"Stop making a scene" is often a phrase used against women to suppress or belittle our emotions. But one woman on Reddit wants women everywhere to know that sometimes, making a scene is completely justified.
At first, the woman was having a normal day, and had stopped by Walmart with her three kids to pick up diapers and tampons. She was bending over to look at the bottom shelf where the vitamins were, directly in front of the pharmacy, when she heard the click of a camera shutter. She stood up to see a man in his 50s walk toward the pharmacy, holding his phone awkwardly in his hand. When he stopped and tilted the screen to look at the photo he had just snapped, she could see the print of her dress and the black underwear she was wearing.
"Once I saw that, I yelled 'Excuse me!' And everyone in the pharmacy, customers and pharmacists, stopped what they were doing to look at me," she wrote. "I took a step toward him, not wanting to walk away from the kids in the stroller. I yelled, 'Did you just take a picture of me??' at the man. He mumbled back, 'uh I didn’t....' and looked down and away, at that point he walked off and everyone watching me was looking at me like I was crazy."
Even though some people in the pharmacy that day may have thought that she was unnecessarily making a scene, the woman made sure to alert employees about the man. And when she got home, she called Walmart to follow up. They looked through security footage and found that the man was following her around the store for a while before he took the photo. She filed a police report on the incident, but wanted to share the story so other women could be empowered to speak out even when it feels like other people might judge you.
"If this happens in public please don’t hesitate to call these people out about it. Embarrass them. Shame them," she wrote. "If my children had not been observing I would have went and taken his phone from him. It was horrible, and I feel extremely violated and disgusted."
This man targeted her, followed her around the store, and then violated her privacy. So she was absolutely within her right to make a scene.
"I went shopping, with my children, and a man stalked me because I looked vulnerable and distracted. Because he thought I wouldn’t notice, or that I would be too afraid to call him out," she wrote. "Anyways, I just wanted to vent a bit and remind all you lovely people to stand up for yourselves and your friends, and strangers, and to not be afraid to make a scene when someone does something repulsing."
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