Tag Archives: Public Transport

Una

I travel on the same bus everyday one to school and one back. I am a 15 year old girl i was on my way home from school in school uniform an old man around 50-60 decided to sit next to me on the bus even though there were seats available. As i am quite skinny he decided to invade all of my personal space taking 3/4 of the 2 seats and his leg was rubbing against mine at no point did he think this was no appropriate and continued to spread his legs wider leaving me hardly any space to sit. I wanted to cry and had to endure this for 20 mins feeling too afraid to ask him to move. He finally got off the bus one stop before mine and now everytime i use the bus I always sit and put my bag in the seat next to me so no one can sit by me.

Alexis

When I was 13, a boy groped my breasts on the school bus while all his friends were watching. They all followed me around at lunch asking for their turn. I told a teacher and they told me “boys will be boys.” The only reason it stopped was because they graduated high school. they were all 17 at the time.

gabby

I was walking in the city and I was wearing some tight dress pants as I had a music competition and a guy started to walk really close behind me and wouldn’t go away even when I turned around and gave him a ‘don’t mess with me’ look, but he still persisted in walking extremely close until I got to my destenation. I’m 14.

Madeline

When I was 15 two older boys gave me alcohol and took it in turns to rape me then told everyone at school and college I had consented and boasted that money had changed hands, that they had pumped me out to eachother. They since tried to introduce me to other men under the same circumstances, but knowing what would follow, I fled. I was at uni a few years later when I told a guy *no* and he paid no attention. I have been in numerous night clubs where I have been groped, fondled, and shouted at by complete strangers. I have had sexual expletives yelled out of cars at me. I was sexually assaulted when working as a care worker, and currently on my welding course one man thinks it’s ok to talk about my vagina repeatedly. Being a woman is a hard job and we are viewed as the “weaker” sex. I don’t think so.

Emily

I was waiting for the tube and four teenage boys jogged past me, as they did one reached inside my coat and stroked my breasts. I was so shocked. They all laughed. I’m a grown woman and being groped by a teenager, in public, in broad daylight was totally unexpected and humiliating. I reported them to the British Transport Police, who were wonderful – empathetic and took me seriously.

Sally

I attended a boarding highschool and when travelling back to school I sat in the passenger seat at the driver’s cabin next to a boy ,he would touch my thigh and try to lift my skirt and occasionally touch my breast on the side. It is rather common here for young ladies to be harrassed in the streets and mostly I just dread leaving the house and am always in a hurry to get back home.Last year a young lady was sexually molested by idlers for being ‘indecent’ they inserted bottles into her body and she almost died. I wanna change the situation but it is so hopeless and I feel I am fighting alone.

Jessica

When I was 15 I was on the London underground by myself during the day, coming home from school. A short middle aged man standing next to me (shorter than me) staring at me started to talk to me saying ‘I don’t suppose you’ve ever had your tits sucked.’ I froze and blanked him, didn’t know what to do. I tried to move away from him in the busy carriage. I wasn’t able to ask for help or call out his behaviour to the other passengers who in hindsight I’m sure would have helped me. I got off the train at the next station to get away from him and peered around the corner to make sure he hadn’t followed me. He was staring at me from the train. I wish I’d yelled ‘get away from me you pervert’ so everyone in the train could hear. I still feel angry many years later.

Sally

I attended a boarding highschool and when travelling back to school I sat in the passenger seat at the driver’s cabin next to a boy ,he would touch my thigh and try to lift my skirt and occasionally touch my breast on the side. It is rather common here for young ladies to be harrassed in the streets and mostly I just dread leaving the house and am always in a hurry to get back home.Last year a young lady was sexually molested by idlers for being ‘indecent’ they inserted bottles into her body and she almost died. I wanna change the situation but it is so hopeless and I feel I am fighting alone.

Grace

I’m a second year uni student studying psychology. This semester I have two classes that finish at 6pm. The bus ride home takes about an hour, so I’m usually getting back to my unit at around 7pm. Since this semester goes into winter the sun is well and truly down now when I’m walking home. The bus drops me off on a busy road and all I have to do is walk down my street to my unit block and I’m safe. And yet in that short walk I managed to experience harassment to a pretty scary extent. I was walking home from the bus stop like normal, it was just after 7pm and I was tired because I’d had a particularly difficult neuroscience lecture that day. So of course that day was the one where a man followed me home from the bus stop to the front door of my unit block. He started to speak to me (asking me to play a game) and when I stepped away from him he laughed and said “don’t back away I’m not going to do anything to you”. He laughed. Like it was funny to him that I was scared out of my mind. While I was unlocking the door to the building he proceeded to ask me for sex. He asked several times in the time it took me to walk through the door and slam it in his face. I was terrified, but now I’m angry. I can’t even walk down the street to my home without having to deal with some man who thinks he’s entitled to my body. What right did he think he had to follow me home? And LAUGH like this was such a joke to him, like following someone home is just a perfectly acceptable prank to play on a person. I skipped my lectures finishing at 6pm the next week because I was afraid that he’d be there again. I hate the world we live in.

