I felt threatened. I felt uncomfortable but I didn't say anything.
It is the unwritten law that we as women were brought up with-- be nice girls. Nice girls don't make a scene. Nice girls are polite. Nice girls don't offend or make others feel awkward.
Nice girls, if they are nice enough, will end up stalked, raped, and/or dead. I don't want to be a nice girl any more. I don't want my daughters to be nice girls but I failed to stand up to sexual harassment yesterday and I've been feeling miserable about it ever since.
Later, in the safety of my own house, I thought I should just have said, “Your making me uncomfortable.”
As this imagined conversation formed in my mind I prefaced that with, “Sorry, but your making me uncomfortable.” Why should I be sorry that his unwanted attention to me and my children is making me uncomfortable? Shouldn't I just be able to say that instead of putting up with this man politely?
I comfort myself by vowing to never let this happen again. Never be nice in the face of unwanted advances. But, of course, this is not the first time this has happened and I have not yet learned the lesson that I so desperately want to impart to my own children, “Don't be nice, be safe.”