What to do When You See Women Getting Harassed in Public

Ruth B
4 min readSep 19, 2023
Photo by RDNE Stock project: https://www.pexels.com/photo/couple-having-a-misunderstanding-5617718/

Next week I will begin ageing out of the male gaze in earnest. Yes, that’s right — I’m celebrating my 30th birthday. And while I appreciate the assurances of several men in my life that my beauty is timeless, I am actually looking forward to it.

The main reason: I’m hoping it’ll mean I stop getting harassed in public.

Take yesterday, for example.

It had been a long and stressful day. I went for a walk (in broad daylight) to clear my head.

My face was sober, downcast. Bitch-like, in its restful state.

I happened to accidentally lock eyes with a passerby, his face looking every bit as weary as mine. I offered a meek smile (in case he thought I was glaring at him.) A sort of two-strangers-briefly-acknowledging-each-other’s-suffering-so-that-for-an-instant- they-both-feel-less-alone kind of smile.

Unfortunately, he misinterpreted it as a sign of interest.

He then proceeded to change directions and follow me for 6 blocks badgering me to let him buy me a drink, tell him where I lived, and give out my personal contact information.

The more I resisted, the more he persisted.

While this man was not overly threatening, it was a little disconcerting to be…



Ruth B

Sharing adventures and advice in dating, love, & relationships.