Some thug walked by and made a slew of inappropriate comments. I didn't know exactly what to say, but I was done letting it slide. Particularly in Charlotte where this kind of behavior is really not socially accepted the way it is in Peru. I just stared him down for a moment and then asked him if he could please attempt to treat me with a little more respect. When he tried to defend himself, I told him I really didn't appreciate his treatment of me. He sheepishly apologized and walked off. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL! Score one for me!
Generally I walk away from these situations feeling degraded, violated, stripped of my humanity, ashamed of my weakness, downright furious, filled with bitterness and thoughts of evil revenge. Instead, today I left proud, happy, empowered, and dignified. I don't know why it took me this long to stand up for myself, but honestly it feels like a major life turning point!
Living in Charlotte, I probably won't encounter this kind of situation often. That's good. But for now at least I know that I can fight back with grace and dignity.