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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Is Harassed by Elderly Stranger

DEAR ABBY: My confident 17-year-old daughter had an uncomfortable experience today, and when she shared it, I didn't have answers for her. She was waiting outside a take-out place when she was approached by a grandfatherly man. He started chatting with her about her shoes, but proceeded to stare at her legs. He then loudly announced, "I may be 80 years old, but I can appreciate a great pair of legs!"

She understands that there are generational differences and that he may have intended it as a compliment, but the blatant staring made her feel objectified, uncomfortable and unsafe. It also made her question her (very appropriate for a teenager) outfit.

What should we have said to her? She was disgusted and upset, but my husband and I had no words of wisdom. -- MOM WITHOUT ANSWERS

DEAR MOM: You should have thanked your daughter for telling you and validated her feelings about the incident because her instincts were 100% accurate. The individual who harassed her -- and that is what it was -- was out of line and extremely inappropriate.

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