Friday, October 14, 2022

Let's be careful out there

Going out among civilians as a woman is very different than going out among civilians as a guy.

As a guy, I seldom was concerned about being out among strangers. I go where I want to go without a worry. I am big (6 foot 2, 185 pounds) and people are more likely to be fearful of me than I of them. So I have my size going for me as a guy. Yet, it is not something I have on my mind when I go out; it is just a fact. 

As a woman, I feel that I am a target. Not so much if I am walking the mall or visiting a museum. But when I am out on the street, in a parking garage or in a strange place, I am very aware that I am a potential target of someone snatching my purse or much worse. 

I learned my lesson many years ago. After a support group meeting, a bunch of girls decided to go to a gay bar. Leaving the meeting hall around 9 PM, I followed a trail of cars to a dark, unfamiliar neighborhood where the bar was located. There was only on-street parking, nothing available near the bar, so I had to park two blocks away. Another girl parked nearby and we walked the two blocks together.

I did not enjoy my visit to the bar primarily because the air was thick with cigarette smoke and I left after one drink. Walking back to my car alone, I had someone following me: a guy who was shouting at me wanting to know if I was in the bar’s drag show.

I ignored the guy and ran as fast as my high heels would let me. After one block, the guy gave up the chase and I made it to my car safely and a lot wiser. In retrospect, I should have asked the bar’s bouncer to escort me to my car or I should have waited until one of my friends was leaving and accompany her to our cars. Either way, I never put myself in such a precarious position again.

The Desota County (FL) Sheriff’s Office has a list of tips for women on staying safe.

  • Be Alert! Scan the area as you walk. Be aware of your surroundings and walk with confidence.
  • Avoid shopping alone. Try to shop with a friend or relative.
  • Know your surroundings. Keep an eye on the people in front of you as well as behind you.
  • Carry your purse close to your body and do not leave it unattended. 
  • Try not to carry too many packages. Place all packages out of sight in your vehicle, preferably in the trunk.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lighted area. Even in daylight hours, you may want to park near a light pole so if you leave when it is darker, your car will be in a well-lit location.
  • Approach your vehicle with your keys already in your hand. Keep your vehicle doors locked and your windows shut.  Look around, under and in your car, especially the back seat, before you get in.
  • When leaving a business late at night, (if available) ask a security guard to walk you to your car. Do not go up to just any security guard. Go directly to the kiosk and ask for them to assign an officer to escort you. Predators sometimes dress up to resemble security or other authority figures.
Those are the first eight tips from the Sheriff’s Office. Click here to view all the tips.

And let’s be careful out there.

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Gale Gordon, Richard Crenna and Robert Rockwell
Gale Gordon, Richard Crenna and Robert Rockwell femulating on a 1953 episode of television’s Our Miss BrooksThank you, Meg for the information about this femulation.


  1. If you go out dressed you are not a man, you are a woman and subject to all the unwanted attention that she is
    You have to take all the precautions, such as planning exactly where you are going before hand, that she would
    Everything on the Desota County Sheriff's Office is common sense and should help a woman stay safe

  2. To have, what feels like, all your worldly goods in a bag that hangs from your shoulder, that's put me on edge as few times as well.

    Thanks for the advice from the Sheriff’s Office. I wonder, how many cisgender men have paused to consider what safety worries women and femme presenting people have?

  3. Words of wisdom -- unfortunately Common Sense is NOT very common any more. My FB Memories for today included a similar list that I had posted 3 years ago -- maybe somebody is trying to tell me something.

  4. Great advice! It happened to me.

  5. I think Lucy is exactly right. When people look at us dressed they see women, and that's what we are when we're out there as our womanly (true) selves. That first night I finally went out as Mikki was a revelation to me, and I got over that initial fear. We went out and about after the meeting, ending up at a drag bar. I couldn't keep up with the other girls' drinking and left before them, alone. I went out on the street and only then it occurred to me that I was parked three blocks away. All of a sudden I realized I was a female walking alone late at night on not-that-well-lighted streets. Then I was glad we had at least moved as a group from The Hippo to the drag bar as a group, because that would have made my walk another three blocks.

    So I "sucked it up" and told myself, "You're a large, strong woman out here alone. Scan the area three times over and then walk at a quick pace directly to my car. Don't get distracted" I took off at a quick pace, but did my best to look completely OK, not in any distress. I walked past a few people who must have come from the first bar we stopped in. I nodded back at them and got to my car safely.

    Every time Mikki has gone out since then I've considered myself a vulnerable woman and have been uber-aware of my surroundings. If I'm going to have to park too far away, I reconsider whether I'm going to be safe on my walks to and from my destination. With my getting older and having mobility problems (right foot, and heart issues) I always either ask someone with me to walk me to my car, or I use UBER -- and I'm doing the latter quite often these days.

    And as I'm writing this I'm thinking about all those sketchy places Mike has visited for drag shows and many of them were a lot less safe! I've probably dodged the occasional bullet over my years! But whether I'm Mike or Mikki, I'm extra careful, especially these days. Yes, a big part is because I'm more vulnerable as a woman, but the other part is that more people are in financial difficulties these days, and that sometimes makes people desperate -- and they might do things they would never dream of under better times. As the original desk sergeant in "Hill Street Blues" said, "Be careful out there".

  6. Yikes! "Our Miss Brooks"! That was one of my mom's favorite radio shows. When we got TV mom always watched it. Eve Arden was that funny wise-cracking teacher. Gale Gordon was the principal and Richard Crenna was an erstwhile boyfriend. Those two must have been in hundreds of TV shows as peripheral characters. We probably saw that episode because the show was a "no-miss" for mom, but I have no memory of it. I wonder if there's an old kinescope of this episode buried in a closet somewhere?

    1. Crenna was one of Miss Brooks' students. Robert Rockwell was her boyfriend.

  7. Thanks! Richard Crenna was in so many different TV shows, it was hard to keep up! I couldn't place Robert Rockwell, even though I must have seen him numerous times on "Our Miss Brooks". Gale Gordon was on many shows, but always the same fussbudget character, just with different names and jobs.

  8. I have always been afraid or hesitant when out on business travel in a rental car or just walking in the mall parking lot to the car. Since I present myself as a secretary then my short skirts and high heels click clack attention from men (it gets me staring at their walk for sure). My purse is a target to thieves and running in high heels can be tricky so I walk with a strong sense of purpose. Driving around gets concerning if the cops pull me over and realize I am out of town and my drivers license is odd thus raising their interest in me or I get into an accident. Scary to think how women actually feel these days as rape and assault happens a lot and there has been many cases of things goung badly when a wig falls off.

    I know passing seems easier at night but increases the risk of danger.

    Thanks for the reminder Stana

    Hugs, Brenda