This isn’t a particularly terrible example of harassment, but it’s the note of hope in the story that I want to share.
Yesterday, I was walking home to class, and when I was right outside my apartment complex, some guy in a big white van slowed down to about 5 miles per hour to yell out his window at me, asking me if I “wanted a ride”. I said “no”, and he went away, but I still walked past my own apartment, just in case it would be bad for him to see me walk into my actual front door. I turned around, and my male roommate was coming up on his bike. He obviously thought I was doing something odd, but didn’t ask.
Later that night, I casually mentioned why I did that, and he was absolutely flabbergasted that such a thing would have happened to me. This opened up a pretty productive dialogue where I was able to explain how literally every woman he’s ever met has had to deal with things like that, and it was nowhere near the creepiest street harassment I’ve ever encountered, not even within a one-block radius of my current apartment.
There are many, many men out there who are perfectly respectful towards women, but have no idea the amount of shit every single one of us winds up dealing with from the ones who aren’t. It amazes me how shocked my roommate was to hear of this one minorly creepy, drop-in-the-ocean incident, but he was open to learning some very important aspects of everyday female life. That makes me feel hope for the billions of other all right guys who just have no idea.