Cynical about Women? – by Terry Howard

It’s not unusual for me to be on the receiving end of sarcastic comments in response to something I wrote. It comes with the territory. In fact, I’ve grown to relish the barbs, and on occasion will use them as teachable moments. Here’s the latest one from “Cynical Cedric” followed by a teachable moment checklist:

“Hey Howard, we’ve noticed that you’ve been strangely silent on the sexual assault stuff that’s been in the news lately. I think that many women are paranoid and worry too much about something that probably won’t happen to them. This stuff is largely overblown.”

Well, here’s my response to “Cynical Cedric” and other men. Men, privately read down the following checklist and in the space on the left put a check mark if you take those precautions (women are encouraged to do the same):

_____ I take extra care in how I dress to avoid unwanted attention

_____I check the backseat of my car before climbing in

_____ I never put my drink down and come back to it later

_____ I always watch when my drink is being poured

_____I have an unlisted phone number

_____ I have a male voice on my answering machine

_____ I avoid using public parking garages when alone

_____ I avoid getting on an elevator with a group of men

_____ I vary my route to work and home

_____ When out shopping I park in well lighted spaces and scan the area around me

before getting out of my car

_____ I don’t use public rest stops during interstate driving

_____ I don’t use headphones while jogging

_____ I avoid renting first floor apartments

_____ I go out in groups whenever possible

_____ I always meet first dates in public places

_____ I make sure I always have cab fare

_____ I try to have enough gasoline to avoid having to stop for fuel

_____  When I need gasoline, I always find stations that are well lighted and busy

______ I always keep doors locked while driving, especially when I stop at stoplights

_____ I make sure my family knows my itinerary

_____ I make sure that the garage door is closed all the way before driving off

Okay “Cedric,” and men in general, ask yourself if none of the above apply to you, what are the chances that women in your life would check off many, if not all, of the above precautions?  And how willing are you to share this article with the women in your life (directly or via social media), particularly those getting their driver’s licenses for the first time or are about to be off to college, work, a trip alone, a date, party, etc.?

And women, what else is missing from the list, proven precautions that you’d strongly advise?

Terry Howard

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