To the man in his 60s who followed me into Price Mart after illegally taking the right-of-way at an intersection and receiving a single short honk from me, as I had to brake to avoid an accident, despite my low speed of travel:
After deciding to stop in the middle of the road (to teach me a lesson?) and then parking and waiting for me to exit my car, you followed me inside, accusing me of having “quite the temper.”
If a single short honk makes you think I have “quite the temper,” then I am alarmed – at you. I’m also alarmed that you are driving a large van around but apparently don’t know the rules of the road (you continued to insist that you had the right-of-way even though I was travelling straight through on a green light). You then warned me several times – quite ominously – that I’d better “watch myself” and “be careful.” I find those veiled threats alarming, and I specifically asked if they were threats. You responded not by clarifying what you meant, but by calling me an idiot.
People like you are one of the reasons women are so cautious about going out at night alone, conversing with men they don’t know, etc.
I’m in my late 30s and I’ve had enough of this garbage. I did nothing that was harassing or threatening, but you did both.
I should be able to tap my horn at being cut off without worrying that a man will follow me to my destination, tell me to watch out and call me an idiot. If you are truly unable to handle either someone honking at you for poor driving or a woman contradicting you, then you have options other than behaving like a boor. You can honk back and go on your way. You can pause during the conversation you initiated and actually admit you were in the wrong.
You can ignore the person altogether and still feel superior without trying to intimidate a younger woman in a public place. You can ask yourself, “Do I really want to be this guy right now?”
I’m raising my daughter not to be intimidated by men like you, and my son to have more basic respect than men like you. And I’m grateful that most of the men I know are not like you – or at least, the version of you that was on show today. Do better.
Noëlle Phillips, South Surrey