“I don’t see it as a compliment – I see it as RUDE!”

I had just gotten lunch and I was headed to Union Square Park to eat. I was waiting at the corner (at about where Broadway intersects 14th St), looking at my phone, when a thin older man rode by very slowly on a bike. As he passed me, I could feel him staring me in the face and at my chest (even though it doesn’t matter, I’ll mention the fact that I wasn’t even wearing a shirt where you could really SEE my chest!). Then he murmured, “You’re beautiful.”

I looked up at him, scowling, and he’d turned around to look back at me. He winked and made a kissy face as I gave him my most murderous glare.

He said, “It’s a compliment!”

I replied, “I don’t see it as a compliment – I see it as RUDE!”

He obviously did not like the way I responded, because he circled his bike around as if to say something more to me but thought better of it and kept going. Fortunately there were a lot of people around, otherwise I would’ve panicked when he’d turned around.

This is one of the first times I’ve worked up the nerve to say something to a street harasser, and I felt SO empowered in doing it! Unfortunately I’m going to think twice about doing it if I’m alone…

– Anonymous

Location: Broadway and 14th St, Union Square, New York City, NY

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.

3 Responses to “I don’t see it as a compliment – I see it as RUDE!”

  1. Golden Silence says:

    I see it as rude too! Who asked for his opinion?!

    This is one of the first times I’ve worked up the nerve to say something to a street harasser, and I felt SO empowered in doing it! Unfortunately I’m going to think twice about doing it if I’m alone…

    Kudos to you for standing up to him. You know you won’t be able to stand up to every harasser. Gauge your safety in certain situations…that’s more important than having the last word with a harasser.

  2. Yay! What a great story! It gives me hope!!!

  3. Amelia says:

    Kudos to you for having the nerve to say something back😉 I haven’t done that before – but I’ve recently decided to start angrily-staring-back instead of pretending to not notice street harassment at all. I hope that holding eye contact with them will help force them to see me as a human being.

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