Monday, January 9, 2012

Second question about profiling

If you recall a few days ago I asked about profilng, specifically racial profiling in the form of three scenarios. Well I got a few answers but somehow Clarissa, being the academic she is, actually managed to get more responses than I got here. Crushing I know but nevermind that. In her comment section a few people brought up the fact that I didn't mention black men in my scenarios. We'll get to that later on but for now I want to bring up a response someone gave over at Clarissa's.:
I have to say, I would do all three of the things Danny describes simply because all three scenarios involve men.

As a survivior of sexual violence, there are very few men that I actually feel comfortable being alone with. And if I’m walking down the street by myself and I’m about to pass a man on the street that counts as “being alone.” I would also make sure to lock my car because I don’t want a man to break into the car and hide in the back seat waiting for me.

I react this way to almost every man I know when we’re the one two in the area.
First off we are not here to try and judge this response as right, wrong, or anything else. However it does serve as a good introduction to the next question.

When it comes to profiling about gender people tend to profile men as criminals waiting to strike (namely rapists and muggers).

Let's go back and look at those three scenarios from part one.:
1. You park your car and get out to go inside a mall. As you look up from locking and closing your door you see an Native American man walk by who makes direct eye contact with you. You double check to make sure your car door is locked.

2. Walking down the street one night you see a Jewish man coming from the opposite direction. Just before making contact you suddenly cross the street.

3. Waiting for an elevator you see that no one else is around...except for the Mexican man that comes from around the corner. You hope that he is not also looking to take the elevator.
What would happen if we changed the description a bit (and I'm creating a fourth scenario for balance)?

1. You park your car and get out to go inside a mall. As you look up from locking and closing your door you see a man walk by who makes direct eye contact with you. You double check to make sure your car door is locked.

2. Walking down the street one night you see a woman coming from the opposite direction. Just before making contact you suddenly cross the street.

3. Waiting for an elevator you see that no one else is around...except for the man that comes from around the corner. You hope that he is not also looking to take the elevator.

4. You're at a club dancing your butt off and when you stop to take a break a woman appears offering you a drink.

Now unlike last time when the name of the game was race this time the name of the game is gender. Respond as you wish and just remember that its not about having the right answer. The only right answer is your answer. I'll be back in a few days with the next question.

2 comments:

Clarissa said...

Interesting scenarios. I like your posts because they always make me think in unexpected directions.

So here would be my answers:

"1. You park your car and get out to go inside a mall. As you look up from locking and closing your door you see a man walk by who makes direct eye contact with you. You double check to make sure your car door is locked."

- I have this belief, which is probably very mistaken, that a criminal does not make direct eye contact. So I'd be more likely to check the locks if he didn't.

"2. Walking down the street one night you see a woman coming from the opposite direction. Just before making contact you suddenly cross the street."

- I'm very likely to do that because I tend to avoid people. It's an autistic trait. If I feel like not walking next to people, I'd do that. Now that I think about it, I am probably more likely to cross the street to avoid a woman than a man. Weird.

"3. Waiting for an elevator you see that no one else is around...except for the man that comes from around the corner. You hope that he is not also looking to take the elevator."

- That's totally me. I hate sharing my elevator. :-) Unless it's with senior citizens. I really like senior citizens and enjoy being around them.

"4. You're at a club dancing your butt off and when you stop to take a break a woman appears offering you a drink."

- I would be really weirded out and not know how to act. If it were a man, though, I'd totally know how to act. :-)

Danny said...

- I have this belief, which is probably very mistaken, that a criminal does not make direct eye contact. So I'd be more likely to check the locks if he didn't.
Actually there is merit to that thought. People that work in retail and bank tellers (both jobs that involve tremendous amounts of customer interaction and if a robbery happens they are the front line) are taught to make direct eye contact. Its a way of saying, "Hi welcome! (Yes I have my eye on you so don't try anything funny.)"

- I'm very likely to do that because I tend to avoid people. It's an autistic trait. If I feel like not walking next to people, I'd do that. Now that I think about it, I am probably more likely to cross the street to avoid a woman than a man. Weird.
Weird yes but understandable. I don't think you're doing it because you're presuming they will attack you.

- That's totally me. I hate sharing my elevator. :-) Unless it's with senior citizens. I really like senior citizens and enjoy being around them.
Really? Now that's weird.

- I would be really weirded out and not know how to act. If it were a man, though, I'd totally know how to act. :-)
Fair enough.

Thanks from dropping by Clarissa.

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