He asks why I didn’t ask the man to not touch me when I saw him the second time (he asked not in an accusing way, but out of real curiosity).
“Here’s the thing,” I say. “I could be very careful and polite, and try to bring him in as an ally. I could explain why what he is doing is making me uncomfortable. And I could convert him. Or, he could become an enemy, and tell me I’m a bitch, and make my time at the gym hell.”
We talk about discussing the issue with the gym staff, but the worst offense didn’t happen at the gym. What can I really say to them? And would they support me or would they make me feel like I’m overreacting? There’s no code of conduct that I know of, no policy about how to treat others. I probably signed something when I joined a few years ago, but whatever it said is long gone from my memory.