Legitimate anxiety

I’m not even going to pretend that you care about my opinion on the Rebecca Watson/Elevator Guy/Stef McGraw debacle. If you feel that Rebecca did not have a right to feel uncomfortable or speak out about it, then you should go read Greg Laden and John Rennie, while I weep for your soul.

I have been particularly troubled by the suggestion that female anxiety over being in an elevator alone with a strange man late at night is of a piece with the anxiety of a white person who finds themselves at an urban bus stop surrounded by black people and then approached by one. The suggestion is that the anxiety felt is the product of negative stereotypes. J. Earl Davis makes some good points in his article on this issue, but this comparison is not one of them. All analogies eventually break down. This one does not even get out of the starting gate. Continue reading “Legitimate anxiety”