Many times in society, men will criticize women for coming off “rude” or “standoffish” to them. While being rude to individuals is not kind, one Twitter user explained why it’s okay and sometimes even important for women to come off this way. Lily Evans began the thread saying: “Why some women are “rude” or “cold” or “standoffish” to men in public: a thread.”
Why some women are "rude" or "cold" or "standoffish" to men in public: a thread— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
She began to explain a particular situation that happened to her.
I was walking my dog today and stopped to take a photo of the sunset. A man on a bench behind me was having a snack and he offered Echo a cracker, which she gladly took, because she's a dog and always wants the people foods.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
It started innocently enough. He asked my dog's name, and then mine. I asked for his and we shook hands. I hate making small talk but, well, he had been very nice to offer my dog a treat, so I mentioned the nice weather. He asked if I lived in the area.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
Now, as a woman, I don't like that question. First of all, I'm walking my dog, so it's already pretty clear that I probably live fairly close by. But I answered yes, made an excuse about Echo needing her medication, and dragged her away. All in all, not the worst interaction.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
About 200 yards away, I paused to let Echo sniff some stuff and text a friend. "Hey, I thought you were going home?" Oh, boy. He'd followed me. I smiled and said I was just texting a friend back, but was on my way home, which was true-- but more explanation than I owed a stranger— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
He asked me where I lived. This made me uncomfortable, so I lied and said I live a neighborhood over. He said he'd seen me around often, which made me uncomfortable because I'd never seen him before but I guess he has been watching me.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
He asked if I have family around. I said no. And then he asked me if I live alone. So now a strange man, over 6 feet tall, probably in the 220-260 pound range, has been watching me, following me, has a rough idea of where I live...— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
and now he knows that I have no family in the area to check in on me. And now he wants to know if I live by myself. Alarm bells are ringing in my head and luckily this time I can tell the truth-- I do not live alone, I have a former military male room mate. But I'm still scared.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
I start tugging the leash to get across the street and he asks for a hug. Before I can say no he wraps his arms around me and squeezes me, tightly, and doesn't let go for a good 10-15 seconds. I was terrified he would squeeze tighter because I knew he could hurt me if he wanted.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
Finally he let me go and I dashed across the street with my dog, even though the crosswalk timer was nearly up. All I wanted was to get home ASAP. But I couldn't even do that. What if he followed me again? What if he saw where I lived?— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
I had to take an alternate route home, in the dark, constantly checking behind me to make sure I wasn't being followed, constantly making sure I was surrounded by plenty of people so I wouldn't be alone in the dark, constantly staying on the best lit streets.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
So now I need to plan a new dog walking route, and I have to be even more wary than usual after dark (which comes at like 4:45 now, thanks winter.) All because I decided to be nice to a strange man. I gave him an inch and he took a mile.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
I've experienced this over and over and OVER, and yet I STILL try to give people the benefit of the doubt because I don't want to get called a bitch. I don't owe anyone ANYTHING. Not a smile, not a hello, not a hug. And I'm going to remember that.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
This man didn't look scary, or creepy, or weird. Our interaction started perfectly pleasantly. So next time a woman on the street comes off as "rude", remember that we have NO IDEA which men are going to follow us home, or touch us without our consent, or worse.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
Oh, and on my way home, another man stopped me and told me I had better "watch my figure". I assume this is because HE wanted to watch my figure.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
So yeah. I'm at home shaking now, hoping that man didn't follow me home. Hoping he doesn't really see me around a lot, hoping he doesn't know where I really live. And hoping that I can make ONE person understand how dangerous "just being nice" to strangers can be.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
And for thos eof you saying "wow he's creepy": you're correct! He IS creepy! And I had NO WAY OF KNOWING whether he would be creepy or harmless until it was too late!— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
And for those of you telling me to "stay safe" and protect myself: being "rude" IS a way of staying safe and protecting myself. When a woman you do not know brushes you off, won't say hello back or thank you for your compliment or whatever, THIS IS WHY. SHE IS PROTECTING HERSELF.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
So next time you wanna get butthurt about it, try and consider WHY she might be acting that way. Consider that if she is nice to a man who later turns creepy people will tell her she should have been more careful.— Lily Evans (@LilyEvansMFC) January 5, 2018
Many people online were in agreement with Lily, saying that she is absolutely right. And, many began to share their own story about men taking advantage of them when they’re alone in public.
I once said ‘Happy new year’ to an older neighbour, whom I’d seen around. He took this as an invitation to grab me. Since when has been wishing someone a happy new year been a come on?— Mme Decadent Sneezy-Bottom (@sneezysnooze) January 5, 2018
I’m sorry this happened to you!— ruinous bolt (@anarae) January 5, 2018
This has happened to me so many times. Twice it got to the point where I had to scream “LEAVE ME ALONE. DO NOT FOLLOW ME.” to gain the attention of people around so I could buy some time to run (yes RUN) away.
Had a similar experience years ago. Walking my dogs at small park near my house. Guy gets down on ground, petting my dogs. Nice, right? Yes, until he starts caressing my legs and saying, "Pretty, pretty." UGH. Since you can see my house from there, I took alt route home.— (((loganbacon))) #SAVENETNEUTRALITY🇺🇸 (@loganbacon) January 5, 2018
Ladies, if someone ever comes up to you unannounced and you are uncomfortable—do whatever you think is best for you. If that means being rude, by all means, be rude.