Maybe this is an unfeminist thing...

…or maybe it’s just my small town upbringing, but I just can’t imagine I could stand there with my snowblower and watch my female who lives alone neighbour struggle to stay on her feet while shovelling a foot or more of snow out of her driveway and not offer to help. Still, I know I live in a city where that sort of thing isn’t really expected, and that I’m not entitled to an offer of help, so while I might wish for it to be different, it’s not something I can readily pit.

On the other hand, using that snowblower to blow more snow into their driveway, and, in fact, right into their fucking face while I’m ignoring them? That, I think, is pitworthy behaviour.

Are you saying that your neighbors stood around watching you struggle to clear your sidewalk?

Remember, while a shovel might not be as good at clearing a driveway as a snowblower, it makes a much better weapon.

Kidney strikes are incapacitating, and often fatal.
Seriously - yeah, it’s extremely assholish to simply ignore where your discharge from a snow blower is going. If you’re doing it on purpose to harass or inconvenience someone - that’s up to pogrocket territory.

I don’t think he was blowing it into my face deliberately, exactly. Like, he wasn’t thinking ‘Woo! Hit the fat chick, that’s 10 points!’ as he smacked me in the face with a wall of snow (which, thank christ, was just powdered snow and not any bits of ice or rocks), but he sure as fuck wasn’t paying any attention to where it was going. And you’d think after the first time, which knocked me off my feet, he might have paid a little more attention before doing it again.

We live in pretty tight quarters around here, and you have to set the blower to throw short to be courteous. It’s totally possible to get your snow 3 driveways away if you’ve got a fair sized machine and a lousy sense of how it works.

If it had been reversed–he was shoveling and you were blowing–would you have offered to help? If so, you aren’t being unfeminist.

Yes, I would. In my last place, I used to shovel the woman next door’s driveway while I did ours (our driveways were kind of joined together). And that was with a shovel, not a snowblower.

Growing up, I didn’t usually have to blow snow since it was considered a guy’s chore, so my brother did it, (how’s that for unfeminist?) but on those occasions when I did, or when anyone else in our family did, it was expected that the least you would do for your neighbours was make sure that all the crap that the street plows left built up in their driveway was cleaned up so they could get in and out. Of course, everyone there had their own snowblowers, so that was only an issue if you knew someone wasn’t home to do their own.

I don’t know if feminism/unfeminism is a factor. I often help women with things like that, simply because women tend to be physically smaller and weaker than me. If she’s not, and doesn’t need the help, then I won’t help. If a man is not strong enough to do something, and does need the help, then I will help. I don’t think about the gender at all.

Your neighbour is rude, alas. If it were my husband, he’d do our driveway, and then yours. Or I’d kick his butt. But I wouldn’t need to, because he’d probably do your driveway first, then ours. He’s that kind of guy.

Knights in armour are rare these days. A pox on your neighbour.

Nope, too easy.

It doesn’t seem like a feminist issue to me and I am a long time feminist. But I do wonder about this:

You didn’t call to his attention what he had just done? That doesn’t require that you be a feminist – just a responsible human being. I grew up in a town of 2000 people, but that was no excuse for accomodating the indifference of a neighbor.

And I’ve never minded when someone stronger than I offered to help with a heavy chore.

Sorry, it is indeed unfeminist. You could’ve skated if you hadn’t included “female” in the descriptor, but since you did – and you led with it, no less – you’re implying you want special consideration for being female. That’s pretty much the polar opposite of the textbook definition of feminism.

Luckily, most people seem to give feminists a pass allowing them to bail on the philosophy when it benefits a woman. That’s why I personally think “feminist” is such a perfect name. It’s only about equality in matters where women are worse off.

Feminism is specifically about gender equality – politically, economically and socially. Feminism is beneficial to males as well as females.

If he didn’t realise he was blowing snow in your face, then are you sure he realised you were there at all? Is it possible that he was so engrossed in his task that he wasn’t aware of your presence? In which case a quick ‘Hey, there’s two of us out here fella’ might have been sufficient.

If you’d then gone on to say ‘wow, what i wouldn’t give for one of those fantastic things’, then he might have offered to lend it to you. Erm, the snow-blower, I mean.

But by staying quiet cos you were grumpy, you potentially exacerbated your issue.

You need to offer him some Pasta Fazul.

He watched me get back up when I fell, then went back to blowing his snow.

I’m thinking that a couple of five gallon buckets of water applied to a freshly cleaned walkway would be in order. And another to the steps if he has any.

So he’s an asshole. Have you had problems with him before?

Nope. I’ve never talked to him before, which is high on the list of reasons why I don’t think he was obligated to offer me assistance. But I still think he was obligated to not make my problem worse.

Seems to me he was obligated as a (presumptively) decent human being and neighbor to do a lot more: Apologize for inadvertently (giving him benefit of the doubt) harming you, then be careful not to do further harm to you.

His conduct strips away the presumption of decency and leaves no doubt, as far as I’m concerned.