Five places on and off campus not to hit on women

Maddie McGhee has been inspired to write this short, helpful guide on how not to make women uncomfortable in public spaces.

Staff Columnist

A few weeks ago, around 10:30 pm, my friends and I were returning from dinner on Main Street. I went to Walgreens while my friends stopped for frozen yogurt. As I was paying, some guy twice my size (I’m only 5 feet 2 inches) was standing between the registers and the exit.

He told me I was beautiful and proceeded to ask for my name. He then asked me, “What are you doing tonight?” I was the only customer in the store and the cashier was also visibly uncomfortable. I felt uneasy and I quickly left after paying.

As I rushed out, from behind me I could hear, “You’re just gonna reject me like that?” As I fled to meet my friends across the street, I feared he would follow.

This altercation has inspired me to share these tips on how to avoid making women uncomfortable in public spaces.

Disclaimer: These locations are not ranked in any particular order. None of these are more or less acceptable situations to bother women.

1. Walgreens (or any store for that matter)
Finding spaces to meet a potential love interest is difficult on a college campus with numerous parties, clubs and designated social gatherings. Though your struggle is noble, when women are running errands, we don’t often welcome romantic advances when picking up prescriptions, buying groceries or waiting in line. While you may have sculked around Walgreens hoping to find love or a hook-up, I just wanted to buy Mike and Ike’s without feeling mildly threatened.

2. The Little Bob
You may be shocked to hear that the last thing most women want lingering in their minds is the thought that you were ogling them as they worked out. I’m sure no one told you that women at the gym are not there hoping to meet an eligible bachelor who will compliment them on the bodies. We can surely appreciate that you were overcome by the urge to compliment us while we’re on the elliptical and could not resist, but please refrain in the future.

3. From a distance
It would be heartbreaking for you to drive, walk or bike past your soulmate without notifying her of your presence, but consider that shouting may be a tad off-putting. Although the timeless “hey shorty” (this has actually been shouted at me), “hey girl,” creepy lip-smacking and observations about her body might seem respectful, they aren’t typically received as such. No one faults you for your ignorance. Who hasn’t heard the classic tale of the boy catcalling the girl from a vehicle with his leering friends, and they lived happily ever after?

4. At work
Isn’t the sole purpose of working at one of the stores or restaurants on campus — Honeygrow, Barnes and Noble and Saxby’s — to find a potential mate. I’m sure it’s immensely difficult to resist texting or snapchatting, “Wyd tonight,” since you already have her number from that convenient employee group chat.

What’s the worst that can happen? Other than her having to continue working with you while incredibly uncomfortable because of unwanted advancements in the workplace. Unfortunately, we live in a cold, cruel world where professionalism triumphs over your need to find a hookup.

5. Secluded areas at night.
Nothing says romance like moonlight and privacy. However, contrary to what many believe, women don’t enjoy being approached alone (or not alone) at night. While you’re probably thinking, “But I would never follow her, threaten her, or attack her,” one of our many shortcomings as women is an inability to read minds. Given this tragic deficiency (surely due to that pesky extra X chromosome), we would rather not risk our safety walking home (with no witness present) late at night.

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