Women are not objects. We are not territories for you to conquer, or prizes for you to win. #YesAllWomen
— #YesAllWomen (@yesallwomen) June 23, 2015
This morning as I was walking to the bus stop, a man stopped me to say, “You’re absolutely gorgeous. Have a great day.” Avoiding eye contact, I muttered a quick “thanks” and walked faster, hoping that he wouldn’t follow me or try to continue the conversation. Luckily, he didn’t, but that doesn’t mean the incident was innocuous.
To some, my fear may seem misplaced. Was this man just trying to be nice? Probably. Did he intend to harm me? Most likely not. But as I continued my morning commute, I felt an overwhelming sense of shame that was difficult to explain.