Boy Etiquette

August 14, 2010

I read an article today and it really had me thinking. ┬áThinking about my safety, my friends’ safety and well, everybody’s safety, really.

But then that got me to thinking about a conversation I’d had a long time ago with a friend of mine (male) who told me about Boy Etiquette.

Now, I’d never thought about this, but I’ve now never forgotten it, and though it will never save anybody’s life, it might shed light on a few things that maybe we’ve never thought about.

First of all, when I say ‘Boy Etiquette’, I don’t mean opening doors for women (though that’s sweet of you to offer, thank you), or putting your jacket down over a particularly nasty puddle (never happened to me, but I did get carried over one once). What I mean, guys, is if you’re walking at night and there’s a girl on her own nearby.

  1. If you’re (guys) walking down the street at night, and there’s a girl on your side of the street, walking toward you, cross to the other side of the road.

    Oh blah blah blah, it’s so far away, and you need to be on this side of the road anyway…yeah yeah, whatever. Just cross.

    If you can’t (it’s a busy road, mate!), then walk as far to one side of the pavement as you can.

  2. If you’re walking down the street and there’s a girl walking the same direction as you, ahead of you, then cross the street.

    Seriously. I’m not kidding. Nothing will get a girl’s back up faster than hearing footsteps behind her. And then we can’t turn around to see who it is, and seriously, they put the same exact scene in thriller movies just to freak us out.

    Cross the road.

    I don’t care, just do it!

    If for some reason you can’t cross the road (it’s loaded with traffic, man!), then speed up. I mean really speed up. Pass her so that she’s now behind you.

  3. Don’t make eye-contact.

    Seriously, it sounds easy, but it isn’t. While you think you might be checking out a chick, she’s wanting to check you out but make it seem like she’s not checking you out.

    But she’s not checking you out to see if you’re hot. Nope. She’s checking you out to see if you’re a nutter.

    So, don’t catch her eye. Don’t look at her. Just don’t. Let her get a good look for a second or two, just so she can feel consciously safe that either a) you’re not a nutter and b) she can positively identify you if she needed to (but if you even vaguely follow these rules, you’re cool).

Basically, these rules are there just to make sure that others feel safe. And yeah, maybe you do them already, maybe some of these are pretty, ‘duh, I already knew that‘. Yeah, whatever. Some people don’t know these rules, and I know they don’t because they certainly don’t follow the etiquette when I’m walking down the street.

So if you guys out there have something to add, then we girls would certainly appreciate knowing. I once had a guy follow one of these rules one night when I was walking to the taxi rank, and I sincerely was grateful. No, I didn’t feel 100% safe, but I felt a lot better knowing that I had my entire side of the street to myself.

Sometimes it’s just that little bit of relief that keeps the blood pressure down.

And we’d thank you for it if we could.

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