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Older man upset my daughter after leering at her

(51 Posts)
LMmum Fri 11-Oct-19 10:44:06

Hi all,
I know its going to happen and its inevitable but i was with my 14 year old daughter in a coffee shop and waiting for our coffees when this middle aged man comes in places his order then decides to openly leer at my daughter. He would have only been a metre away. I know its human nature to look even though it made my skin crawl. It was the look on my daughters face though when he finally stopped staring she went from feeling and looking confident to red faced verging on tears, head hanging down and slumped shoulders. I stepped in front of his view so he couldnt look any longer. I didnt say anything to her about it. I dont know if i should. She is a level headed, intelligent girl. I dont know how to help her in this situation any ideas?

OP’s posts: |
RB68 Fri 11-Oct-19 10:47:44

you just say - she's 14, put your eyes back in and if really offended add you dirty old man

Mine is same age

TottieandMarchpane Fri 11-Oct-19 10:49:09

“SHE’S FOURTEEN!” Loudly, calmly, with eye contact. Every time.

Not sure what you mean by “it’s human nature to look”, TBH.

BiBiBirdie Fri 11-Oct-19 10:51:11

I would have very loudly said "Oi, perv, do you want a photo it'll last longer". Proper shame him.
My DD is coming up on 13 but looks older (doesn't wear make up but is quite tall and in proportion and she's pretty too) and she has been stated at,not by old guys but men who look around late teens. I always say, loudly, "well DD you are 12, wait until you're older". That soon stops the look.

Haworthia Fri 11-Oct-19 10:51:31

Inevitable? Human nature? Stop making excuses for disgusting men.

TottieandMarchpane Fri 11-Oct-19 10:51:36

Not just to call him out, but to show her, clearly, that he’s very much in the wrong and it won’t pass unchallenged.

VaggieMight Fri 11-Oct-19 10:54:50

My mum used to tell them my age, it first happened when I was 11 confused

Hoppinggreen Fri 11-Oct-19 10:55:12

Well you just showed her that men who treat her like a piece of meat shouldn’t be challenged.
My dd is 14 and this has happened plenty of times - I find a hard stare and “yes, can I help you?” Works
I don’t reference her age because it’s irrelevant, 14 or 44 no woman should be treated like that

kmammamalto Fri 11-Oct-19 10:55:49

How is it human nature to look at a 14 year old?! I am pregnant with a girl and the thought of this makes me want to go nuclear. I would call him a paedo because that's what he is. Women shouldn't be raised to just put up and shut up. I can't believe you're so calm after seeing the affect it had

LMmum Fri 11-Oct-19 11:04:49

I am not calm and i am not saying its acceptable. I just didnt know what to do and it broke my heart. My mother didnt teach me any empowering things. I am only trying now in my 50s. Women in my family growing up didnt have a voice and didnt have an opinion or make a decision. Still is the same for me now with my family so i keep my distance. Thankyou to all answers.

OP’s posts: |
AmIThough Fri 11-Oct-19 11:06:49

Yeah definitely just say "do you make a habit of leering over 14 year old girls?"

NWQM Fri 11-Oct-19 11:40:38

Personally I might not have called him out on it by shouting. I'd have tried first 'can we help you?' I've found being ultra polite far more disarming actually as making a woman uncomfortable is exactly what most of these idiots get off on!

Kanga83 Fri 11-Oct-19 11:44:54

No it's not inevitable, I would loudly say 'can I help you with something? When he says no or backtracks 'it's just you were staring at my 14 year old child'.

Hoppinggreen Fri 11-Oct-19 14:33:19

I’m sure it’s nobody’s intention but by saying she’s 14 it suggests that in 2 years time this sort of behaviour would be acceptable.
It’s not, age is irrelevant

mbosnz Fri 11-Oct-19 14:48:05

I had the same thing happen in a restaurant with my then 12 year old daughter. Thankfully, however, she had not noticed. She went to the toilet, and I leaned over and said to the two men, 'she's 12, you nasty little perverts', or words to that effect.

They went beetroot, and thereafter kept their looks to themselves.

It sounds like you two could treat this as a personal growth exercise. Talk about it with her. Discuss how it made you both feel, why, and what you think you could do in similar situations going forward. Also, discuss how we, as women, can support other women, in such situations.

