Today was exciting. Today I had to go to the post office and buy stamps. Yes, that was the highlight of my day. The purchase of self-sticking stamps…and I only needed one. But bills must be paid and the post office is pretty picky about delivering mail with and without stamps.

So I went, and after I purchased the spiffy self sticking stamps from the automatic postage machine, I went back out to my car and started it up, then decided I wanted to listen to a new CD.

As I picked through my CDs, two guys walked by just as my doors automatically locked. They do that. Thirty seconds after the car starts, the doors lock. They weren’t past my bumper when one said, “Dude! Did you see that? She locked the doors and we aren’t even black!”

Excuse me?

Guys, here’s the truth. Yes, women often lock the car doors when men are around. But I was in aconvertible for Pete’s sake. Locking the doors wouldn’t do a whole lot of good. Someone bent on harming me could just reach in. I’d probably bite them, but still.

And here’s another truth: we don’t lock the doors because men are black (or Hispanic, or Asian, or anything else.) We lock them because they’re men.

Blame it on others who have abused being a member of your gender. We don’t always feels safe around strange men. But the reality of it is that you could be lily white, dressed in a business suit, and have teeth more sparkling than a diamond, and a good percentage of women would lock their car doors if you looked like you might approach.

It’s not personal.
It’s not a racial thing.
It’s a gender thing.

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