I don’t take orders from strangers

Well, I now have a harassment story from Vancouver. I was walking down Commercial Drive yesterday. I walked past a group of men who looked like bikers. One of them shouted at me to ‘smile!’ I know that isn’t as extreme as many of the other stories on this blog, but it really pissed me off. I mean, what gives this guy the right to order me to change my facial expression for his amusement? Don’t I have the right to walk down the street with a neutral expression on my face without being ordered to appease the menfolk?

I shot him a glare. He responded by telling me my dress was beautiful. I just kept on walking. I wanted to tell him off, but I didn’t want to risk a confrontation with ten big guys. I’m pretty tough, but I just wasn’t interested in putting myself in danger to try and teach this guy how to respect women. Gross.

– Margaret

Location: Vancouver, BC

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One Response to I don’t take orders from strangers

  1. Siz says:

    I had exactly the same thing the other week. I was walking up my street after work, on my own, with – as you say – a perfectly neutral expression on my face. (After all, walking around grinning all day would probably attract even more unwanted attention!) A group of young men (and a couple of women with them, which was surprising given what happened next) were walking up the street towards me, and as they passed me, one of them got right into my face and shouted ‘give us a smile, then!’ So yes, it might not exactly measure up to some of the other stories you read here, but I share your anger at being told to smile by random strangers.

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