I decided about 2 months ago, as an experiment, to stop making myself small and/or moving sidewise to allow people to pass me on busy sidewalks, etc. Since I live in a busy place and frequently take public transit, I get lots of data. My desire was not really to learn. It stemmed from: being fed-up with humanity; running out of fucks (directly related to almost turning 40); being cranky from the worst year of my life (see also: running out of fucks to give).
The results are surprising. I expected to knock shoulders with tons of dudes. I did. I have perfected by steel shoulder. I’ve had men of all ages, ethnicity, backgrounds, and speaking a variety of languages crash into me without any regard for the fact that I exist. This was not surprising. The surprising part was that they made up about 60% of the people who crashed into me.
The other 40% were women. The men were diverse. The women, not so much. All of them were white, 35-50, and accompanied by at least on white dude. Without fail.
Today was the cherry on top. I was walking along a busy sidewalk. I was keeping to the right and trying to be courteous. A group of people (walking 4 abreast down a busy dc sidewalk were coming at me). The woman on the far left of the group was walking right at me. The only way to avoid her would have been to stop and turn sidewise or jump on top of a public trash can to my right. I didn’t. I proceeded to walk and she was appalled. She said, “WOW!” when I didn’t move out of her way.
I must say that I’m surprised.
While I get a kick out of sharp shouldering some entitled dudes, it’s the women who surprise me.