Safety lesson #1 of 2: Don’t let a strange guy be in control of your Uber
…unless you want something like this (true story) to happen to you:
Disclaimer: the above Facebook post and the screen shots of the author’s text messages below were sent to me by someone who is Facebook friends with the originator of the material. I’ve known the person sending me the screen shots for a long time and trust them completely. They’ve sent additional FB posts by the same person, all of which lead both of us to suspect the male poster probably, at the very least, identifies with so-called “incels” (in quotes because I’ll never take that ridiculous label seriously).
The screen shots of the text conversation below clearly omit part of the conversation, but we see enough of the exchange to sense the woman’s (gray bubbles) fear and frustration and the man’s (blue/purple bubbles) suspected psychopathy.
However pathetic this man might be — to desperately want a woman when you also hate, hate, hate! women must be oh so painful and confusing, tsk — doesn’t erase the potential danger he poses. But this particular kind of danger can be avoided if you
1. Please, please arrange your own Uber/Lyft/Whatever ride.
Don’t let someone else dictate where your driver brings you unless you know and trust that person. Fortunately, this French woman did encounter one decent human being that night (her Uber driver), but why count on someone else to be the savior? Call and direct your own driver, period.
Lesson #2. Don’t meet an unfamiliar person in an unfamiliar location.
If you don’t recognize where someone wants to meet you, go somewhere else. Choose a place you’re familiar with. If you’re visiting a new town and don’t know anything about anything, pick the restaurant or bar next to your hotel. Pick the place you saw on the way somewhere from the airport. Don’t let someone else lure you into entirely unfamiliar territory. If the person you’re meeting says they don’t know the place you want to meet, either find a spot you both know or don’t meet them at all.
“Oh, I’m sure it’s fine. He’s so nice!” you’ll probably think when the person you just texted with online says, “I’ll call you an Uber. Look for it in five!” You’ll shake your head and think, Something like what happened to that French woman would never happen to me. People aren’t really like that. Not people I meet online, anyway.
We all think things happen to other people until they happen to us. I’ve no doubt that insecure, woman-fearing man who tried to get a woman he doesn’t know mugged, raped, killed, or at the very least scared to death any of those things might happen initially presented himself as charming, friendly, dynamic, and trustworthy. So did Ted Bundy.
Don’t trust anyone until you have reason to trust them. Take the initiative to keep yourself safe. Please. Thank you.
Kristen Tsetsi is the author of The Age of the Child: When a pro-life amendment to the Constitution leads to the criminalization of birth control and life sentences for abortion (and some miscarriages), politicians start finding babies abandoned on their doorsteps. That’s just the beginning. “The Age of the Child illuminates the hypocrisies of our time without flinching.” — Alan Davis, author of So Bravely Vegetative