I do on occasion get stared at. I cannot speak on the experience of men, maybe this happens to them too, but as a woman it is extremely uncomfortable. When I was younger it made me self-conscious and often angry, especially when it was a man doing the staring. For a long time I couldn't explain exactly why this action affected me to the extent that it did. Recently I realized it is because staring is incredibly aggressive. When looking at someone, but offering no opening for reciprocal communication the stare becomes oppressive. It is similar to cat calling. Something that objectifies the person on the receiving end and allows the person acting to remain removed, walled off, safe. The person staring doesn't make themselves vulnerable, if all they do is stare. I cannot stop people from staring, however, but I have learned that I also have power in my reaction to it. Becoming self-conscious or upset only makes the experience worse for me. I find that engaging the person is a much more effective way to either find out why they are staring or to equal the power in a situation. And if the starer is someone who was just looking for a way to feel powerful, reworking the equation often will make them look away.