Tag Archives: Public Transport

Gemma

Reading through these experiences that other people have had made me realise my own stories that I suppressed and was to guilty to think about it let alone tell any one else about. But my first revelation was me loosing my virginity. followed by almost every sexual encounter I had for the next two years, to that time in Thailand, next was memories of when my bosses husband ‘hit’ on me, the time that I was the only one on a train and a man followed me through the carriages to pull up my dress and aggressively groped me, and that time that my friend dropped out of high high school after she got raped and every one saying how ‘she was a slut anyway’. Stories kept flowing in and some dated back as far as when I was a small child and in all of these instances, I felt I was the one to blame because I assumed I had done something wrong to attract the situation. It was not until I read about all the other personal experiences, that I felt like this is too common. I am not at fault, so I should not need to feel oppressed. Every time I had a personal memory, I would have a revelation. A revelation that make me link these experiences to a global trend. Feminism has come so far, yet still has a long way to go. And that wont happen if these stories are oppressed.

Janine

I get into a taxi (male driver) with three colleagues (female). I tell the driver the name and address of my workplace. He says that my workplace is not at that address, it’s at another address further up the same road. I tell him I have worked there for years and that I know where it is. He is obviously pissed off at being corrected and says ‘Well, my mistake’ in a tone that makes it clear he thinks it isn’t. Would he have questioned a male passenger? I think not. I go to a meeting and sit down next to a male colleague who tells me to ‘cheer up’ simply because I am not smiling inanely like a good, compliant girl who worries about what random men will think. He would never have said this to a male colleague. I said nothing at the time because I was too shocked, but next time I will tell him or other men like him that the only person who decides when or why I smile is me, and that women have just as much right to be pissed off, angry, tired, fed up or just plain not smiling as men do.

Lucy

It was very crowded on the tube in London. I had managed to get a seat on one of the double ones that face each other. My right shoulder was next to the aisle. The tube was so full, I remember being aware that someone was pushing my shoulder. I realised with horror that it was a man’s genitals and he was rubbing against me. I suddenly felt hot and completely shocked as if I’d been punched in the stomach and as the tube arrived at the next stop I couldn’t stand it any longer. I ran out pushing past people and burst into tears on the platform. I was 18.

Dom

Walking to the station on a bright morning, same route I take every day, wearing the same old oh-so-provocative clothes (a turtleneck), get whistled at by a white van man. I turn around and yell ”I am not a dog for you to whistle at!”. My blood was still rushing to my face and my heart racing as I got on that train, I felt so powerful.

Danielle

Some days I get little to a lot of sexual harassment from older men, doesn’t matter if I’m on the bus to work or school; or even to get my nails done. Theres always at least one person who has to comment of my style of clothing or my chest size. I’m in my final year of high school, only at the age of 17 and I have grown men with a wife and kids rudely stare at my breasts and or wanting to do inappropriate things to me . Its absolutely disgusting and each time it always hurts my self-esteem, I’m at this point that I don’t even want to leave my house in fear of being harassed. I wish I had more courage to stand up for myself and for other women and men.

L

I have so many stories, but the most vivid ones are the recent ones. Just today I was on the bus and there was a woman to my right and a middle aged man opposite her. As she got up to leave the bus he said ‘Look at how pretty you are’, and she quickly got off. The second she left her seat he immediately switched so he was in her original seat, so there was only a one seat gap between us. As the bus travelled on he put his hand onto the seat separating us, which wasn’t unusual as I frequently do this. However, he then started sliding his hand across the seat in my direction, albeit slowly. Finally the tips of his fingers touched my thigh and I edged away, shuffling in my seat. At this point he stretched again to repeat the action. Let me remind you at this point that there was no way he could have been doing this casually, it was too much of an awkward position for this to be an accident. Eventually I had enough and got off way before my stop just to escape it. On other occasions I’ve had men sit next to me when there were free seats everywhere else, one man blatantly staring down my top. And before anyone even thinks to ask what I was wearing I want to point out that no one’s clothing should ever have an impact on how you are treated in this kind of situation, and we should never just expect to be treated a certain way because of how we dress. Only two days ago two foreign exchange students stopped me in the middle of a busy area of town to ask me if I wanted to come home with them, while touching my arm. No one intervened even when I protested and tried to leave. I’ve had teenage boys sit opposite me on the train and make vulgar and audible comments about me, about my figure, my chest, even how they thought I would look bent over. I’m no longer shocked by this behaviour, as it has become almost a social norm for women around the globe, but this does not mean I am any less repulsed by the audacity of these men, and their reasoning that it’s okay to make these comments, and do as they please just because they can.

LB

I take the bus to work everyday, and an older man started obsessively harassing me and trying to find out personal information about me. He once saw me in the supermarket and blocked the exit until I acknowledged him. It made me dread going to work every day.