Here’s how I responded to just one of many incidents of sexual street harrassment that happen to me almost every time I leave the house. You can use this tactic too, to reduce your attacker to shame and embarrassment.
Cycling back from the pool and I pass a Mark Zuckerberg lookalike standing at the bus stop. He’s about twenty-one. He looks me up and down with a sneer of entitlement and arrogance.
Arrogant male (at me): Push up those pumpkins…
Me (getting off bike, standing on pavement facing him and looking at him quizzically): Sorry, I didn’t quite get that. What did you say?
Arrogant male (cockily): I said “Push up those pumpkins.”
Me: What? I didn’t hear you properly. What did you say?
Arrogant male (slightly embarrassed): Push up those pumpkins.
Me: Push up those what?
Arrogant male (nervously): Pumpkins…
Me: What exactly does that mean? What do you mean, pumpkins?
Arrogant male: I don’t know…pumpkins…
Me: I don’t understand and I want you to explain exactly what you mean by saying to me “Push up those pumpkins”.
Arrogant male: I…I…don’t understand either…I…I’m sorry…
Me (getting back on bike): You should be.