Why Women Smile at Men Who Sexually Harass Us
Hanna Brooks Olsen

Your article made me smile. Why - because I am not alone in how I handle the endless harassment and it’s such a relief to know that. Like you, I too have learned that being polite is usually the saving grace. It is tiring, exhausting and beyond frustrating.
My boyfriend recently got very annoyed with me being polite to my creepy landlord who was at the point of stalking me. I felt it was the best way to keep him at bay. I would smile and hold stupid conversations with him as I had learned that as long as he got some attention from me he was ok. It was when I ignored his knocks on the door or his messages that his persistence doubled. But my boyfriend thought I was handling things all wrong and became frustrated at me. It was his reaction that turned me to tears, not that of my harasser, it was that my boyfriend had no faith in my ability to handle the situation. A situation of which he had no personal experience.
Thank you for putting in words what I have so often thought and felt.

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