There seems to be a cultural divide when it comes to weighing the severity of the mistreatment of women in modern culture. There is perhaps no better example than the recent attacks on Leslie Jones, who faced an Internet-onslaught largely in part to her involvement in the much-maligned Ghostbusters reboot featuring an all-female cast. Women can face some pretty awful stuff on a daily basis, including catcalling, which can feel playful at times, sure, but is technically an unwanted advance and at times can get far too aggressive.
This viral post on Reddit by user Jesus-slaves is perhaps one of the better recent examples of why catcalling can be so dangerous. A woman was at the store to pick up some laundry detergent and groceries when a man in line in front of her told her to “smile.” When she didn’t acknowledge him, things got immediately ugly.
“I know that bitch didn’t just ignore me.”
That was the line that caught her attention, only to look up and find a man looking straight at her, once again telling her to “smile.” She told him to smile and there was an exchange between the two before the man checked out, complained about her being rude and stormed off. That wasn’t the end to her ordeal, though, as in the parking lot the man was waiting for her and made a beeline for her when she exited the store, which prompted her to pull her gun from her purse and place it into her back pocket, which got his attention and for him to storm off.
“I’ve never done this before yesterday. He spun on his heel and walked back to his car. I don’t know what I avoided, but I’m glad I did.”
Truly, no one should have to feel threatened like that, regardless of gender, when simply grocery shopping.