Actress Jameela Jamil has triggered a conversation involving hundreds of women after she described being sexually harassed in the street.
On Twitter, she spoke about how important it is to “teach children” about rejection after a man “threatened” her because she had refused to take his phone number.
Jamil wrote: “[I] was out at the shops with my friend. Man ogles me. Man then approaches me to give me his number.
“I explain I have a boyfriend but thank him for the offer. Man then threatens my career, saying I better remember that I rejected him. And then shouts at me that I’m low class…”
Jamil’s tweet, which has been liked more than 28,000 times, prompted other women to share their stories – as well as the steps they have had to take to feel safe.
One woman wrote: “I’ve been outside cleaning my car in the summer, for a man to drive past, park his car and thought he has the right to come over to start touching me up. Outside my own home. Because I was wearing shorts. I had to leave my car, run inside and lock the door. What’s wrong with them.”
Another said a man spat in her hair when she turned him down.
Jamil, who currently stars in Netflix show The Good Place, has previously spoken out against body-shaming and photo editing.
In tweets to her 736,000 followers, she added: “I once said no thank you to man when I was 19 and didn’t have an excuse… and he punched me in the face. After that whether or not I have a boyfriend, I say I do. Being a woman is truly, constantly scary. It’s like existing on thin ice.”
The presenter added that she believed children need to be taught about rejected “so that we can change the way we see rejection as a society”.
A YouGov study in 2016 showed that almost two-thirds of women (64%) women have experienced sexual harassment in public. That figure rose to 85% when asked of women aged 18 to 24.
She also revealed that a man she once rejected punched her in the face, and that a man had masturbated on her leg when she was 13 years old.