I say a lot of things on this site about women, and how to interact with women, and how to respect women, and about my utter loathing for the terrible, horrible, entitled character trope of Nice Guys who fail in almost all interactions with and respect for women. But I don't say very much about actual nice guys, because I tend to think they can keep on keeping on just fine without me. I'm just some random dudette on the internet, after all. But today I'd like to thank some genuinely nice guys that have interacted with me in the past few days.
To the guy at work who, when we were gently teasing him about having a rough childhood based on a silly offhand remark he made, made a face and said, "Yeah, I'm a straight white man, what a rough life I have clearly had", leading to one of those rare oh my god, someone In Real Life gets this stuff moments, thank you.
To the man who approached me in an empty parking lot early in the morning to ask for emergency gas money after his car ran out, but who immediately saw the early stirrings of cautious fear in my eyes and -- rather than get defensive -- made every possible effort to move slowly, remain motionless and in my line of sight while I was digging out my wallet, stay out of grabbing range, communicate clearly and respectfully, and use all possible body language to convey that he respected my fear rather than challenge its validity, thank you.
To the young man who worked at the grocery store who offered to carry my groceries out to the car upon seeing my back brace and correctly deducing that I was disabled, but who graciously accepted my polite decline of his offer (which I enunciated clearly for the sake of any nosy managers who might be watching) without pressuring me or overriding my wishes for the sake of "chivalry", thank you.
To the police officer who pulled me over for accidentally speeding in an ambiguously marked school zone, actually listened to my situation and seemed to genuinely care about the details without giving off any creepy vibes, as well as being careful to stand as far back from my open window as safety would allow, remaining out of my personal space at all times, and keeping within my eyesight as much as possible thereby making me feel as much at ease as possible in an interaction that has the potential to end very badly indeed, thank you.
To all the many men out there who are practicing feminism as best they can today, actively learning how to do better tomorrow, and genuinely trying to think about situations from the point of view of the least privileged party in the exchange, thank you.