A Man’s #MeToo: The Night I Realized Women Are Afraid of Me, Too

One night on campus, I realized that women weren’t just afraid of the “creepy” guys

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I’ve watched countless women share their #MeToo stories over the past two weeks. Well, as a 28-year-old man who is 6 feet tall, I have a #MeToo to share, too. But it isn’t really about me.
I could tell you stories about unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances I’ve experienced as a man (from both men and women), but that’s not what this is about. It’s about an eye-opening experience I had when I was a university student at the University of Southern Mississippi.
I was working in the darkroom late one evening on a project for my photojournalism class. When I started to leave, I crossed onto a deserted area of campus that was surrounded by buildings. As I stepped out from between the buildings, I saw a young woman walking in front of me. I saw her quickly glance sideways just enough to see that someone was walking behind her, and then her pace immediately quickened. She wasn’t running, but she was noticeably walking much more quickly.
That’s when I realized she was afraid of me. That stung a bit.
To soothe her, I said loudly, “I swear I’m not a creeper.” She stopped, turned and looked at me, and then, to further earn her trust, I smiled and said, “I’m gay.”
She grabbed her chest and breathed a huge sigh of relief, smiled, and then ran over to me and asked if I would please walk with her back to her dorm. She said it’s frightening walking across campus late at night because guys can be really intimidating to her.
I walked her back and she thanked me.

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She had been terrified just because a guy had been walking in the

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