So runs it in my blood.
I really really hate 4:30 in the morning.
A lot of men (and probably other genders, but mostly men) like to creepily hit on people (usually women) in contexts in which it’s not ok to hit on people. (Eg: on the subway).
Girls start experiencing this before they’re considered old enough for sex ed.
Creepy men regularly do this in a way that’s slightly deniable.
Like sitting way too close. Or asking an almost innocuous thing. And it feels really horrible to be on the receiving end, but it can be hard to put your finger on why. And if you object, the man who started it will try as hard as he can to say you’re being unreasonable. Often, bystanders or people you tell afterwards will empathically agree and tell you he was just being friendly and that didn’t have to be rude.
This is not your fault. It’s not your fault that creepy guys are awful to you, and it’s not your fault that people punish you for refusing to cooperate with their creepy actions.
There is usually no polite way to object. Because they manipulate the rules of politeness so that you have to be rude to say no.
It’s ok to be rude in that situation.
Being in that situation doesn’t mean you’re a rude inconsiderate person. It means you’re asserting an important boundary in the only available way.
Most of these guys know exactly what they are doing. It’s not innocent awkwardness. It’s a different thing. It’s doing something they know they can probably get away with denying that they’ve done.
(People do sometimes do this kind of thing by mistake, too. But it’s not ok then either. And most people who do this, know damn well what they’re doing.)
A man who was over 50 years old was hitting on me when I was alone at a bus stop when I was 20. He asked me, oh so politely but insistently, if I would be his girl. When I kept saying no, oh so politely, he started saying things like “We don’t have to tell your parents, we don’t have to tell your boyfriend, just say you’ll be my girl and I’ll give you things, things your boyfriend can’t give you, if you just be available when I call.”
When finally I told him if he didn’t stop I was going to have to leave (the only thing I could think of because I was very flustered and anxious and trapped) he said “You don’t have to be like that, I was just trying to be friendly, I can give you things, etc…”
I dreaded that he’d sit near me and keep it up when the bus came, but it turns out he was waiting for his car to be fixed on the corner, so he came over to bother me just because I was there, I was alone, and I had no other means of transportation. He knew I had no option but to wait.