Dear Abby

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 with no answers

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

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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