It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:
This is the kind of things men deal with on a daily basis:
Omar Amin claimed a store worker told him a female shopper had complained he was in the children’s area in the store in Scottsdale, The Arizona Republic reported.
The 73-year-old, who was alone at the time, said he was in the store to buy books for his two grandchildren, who live in Wisconsin.
He told the newspaper, “Men alone cannot be by themselves in the children’s area.”
Let us work through this logic. In order for any of this to make sense we must conclude:
- Old men are suspicious
- Old men in bookstores are suspicious
- Old men in the children’s section of a bookstore have no good reason to be there
- Old men in the children’s section of a bookstore by themselves could not possibly be shopping for books
- Old men are likely child abusers
- And it is perfectly reasonable to think all of the above
While I do not want to harp on this point, we should note that both the complainer and the worker who booted Amin out were women. It seems less likely that a man would have immediately assumed that a 73-year-old man buying books was creepy or suspicious.
It makes no sense to randomly suspect the guy, particularly since his only “crime” was simply being in the section. I could see if he had been there for some time or if he was talking to children. But the article makes it sound as if the woman just did not like that Amin was in the section, went to complain to a worker, and the worker told Amin to leave without asking why he was there in the first place. That is plain discrimination.
Barnes and Noble’s vice president apologized for the incident, and I doubt it is a common policy at the stores to kick old men out for being in the “wrong” section. Nevertheless, it does reflect a sentiment in our culture that men who are around children are abusers.
Coincidentally, when I used to take my godson to Borders (before they closed) only women would approach him. I loved his response to strangers randomly talking to him: “I can’t talk to you because I don’t know you.” That never stopped any woman from talking to him, and my godson is a people person, so he did not really mean it any way. A couple of times, women even asked him to follow them so they could show him a book. That he would not do, but I was surprised by how comfortable women felt asking a child to do that. Most of the time I would have to go over to my godson for the women to back off. I have never seen nor has my godson ever told me about any strange man approaching who either did not have kids with him or did not work at the store.