While waiting for the X2 bus a couple of nights ago, an older gentleman saw me approach and said, “woooo, your parents did a GOOD job with you!”, while looking at me up and down. I smiled politely and said, “I actually don’t like comments like that”. He was immediately apologetic, and I nodded and turned away, looking for when the bus was coming. After an awkward silence, he pulled out a picture of his family and said, “You know, I meant no disrespect. I am married, I have daughters, and I was brought up to respect women and give them compliments.” I was tired, I had had a long day, and simply had only enough energy to say, “I appreciate your apology,” before turning away again. He didn’t say a word to me again.
I felt like this situation was dealt with better than I have treated other moments of street harassment (I got myself in trouble for flicking off a leering, creepy man on the street). But I wish I had taken the opportunity to tell him how his comment had made me feel (objectified, shallow, violated, not the way this man would allegedly want his daughters to feel). But I felt slightly satisfied for shaming him somewhat. Hopefully he’ll think twice before ‘giving compliments’ to strangers again.
Submitted by anonymous on 3/26/2010
Location: H and 7th NW
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