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Despite us existing in the 21st century for quite some time now, there are still a number of actions that really all of us do, but that are only “normal” for members of one gender. Someone asked “what’s something that both genders do, but is only socially accepted when one gender does it?” and people share their best examples.

From crying in public, to just existing without a shirt, be sure to upvote your favorites and get comfortable as you scroll through. If you have some examples of your own that weren’t listed here, feel free to list them in the comments section below. 

#1

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Forget public, I cried very briefly in front of an older woman in my family last year while discussing my concerns for the safety of some children in my family I care about, and recently found out she and other women in my family labeled me as “emotionally unstable” because of it and had discussed my crying as if I had lost my mind.


Ladies, if a man cries in front of you, it does not mean he is crazy or unstable. Sometimes things are just sad. 

n3u7r1n0 , Alena Darmel / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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arthbach
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Men, please cry. It is utterly weird when men don't cry. Lack of tears is not a sign of manliness, but of years of suppressing emotions.

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#2

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Smiling at children. I'm a Dad, if a baby smiles at me I'll automatically smile back, and then inevitably get a glare from the parent because they think I'm some kind of creep (no, I just miss having small children!). My wife does it, it usually leads to a conversation about their children.

zerbey , Petr Sevcovic / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

#3

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only In a non-sexual way, loving children. Women can always say out loud how much they love children and being around children. A guy does it and it's time to grill him about what he means.

I saw a comedian (I think Phil Hanley...) doing some crowd work and asked this woman what she did. "I'm a teacher." "Oh, cool. What grade/age?" "Middle school. I like them younger." "Nice. You know, a guy could never say that. There would be some serious issues with that.".

chxnkybxtfxnky , Anna Shvets / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Mrs.C
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1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My sons are fantastic with kids. There are a lot of littles in our life and they run and play with them and the kids adore my boys (late teens/early 20's). It makes me sad to think people would look down on them for it. They're going to be great fathers someday because they've had good relationships with the littles in their lives.

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#4

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Crying in public. Women are seen as emotional while men are seen as weak. But let's be real, we all need a good cry sometimes.

perfectsweetiexx , Zhivko Minkov / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

#6

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Making jokes about domestic violence.


If a girl says "If you cheat on me, I'll do x and y with your genitals", it's often laughed at and applauded, while if the reverse was said, the guy would be criminalized.

xTraxis , Savannah Dematteo / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#7

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Sleeping around women are typically shamed for it but men are seen as lads for it.

doomscrolling420 , Maru Lombardo / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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Michael None
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've always felt disgusted when other men try and brag to me. It's quality over quantity fellas.

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#8

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Age! Men can age and still be desirable but a woman needs to try everything she can to stay looking 20 yrs. old. Which is impossible by the way.

Daylilly45 , engin akyurt / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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#9

R*pe

Women can r*pe men too.

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Fat Harry
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Actually, under English and Welsh law, they can't. Rape specifically has to include the insertion of the penis into the vagina, a**s, or mouth. Women can sexually assault, they cannot rape (in England and Wales, at least).

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#10

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only >Being angry/screaming

When a man gets angry, people assume that someone has wronged him.

When a woman gets angry, people call her hysterical.

>Being sad/crying

When a woman cries, people sympathise with her.

When a man cries, he is treated as a weirdo or a wimp.

True_Falsity , engin akyurt / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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Hobby Hopper
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I assume by "gets angry" the OP means yelling, cussing, etc. In which case, when I see a man doing that, I don't assume someone has wronged him, I think he's classless and never learned to control himself. There's a right and a wrong way to express your anger.

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#11

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Be a full time parent.

It's normal for women, but when men do it, they're either "babysitting" their own kids, emasculated for not being "real men" and "providers" or given the side eye and lots of distance at the playground from the clique of SAHMs who are all there with their kids as well.

Navynuke00 , Kelly Sikkema / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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censorshipsucks
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

men are expected to be breadwinners even in Africa and women are expected to primarily be caregivers. I've never quite understood how this could be so international (international patriarchy).

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#12

Have full autonomy over their own bodies.

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#13

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only If a women tells a 5 year old boy about handsome he is and of course jokingly calls him her boyfriend it’s looked at as cute/funny but reverse it to a grown man and 5 year old girl he’s a predator. Someone else pointed this out and I had to agree.

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Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If a woman tells my 5 years old son that he's her boyfriend, she will not see him again anytime soon.

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#14

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Battering the opposite gender. Y’all may say “nuh-uh” but it’s true. Women can casually slap, push, punch, elbow a man especially their partner and nothing happens. Let’s say the man cheats, and the woman with tears in her eyes slaps him in the face and walks away. Maybe sometimes consequences are faced, but more often than if the roles were reversed that woman just battered a man and gets off Scott free.

