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The Blue & Gray Press | February 25, 2018

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Letter to the Editor: Young Women Wary of Older Fred Patrons

Dear Editor.

Every young girl in her not-yet-too-experienced life has been made seriously uncomfortable by some strange older man in a public place. The most common example of this is when on public transportation, in my case the Fred.

I had been warned of the Fred, but I was not prepared to see yet another display of the gross misunderstanding among men, that even though they have reached an age in which they could be the father of most young women they encounter, they still believe they can chat up said women.

Though, to many it does not seem fair that age should punish men like this, the fact remains that older men who do not know a girl prior to the sketchy meeting in some public place, should not try having a conversation with them or sit close to them.

I was sitting on the bus with my friends when a man of the older and larger persuasion sat on the other side of the aisle from me. He tried talking to me after copious and inappropriate staring. Yet, it was not my plight that was the worst, a poor girl my age was squeezed into the seat next to him and dealt with his attempts to talk to her and look at her at the same time.

In the world today, most girls are just going to think, “this is a strange man who is way older and stronger than I am, he must only be talking to me because he thinks I’m cute.” Though, this might not always be true, the intentions of the man could be completely harmless, but a girl’s “creeper alert” will sound off immediately.

Thus, young men of Mary Washington, when you reach an age in which the young generation of women could be your daughter, do not talk to them. At this point the men have become strangers and every woman, well most every woman, was taught to not talk to strangers.

So, if an attractive young girl in a cute outfit comes on a bus and that kneejerk reaction occurs, telling you to go and try to charm her, don’t. She’ll just be uncomfortable and scared, and if she has you’ll be the subject of mockery later.

Katherine Redmiles is a freshman.