You have raised a fascinating question, Madison. I'm also curious how many other women do these mental calculations.

Like you, I analyze my surroundings, plan for escapes, and take a cautious approach around new men, especially in small spaces. Yet I think my hyper-awareness (for lack of a better phrase) is due to reading too much bad news rather than any personal experience. I grew up in a two parent family so an absent father was not an issue for me.

I also grew up in the suburbs and knew all of the men I interacted with (teachers, parents of friends, coaches, etc.). But I still was suspicious of them because I read the newspaper every day and always saw stories on the crimes against women. Reading novels where women are assaulted, attacked, or kidnapped exacerbated that fear and made me nervous in real life.

A part of me knows that the odds are low, but it's still something I do when I'm out in public.

8X Top Writer. Proud grad of CA public schools. Committed to justice & leadership development. Wife & mom of 2 girls & 2 big dogs. Love to eat almost everything

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