Quanta96 , engin akyurt / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

#15

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Use sex toys. Perfectly acceptable, or even considered hot/sexy for a woman. If a guy uses a sex toy: he's considered weird or creepy.

squid1891 , Andrea Piacquadio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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that_gay_snake(he/they)
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i dont understand why this is deemed wrong. we all have a "guilty" pleasure and its not right to shame others for it ( unless its creepy).

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#16

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Take off their shirt/top when they're working outside on a hot day. Men do it all the time, but when a girl does it, it's indecent exposure.

Also, breaking up by text. This is something that society thinks only women do, even though I have seen female friends get dumped by text. It's still a d**k move no matter who does it but it's so stereotypically women who are guilty of this. The actual split is probably pretty close to 50/50.

DrD3adpool , Denis Zagorodniuc / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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ElfVibratorGlitter
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh this! I ran high school track and some afternoons it would be hot as Hades. The boys team would be running without shirts. A couple of us on the girls team also took off our shirts and were wearing sports bras/tanks. Move ahead 15 minutes and the boys coach comes over and says the girls need to be wearing shirts because we were too distracting. This has stuck with me for so many years for so many reasons.

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#17

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only **Playing with toys.** Some toys are marketed towards one gender or the other, but there's no reason why anyone can't enjoy any kind of toy.

SUFYAN_H , Pixabay / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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MotherofGuineaPigs
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My daughter drove her battery operated Dodge Ram. She was also wearing her sleeping beauty costume. You do you honey.

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#18

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Choosing career over marrying - God forbid a woman wants to be left alone with her money.


Being affectionate with friends - Men should be able to do this without fear of being labelled as weak every 5 minutes



Promiscuity - I dont think it's good practice, but I mean it for both gender not just women


Not knowing any household chores - It's a life skill, not a gendered one yet women tend to be on the harsher side of the stick


Being financially dependent - Same with household chores except men to be on the harsher side this time.

According-Exam-4737 , Microsoft 365 / unsplash (not hte actual photo) Report

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Fabian Bernard
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Having a wealthier/ and/ or / oldier partner for m'en: be seen as a gigolo. For women : wether gold digger or the man seen as a creep

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#19

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Office settings in my experience - middle aged women seem to get away with borderline, if-not-outright sexual harassment of younger colleagues.

Royal_Management750 , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#20

Men can't wear women's clothes, meanwhile in reverse it's totally okay.

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censorshipsucks
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's men enforcing that. When I wear stuff that a woman might prefer, e.g. loose pants/egyptian cotton, it's literally only the men that seem perturbed. Women usually compliment and move on.

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#22

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Randomly touching ppl in public. For some reason its ok for women. My husband gets that often but if he says something hed probably be put up as the a*****e.

HerpinDerpNerd12 , MART PRODUCTION / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#23

Getting bald.

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#24

Walking around shirtless.

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WonderWoman
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Either we should ALL be able to walk around shirtless or NO ONE be able to walk around shirtless.

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#26

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Hitting on strangers (in an unwelcome kind of way). Hitting on co-workers. I get this from both genders and it feels equally creepy, but women seem to think there's nothing wrong with it.

airconditionersound , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#27

Invading peoples space and/or touching people in public. This goes for both children and adults.

A man can’t just walk up to a child and rub their face or anything without people getting uncomfortable (Joe Biden for example). Women do this all the time. When my kids were little women would always just walk up and touch their fair, their cheeks, their chin.

As far as adult touching goes I have several guy friends that are extremely muscular. The amount of times random women grab their biceps and rub them is hilarious. If a guy did that he’d get kneed in the balls.

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Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm very territorial about people touching my toddler. Many people think I'm rude when I tell them not to touch him.

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#28

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only When a teacher sleeps with a student.

SeaPassion100 , Rivage / unspalsh (not the actual photo) Report

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Tobias Reaper
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

look at news headlines when this happens if its woman teach it usually says teacher sleeps with student if its a man then it says assaults or raped student

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#29

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Stare at / openly check out others. Unless a girl/woman is doing it, everyone will call you a creep.

Zom55 , Bruce Dixon / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

#30

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Having dating standards .

Known_Mulberry_4953 , René Ranisch / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think this means that a woman can say she won't date small men and people think that's ok. However, when a man says that he only dates slim women, he will get hate for it.

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#32

Man over 30 who's successful, decent looking, and single: "there must be something wrong with him"


Woman in the same situation: "she's strong and independent" Lol what?


