In a Twitter thread, a man revealed how his mind was blown to learn about how unsafe women are even when they're just walking down a street.
Trigger Warning: Harassment, Stalking
Men probably aren't aware of how difficult it is to simply walk down a street unbothered when you're a woman. From catcalling to more egregious acts such as being stalked, the streets aren't safe for our women. However, sometimes, men get a peek into this world that women must navigate in order to be and feel safe. In a Twitter thread, a man revealed just how shocking it was for him to have that little peek. He shared a story about when a woman asked him to pretend as if he knew her because she was being followed down a street by three random men.
Twitter user WonderKing82 shared, "I'm walking to the train a few minutes ago and a woman walked right up to me, gave me a tight hug, and whispered quickly, 'Please act [as if] you know me. Three guys [have been] following me for a while.' I played along then walked her three blocks home. What an experience for both of us." His tweet blew up. Since it was first posted, it has received almost 376,000 likes and 64,000 retweets. Though he was hesitant at first, he knew that the woman was genuine because of how tightly she hugged him. "Her hug was too real to be fake, and three men [were] following behind at a distance," he continued. "As we walked and talked, I realized she was terrified. She kept saying, 'I have to get home to my son.'"
Of course, any woman in her position would be terrified. Had she not taken the chance of trusting him, it is likely that the situation would have gotten much worse. The user went on, "After the hug, she held my hand as we walked to her building. She apologized for the inconvenience, and I had to tell her it was my pleasure, no inconvenience." While the experience would seem regular enough to any woman, it was definitely chilling for the Twitter user. "I can only imagine how she feels because this sh*t never happened to me before and I'm a little taken aback," he stated. "Sitting back analyzing this has me feeling a [certain type of] way."
Before bidding farewell to each other, they exchanged numbers in case she ever needed someone to walk her home safely. The man said he or his boyfriend would meet her at the train station if she ever felt unsafe. The next day, she explained the whole situation when he checked in on her. The woman explained that the three men had spotted her on the train and followed her for two blocks before she stepped into a store. When she exited, they were still waiting for her. Though she looked for people who could help, she only saw women and "didn't want to put another woman in harm's way."
The man was just happy he was there that night. While on the phone with her, he reflected on the entire situation. He wrote, "I expressed how terrible I felt afterward because what if I didn't take that route, what if I didn't believe her? She said, 'There are no what-ifs, you were there, please accept being my hero that night, I really thought my son would've been motherless and my mother daughterless.'" The incident got the man thinking about the privilege he has simply by being a man. Though he's a counselor trained in sexual abuse, this was the first time the inequality became tangible to him. He recalled of their conversation, "She said, 'You're feeling like this, now imagine what every girl and woman feels like... You're a good person, at least to me, for what you did for my family and me." The solution, of course, isn't for more women to stumble upon folks like this Twitter user. Instead, the solution is for men to stop making women feel unsafe.