PlasticPatty Fri 11-Oct-19 14:56:04

Firstly, your daughter needs to know that this is happening all the time, wherever she goes, even if she does not notice. She has to blank them, every time, and be conscious of her own safety. Being noticeably affected by it will give them a thrill and allow them to know they've put their message across.

If you catch them, just say coldly, 'Don't stare at my daughter', or better still, just give them a cold look. That usually makes them uncomfortable. Stepping in front of him was exactly the right thing to do. I did the same with my seven year old granddaughter when an old man was leering at her recently. They don't need to know her age, the less information they have the better. Knowing she's definitely underage and that you can't stop them leering will give them extra satisfaction.

This really should have started when she was a baby - not letting strangers talk to her/ touch her etc.

And you're right - it is human nature, but not a pleasant aspect of it. All men will look, all the time, and women who claim otherwise are just not observant. Even the 'good little husband' will look.

Make sure she has a phone, a personal alarm and knows to always make plans for her own safety if she is going anywhere. Going into town with friends, for example - what will she do if they get separated? Work on the scenarios.

MonChatEstMagnifique Fri 11-Oct-19 15:09:36

I'd have said 'Stop looking at my daughter, you dirty old perv?'

It's normal for people to look at other people they find attractive. It's not acceptable to look at children in this way and its not acceptable to leer at any age person. I'd do the same at any age if it upset my daughter and she didn't speak up for herself.

tellmewhenthespaceshiplandscoz Fri 11-Oct-19 15:15:28

IF it really offended you?!!! Jesus Christ, OPs daughter is 14 and this man openly leered at her which clearly upset her, in a bloody coffee shop! In plan sight!

OP it's really shit and I'm sorry this happened to her. If it was me next time I'd calmly but loud enough for people to hear say something along the lines of "Do that again and I'll break your legs you dirty shit".

Oh and it's not human nature it's completely unacceptable. I know you didn't mean to but please try to avoid language which minimises this.

But then again I'm one of this feminist types who apparently gets my knickers in a twist when men are only trying to be complimentary confused

SpeculumCrushingGoblet Fri 11-Oct-19 15:20:26

Dd is 17 and gets this, she hates it.
It’s happened since she was 10-11.
Some men are grim fuckers.

tellmewhenthespaceshiplandscoz Fri 11-Oct-19 15:21:56

Sorry OP meant to add it must have been horrible for you too. I bet it caught you off guard and often our reactions are reflective of this.

I still think this behaviour should be shamed for what it is. Agree with others it's an opportunity to talk to her about the reality and discuss strategies she could use (especially if she's on her own) next time which allow her to stay safe first but help help keep her dignity too.

It's a bloody minefield but depressingly necessary until more people and especially more men show the offending men it's not acceptable.

Speculum 10!!!! That's just appalling.

sue51 Fri 11-Oct-19 15:23:52

It is human nature to quickly glance at an attractive person but openly leering is unacceptable. I would have challenged him if this had been my daughter. A quick "please stop staring at my 14 year old" would have shamed him.
Do talk to her about this and help empower her to stick for herself.

Ringsender2 Fri 11-Oct-19 15:32:42

Most PPs are focusing on what you should say to the men, but I think you asked how to help your DD negotiate the levers.

First, she needs to know it's not her fault. We all feel violated when it's done to us, so there's nothing wrong with her initial reaction.

However, can you talk with her, ask her how she is and feels, then help her see that it's ALL on THEM?. They are the ones who should feel seedy and small. Not her (or any of the rest of us).

How to do this? She can either decide to ignore, or learn to say loudly "don't look at me like that. You're a pervert" (or something akin).

Unfortunately she will get a lot more of this, so the sooner she can really internalise the knowledge that their creepiness and shame is on them and not on her, the better.

OohthatlovelyNigelfromBabyClub Fri 11-Oct-19 15:34:32

I've been thinking how it'll make me feel when it does happen, and I know that I'll likely get very nasty. I hate those disgusting, perverted men and their pathetic leering.
I'm only in my 30s but have RBF that could stop a train and am very grateful.

SprinkleDash Fri 11-Oct-19 15:35:56

Teach your daughter how to cope with those situations by setting an example. I normally just say ‘is there a reason why you’re staring at me?’ VERY loudly!

BertrandRussell Fri 11-Oct-19 15:39:41

The age is irrelevant- both his and hers.
“Is there anything I can help you with?” calmly but loudly and clearly.

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