I’ve recently discovered that, after someone makes a pass at me, I can’t ever feel comfortable around them ever again. Every time they talk to me, I get a pretty strong anxious reaction. I don’t want them to get the impression that I return their feelings, but I also don’t want to insult them by telling them I’m not interested (especially if they’ve gotten the hint and aren’t trying to flirt anymore). I’ve probably shut at least three people out of my life for this reason. I feel bad about it, but I feel more comfortable knowing that they’re not getting any messages from me one way or the other. It’s worse when they’re boys, because then there’s the added fear of assault. I just don’t understand how I can act normal towards someone I know has hit on me.
There was such a guy in my friend circle at school who often got way too close for comfort. Things like touching waists, shoulders, standing right up close to me in my personal bubble etc. He wasn’t a close friend but he was close to my best friend and we ended up hanging out together a lot. I couldn’t avoid him entirely without changing my whole friend circle. And then, one day, he went and confessed his attraction towards me. Now, I clearly said NO because I was uncomfortable around him. His eyes weren’t good…if you know what I mean. He made me feel as if I had been violated or something. So I said NO. But then he started messaging me and stalking me all over my social media. He started calling me ‘Babe’. It was so awkward and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to make it a big deal.Then, I passed out of school and I didn’t need to have any contact with him. I blocked him from all social media. But then, today at this social thing, I met him again. I gave out all signs that I didn’t want to talk. But he was same. Standing right close. Following me around everywhere and flirting and calling me ‘Babe’. All I could do was avoid him at all costs. And now, he’s messaged me again. Now, I am not a….a prude. I need it to stop. But I dont wanna be rude. How do I deal with it without seeming like an unreasonable ice princess?
It’s not like he’s the first person who’s confessed to me. I’ve been hit on a lot. I don’t say that out of vanity. Just as a woman who possesses the proper body parts to entice a guy to want to make attempts to get me. Being Junoesque and curvy doesn’t help my situation either. Ever since my classmates became old enough to forget that girls have cooties and develop a desire to see women, I’ve been hit on in every thinkable way. I usually brush them off. Or take it as a joke. And they get the message.
But this creep is seriously starting to scare me.
I read an article about women who feel that unwanted flirtation is a form of sexual harassment. It states that fear and discomfort are what define sexual harassment and that aggressive or sexual comments alone can instil terror in a female who is uninterested in a male’s advances. In public, there is no real way to escape it other than blocking it out and getting from point A to B as quickly as possible.
As a female, it is our responsibility to protect ourselves in public against such advances and to also not overreact over advances that are solely verbal. Obviously, unwanted physical contact is wrong and often in violation of the law, but words are just words. Rather than sit and become a victim, I chose to ignore it. I would go away if necessary, always had my earbuds in and my nose in a book to make myself unavailable, and always near other females and friends.
It may be morally wrong for a man to stare at a female’s body while that someone is minding her own business while walking down the street, but there is also a problem with us expecting everyone to properly censor themselves in public areas. It’s impossible to control the actions of others, especially in college, on city streets, at parks or restaurants, and other areas that are unable to enforce strict rules on proper behavior. In college, we can go to a teacher, but while out enjoying with friends, there isn’t an easy route to take to make it stop. The manager isn’t going to do much unless the offender is disorderly and the police likely won’t do much either in a he-said she-said situation where no contact was made and no real laws were broken. You’re on your own.
Instead of getting angry and upset, females need to be strong and stop playing the victim. If it escalates beyond words into physical contact or if it becomes threatening, it’s definitely a problem. If it’s simply unwanted flirtation and advances, find a way to deal with it and don’t be so soft about it. No one chooses harassment, but people do unwillingly choose to be an easy target by allowing their emotions to cloud their judgement and by getting upset instead of brushing it off and removing themselves from the situation. Choose to be strong, choose to be unafraid to tell these guys to piss off, and choose to hold your head up high and not let some horny idiot ruin your entire day.
P.S. Once again, This was meant more to motivate myself but ended up being applicable to all females and some men too. But I had to get it out. Sorry if y’all dont like reading things like this.
P.P.S. I guess this one is surely applicable for today’s prompt as well….sooooo #Resist.