To be a woman in the public sphere.

I walk into a building, followed by two men in their forties. The three of us are standing, waiting for the elevator. One of the men is talking on the phone, not paying any attention to me. The other one: staring at me in a creepy way, not taking his eyes off my body. I turn away, but I see his piercing eyes in the full-length mirror. I am 43 and maybe because I don’t go out much, preferring to lead my life in private spaces, using public spaces minimally, only passing through them when necessary, I haven’t had this kind of experience in years, so it takes me by surprise. I think to myself he’ll probably realize his creepy leering is making me feel uncomfortable and stop it, but his stare only becomes increasingly creepier as the seconds go by. Two minutes pass, the elevator doesn’t come, the man doesn’t stop his creepy staring. At this point I realize there is no way in hell I am getting into an elevator with this predator, I walk outside of the building to breathe and calm down, and come back a few minutes later, when it is safe for me.

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