Tag Archives: Public Transport

MP

I was travelling home after a particularly hard day at work, and trying to prevent a headache turning into a full-blown migraine, so chose the quiet carriage for my 2 1/2 hour ride home. A man got on, took the seat in front of me, immediately put a call through to a friend and was talking very loudly to him (one could tell from the conversation that he was talking to a male friend). I let it go for a couple of minutes in case it was to be a short call of the “I’m on the 4.55; pick me up at 6.30” kind, but he soon settled in for a long chat so I said “Excuse me, you may not be aware that this is the quiet carriage. Would you lower your voice please.” His response was to start telling his friend that ‘some bird’ had just told him to ‘shut up’ and then have a conversation about how I obviously ‘needed a cock up me’, that judging by my looks I’d be grateful if he and his mate ‘sorted me out’, told his friend to bring some others to the station in case I got off at the same place so they could ‘take care of me’, but to warn them that I was a ‘dried up c#@t’. There was more along this line. No-one on the carriage (including me) said anything to him, and there was no guard to whom I could report it. It left me feeling threatened and shaken, but also angry that he thought that this was an acceptable response to being politely asked by a women to speak quietly. If a male had made the same request, would the response have been to make sexual comments and threaten (albeit, one hopes, not seriously) sexual assault? When I got off the train (not at his station), a woman came up to see if I was OK and said that she never asks men to be quite on the quiet carriage as it is not worth risking such a response. In other words, it was my fault for not being a good woman and letting a male behave in any way he chooses.

A

A couple months ago, I was on the bus when a grown man came onto the bus and sat down a couple seats behind me. I had my earphones in and didn’t notice him at first. I did notice when the man got up and sat down the row opposite where I was sitting. He kept staring at me and I tried to ignore him but he just kept staring. Not that it matters but I was wearing sweatpants and hadn’t washed my hair in 3 days. When the bus came to my stop, I got up to leave and so did he. He attempted to block the entrance to the bus but I ran towards the back entrance. When he saw me run, he reached forward and grabbed my butt in his hands. The moment I felt his hand I ran even faster and disappeared in the crowd, always looking back to see if he was following me. I was 15.

Jax

I was waiting for the train on a platform with only one entrance and exit. A large man comes down and starts advancing towards me saying things like “have you ever seen those movies where a large man fucks a tiny girl” and “how would you like to act one out”. I was so very scared and could not leave. No one else on the platform said anything and visibly withdrew when I tried to sit next to a family hoping for some sort of break or protection. Luckily the train came very quickly and I was able to board without him following. Why didn’t anyone say anything? What planner designed a space with only one exit that could be easily blocked and wasn’t visible from the street?

M

The first time I remember experiencing unwanted sexual contact was when I was 8 years old. I was standing at a crossing waiting for the light to turn green when I felt someone groping my upper leg and bum. By the time I had turned around and told my mum the man had ran across the road onto another street. Little did I know this was the start of my acknowledgement to how dangerous and threatened I felt to be a young girl. From then on up until now (I’m 17 years old) I experience catcalling and all sorts of unwanted and suggestive comments whether they’re on public transport or just walking down the road. I am also tired of people saying “what do you expect? you’re wearing a short skirt/low cut top” In what universe was the way someone dresses ever justification or an invitation to be objectified. The idea that a young girl is “asking for it” by the clothes she wears is a huge indication of the sexualisation of children that has sadly become the norm. Last year, I was on the tube when I noticed a man had come to sit opposite me despite the entire carriage being empty, and he began touching himself whilst looking at me. And to those who say it was to do with the clothes I was wearing or the way I was made up: I was wearing a huge coat, tracksuit bottoms and no makeup. (I hate that I feel the need to state this but unfortunately that is the way some people think) As the tube filled up I didn’t have anywhere to move to and I had to endure this predicament for a further 30 minutes whilst people were either oblivious to the situation or chose to ignore it. This brings me to my post. I had just today gotten on the bus and had my headphones plugged in when a man sat opposite me, again the bus was empty and there were free seats everywhere else apart from the seat behind me where another lady was sitting. The man had called me ‘sexy’ with an aggressive and impolite tone, he later got offended when I didn’t respond to which I told him that I found the way he approached me and tapped me to take my headphones out was disrespectful. He then responded to this by saying that I should take it as a compliment because “throughout history and the definition of ‘sexy’” I “fitted the definition” He later went on to asking for my number which I politely refused to give, this angered him and resulted in him calling me antisocial and unable to accept a compliment. I told him I wanted to continue as I was by listening to my music and sitting through my bus journey alone so I plugged my headphones back in and let him continue to speak about my ‘antisocial behaviour’ and inability to take a compliment to which he left to sit upstairs after a couple of minutes. I turned around to look for a face of support from the woman who was sitting behind me and I received a look of disgust as if the entire thing was my fault and realised that it is so important for women to support other women. This made me think back to a few months ago when the girls and boys in my class were having a debate on why everyone should be feminists and the boys couldn’t come to terms with the word feminism due to the word having stemmed from ‘femme/female’ despite arguing that all men and women should be equal. Whats worse was that some of the girls and most of the boys were labelling me along with the group of girls who were explaining why feminism was important as scary, aggressive, man-hating and most hated term of all ‘feminazi’s’. When I got home earlier today I watched Laura Bates’ TED talk on youtube and decided to voice my opinion and gratitude as I feel deeply inspired, empowered and most importantly feel as though my voice matters because I no longer want to wake up in a world where an 8 year old is getting groped or someone thinks they are entitled to someones phone number because they called them ‘sexy’. And I especially don’t want to have to face these problems in the workplace where I am just as skilled as any other man in the office but I am treated like an object purely hired for the viewing pleasure of someone else. I don’t want standing up for myself to be seen as making a fuss or being too sensitive. THIS IS WHY WE NEED FEMINISM.

