This one goes out to you, guys.
It’s not up to you what I find flattering
Approaching women in packs isn’t flattering. In fact, it’s threatening.
Being approached by a group of strangers rather than one lone stranger is always intimidating, no matter your gender, the context, or how big and strong you are. Being outnumbered by people you don’t know well enough to trust gets your guard up. You know this because you are alive on Earth and you’ve ever been approached by a group of strangers at some point in your existence. You know what that feels like. And you can’t seriously think that when the strangers are commenting flatteringly on her body (which is most likely less physically imposing than any one of theirs) this mitigates the effect. It’s often quite the opposite, in fact, as it calls attention to her vulnerability.
You know deep down it’s not flattering; that’s just your excuse.
If you’re honest with yourself, you know it’s not really about how attractive she is. It’s about one of two things: [the men, or intimidating women].
It’s not so much what you say as how you say it
But harassment isn’t communication
The best definition of “harassment” (of any sort) I can give you is one-way communication. It’s that simple. It doesn’t even have to involve an ugly motive; it’s just someone talking at you instead of with you. While everyone has a different tolerance for that sort of behavior, no one likes it and that’s why you need to stop when someone tells you to back off. The man who yells at a woman about her boobs isn’t engaging with her; he’s talking at her. The religious zealot co-worker who lectures you about your evil ways every day at work isn’t engaging with you; she sees you only as a potential point on her score card of godliness. When someone’s engaging with you, they stop to listen. That’s how you know the difference.