Tag Archives: Public Transport

Holly

I cycle and cycle quite a lot. To and from work, which is a school, and at weekends. I used to run but I became quickly self conscious. I used to keep tabs on the type of comments men would make, and how often. They are pretty much always directed at my appearance when I am exercising in public. I can’t be bothered any more. I am not thin, and I do not have an athletic body, I am reasonably fit and happy with that. I really enjoy cycling. However, I get shouted at, abused and heckled in the most cowardly way when I exercise in public. Men shout and make comments and then drive off. Some audible and some not. ALL THE TIME. They laugh, and they generally comment on my appearance. These are some of the comments I have had: move your fat arse you fat bitch, show us your thong, show us your bra, give it up, give me your number. They try and get me to stop, they laugh, they try and get my attention, they patronise, call me brave, and check my lights are working (!!), ask me to smile more, ask me why I am not smiling (classic I know), make comments about my legs, about my helmet, about the position I am riding in, they question all aspects of me as a female cyclist who does not look like an athletic person riding a bike. But I won’t stop cycling. I won’t stop.

Scandium

Happy Women’s Day! Here’s what happened to me when I was 18. I was out in town with friends and took a taxi home – college had hammered it into our heads not to walk home. The taxi driver was a retired man, very nice, who kept me entertained with stories about his wife, his allotment and so on. All very nice, until he got to my house. He locked all the car doors and jumped me. I fought back and he let me go, thankfully. But why the hell did he even THINK of groping someone young enough to be his granddaughter? I felt so upset, but also so stupid for chatting to him. Was it my fault for being friendly? Of course it wasn’t! But when I was 18, I doubted myself, so I didn’t even report him. It shocks me to realise that I have never, ever reported an incident of sexism, and there have been many to choose from.

Anonymous

All my life been bullied, harassed, assaulted, groped, sexual violence by inadequate, sexist, substance abusing men & women. Very sexist ideas about family, role of women & men. Allowed myself to be used, abused everywhere. Survivor of many things but sometimes think if had actually died when tried to commit suicide at 19 would have been a good thing but have tried to do good and help people but people hate that as seen by Jo cox Mp murder. deaths by partners, family etc If people are jealous not sure what of as lonely being like this. There are a lot of entitled, bullying narcissistic, sociopaths around. Coercive control & gas lighting a problem too.

Tarry

I was leaving the train station the other day when I heard screaming behind me. I thought “How annoying!” and returned to lookig at my phone. Suddenly the 4 boys (about 12 years old) that were screaming and shouting went silent as they passed me by. I’m an expatriate and I live in a country where English is not the main language; I didn’t realise these children were screaming specifically at ME because I don’t understand enough of the language yet. So how did I know they were indeed screaming at me? By the way ALL 4 of them stared right at me, right in my face, as they passed by me, their necks craning around to continue gawking at me as they walked. So I looked right at them and flipped them off with both middle fingers. And they LOST THEIR SHIT. Their small, infantile faces contorted in anger and they began screaming back at me as they walked away. People stopped and stared from them, to me, to them again. What gets me is that these literal children made the choice to harass a woman more than twice their age and then had the audacity to get really angry and to scream at me when I refused to take their harassment lying down.

Stephanie

A late Saturday night I took the last available metro. It was the opposite way, but the line being u-shaped I figured I would just walk home from the closest station to mine. It was around midnight, there wasn’t anyone around (it was a semi-residential area) and I was carrying a lot of stuff but it was summer, so I figured it would be a nice walk anyway. I walked for about 5 minutes when, coming the opposite way, a taxi noticed me. He flashed his lights and honked at me. I waved at him. Why not? He turned his car around and open the front door for me. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, my hands were full and I was tired. The driver was chatty and wanting to be polite, I engaged in the conversation. It was all nice when he stared to smell my hair. He did this repeatedly. I laughed nervously, trying to steer the conversation away from how nice he thought I smelled. Then, at a red light, he told me he was really happy in Canada and he hugged me. He didn’t try to grope or do anything else, but that was enough to scare me. I had never feared for my life more than I did at that moment. We finally got to my place and I was relieved to see that the lights were still on; my roommate was still awake. I gave the driver a $20 ( way over the value of the fare) and bolted out of the taxi as fast as I could. I haven’t taken a taxi alone at night since then.

