Letter: Double standard
When someone asks for directions or engages in conversation or flirts or offers to sell a product, it’s not considered harassment. But if someone asks for food or money, somehow it’s considered harassment. Harassment is repeated, unwanted behavior. It is our responsibility to make it clear that the would-be suitor, conversation buddy, salesperson or beggar of alms should leave us alone. Likewise, it’s their responsibility to respect our clear request to be left alone. We have the right to be left alone, but we also have the right to initiate contact. The balance of these rights is found in clear communication and mutual respect.