My next door neighbor shouts quite a bit. He shouts at his mother, his brother, the cars on the street, everything. Often he shouts obscenities.

In my opinion the most disturbing thing he shouts about is “you women.” He will get into argument with his mother (or just begin berating her for not being able to find something) and it will eventually circle around to “you women.” “You women just want everyone to be nice,” “you women think men are all the same,” “you women just don’t get it,” etc. The implications of all of his “you women” comments are that the world is a naturally violent place for which we are unsuited. That we are all naive and require men to explain the world to us and to defend us from it. It seems that he yells at his mother about these things when he thinks she has forgotten it. When she is, to his mind, ungrateful for his protection.

It is scary how he never lets any of this on when I speak with him. I have a small garden in the back yard/alley and he likes giving me gardening advice. His advice is unsolicited. I’d rather not speak with him. But when he does speak to me he is nice, polite, and seems to genuinely wish to help. In the back of my mind I’m there’s always the question “what does he actually think of me?” I suppose he views me as yet another woman who needs his protection.

Part of me wants to speak to him about it (his emotional abuse of his family, his frightening behavior, his views), but I am scared. What will he do if I seem ungrateful?