By Carol Christoffel
January 14, 2008
I have read Mr. Hansen's concerns and I am quite sure that he
is not among the macho drivers that I referred to. However, may
I remind Mr. Hansen that the original Lady described having a
hard time in a very difficult snow storm managing her car while
being tailgated by a truck, who then gave her a vulgar gesture
after forcing her to the side of the road.
Others have written how we
should all be prepared with snow tires, etc. and not hold up
traffic. Fine. But regardless of whether she had snow tires,
or simple mechanical failure, someone in a truck decided to harass
her and then gave her vulgar threats as they went by. He was
not much of a gentleman in my opinion, and a bit of a coward,
as I am betting if she had her man with her, the scene might
have been a bit different.
As far as gender had nothing
to do with it. I beg to remind you of the very high domestic
violence stats all over including in Alaska. You don't think
some of that disrespect carries over on the road?
Mr. Hansen sounds like a fine
person to me, and one of Ketchikan's strongest assets is its
people. I found the vast majority of people in Alaska to be some
of the most loving, generous, hard working people that I have
ever met. So I can understand how decent people might underestimate
the amount of intimidation that is directed at women.
For many years I worked as a nurse, sometimes taking a p.m. or
night duty shift. This meant I traveled late Friday and Saturday
nights, sometimes in the wee hours. On about three occasions
I was stalked and harassed by MALE drivers, who attempted to
force my car off the road. In one case, the driver had hidden
his truck behind some large construction machinery in an area
that was all torn up and very confusing. Most people tried to
turn around or cut through a small isolated development that
hooked up to the main road. The driver pulled out from behind
his concealed spot and followed me as I struggled to find the
correct connecting road. He tailgated with his brights on. Fortunately
I found my way out of the maze and not into several dead ends
that were there. Later when discussing this with other late night
nurses I discovered a number of them had similar experiences.
Seems our white uniforms, earrings and hair in the dark let the
predators know who we are. One nurse had been forced over and
as the stalker approached her window, the glint of a broken,
jagged beer bottle, that she kept with her for defense, caught
his eye. Panicked, he shouted out, "You ____! You've got
a gun!", as he ran back to his car. Incidents like these
are more commonplace than you realize. Some traveling lady executives
take a life-size "doll" with a hat and male features
propped up on the passenger side. Keeps the creeps away when
you've got to do long distance driving alone.
Gender does make a difference.
Women are much more likely to get targeted than males.
Thanks to our beloved Librarians
for explaining the process and history of the library situation.
K-City librarians will be up for Sainthood sometime soon. I have
seen what they deal with and the tourists can get mighty ugly
also when they can't use the computers!
My apologies to all the men who are still gentlemen, and to those
who aren't ... you know who you are. Thank God, most people that
I met were great in Ketchikan.
About: Former resident of Ketchikan.
Received January 12, 2008 -
Published January 14, 2008
rage, intimidation By Cody Hansen
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