Men should not follow women around in public that they do not know. I do believe that there are some situations where it might be okay; in a space where you cross to talk to her. Like in a bar, or in a church. But following a woman or a man around is just damn creepy and you should know that.
I think that many men live in a denial world about rape and it’s prevalence in our society; it’s called rape culture and because they are male and have male privilege they can avoid thinking about the reality of abuse and rape/sexual assault. The truth is that men are raped/sexually assaulted as well and none of us really have the safety that we deserve and need.
I think that they think that any attention they give any woman is supposed to make that woman feel flattered, even if they are unkempt, unwashed, unshaved, out of shape, unattractive, unemployed, and undateable. Dudes, it isn’t.
Following a woman from an open space to a more closed in space does not feel safe. Pretending to not be following her does not fool her. She knows you are there and you are making her feel uncomfortable. You are making her feel unsafe. You are making her feel creeped out by your presence. If she is a survivor of rape/sexual assault and/or child sexual abuse you might be triggering her and making her anxiety, fear, or PTSD symptoms be aggravated, from the interaction and for some time to come.
Being pursued by men I don’t know, is a trigger for us, so it is always bad when a man that I do not know follows me. The three times that it has happened in the last few years included being followed. There was the guy in the library and the guy in the dollar store; they followed me from the open front areas of the buildings into the stacks/aisles and then pretended they weren’t and tried to hang out very near me, and then tried to start talking to me. Pretending they accidentally ran into me was as triggering as the fact that they followed me from an open more protected area to be alone in a less safe and secure area.
Men who follow women around are some of the creepiest men in the whole wide world. If they think it is romantic they should see how they would feel if a huge tall man did that to them. Guys who don’t know the difference between an interest in a woman and an interest in a woman who might be flattered by their attention, and creepy stalker behavior really are the creepiest. I have to admit this has happened in my past and it always is disgusting and disturbing to me. Men who follow women around are some of the creepiest men in the world and might be capable of worse. Stop doing it.