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Thread: Solo man not allowed in children's area of bookstore.

  1. #1
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    Solo man not allowed in children's area of bookstore.

    http://www.azcentral.com/community/s...-sex-bias.html

    TLR Man sitting alone in children's section of bookstore. Someone complained...unknown reason. Told to leave point blank because he was a single male. Store doesn't apologize.

    Escher's take: Women, this happens more than you probably know. I know I've been looked at disapprovingly going to the childrens area of the park by mother hens who probably didn't see me arrive with kids. (I can only guess) And this guy was told to his face to leave. I know I often "tie my shoes" if I am walking behind a women at night... just to put more space between us so she doesn't freak out. (Or cross the street in order to pass her)
    When you live your life in fear, you create monsters out of normal men. Not sure where I'm going with this, but it bugs me.

    Oh, and I would have kicked him out for using a cell phone, but that's me.
    More calm, cool, scathing logic that drives women crazy...

  2. #2
    Sorry, no sympathy from me!

    You know, if the librarian had told that "creepy man", who was always sitting in the public library's children's section, to leave (and never come back) he wouldn't have been able to expose himself - while offering me candy. And I was only 8 years old.

    I was scared to tell the librarian, or my parents, because I was afraid I'd get in trouble for *seeing*. (Times were different then. "Hush-hush". No one thought about the need to warn kids about such things.)

    To paraphrase your statement: Fear creates monsters in the minds of children.
    Last edited by LeaHamm; 06-04-2012 at 04:44 PM.
    "I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later, you have to start all over again." - Joan Rivers.

  3. #3
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    From reading the article, I think the employee over-reacted. I feel he should have been observed for a while to see what he was doing. There is a big difference between a man shopping for books and taking a phone call and a man who is just sitting watching children with his hand in his pocket! The employee should have offered to help him rather than simply ask him to leave.
    Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.

  4. #4
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    Sadly, no sympathy here either.
    Which would you rather be, the attacked or the presumed attacker?
    I was nearly raped going into a public bathroom when I was in my 20s....do I feel uncomfortable, you bet.
    Strange phone calls from men; being followed....statistics tell us rather be safe than sorry. Sort of like going to the ED if you think you are having a heart attack. Screw being embarrassed if they send you home.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  5. #5
    Based on what the article states, I think it was absolutely ridiculous that he was forced to leave the entire store. Why couldn't they just ask him to leave the children's section (which would still be ridiculous)? The man was told that men alone can't be by themselves in the children's section. Really?? So, a single father or a widower can't go into the children's section to buy his kids a book or a toy? Nor can a grandfather, uncle, godfather, good friend??? The article doesn't state that the woman observed the man doing anything lewd or inappropriate. It just says it's not known if she reported that. Why? That should be something that could be easily verified and reported. They don't have to specify the exact act. Just ridiculous!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goin' Coastal View Post
    From reading the article, I think the employee over-reacted. I feel he should have been observed for a while to see what he was doing. There is a big difference between a man shopping for books and taking a phone call and a man who is just sitting watching children with his hand in his pocket! The employee should have offered to help him rather than simply ask him to leave.
    This. I wouldn't think twice about a man in this or a similar situation. It saddens (but doesn't really surprise me) to hear that people raise issues based primarily on gender.

    In an area frequented by children, I would be troubled by *any* adult who did not appear to have a legitimate purpose to be there. In my work with abused children, I have seen both female and male perpetrators.
    Claire

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  7. #7
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    Wow. Neither my husband nor I have ever thought twice about his picking out birthday present books for our nephews; he's much more tuned into their reading preferences than I am. It would never occur to me to escort an adult into the children's section.

    My niece, having been largely (and now exclusively) in the care of her father, realized when she was 7 or 8 that people didn't like her father being in the dressing room with her. Now I go along or she brings her stuff in and trots out to show her Dad each outfit. It's his DAUGHTER, for heaven's sake, and it's not like she's in high school.
    "Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?" - attorney Bob Loblaw, Arrested Development

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Escher View Post
    TLR Man sitting alone in children's section of bookstore. Someone complained...unknown reason. Told to leave point blank because he was a single male. Store doesn't apologize.
    I think if I was the store manager I would tackle this in a completely different way if I was trying to protect children. I wouldn't allow any children in the children's section unless they came to that area with an adult.

  9. #9
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    I wonder if the situation would have played out differently if the man had been of a different ethnicity/accent. I was victimized by my father and others during my childhood and teens so I am not particularly sympathetic toward the offender BUT same sex offenders can be just as bad. For several years I was privileged to teach a course aimed at awareness of sexual predators and the first and foremost message I tried to convey is that they aren't easily identified; pervs don't come in one color, gender, age, race, etc. To me, the minute you try to narrowly identify a predator you become more vulnerable. Retailers like Barnes and Nobles are walking a tough fine line.

  10. #10
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    So, Wallycat and LeaHamm, are you saying that all men need to be escorted by women, everywhere they go, for the comfort of the paranoid around them? I truly am sorry for the bad experiences you had, but I don't feel that excuses the attitude that all men should be assumed to be predators.

    Personally, unless there is something sinister the man was doing at the time that wasn't reported in the story, I think its the woman who complained at the store who is sick.
    Anne

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    Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Gumbeaux View Post
    I think if I was the store manager I would tackle this in a completely different way if I was trying to protect children. I wouldn't allow any children in the children's section unless they came to that area with an adult.
    I think I tend to agree with you on this.

    Has anyone here read The Gift of Fear or Protecting the Gift? I read them back when the kids were little and have re-read them frequently since then. Now that my kids are teens, I require that they read them as well.

