dear man in the mall who started walking beside me in order to tell me that I was sexy…there is a difference between a compliment and harassment. here is what you did:
- You started to follow me and walk in step beside me. It was disconcerting to say the least.
- You at first told me you liked my style. I said thank you (politely) and sped up. You then proceeded to match my pace and followed me to tell me you thought I was sexy.
- When I asked you to kindly not go there (while I was still walking away from you) you started calling after me that you only wanted to compliment me.
A compliment is meant to come from a place of respect. It is not meant to make someone feel uncomfortable or unsafe. What you did sir, was harassment.
It is hard being a woman in a culture where men feel free to stare, catcall, and debase women (heck, our own president endorses that behavior). It is difficult to be a foreign-looking woman who can understand EVERY WORD being said about her in the local language. It is grating to think, that for a second, I considered what I had done or WORN to merit your harassment. That should have absolutely nothing to do with it (for the record – I was wearing jeans, flat boots, and a turtleneck). Was I not wearing my patented “resting bitch face”? I had hoped that would deter unsavory types like you from approaching me.
If you really want to pay women compliments, you need to realign your understanding of the differences between genuine praise and harassment. Please don’t make it any harder for me to simply BE a woman than it already is.
For more information, here is a helpful article: 6 Essential Differences Between Compliments & Sexual Harassment