I was walking in the late afternoon down my street and noticed a man walking towards me. There was nothing strange about it– he was just walking in my direction, probably to the store nearby. But something made my body tense up as he got closer. I made a point not to make eye contact as we passed, and to just seem as normal as possible, looking straight ahead (I can’t emphasize how normal I was trying to look).
As he passed me, I saw him turn his head to look in my direction. He said something under his breath and kept walking. In theory, this was a harmless incident. But after over two decades of experiencing street harassment, this was too familiar to me. It is ridiculous and unfortunate that I can’t walk past a man on the street without being proven right about street harassment.