The “worst case scenario” refers to the author’s cowardly and deceptive tactic. Please realize that the author understands that she condones catcalling and makes the world more dangerous for other women.
“And yes, I know that in doing this — in using courtesy as a weapon of self defense — that I am also actively enabling the behavior and I am encouraging it further and I am part of the problem.”
My mistake for using the phrase “lead on,” as I realize it is a phase that incites. Please forgive me for being inconsiderate in that regard. What I mean to say is that feigning interest in a catcaller transfers them from “offender” to “acquaintance.” It opens the door for them to talk to you every time you encounter them from that moment on. It makes them a person in your life rather than a passerby on the street. I absolutely believe that letting someone into your life that you do not intend to is a dangerous mistake. By the time you are ready to tell your new acquaintance that you have merely been stalling, looking for your out, they are well under the impression that you are having a friendly chat.