Which sex do you think more likely to offer help this blind man in his grocery shopping?

I am legally blind, with at best 20/200 vision in my stronger eye; The other eye might as well be a marble. This has necessitated any number of changes in my life. Driving is impossible (though technically I still have a legal drivers license because the state of Tennessee does not force me to prove my visual acuity when getting a license renewal, something you might want to think about the next time you are on the road, Memphians!) and cooking is much harder than it was a few years ago. Some time when I feel like wallowing in self pity I will relate the story of the raspberry cheesecake disaster of February 2017.

But things I can do for myself I still prefer to do solo, which is why, about six months ago, I decided to start grocery shopping alone rather than getting a courtesy clerk at Kroger or having my stepdaughter come with me. Perhaps three months ago, I started keeping track (just out of idle curiosity) of the apparent genders of other shoppers who notice my disability and spontaneously offer assistance. As of this morning, this is happened 101 times, which is close enough for army work when it comes to starting a thread on the subject.

Assuming there are no repeats among these spontaneously helpful shoppers and that none of them are store employees: which gender do you think more likely to offer help to this blind man, men or women?

Note: I am including trips to stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Family Dollar in this tally. I do not attempt Best Buy or Target alone. My weekly grocery trip is always to the same Kroger because I need to know the general layout already so that the trip is not impractically long.

Are you asking which gender more often helped you? In my experience there are more women shoppers than men in two grocery stores I frequent by at least 2 or 3 to 1 so even if both genders were equally likely to help, you’d have more women helping you. Men are also more likely to be buying just one or two things than a whole cartfull.

It depends on the type of help. A man is more likely to help you reach something off a high shelf or a low shelf because they’re taller and seem less reluctant to kneel on the floor.

If you mean read a label, then I’d guess women. If you mean offer advice as to which peaches to choose or where something is then it’s women by far. More women know those things.

My guess is there are more women in those stores than men, and women are generally more empathetic, so I’m going to guess women.

I’m going to guess that men help you more often. My dad has COPD and now uses a walker because he tires so easily. Almost every time someone offers to help him when he’s out and about on his own, it’s another man or a teenage boy.

The result is a function of the way you appear and act toward strangers in a store, so whatever the sample size, I don’t think we can infer much about the general behavior of men vs women. Blindness isn’t something where the degree of your limitations is obvious. If you are physically imposing or come across as creepy, women might be reluctant to offer help in case you are a potential threat or nuisance; if you are elderly and obviously frail, I think women would be much more likely to help. For typical men, an issue would be whether offering help might be seen as demeaning to the recipient. Most tall men would be reluctant to offer help to a short (but otherwise apparently capable) man to get something from a high shelf, unless they are also (say) younger vs older so that there’s no loss of face.

When I am grocery shopping, I always have my collapsible white cane out, as commonsense dictates that I pull the shopping cart behind me while using the cane to avoid obstacles on the floor and/or walking into things because of poor depth perception. So I think it is always fairly obvious that I am blind.

People who meet me at my office often don’t initially realize that I am blind because I know that space very well and so don’t always unlimber the white stick, though I always do when I am anywhere near the stairwells going outside.

I would say the opposite. It would be men.

Also, I am not counting things like choosing fresh fruit, because I always seek out assistance for that, whether by recruiting a store employee or getting a courtesy clerk at the beginning of the trip. The great blueberry Cobbler catastrophe of June 2017 taught me that.

Seriously you should do as much shopping as you can online, particularly the non-perishable staples. Try Target, Google Express, Walmart and Amazon for nationwide options. Perishables are available online in urban areas–although there are usually delivery charges.

I would guess men, just because you are a man. Even though there are usually more women in a store, because you work during the day, you are probably in the store during times when there are the most men relative to women, so I don’t think the fact that over the course of a day, the fact that a lot more women probably come into a store will play into it much. I think the fact that women are going to be more reluctant to approach a strange man and say anything to him, whether it be to offer assistance, ask for directions, or anything at all, more men probably approach you.

If you were a woman, I would think that the fact that at any given time, even in the evening, when men are the most likely to be in a store, there are probably still slightly more women, THEN this would come into play, and more women would be offering help.

You would not believe how many men will try not let a woman go once some kind of interaction has begun. Ask a man what time it is, and he thinks you are open to a full conversation, and have an hour to spare. There are some men who think that simply saying “Excuse me,” when you want to get your cart around someone in the middle of the aisle, is flirting.

I mean, I wouldn’t leave a man obviously in need of life or death attention bleeding in the street just to avoid awkwardness, and if someone ASKS for help, I give it if I can, but if it’s not absolutely clear that someone needs help (which would generally be the case of a person with a disability who has chosen to go shopping alone), I’m not going to initiate interaction with a strange man.

I don’t know. All sorts of people ask me for help getting stuff off the top shelf. These days I have to ask for help getting things from the bottom shelf if they’re not right out front.

If I could tell you needed assistance I’d offer to help. Someone mentioned that men might be more likely to offer help because you are a man.

I flipped a coin. I’m guessing men.

He wasn’t asking for your help. He seems to be managing just fine (except for the blueberry…). I am sure that he’s well aware of on line shopping.

The blueberry cheesecake disaster was, well, I disaster. I still have nightmares about it. The justice league of America had to be called in to contain the Horror, and both Vibe & Booster Gold died.

So another words: no, I didn’t open this thread in search of advice. Killing off 80s superheroes is not a problem.

My guess would be that fewer men than women pretend that they don’t notice that you may appreciate some help while shopping

My dad is legally blind. Macular degeneration. Which, oh goody gumdrops, I have as well now. My vision isn’t compromised yet, but I’m learning and observing my dad. He needs that socialization. Can’t answer for Skald, but there are things you want to do in person. Plus shopping on line isn’t that easy anyway. try loading a cart using only voice recognition tools. Oi vey, such a headache. Then try it with a thick Texas accent. “Payh, she saeed! P-I-E! Payh!”

I think the sort of sex where you’re really feeling each other up and squeezing everything that’s soft enough to fold through the fingers of your grip with a passion and a grunt, that’s the sort of sex most likely to offer help to a blind man.

Your statement is difficult to parse.

But since the thread is over a day old now, I will say that the actual numbers are 67 women, 34 men have offered help since I started keeping track.