Actress Jameela Jamil harassed in street

Actress and presenter Jameela Jamil has triggered a conversation involving hundreds of women after she spoke about her experience of street harassment on Twitter.

The Good Place star wrote about the need to "teach children about rejection" after a man "threatened" her when she refused to take his phone number.

In a tweet that has been liked more than 20,000 times, Jamil said the man threatened her career and called her "low class" after approaching her in the street when she was with a friend.

She said: "I explain I have a boyfriend but thank him for the offer. Man then threatens my career, saying I better remember that I rejected him."

Responses to the tweet include several women sharing their own stories about feeling threatened after rejecting unwanted advances, with many explaining the lengths they go to in keeping themselves safe.

One Twitter user said that when she told a man she was married after he asked for her number, he claimed he did not believe her.

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Actress Jameela Jamil
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Actress Jameela Jamil
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 11: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission with alternate crop.) Jameela Jamil of 'The Misery Index' speaks onstage during the TBS portion of the TCA Turner Winter Press Tour 2019 Presentation at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on February 11, 2019 in Pasadena, California. 510169 (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Turner)
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Jameela Jamil of 'The Misery Index' poses in the green room during the TCA Turner Winter Press Tour 2019 at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on February 11, 2019 in Pasadena, California. 505702 (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Turner)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 10: Jameela Jamil attends the 61st Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 10: Jameela Jamil attends the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
DANA POINT, CA - FEBRUARY 07: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission with alternate crop.) Founder, @I_Weigh Jameela Jamil speaks onstage during The 2019 MAKERS Conference at Monarch Beach Resort on February 7, 2019 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS)
DANA POINT, CA - FEBRUARY 07: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission with alternate crop.) Jameela Jamil attends The 2019 MAKERS Conference at Monarch Beach Resort on February 7, 2019 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MAKERS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Jameela Jamil attends Spotify 'Best New Artist 2019' event at Hammer Museum on February 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Spotify)
Actor Jameela Jamil speaks during the 2019 Makers Conference in Dana Point, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. The event gathers industry leading females for roundtable discussions to help inspire the women of tomorrow. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DANA POINT, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Jameela Jamil attends The 2019 MAKERS Conference at Monarch Beach Resort on February 7, 2019 in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MAKERS)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Role Model Jameela Jamil attends as Aerie celebrates #AerieREAL Role Models in NYC on January 31, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Aerie)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 26: Actress Jameela Jamil attends the Entertainment Weekly Pre-SAG party at the Chateau Marmont on January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 17: Jameela Jamil attends Sergio Rossi & Elizabeth Stewart Celebrate Capsule Collection at Pop-Up at Westfield Century City on January 17, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Sergio Rossi )
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 13: Jameela Jamil attends the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 13: Jameela Jamil attends the 24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards - Arrivals at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 13: Jameela Jamil arrives at the The 24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards attends The 24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 06: Jameela Jamil attends the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Role Model Jameela Jamil attends as Aerie celebrates #AerieREAL Role Models in NYC on January 31, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Aerie)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 13: Jameela Jamil attends the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS NBC & Vanity Fair NBC Primetime Party at The Henry in Los Angeles, November 15th, 2018 -- Pictured: Jameela Jamil, 'The Good Place' -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Jameela Jamil attends ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Hearts On Fire and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Jameela Jamil attends ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Hearts On Fire and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Jameela Jamil discusses 'The Good Place' with the Build Series at Build Studio on October 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 04: Jameela Jamil attends the 34th Annual Television Critics Association Awards during the 2018 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 2018 -- 'NBC at Comic-Con' -- Pictured: (l-r) Marc Evan Jackson, Drew Goddard, Executive Producer, Michael Schur, Creator / Executive Producer; Ted Danson, D'Arcy Carden, William Jackson Harper, Kristen Bell, Jameela Jamil, Morgan Sackett, Executive Producer; Manny Jacinto at the 'The Good Place' activation at Tin Fish Gaslamp, San Diego, Calif. -- (Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC)
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 2018 -- 'NBC at Comic-Con' -- Pictured: Jameela Jamil at the 'The Good Place' Panel at the Hilton Bayfront, San Diego, Calif. -- (Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC)
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 2018 -- 'NBC at Comic-Con' -- Pictured: Jameela Jamil at 'The Good Place' activation at Tin Fish Gaslamp, San Diego, Calif. -- (Photo by: David Yeh/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 2018 -- 'NBC at Comic-Con' -- Pictured: Jameela Jamil at 'The Good Place' activation at Tin Fish Gaslamp, San Diego, Calif. -- (Photo by: David Yeh/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE GOOD PLACE -- 'The Book of Dougs' Episode 311 -- Pictured: Jamella Jamil as Tehani -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE GOOD PLACE -- 'FYC @ UCB' -- Pictured: Jameela Jamil at UCB Sunset Theatre on June 19, 2018 -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE GOOD PLACE -- 'FYC @ UCB' -- Pictured: Jameela Jamil at UCB Sunset Theatre on June 19, 2018 -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE GOOD PLACE -- Season: 3 -- Pictured: Jameela Jamil as Tahani -- (Photo by: Andrew Eccles/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE GOOD PLACE -- 'A Fractured Inheritance' Episode 307 -- Pictured: Jameela Jamil as Tahani -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE GOOD PLACE -- 'Jeremy Bearimy' Episode 305 -- Pictured: Jameela Jamil as Tahani -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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She said: "This reminds me of a time I was bartending and some dude asked for my number. I declined and said I was married he then follows up with 'Are you really married because a lot of girls wear fake rings just to get out of handing out their numbers'."

Another person warned that unwanted attention can become dangerous, saying she had been followed home after her eye contact was misunderstood.

She said: "I once had something in my eye while driving and used the rear view mirror to get it out. The guy in the car behind me thought I was winking at him and followed me all the way home. I was terrified."

One Twitter user said that when speaking out about sexual assault, often the victim is not believed, sharing that her friends had asked what she was wearing after she was attacked.

She said: "Women, who I considered friends, say it is still the woman's fault proves how far we have to come."

Jamil, who has previously spoken out about body-shaming and airbrushing in the media, then made a further point about rejection of street harassment with a terrifying anecdote.

When a Twitter user pointed out that the actress should not have had to "mention that you were already taken by another man", Jamil said she tells people she is in a relationship due to the fear of being assaulted if she has no "excuse" to reject somebody.

She said: "I once said 'No, thank you' to a man when I was 19 and didn't have an excuse ... and he punched me in the face. After that whether or not I have a boyfriend, I say I do."

Jamil highlighted the need to teach children about romantic rejection, and "de-stigmatise" the act so that women will feel more empowered to say no.

She said: "We need to teach children about rejection, so that we can change the way we see rejection as a society.

"We need to de-stigmatise it, so that it doesn't feel like the ground is swallowing you up when someone says no, however nicely.

"This would lessen their need to lash out."

A 2016 YouGov study showed that 64% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public, rising to 85% of women aged 18 to 24.

The same study reported that 63% of women surveyed said they felt unsafe in public spaces due to the fear of harassment.

Jamil said: "Being a woman is truly, constantly scary. It's like existing on thin ice."

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