A girl

Trying to catch a train from Paddington station last week. My paper ticket didn’t work so a service guy came over asking: “Hey princess what is the trouble?” – I thought I misunderstood the man, showed him my ticket and he led me through the gate with the words: “No worries princess.” It is nothing massive – but I felt so sick afterwards. Why would a complete stranger think that I want to be called princess? I was so furious and just wanted to shout back “thank you ugly fuck tart” – but instead just kept quiet. Sitting on the train about two months ago- west midland service- and a lot of seats were free. Guy steps into the coach and chooses to sit next to me instead of taking any of the other free seats. For two hours he sat with his legs stretched apart so that they touched mine, making himself bigger and bigger and therefore touching me more whilst I pushed myself against the train window. I simply do not know why I did not get up. I felt so uncomfortable. Yet again, I thought maybe I am just making this up. Maybe I am just making a fuss. Waiting at a bus stop. It is night time. A guy walked in circles around the bus stop and whenever he passed me he hissed “hey sweaty… I want to fuck you..” 2 years ago, I met with a PhD friend to celebrate her successful viva. Her supervisor came along too. We went to an on campus bar to have a drink. Another lecturer and PhD colleague joined. I only drank water. The supervisor managed to sit next to me and started to – ever so slightly – touch my back and hips. I moved forward on the coach, moved away from his arm and hand, questioning whether I was overreacting, whether I could say something against him – given he was the supervisor of my friend. It got weirder when we left. He insisted on joining my friend and me back to our campus accommodations. I stopped at one hall where I did not live but I did not want him to know where my real flat was. He pulled me towards him and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I quickly walked away and hid in the hall. I thought about my actions and felt super stupid. Why did I not speak up? Why did I not stand up when I could feel him touching me? I simply argued it away in my head in terms of it would have been rude. After a week – I decided to tell my supervisor about this incident to explain to her why I did not want that lecturer to be my internal examiner. She was very supportive. We took it to a higher University level; which was a big mistake. I did not intend to cause the guy any problems, but wanted to warn other students not to get in such an uncomfortable situation. The higher instance – a middle aged guy – was not understanding. He asked me whether the touching was simply naive boyish behavior and whether it was my fault for wearing skirts. I was speechless. This was at a UK University. Once in London, I was going for a run in the morning – 7am. A guy appeared next to me – running with me. He asked “do you know what time it is”; I told him. He thanked me. Then it looked like he was about to change directions. Instead he let me run in front of him so he could slap my butt. When I turned around angry he did it again and then ran away. I was in complete shock. This happened at 7 am in the morning – in the middle of the street. The feeling of not being save anywhere was destroying. I had another bad encounter with a lecturer. I won’t go into details but it ended with a random girl asking me whether I felt save when I went to the pub bathroom. I told her that I felt stuck as this was a lecturer at my University, that I feel very uncomfortable but do not know how to exit the situation. She then offered me to help me out. When we went back to the table, she and her boyfriend said that they were heading to the tube and it is late and whether I want to join them now to get home safely. I said yes, jumped up and went outside with them. I couldn’t thank them enough. Very nice people. They spotted that I felt super uncomfortable and that this lecturer was pushing me into things I did not want to do (which I voiced towards him repeatedly saying that I am not interested). Another bad experience happened with a lecturer. I thought I was careful. I wanted to know more about a specific theory this person used in his research but my previous male lecturer experiences told me not to ask him for help. So I asked his supervisee whether he is an ok guy or whether I have to be worried. She said he is a good guy, nothing to worry about. To be even more careful, I asked another friend of mine to join me when meeting him. Luckily she agreed. We met in a public cafe. Nothing obvious happened – besides that this lecturer did not talk about his theory/model at all, although I kept asking him about it. Instead he kept saying how much he would like me to be his students, how great my research was, etc. After a while I gave up trying to get an answer to my questions and my friend and I left. My friend was deeply disgusted by this lecturer, saying that he so obviously tried to hit on me. I felt horrible and contacted his supervisee. She then confessed that she was about to change Universities because she felt uncomfortable with him. From that moment on, I kept my distance from male colleagues profs etc. whenever I feel only the slightest hint of discomfort which helped me when I changed Universities. For example, a new colleague wanted to meet for coffee. But the type of questions he asked me felt too personal and for my taste he did not leave me much personal space (with me moving away and he coming closer when we were walking). So I excused myself and walked away. I did not tell him that I felt uncomfortable and maybe he really didn’t have evil intentions. But I felt good to have escaped the situation. Whenever I see him now, I pay attention to be nice but keep my distance. So far it worked very well. I could add stories from my childhood, with a male neighbor who made my sister and me feel very uncomfortable and how my dad told us to be nice to the guy and not to be so sensitive. He touched my sister inappropriately and always demand to kiss my cheek. When we both were older my sister broke the silence and accused my parents for helping the neighbor to sexually harass her. My mum then confessed that she felt horrible for not having stood up for my sister. To the present day, my dad has not apologized to her. Thank you for this platform. It feels good to share this.

Anna

On the underground train there where these two men who must be on their fifties, one of them sitting next to my friend. He suddenly sat up to sit in front of us and began to make some very rude sexual gestures. I showed him the middle finger and both of us (my friend and me) stood up to go to another compartment. Luckily they didn’t follow us to keep on attacking us.

Anna

I don’t know how it happened, I guess in part because as a teenages I was a freak in school and I found TV disgusting most of the time. But I somehow didn’t grow an interest on makeup, and I learned to dress like “a boy” to be less of a target of sexual harassment by both young and old men (I learned this even before my first period!!!!!). Now I usually dress up so that I feel comfortable, and I have absolutely no need to use make up. And it’s so great because this is time I save that I can spend on more interesting things for me, it saves me a lot of money, and if someone doesn’t like it, then I have a message for you: no one forces you to look at me.