This woman's viral tweet about saying "no" to a stranger offering to buy her a drink is so relatable
Since the issue of sexual harassment and assault is being discussed more openly than ever before - thanks to the numerous scandals coming out of Hollywood - people are becoming more and more aware of the seriousness of the matter, as well as how alarmingly frequent instances of misconduct are.
At the end of last year, CBS published an article titled: "In Wake Of Weinstein, Men Wonder If Hugging Women Still OK". The article kind of completely missed the point about what "misconduct" is, and it seemed to trivialise the issue at hand. Which, of course, Twitter didn't take to kindly.
In any case, this question of "what's acceptable and what's not" seems to be a more serious problem than we thought, and a woman who had her own uncomfortable encounter over the weekend is a perfect example. Freelance writer, Amna Saleem, was reading a book at a bar in London while waiting for her dinner companion to arrive when she was approached by a man who wanted to buy her a drink.
"Books, like earphones, are usually a great indicator that someone doesn’t want to be disturbed," she wrote in an article about the incident published in Huck Magazine.
But that didn't seem to stop the guy from approaching her. While she thought that he was going to comment on the book she was reading (it was Station Eleven, by the way), he came over and insisted she have a drink with him. Amna tweeted what happened next, and it's since gone viral.
The man was apparently not going to leave her be, despite the polite declinations she was offering, suggesting that she'd like to read in solitude. A kind stranger at the bar must have noticed the confrontation that was getting increasingly uncomfortable, and swiftly came to the rescue pretending to be Amna's friend. She said she felt her anxiety "dissipate" immediately after she realised what was going on.
"The man stood awkwardly for a few seconds before finally leaving, clearly not wanting anyone to witness his behaviour," Amna wrote in her article. "Instead he scarpered at the first sign of interference – confirming that his actions were predatory, and that he knew it."
It's another example of people not understanding that no means no, and being persistent in trying to chat/flirt with a person who clearly doesn't want to engage. Amna's tweet caught the attention of thousands of people, many of whom left comments on the situation.
This guy knows how it should have gone down:
And so does this one:
This person pointed out that it's usually never "just a drink":
These girls had their own suggestions about how they would have handled the situation:
And it turns out that plenty of people had experienced the same kind of situation:
As disheartening as it is to know that these kinds of creepy encounters are all too common, it's nice to see total strangers looking out for one another. More of this please, and less of the creepiness. Go with it if she says yes to the drink, but if she says no – leave it at that and move on.