If you're not too busy ghostwriting for panda, could you do the same for me? the same offer of cookies and hugs applies!
Let's skip the writing and just do a bunch of cookies and hugs.
I can't believe it's so hard to understand that different people have different experiences in life and those different experiences might make them have different fears or sensitivities. It's sort of basic human psychology. Karyn pretty courageously offered up some really grim personal stories and explained their effect on her. Those effects on her do not make her irrational and they do not make her fears worthy of dismissing.
The subjectiveness of fear and discomfort are what make well-defined sexual harassment policies so important. The policies define what is acceptable behavior and what is not, rather than individual people's subjective fears or desires. And everyone who feels discomfort must be made welcome to report their experiences even if the incident turns out not to be in violation of the policies.
And yes, I put my keys in my hand if I'm ever somewhere completely alone (no one else around) late at night and suddenly there's a man behind me. Like shutting the windows if you see a dark cloud (which may or may not be a storm). Understand, I do not do this if I am walking down the street where normal activity is happening and there just happens to be men there too, or get out a knife every time I see a man. It's a very specific situation that almost never actually happens. And I do this because this is what I was trained to do by the self-defense instructors in model mugging. This is a really common self-defense strategy and it's pretty useless if you wait to see if you will be attacked before you start to fumble around for your keys.
Again, just because I state a circumstance exists where I might be more frightened than normal, doesn't mean I'm walking around like this all the time, casting askew glances at everything with a penis I see. I'm describing a rare situation and in fact, a lot of the time it doesn't even get to the point where I would be scared, because most men seem to know to do something to make themselves not seem threatening. For example, the other night I took my dog out and a man was walking up the street at the same time. He called out a friendly "hello there" so he didn't startle me and I said "hi" back and all was well. Or sometimes a man who is walking behind me will move to the other side of the street.
But here's the whole thing. I don't give a shit whether any of you think this is rational or not. It's not relevant to anything. Again, you can try until you are blue in the face to "prove" to women how they should feel in any given circumstances or how it is appropriate for them to feel about anything being done to them but I think you will be arguing for a very long time with very little result. But as long as you turn statements like "I take extra precautions in this very specific situation that has happened maybe a few times in my whole life" to "she grabs a weapon in anticipation of a possible violent encounter because someone happens to be male" then the discourse is never going to go anywhere productive.