Depressingly, we live in a world where sexual harassment is more prevalent than ever. But it's also being spoken about more than ever, with movements like #MeToo galvanising people into action to take a stand.
And it seems it's working. Because in a recent Twitter thread, a young woman described the incredible way she and four other complete strangers took action to help another woman who was being followed by a creepy man in the street.
Actor Pia Glenn shared the story on Twitter, and despite having posted the series of tweets less than twelve hours ago, has already received thousands of likes, retweets, and messages of support.
So earlier today a young sista on the street uptown started shouting "Leave me alone! You been following me for blocks!" There was a guy walking behind her who suddenly got enraged at her yelling and yelled back, mostly variations on the theme of "Fuck you, bitch"- @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) August 3, 2018
She then shouted, to no one in particular, "I don't know him! He won't leave me alone!"- @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) August 3, 2018
His reaction confirmed she didn't know him and fam...4 total strangers and myself got in formation in front of her like Bey herself had gotten off the 2 train and commanded it
Somebody's stud auntie took the lead and said "You wanna follow people? Come on, try and get through all of us. I dare you."- @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) August 3, 2018
(She then stepped forward and did the wild b-boy stance and I was so into it but that's not the point rn)
I was looking at the young lady, didn't have to even ask #YouOKSis b/c she clearly wasn't.- @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) August 3, 2018
It seemed like she had been putting up with his street harassment for a few blocks and had finally had enough
She and I held eye contact and I don't think I'm imagining that we shared such a common feeling of anger and fatigue in that brief moment. We did a lil' Black Head Nod and she took off quickly around the corner.- @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) August 3, 2018
This man is cursing us out and now kiiiinda stepping forward as if to fight a line of 5 ppl who clearly had time today, but then jumping back when he got close- @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) August 3, 2018
He probably thought he looked like a boxer. He looked more like a 6 yr old trying to jump double-dutch for the 1st time
And then this whole entire grown man started kicking one of those garbage cans they have on some street corners. He yanked some of the trash out and chucked it in our direction, throwing a full-on fit.- @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) August 4, 2018
I said "Yo don't lash out at your family like that, this isn't their fault"
When it was clear that his plan to be a goddammed creep in this moment was foiled, and enough time had passed that the young lady was long gone, he stomped away and we 5 strangers just...disassembled. With not even a word.- @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) August 4, 2018
Each instance of SH requires its own evaluation, prioritizing yr safety. But lemme say this: women, femmes, trans sisters, nonbinary luvs & those of us who experience it so often,- @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) August 4, 2018
Sometimes the thing to do is make a scene. You don't owe a stranger politeness if you feel unsafe💛
Pia and the four other strangers' actions demonstrate just how important - and empowering - it is to take a stand when you see something unacceptable going on. And Twitter responded accordingly.
"My heart is so full right now," wrote one follower. "Thank you, even though you definitely didn't do it for that. May your kindness and bravery be returned to tenfold".
Another added: "Your actions are beautiful and make me cry. I was just remembering today the times I had to make a loud fuss to not be attacked or shield someone more vulnerable from attack. And I was alone. *fist in the air!*"
Nobody knows what would have happened if five entirely different people had crossed that young woman's path and decided not to respond to her cries for help. But thankfully she was surrounded by people who cared, and was made to feel instantly safer.
Points to you, Pia.
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