I went to this fancy movie theater for a friend’s birthday, and while you watch the movie you are served drinks and food, and you just need to reserve seats a few hours ahead of time. We got there and were sitting chatting when a guy gets to his seat which is next to mine. He stares at me and says, “Oh wow! A pretty girl, lucky me!” I don’t respond; I don’t even turn to look at him. I’m staring straight ahead hoping he’ll ignore me, but he persists and says, “What no smile? Can’t you smile?” I give him a withering glare instead, but he keeps harassing me to be a “good little girl and smile.” Then he starts calling me mute and telling me to speak. He’s an older man, maybe in his 50’s, and I’m 22 but look more like an underage teenager, and one way he tries to get me to speak is by saying, “I have three iPhone in my car. I bet if I take you out to my car and show them to you I’ll get you to talk and smile”. The waiter then comes a few seconds after that, and he tells the waiter, “don’t speak to her, she’s mute. She can’t speak.” Thankfully there was another seat next to my friend away from the man, so I got up and switched seats. When the waiter came back, he asked me why I had moved away from my father, to which I responded, “He’s not my father. I’ve never met that man before in my life.” The waiter was shocked and said he was sorry. Then the waiter came back and started flirting with me while I was watching the movie and touched my face. I felt so utterly violated by both men.


At work a week ago I was returning a carton of milk to the dairy case. I was wearing my hair in pigtail braids because it’s too thick to do much else with it. Well, an old man I passed saw me and felt the need to call out, “A milkmaid!” I’ve since switched to a different, older-looking hairstyle, not because of that alone but because I am harassed at work SO MUCH that I’ve come to expect it every time I go in, and I suspect it’s due to both being female and my youthful appearance. Oh, and a few weeks ago a male customer stopped and stared at me for several seconds after his transaction was done, then left saying sarcastically, “Keep smiling.” I don’t go to work to smile and look pretty. I go to do my job and earn money. That’s IT.