NEW YORK — Nearly 32,000 people have liked Christen Brandt's Facebook post, and thousands more have shared the image of her standing, holding a cup of coffee bundled up in a scarf, parka, tights, and boots.
Brandt said she was walking through a crowded subway station when a stranger catcalled her and commented on her appearance.
She says in part:
"A man passing by me said, 'Damn, you have some great legs.'"
When I ignored him and kept walking, he turned around to follow me, to get closer, even as I was moving away. 'Did you hear me, honey? I said you have nice legs. Damn! Thank you.'"
"It was the 'thank you' that got me," she continues. "As if my 5 inches of legging-covered skin were there for him. Given as a gift, wrapped in brown tights. Existing in the world for him to appreciate, or not."
Brandt is the co-founder of She's The First, a nonprofit that sponsors education for girls in low-income countries.
By posting about her experience, she asked her friends to consider the impact women's clothing choices have on how they are treated in public.
"All women have these moments. All of us. And yet the world acts as if it's still our problem to fix."
Brandt's message has struck a chord with thousands, and dozens of commenters have echoed her sentiment.
One Facebook user commented:
"Yup. This is not at all surprising. Happens all the time, and I am sure way more than we notice."