

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