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Woman's explanation for being 'standoffish to men in public' brings up an important point about unwanted attention.

This article originally appeared on 07.18.19


When Lily Evans set out to walk her dog, she had no idea the story of that walk would later go viral on the internet.

When she took to Twitter to recount her experience, she opened with a simple question, one that many men have probably wondered for a long time — though women already know the answer.

(Before you click through to the thread itself, note that Lily's Twitter account is expressly for adults and may be NSFW.)



All Twitter images from Lily Evans/Twitter, used with permission. A transcript of the excerpted tweets is available at the end of the story.

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The walk started off normal enough. Until she ran into a seemingly friendly stranger.

A man eating on a nearby bench offered her dog, Echo, a treat.

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He eventually asked her if she lived in the area — which could be considered slightly intrusive — but all in all, it was just small talk.

But then she ran into him again shortly after.

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Evans says his friendly banter — maybe innocent, but more likely not — was making her incredibly uncomfortable.

And yet he continued to linger.

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Then he invaded her physical space with an out-of-nowhere hug.

"I was terrified," she wrote.

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Evans hurried home, petrified the man would follow her.

He didn't. But the experience left her shaken and upset. Worst of all, she says, she has been through this many, many times before.

Her story went viral in a hurry, with over 44,000 retweets, 68,000 likes, and thousands of comments.

"The response from other women has been pretty heartbreaking," Evans writes in a Twitter exchange with Upworthy. "Many, many women have used this as an opportunity to share their stories of harassment, assault, or even just being very frightened."

The replies to Evans' tweet thread is littered with similar stories — seemingly "nice" guys on the street or public transportation who push small talk far past its acceptable boundaries.

Though she's glad her story made other women feel more comfortable coming forward with their own experiences, Evans hopes it also leaves an impression on men who read it.

"I had several guys ask me how they can be more non-threatening, and that's exactly what I was aiming for."

"I got a lot of replies from men saying, 'Oh, I'm so sorry that happened, but we aren't all like that! Some of us are nice guys,'" she says. "And while that's true, my point was that strangers cannot know what your intentions are until it's too late.


She hits on an important point: It's not inherently wrong or creepy to strike up a conversation with a stranger, but women truly never know when a simple "hi" is going to turn into them being followed and harassed.

"I had several guys ask me how they can be more non-threatening, and that's exactly what I was aiming for," she says. "I just want men to be more self-aware and understand that when a woman they don't know is skittish, it's nothing personal. We're just trying to be safe."






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In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

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“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

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