“Your comment was an assertion of masculine power”

I was sitting at the end of a bench at the Steel Plaza T Station one evening. I had my bag by my side so no one could sit directly next to me. A man came up to the bench and instead of sitting farther down away from me, he stood directly next to me. I could feel him staring at me and moved my bag to cover my legs (I instantly regretted wearing shorts). When I moved my bag, he took that as an invitation to sit next to me. Even though there was a whole bench to my left, he sat so uncomfortably close to me he was touching me. I moved over as much as I could without falling off of the bench. He asked me if I had the time and I had my cell out so I told him the time. I tried to call my boyfriend but did not get service in the station. I stood up as my train was pulling into the station. My heart started pounding when he also stood up. He leaned in close to me and said, “You have gorgeous legs.” Thankfully, he sat back down and I ran onto the train. The minute I sat down on the train I started to cry. I wasn’t brave enough to look at him as my train pulled away. I felt dirty, violated, and objectified. I will never forget his words and how they made me feel. To him it may have seemed like an innocent compliment but it was NOT. If I could confront him today I’d tell him, “My wearing shorts was not an invitation to stare at me, objectify me, or speak to me. I am a human and you turned me into a victim and made me feel like an object. Your comment was not innocent. It was an assertion of masculine power.”

Submitted by Olivia


3 Responses

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  1. Pepe B says:

    ¡Haceme caquita en el ojo y decime pirata!

  2. Julia says:

    So uncalled for and unnecessary. I completely feel your pain, girl. Stay strong! Your women-sisters are always here for you!

  3. Helen says:

    hi, i´m argentinian and what you describe is an everyday experience in my country. in my case, i tend to act very open and scandalously in order to expose men when they “pay complimments” to women: i argue, i challenge them to explain why are they supposedly flattering me and so, if they would do that if i were in company of a man. though most of the time i receive cinical answers, i think i at least make their sneaky attitude evident, and in some opportunities i even managed to get an apology.

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