Well, that's in real life anyways. On the internet the woman is shamed for not being a concubine for incels.

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Amalie Jaye
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Turn the tables - sometimes women are asked why they haven’t settled down, had a family etc. Even when I was 13 my grandparents are saying stuff to my parents “ have you married her off yet?” Or to me “ make sure you go out with that lad, I know you don’t like him like that but he will convince you to not be a career woman” “ that boy wants to be in the navy, marry young, avoid career” Not always this way but…

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#33

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Chatting with other people of the opposite sex when in a relationship. When a girl does it, she is just sociable and friendly and if her bf didn’t like it he’d be controlling and jealous.
When I guy does it, he is a massive red flag, unfaithful and the girl should just dump him.

Forward-Ad_7-8_8 , Jessica Da Rosa / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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Marianne
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have never heard about this one. Every person should be able to talk to the other sex and a partner who has a problem with that is delusional, no matter their gender.

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#34

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Having casual sex.
Being overweight/not conventionally attractive.
Growing old naturally (grey hair, wrinkles).
Abandoning your children.

anon , Towfiqu barbhuiya / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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C Hendrix
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have to agree with you as far as being overweight/not conventionally attractive. There have been countless TV shows and movies about shlubby men married to gorgeous women -- but you'd never see a show about a (for example) Melissa McCarthy or Kathy Bates married to a Brad Pitt or George Clooney.

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#35

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Wear a lace thong under your business attire.

lfras , Gioele Fazzeri / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

#36

Pedicure.

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Ms.GB
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Guys, seriously go get a pedicure! I take my husband and he loves it. I promise nobody is going to be anything but happy to see you. I tried so hard to get my dad to go because he had problems with his feet and I could tell he wanted to but didn't want his friends to think he was "soft" or whatever....it makes me angry he never got to enjoy that.

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#37

Hanging around in the park near the playground.

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Clown fish
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Bit odd if you are watching the children. If you are just walking around the park or chilling on a beach then it's ok

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#38

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Gardening as a hobby

Say what you will about how times have changed now but I remember back in high school one of the first days there we were doing some of those get to know you exercises and one of the first questions they asked was what extracurricular activities you wanted to get involved in

Saw that the school had a gardening club and so happily announced my desire to join this and to my surprise a bunch of kids mostly guys in the class started laughing like I was telling a joke and later one of my friends told me something along the lines of wow that was a really funny joke you made about the clubs you wanted to join

And I just kind of sadly nodded and agreed because I was too embarrassed to just admit that I actually genuinely wanted to join that club and found it interesting and fun

Kind of crushed any desire I had to do gardening or anything until years later as an adult I finally started buying my own plants and learning how to properly care for them and stuff and even to this day I still kind of feel embarrassed admitting to people that I like to do this because of the social stigma around it. But at the same time feel immense pride in my plants.

Vanilla_Neko , Sandie Clarke / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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censorshipsucks
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1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can't tell what the person's gender is, I am assuming a male? In my country (SA) most gardeners are male, like probably 99.99999%. I've only ever seen two women doing gardening: my mom and my mother in law. It seems to be a racial thing as well as a gender thing. It seems to be like this: heavy work - mowing, digging for trees = man's job. Delicate work: tending flowers or herbs: woman's job. That's at least my observation. My dad did both so I don't gender gardening myself. By "racial" thing I mean most gardeners here are African whereas the people doing the fussy work with flowers tend to be white.

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#39

Abandon their children.

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#40

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Rejecting someone. If a woman does it you need to respect her decision but if a man does it he's treated like he just spat in her face.

ThePom205 , Monstera Production / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Corvus
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The opposite can happen too... a woman rejects some "nice guy" and he suddenly starts calling her names.

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#41

Stripper work.

It's hot when a woman does it.

It's considered 'for the gay guys' if a guy does it.

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CK
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, gay guys typically have less interest in female strippers than in male ones.

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#42

Hate and Insult the other gender.

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#43

45 Things That Are Socially Acceptable For 1 Gender Only Pee sitting down.

PresentationNice7043 , Miriam Alonso / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well that's not a social bias. Women just can't pee while standing (and not totally soil themselves).

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#44

Selfies. We know who does it.

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#45

Getting bumped while walking . That day a woman clashed into my shoulder and ran away without even acknowledging the incident . It was a mistake i understand, but if it was the other way round , if the woman wanted it she could have had me beaten too .

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Jane Jayne Jain Jeign Jein
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In which country can a woman have a man beaten if he bumps into her? Plus, don't people bump into each other? If I see someone not looking where they're going I either step aside or say something to them to avoid a bump.

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