“I don’t appreciate that.”

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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3 responses to ““I don’t appreciate that.”

  1. Golden Silence

    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.

    I think what happened between you two was a start. He obviously got nervous about what he said. If he didn’t feel it was wrong, he wouldn’t have apologized. I’d rather have that response than someone yelling “F*** you!” when you try to reason with them.

    Hopefully next time he’ll think of those women in his life before he starts “complimenting” them.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Golden Silence

    Hopefully next time he’ll think of those women in his life before he starts “complimenting” them.

    I meant “…before he starts ‘complimenting’ women he doesn’t know in the future.” I’m typing faster than my thoughts!

  3. Pingback: Weekly Round Up April 4, 2010 « Stop Street Harassment!

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