Here’s a thing that I struggled with tonight

I’m eating tacos on a street corner with my male friends around 2 AM and a girl stumbles by/into us and ultimately ends up sitting down next to us. She’s very drunk. She’s trying to text someone. We ask about her night and if we can help – no response. She gets up after a minute or two and stumbles away.

I think, “I should help her get home.” I’m a nice guy (I hope) and I’m not going to do wrong by her. I genuinely want to make sure she gets home okay. But based on rape culture and our generation’s reaction to it, all I can think is that this girl will assume I’m trying to pull some shady shit. And/or the other people around us will think that. Because that’s all I ever see among my female friends – this fear that some drunk night, some evil male will take advantage of them or their friends.

And while I totally respect and understand that fear from my female friends (men are largely awful!), it also stopped me from helping this girl get home because I was too afraid to even seem like I was crossing that line.

I don’t know how I should react to this struggle. I should have helped the girl get home, I know that, reflecting on it. Consequences be damned. But the fact that I was completely stymied by the fear of being misunderstood? I hope other respectable males aren’t finding themselves in a similar position. Because, if that’s the case, we’re completely ceding the world to the males that would offer to lead the girl home with a specific, unpleasant agenda. And that’s basically the worst outcome anyone could imagine.

  1 comment for “Here’s a thing that I struggled with tonight

  1. Mary
    June 13, 2015 at 10:20 am

    As a girl who knows the “get the fuck away from me” gut reaction quite well, I’d suggest asking, “Would you like my friends and I to wait here with you until someone picks you up?” It’s not threatening, and possibly more importantly, it’s not directly implying she needs ‘help’. Asking a girl if she needs help (especially while not in the most sober state) can also easily trigger the “I’m no damsel in distress and can take care of myself” reaction. But given that she passed by a taco truck and did not get a taco, the girl may be of the highly illogical type who would probably misinterpret any statement/question as you trying to get into her pants with or without permission.

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