Alright let me rephrase. My point is that if you do acknowledge the comment, then you possibly ask a follow up question, you start smiling, laughing, and chatting with this person, you imply that the interaction is welcome, even appreciated. If you then change your tune completely, I believe you are more likely to agitate the individual. It is much safer to clearly communicate immediately that you have no time and or interest to interact.
Pretending in the way the author does wildly exacerbates the offender’s confusion and thusly the danger of the situation, and, it ENCOURAGES the offender to repeat their behavior to other women. You can’t blame the man for misunderstanding the situation when you’ve completely failed to communicate. You can’t hide your disinterest forever, unless you’re going to wed your catcaller. Cut it right off, and if he has a problem, call the cops or pull out some mace.