Nicole Bescoby was traveling with her seven-year-old daughter when a man on the bus made her uncomfortable by pushing her to talk, and Nicole did not hesitate to stand up for her daughter.
“A man sat next to my daughter on the bus,” wrote Nicole on Facebook in a now-deleted post. “The bus wasn’t particularly [crowded], yet he chose the seat next to her. She stood up and moved over to me. She didn’t make a big deal about it, she just clearly didn’t feel comfortable sitting with him.”
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“‘Aw you don’t need to be scared. Give me a high five’,” Nicole says the man continued. “She didn’t want to. She turned into me and refused to acknowledge him. I smiled at him and then my children and I went back to our conversation.”
Despite them giving the stranger some pretty clear signals that they were not interested in his attention, he couldn’t seem to get the hint and continued to give the girl some unwarranted attention.
Nicole did her best to diffuse the situation, answering the man’s questions when it was clear her daughter was not comfortable doing so.
“I’m not great socially, but I try to be polite and I hate to think anyone is lonely. I was happy enough to have a conversation in that moment,” she continued in the Facebook post.
The man, though, just could not take a hint, though, and continued trying to speak with Nicole’s daughter.
Nicole told the man that her daughter was not interested in speaking with him and then directed her attention to her children.
“‘You should teach her some manners. She should at least be polite!,” the man yelled at her.
In her post, Nicole recalled all the times that she had been made to feel uncomfortable and gave people attention she didn’t want to, from forced hugs to family members to unwanted attention from men while she was out at a club. Nicole knew she had to stand up for her daughter.
‘She doesn’t have to talk to you!’
“‘She hasn’t been impolite. She doesn’t have to talk to you!’ I said to him. Then I turned to my daughter and spoke clearly so she could hear and so that he could hear too: ‘Sweetie, you do NOT have to speak to this person. People do NOT get to make you feel bad. You can tell him to stop and if he doesn’t listen then HE is wrong and you can make sure he knows it! If people like this don’t listen you can shout ‘Stop, right now! Leave me alone,’ and you keep shouting it until they hear!,” she wrote in her now-viral Facebook post.
One day it may be a man who doesn’t listen when they say no. I want her to know she has a choice. She never has to stay quiet for someone else’s benefit. She is powerful and she is able to say STOP. I want her to know Stop means STOP… And No means NO … And if someone is offended by her boundaries, that’s THEIR problem,” she continued.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.