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But a female traveller will also face prejudice around the world, in the form of sexism and discrimination, misogyny and objectification.

She will have to deal with the resulting fears that may arise. Should she actively alter her behaviour, or her style of dress?

After just three weeks of living in South America, I was walking through the streets of Cuenca, Ecuador, by myself.

The stooped figure of a man in his seventies was approaching slowly, walking stick in hand, and I began to smile even before we passed each other.

The cat calls and ‘complimentary’ phrases in Spanish of “” were actually preferable to the more silent advances; the lick of the lips and teeth, the sneer and accompanying grin which left no doubt, in my mind at least, of what they were thinking. The times where I turned around to glare seemed only to prompt further shouts.

I learnt to grow casually wary of old men, young men, street-cleaners and shopkeepers; all of them strangers, all seemingly unable to let you pass them by without a comment muttered under their breath.

What I did keep track of, however, was the way it changed me.

Walking along the street and noticing a group of teenage boys ahead, a cluster of old men, even a single male figure leaning against a wall while smoking a cigarette; all would prompt a stiffening of my body, a lengthening of my neck, a slight curl of the fists, and a quickened pace.So I would pull awkwardly at the edges of my shorts, rearrange my vest, and start walking more quickly.Maybe I became expectant that this behaviour would come my way, so noticed every time. I’m sure I picked up on it more often than my fellow travellers.He was sweet; his suit looked a bit too big for him, and I immediately thought of the quintessential photos you see of male Latino pensioners. “Mi princesssa…” he hissed with a wide grin, turning his wrinkled and liver-spotted neck to keep his gaze on me as I picked up my pace.My head was swimming as I marched along the street, thinking disgustedly about how many grandchildren he probably had.Her head remained upright, her speed never faltered, and she walked straight past them. The only assumption I could make was that she had the same mentality as I did: “Ignore them, ignore them, ignore them…” The way I chose to travel in South America may have had an impact on how much of this attention I received, of course.

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