Tripped up


My boss offered (generously, in his mind) to send me on a business trip to a film festival in a foreign city. When discussing reimbursement for expenses in connection with the trip, he informed me that since the hotel where I would be staying was so close to the festival, that I would walk between the two and thus he did not need to reimburse me for a taxi.

He proceeded to act shocked when I informed him under no circumstances would I be walking over a mile back to my hotel alone after dark anywhere, much less a foreign city to which I’ve never been. He grumbled that “this must be a woman thing!” Yeah, my not wanting to get robbed or attacked isn’t a woman thing–it’s a common sense thing, but it never even occurred to him that women have the additional fear of sexual assault at every turn.

Riley, Los Angeles, CA


8 Responses to “Tripped up”

  1. Enoon Says:

    Your last sentence leave me a bit confused. Are you mad because he didn’t take into account “that women have the additional fear of sexual assault at every turn” or because he associated fear of walking alone with being a woman, which you do in the same sentence?

    • k Says:

      maybe because classing it as “a woman thing” is really dismissive — disregarding the fact that women have a quite valid heightened awareness of the risks of a situation like that, and instead treating it as some trivial demand.

    • Alibelle Says:

      I read it as him saying it must be a woman thing like “Oh, women with their periods and high heels, they have to take taxis.” And that he didn’t take into account that everyone faces danger at night in a strange place and women face extra danger. It didn’t seem like he was saying “Oh, women can be in danger walking alone at night because they are seen as easier targets and are sometimes weaker than the likely male predators that would attack them.” I don’t think he associated fear of walking alone with being a woman, I think he associated laziness, impractical footwear and general whiny girliness with being a woman. Or also, women being less able to take care of themselves rather than women being a more likely target for more vicious attacks.

    • A Different Sam Says:

      I was going to respond to this until I saw that Alibelle already said everything I wanted to say.

  2. JR Says:

    I agree with Alibelle. I took it to mean that he felt the OP was being deliberately obstructive because she was a woman. Had he considered the dangers of walking alone at night then he would not have suggested it in the first place. Therefore it would seem that by referring to it as ‘a woman thing’ he meant that women were generally a bit sissy and afraid of a little legwork.

  3. J Says:

    That’s stupid! You’re just looking out for your own safety, but I guess he didn’t bother to take that into consideration…

  4. Meg Says:

    If I’m hanging out with guy friends late at night and need to go home, they will sometimes just avoid it when I ask for an escort or suggest that I walk by myself. At this point I look them in the eye and tell them, “No. You’re walking me. Let’s go.” A girl was sexually assaulted 3 blocks from my dorm. I’m not taking chances.

  5. gogocerauno Says:

    I’m confused as to how him offering to pay for you to go to a film festival ISN’T generous, unless he had some kind of ulterior motive or you’re just particularly miffed.

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