Claudia

I was in an Uber and the driver (old, white male) was complaining about traffic lights. So, I tried to make a conversation and spoke about how I have just got my learner’s licence and I am learning to drive and then he interrupted me and said “Great, another woman on the road” … thus, promptly ending my conversation with him, earning that sexist bastard a 1 star review

bambi

I was stood at a bus stop on my own when a man in a white van (i hate how cliches always happen in everyday sexist acts) drove past me and beeped and whistled. I stuck my middle finger up at him, he then turned around and drove past me and shouted ”Bus Wanker” because I rejected his advances/compliment/abuse. How sad to do that when your driving on your own, guess I hurt his ‘pride’. All I’m sayin is that I’d rather be a bus wanker than a white van man….

Camille Frank

I was on the train from the middle of nowhere to Berlin yesterday with my husband and 2 year old twins. We were taking it in turns to run after them and as my husband was sitting and having a rest I wanted to look up the train schedule on my phone whilst looking after our children to know how much time we had to get them both into the prams without a huge rush. I was standing next to them with my phone in my hand and chastising them for banging on a compartment door when the female train manager said “you should put your phone away and look after your kids properly instead”. My husband was sitting very close to us and watching me struggle to comprehend what this total stranger had just said to me. He just rolled his eyes and ignored her. I was absolutely furious and just couldn’t find an appropriate response! As we got off the train I started to cry. The unfairness of it. I look after my kids pretty well day in day out remembering everything they need and sometimes I have to look at my phone but it doesn’t mean I am not worrying about whether they might be doing something dangerous or that I want to miss something interesting or sweet that they have just said. I am a busy mother with about a million things going on in my head all at once, 75% of which revolves around my children. Why not accuse my husband of just sitting around and not looking after his children?

Enough

A man has been sentenced to almost four years in prison for attacking a nurse on a public bus for wearing shorts. Security guard Abdullah Cakiroglu was captured on CCTV kicking and verbally abusing 23-year-old Aysegul Terzi. According to local media, Mr Cakiroglu was heard shouting: “Those who wear shorts must die.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/man-jailed-kick-woman-bus-wearing-shorts-attack-istanbul-turkey-abdullah-cakiroglu-a7936016.html Ever heard of a woman doing this to a man? Sexism doesn’t just “cut both ways” as I’m constantly being told.

Fox

I don’t even know where to begin. I have SO many stories to tell at least one for every day of my 25 life since I was 5. From groping, to cat calls, to being spiked with drugs, to being stalked and followed home. All of these things happening a lot more than once. It gets so bad that I don’t even leave my house sometimes. Living in London, it was a nice day and I wanted to check out Hyde Park by myself. As soon as I left my front door there was a guy asking for my number, telling me how sexy I was. I said thank you but no, he continued to follow me until I got on the train. On the train I had 5 guys sit next to me and try chat me up, hassling me for my number, not taking no for an answer. On my walk from the station to the park I was approached 8 times by different men not wanting to take no for an answer. I was so annoyed and fed up all I wanted to do was enjoy the day not use up all of my energy telling men no, Im not interested. It didnt stop there. At the park I sat down by myself and 4 more guys approached me. By this point I was so fed up I went home. I didnt even get to enjoy my day out. This is just one day. It happens to me everyday of my life. It can be quite scary as men have gotten extremely aggressive when I havent expressed the same interest back. And to me what is sad is I didnt realise this was an issue, I thought it was normal and it was ok. I wasnt taught any differently. But now I know and see that is a serious issue that has altered and effected my life in a negative way.