    My dh is a sahd and he definitely got the stink eye from many women just from being the sole parent with my dd back in the early days.

    He also frequently goes into children's departments in clothing and toy and book stores alone because he is the designated gift buyer in the family.
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  12. #12
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    I see this from both perspectives because I have been the victim of a sexual assault but I can't accept living in a society where we make blanket assumptions about a person based on what they look like. There is no difference in my mind between this and assuming that because someone is black or any other minority race they would commit some sort of crime.

    We do all need to be vigilant in keeping children and ourselves as safe as possible but I do not think it is appropriate to risk our civil liberties to do it when there are other ways. In this case, they could have simply had an employee keep an eye on the situation and take action if there was anything inappropriate spotted. A lone male in and of itself is not inappropriate.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn1007 View Post
    I see this from both perspectives because I have been the victim of a sexual assault but I can't accept living in a society where we make blanket assumptions about a person based on what they look like. There is no difference in my mind between this and assuming that because someone is black or any other minority race they would commit some sort of crime.

    We do all need to be vigilant in keeping children and ourselves as safe as possible but I do not think it is appropriate to risk our civil liberties to do it when there are other ways. In this case, they could have simply had an employee keep an eye on the situation and take action if there was anything inappropriate spotted. A lone male in and of itself is not inappropriate.
    Very well said, Robyn.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn1007 View Post
    I see this from both perspectives because I have been the victim of a sexual assault but I can't accept living in a society where we make blanket assumptions about a person based on what they look like. There is no difference in my mind between this and assuming that because someone is black or any other minority race they would commit some sort of crime.

    We do all need to be vigilant in keeping children and ourselves as safe as possible but I do not think it is appropriate to risk our civil liberties to do it when there are other ways. In this case, they could have simply had an employee keep an eye on the situation and take action if there was anything inappropriate spotted. A lone male in and of itself is not inappropriate.
    Totally agree.

  15. #15
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    A few years ago I was thrown out of the children's room at the public/university library in San Jose. And I'm not even male. I was studying in there because the only chairs on the ground floor were in the children's room. There were none in the much larger adult section. (There are chairs and tables on the upper floors only--I surmise to discourage street people from coming in.) I was told that adults could only be in there if they were with a child or actively using the children's materials. So I know there's a sensitivity out there. In this man's case, I think the key thing is that when the customer complained, he was not "actively using the materials." He was sitting on the floor using his cell phone and probably appeared to be loitering in the children's section. I don't know why he would have to leave the store though, unless he got in a argument with the staff over it. We don't know how that went. BTW, I don't see how a staff person could keep an eye on him, as posters have suggested, because staffing is pretty minimal in B&N. However, if he was told that only men couldn't be alone in the children's area, it is gender discrimination, and B&N needs to find another way to deal with it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clover View Post
    A few years ago I was thrown out of the children's room at the public/university library in San Jose. And I'm not even male. I was studying in there because the only chairs on the ground floor were in the children's room. There were none in the much larger adult section. (There are chairs and tables on the upper floors only--I surmise to discourage street people from coming in.) I was told that adults could only be in there if they were with a child or actively using the children's materials. So I know there's a sensitivity out there. In this man's case, I think the key thing is that when the customer complained, he was not "actively using the materials." He was sitting on the floor using his cell phone and probably appeared to be loitering in the children's section. I don't know why he would have to leave the store though, unless he got in a argument with the staff over it. We don't know how that went. BTW, I don't see how a staff person could keep an eye on him, as posters have suggested, because staffing is pretty minimal in B&N. However, if he was told that only men couldn't be alone in the children's area, it is gender discrimination, and B&N needs to find another way to deal with it.
    I can see making a blanket for all adults policy but the point is that he was told "men alone" can't be there which is what makes it discrimination. And every B&N I've been in has someone who is stocking or neatening shelves etc most of the time who I believe could easily do the same work in the children's area while watching the person they are interested in.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by beacooker View Post
    So, Wallycat and LeaHamm, are you saying that all men need to be escorted by women, everywhere they go, for the comfort of the paranoid around them? I truly am sorry for the bad experiences you had, but I don't feel that excuses the attitude that all men should be assumed to be predators.

    Personally, unless there is something sinister the man was doing at the time that wasn't reported in the story, I think its the woman who complained at the store who is sick.
    I did not read the article, nor did I see if this guy looked "sinister."
    I guess fear is not something you elect, it just happens.
    And your use of "paranoid" is a bit condescending. In a perfect world, we would know who will violate us, kill us or rob us, but barring that, we take the precautions we feel to survive. Each of us has different levels of comfort. I have different levels of comfort depending on who, what, when, where things happen.
    I am ALWAYS uncomfortable walking into a public bathroom from my past experience and I am mindful and more aware who is standing or walking in and out of the area. At night, or walking from a parked car in a structure is different than parking a car on the street and walking in daylight.
    Since assailants don't advertise themselves, we do the best we can with what we have.
    It is unfortunate that it is typically men that are the offenders (though not always) and that they are stronger than the people they select, which is why "beware" is better than "be attacked."

    Escher points out a very kind and thoughtful act (tying shoes) to alleviate the natural fear that a lot of women have, justified or not. Men who don't want to harm understand and try to take appropriate recourse. Is it fair? No. If life were fair, I would change a butt-load of stuff
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  18. #18
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    Just saw this. Maybe people are additionally sensitive these days due to the Sandusky trial.
    Now Robin's Mom too...10/21/02

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