A 2-part TikTok video featuring a creepy stranger approaching a teenage girl is going viral on social media and it is as disturbing as it sounds.
It’s also chillingly relatable.
The video was captured by the girl herself, as she was sitting alone at a table in a hotel lobby, in the middle of doing a live stream. She continued filming as the predatory encounter went down.
I’ll be honest with you, it took me three tries before I was able to finish watching it. Yes, it made me that uncomfortable.
The teen shared it on TikTok where she goes by @maassassin_. The first part has garnered over 12.2 M views and the second part has just over 2.2M views.
The video is centered on the teen girl when a man (who remains off-camera) approaches her table and asks if a chair is free. Thinking that he wants to take the chair, she responds:
“Um, Oh yeah, you can take that.”
Instead of taking it, he sits down and it is clear from the very beginning that the girl is not okay with this.
She even voices it, OUT LOUD, telling him:
“Oh, I didn’t mean you could sit there.”
Which, you would think would be more than enough to make the man get up, apologize, and leave. But no.
Instead, he responds with:
“I thought you said I could take this. What did you mean I could take?”
Thereby making it seem as though she had invited him to sit with her, which clearly she had not. Welcome to gaslighting 101.
When she tells him that she meant he could take the chair, he replies with:
“Oh, I was asking if this seat was taken…May I?”
By this point, the look on her face says it all. “I’m scared. I’m uncomfortable. I want you to leave.”
She tells him “Uhhhh I don’t know.”
Which is the second time she lets him know that his attention isn’t wanted.
Yet, the man persists. He conveniently ignores all of her cues: visual and verbal.
He smarmily asks her how she’s doing and asks her name (she gives him a fake one.) He attempts to shake her hand but she declines.
Which is the third time she makes it clear that she’s not comfortable. But it does nothing to deter him. He even acknowledges her discomfort, saying:
“I see your hesitancy. I just, I just, I couldn’t help but notice you were the only one hanging out over here and my intentions were to come hang out over here by the pool, and I didn’t see anybody else over here and I’d like to hang out with you.”
At this point, she tells him she’s on a live talking to people and he FINALLY seems to get the message.
He tells her he won’t interrupt but then LEANS BACK AND STILL SITS THERE for a moment or two before he laughs at her obvious discomfort, says “nice to meet you,” and gets up.
The girl, obviously not wanting to appear rude, responds with “nice to meet you too,” and visibly exhales.
A friend calls down from the balcony and asks if she’s okay. The creeper, obviously aware of just how inappropriate his behavior was defends himself, saying:
“I was just saying ‘hey’ to her.”
But it wasn’t just saying “hey.” He wasn’t just being friendly. The words he used may seem innocent enough but he forced himself into her space despite her making it clear, in words and actions, that he wasn’t welcome. He knowingly and purposely disregarded her boundaries.
And THIS is what’s wrong.
The friend replies:
“That’s cool. That’s my niece.”
The girl’s immediate relief at knowing there was someone else there, looking out for her is palpable. You can feel the moment the oxygen returns to the room. And this is where the video ends.
In a follow-up TikTok the girl reveals that she is 18 years old and the man seemed to be somewhere in his mid-20s to 30s.
She explains that this is the first time that this has ever happened to her and she was uncomfortable the entire time.
And so is everyone watching.
Perhaps the saddest part of all of this? Is that this is not an isolated event. Girls are subjected to this every single day.
There’s a reason why women have such a visceral response to watching this. Because we have all, at one time or another, had the same alarm bells ringing in our heads. We’ve felt the same fear gripping our hearts. We’ve sat in the same chair, desperately wanting to escape.
And actually witnessing it play out in real-time, to a young girl who could just as easily be our own daughter, is sickening.
While the teen turned off the comments on her original posts, the video was shared on Twitter where women everywhere chimed in with their own stories of “Me Too.”
Yup. Since I was 12. It's only recently stopped now that I'm a crone.
— Lisa B, Determined (@Tigrrl) April 30, 2021
A teenager and an adult. It happened to me like one week ago (in my work place) and sad thing is I reacted the same way I always do : laughing nervously, giving fake name and being polite. Exactly like this girl.
— __M__ (@Mmwhow) May 8, 2021
? So. Many. Times. Throughout my life, not just as a teen. I still react the same way with a nervous laugh simply because situations like that make me freeze. I HATE it!
— pixygiggles (@pixygiggles) May 11, 2021
It happened to me every time I had to sit at a bar or fast food table to have lunch on my own. I have been skipping plenty of meals to avoid finding myself in creepy situations just as this one
— Daniela Monza (@danartofficial) May 11, 2021
This was my exact reaction. We learn how to tactfully deal with these situations to avoid potential violence, when we are alarmingly young. I don’t know a single woman who didn’t see themselves in this video – and it’s heartbreaking.
— Just Your Average Mel (@MelwiththeHair) April 30, 2021
She’s right. This is heartbreaking.
We need to do better. We HAVE to do better. As parents, it is up to us to teach our girls how to respond in these situations. Just as it is up to us to teach our boys that this is unacceptable.
Show this video to your sons and daughters.
Explain to them how this is wrong on so many levels. Empower them to set boundaries, respect boundaries, and say NO when they’re uncomfortable. Let them know it’s okay to be rude, it’s okay to call someone for help, it’s okay to walk away.
As for what happened to the man in this situation? The teen says she contacted hotel staff about the interaction. They know who he is and promised to have a word with him. Here’s hoping he listens.
In the teenager’s final words about the “scariest night of her life so far,” she says:
“Just stay safe out there guys and keep yourselves protected. That’s all I can say.”
We second her motion. And let’s work together to make this a safer world for ALL of our children.