Yesterday I had a run in with a man in a parking structure.
He believed that I was going too slow and when I stopped to see wether I could fit my car in a space, he honked his horn, then went around me with much tire squealing and engine revving.
I instantly felt horrible.
I felt angry, sad, unsafe and sorry.
Yes, sorry... See I have a cold and I knew that was not operating at my normal speed or adeptness and I was sorry I was in his way.
I ended up behind him and witnessed this driving behavior to the third floor. I parked near him and asked him if he needed help. I said he obviously was in a serious hurry and angry maybe there was something I could help with so he didn't hurt someone.
What ensued was a conversation that lasted about a block as we walked to our mutual destinations.
He explained to me how women are inferior and how I am a stereotype. How men are superior and he was particularly trained to be superior, and how he is important, doing important things, and I am in his way.
Nothing that I could say to him about safety, compassion or tolerance made any difference he just laughed at me.
I was so saddened by this encounter.
Afterward I couldn't stop crying as I realized that this complete lack of empathy for women, is what leads to these horrible happenings like last weekend in Isla Vista.
Personally, I felt unsafe the whole time I was talking with him, and maybe my hero persona was having her way with me, but even more alive in me than self-preservation, was a feeling that if I could just become a real person to him, rather than a stereotype that he wanted out of his way, it could save someones life.
I feel blessed to be in a community where I am so surrounded by conscious men who truly love and care for others,
that I am shocked when I encounter lost men like this.