sunil

Chaupadi: What can the Nepal’s President do, who is also a woman? Recently, yet another utterly unfortunate Chaupadi related death happened in Dailekh district of Nepal where this ugly tradition continues taking lives of women and girls, despite Chaupadi was banned by the Nepal government in 2005 as a human rights violation. A lot of people argue that ‘we have the law and it’s just a matter of implementing it.’ People look at Chaupadi from physical and intellectual point of view alone, so they talk about the ‘unsanitary, outdoors and unsafe cowsheds’ where the young girls and women have to live during their menstruation, and the law that banned this practice. But Chaupadi is not just a physical and intellectual problem which one addresses with sanitary, indoors and safe aspects of physicality and having law against it, the intellectual aspect of this ugly tradition. As Chaupadi is a tradition, a part of culture, it is deeply an emotional aspect, more than just the physical and intellectual ones. Many part of the world, including Nepal, have had such traditions since thousands of years, that repeatedly disempowers women and girls and successfully establishes male dominations, the patriarchy. We used to have Sati-Pratha(women were forced to bourn themselves alive along with the husband’s dead body at the cremation), we still have Kannya-dan (giving a virgin away to the groom during the marriage ceremony), Dauri(it is not just a donation of cash and expensive assets during the marriage, rather thanking the groom’s family for letting-off and taking away their burden of having a girl in a family) and Chaupadi in is another similar tradition that reinforces the patriarchy. Many traditional practices of discriminating ‘others’, whether its cast-based or gender-based or sexual-orientation based, have been established through, not just ‘brain-washing’ but more through ‘emotional-washing’, which leads to a deep rooted belief about oneself, the traditions and the established hierarchy. Such ‘Emotional-washing’ allowes such ugly superstitions as Chaupadi. Let’s look at the three aspect of Chaupadi problem: 1) Physical aspect: Girls and women are forced to spend time during the menstruation at unsanitary, outdoor, unsafe cowsheds. 2) Intellectual aspect: Girls and women are taught, from their childhood, that they become polluted during this menstruation period, hence they better-off retreating-away from daily normal life. 3) Emotional aspect: It is not just the families and communities but the girls and women themselves too believe that they actually become polluted during this menstruation period and they believe that it is good for themselves and to their families to live like that: unsanitary, outdoor, unsafe cowsheds during menstruation. So without tackling the emotional aspect, the belief, of this Chaupadi-tradition problem, only addressing physical and intellectual aspect won’t make much different. Nepal government, the UN, the NGOs can try and provide sanitary pads, asks the men and families to let them stay indoors; the law , which is already in place since 2005, can outlaw the practice legally; but the practices still continuing and girls and women still getting ‘murdered’ by this tradition. This is because the belief has not changed. It is far too ambitious to believe that law, awareness and distribution of sanitary pad can change such a long old tradition. To change the belief you need to do something radical, crazy and just opposite of the tradition, along with legal change, awareness and distribution of sanitary pad etc. Hon President, (and all the women leaders of Nepal) you may think the proposition I am making is crazy, radical and against the norm, but I want to you to consider exactly to do that so that you can contribute to demystify the belief around Chaupadi. 1) As you are not just a president (the head of state), you are also a women president; similarly you are not just president for the atheists and communists you are president of believers. Next time you have menstruation, please make it public and visit all the holy temples, shrines, etc. and I ask other women leaders to do the same. Because this will not only help people to believe that the menstruation is not a pollution but it is the integral part and the core source of human creation, which is holy and must to be celebrated. 2) Cook a fest during you next menstruation and feed others and feed yourself, to establish it as a celebratory event for every women and girls life. 3) Ask the government to include “not just why Chaupadi practice is bad but why menstruation is good and natural process” into the school curricula’s across Nepal. 4) You are not just president of Kathmandu; you are president of the whole country. Please visit districts like Achham and talk to the girls, women, children, men about the importance of menstruation, establish a tradition of celebrating menstruation. Celebrate menstruation with them. Establish this culture of celebration there in such districts. 5) Many women and girls may still be not connected by internet and social media, but its use is increasing far and wide day- by-day. I ask all the women and girls, who are in social media, do a campaign, announce your menstruation and celebrate it. I believe menstruation is a very intimate and private affair of women and girls, but when the same ‘very intimate and private affairs’ become the most disempowering cultural repeated events every month of your life, it’s worth to change this ‘private and intimate yet disempowering event’ into ‘public, celebratory and empowering event’ for all women and girls. To really change the belief, culture and tradition you need to do something revolutionary, radical and against the norm. Most importantly, revolution can also happen with the flowers, worship and celebration; it does not need guns, fight and violence. All the women and girls in the world, particularly from Achham, Dailekh, Bajura, Humal Jumla districts of Nepal, you are blessed with the natural cycle of menstruation. Don’t feel low about it, rather celebrate this natural phenomenon. Thank you and Namaste!