Tag Archives: Public Transport

Sister

My younger sister was leaving for school trip and she was standing in the train corridor waving at me and my dad by the window. There were some people passing her behind her back – neither of us seen them in detail (the train was quite crowded), but for sure they were larger (I’m guessing adult men, or at least fully grown, my sister was 13 at the time). When the train was leaving the kind of jumped for a moment, I thought one of the guy must have jostled her. Only later she called me from the train, sitting in the compartment with other girls and said that the guy grabbed her behind rather forcefully. The girls in the compartment where talking about him being an asshole but the conversation was pretty light, kind of “oh what a funny story”. When my sister came back from the camp she talked to me about this story again and cried for the whole time. She was wondering whether she’s too mature/provocative (she was wearing sport leggings with very large white t-shirt – it was a sport camp) and I really didn’t know how to help.

O

About this time last year, I was catcalled on a train when I was with my friend. I blamed myself because of the dress I was wearing,and I have only worn it for the first time (after that) last week. Another time when I was harassed at a party by a classmate, I thought that maybe I had done something wrong because I was wearing a crop top and shorts. I consider myself to be a feminist, but even I have to re-affirm to myself that I didn’t deserve harassment for what I was wearing.

Courtney

I was raped when I was seven by my mothers partner. I was molested by a boy in class in 8th grade. I was molested by a boy when I was in 9th grade. I was molested by a boy in 11th grade and the police sided with him because he was the president of speech and debate. I tried to kill myself when I was 17 and was raped by the person who saved me. I have started getting catcalled since age 13. I get comments and catcalls every time I go out side.

Nishi

There have been so many instances that I can’t even count them all. Since I was a child, whenever there are guests over at my parents place the women are inside cooking and the men are outside drinking alcohol. Since I was a child I was told by everyone to help my mother in the kitchen but that wasn’t told to my brother. Till date people including family tell me that I’m going to be hard for any guy to handle due to me being too “loud, opinionated and bossy”. I’m sure if I was a guy they’d say I was an “alpha male”. I’ve been told numerous times that if I don’t learn to cook what will I feed my husband. That with my behaviour my “in laws” will send me back home. When going put my brother and all guys I know are told to have fun but me and all the girls I know are told to be careful. I’m told that if I’m going out and someone follows me or harasses me or even gropes me I shouldnt fight back to hit them I should leave the place or scream fire. Because apparently fire is a bigger issue for people than a girl getting raped. The amount of times men have mansplained things to me and told me that I shouldn’t lift weight because girls don’t look good with muscles and that they should be “slim thic”. The amount of times I’ve been catcalled is unbelieveable. And the people that told me that I shouldn’t “overreact” when I’m cat called because its normal is even worse. I was first cat called and groped at the age of 6. The amount of times people have told me that I was cat called and groped because of my outfit and behaviour is too many to count. This so called behaviour is me laughing amd hugging guys. My parents say that I shouldn’t go out with guys alone to dark places such as the theater because men are apparently “dogs” and only want one thing from a girl and would take advantage of a girl at any moment. But these men dosent include my brother since”they raised him well”. I’m sure they did. He blatantly checks out and rates girls on the street. He takes screenshots of girls nudes and sends it on his freind group and saves it. He hooks up with random girls and then Dosent text them ever again. He slut shames girls but still hooks up with them but ya I’m sure my parents raised him well. I’ve had boys and men even family tell me that I would be more popular if I behaved like most girls do. My brother said and I quote “you’re not like how girls are supposed to be. So you’re unpopular. Girls are interested in fashion and make up. Girls dont scream like you do. And you overthink and make a big deal out of nothing.” This nothing might i add is sexism and racism. And there’s been so many creepy men staring and following me in public places. Then saying that I was asking for it. And the most used “compliments and phrases” teen girls my age get in my city are “thicc” “thot” “hot” “sexy” “send nudes” “naughty or nice” “lace or thong” and these are the least disrespectful ones. And when a girl declines these or calls them out apparently the girl was leading them on or is being a prude. If I have sexual relations I’m a slut but if I dont I’m a prude. If I drink I’m asking for it but if i dont I’m uptight. If I say yes then I’m easy but if I say no then I’m ugly anyways. And the worst part is that girls dont even recognize that this is sexist and not okay. They think its noraml and force themselves to drink and smoke and hook up and flirt and send nudes. Whether they want to or not because its what’s “in”. And god forbid I use the f word. Not F*ck but Feminist!!! I’ve had guys say that feminists are crazy because they demand more rights for women than men. I showed these people the online definition and yet they say that this definition is wrong and feminists are sexist. And when I’m brave they say I have balls. No! I don’t have balls! I have a vagina and I’m proud of it! I’m a feminist and I’m proud of it! I don’t need people that tell me that I should be more feminine to be likeable! I’m trained in 6 forms of martial arts and I lift weight yet my cousins and brothers who haven’t fought or gone to the gym a day in their life can apparently “beat me in a fight” just because I’m a girl. If I beat a guy in a fight then they were going easy on my anyways. In a room full of men I’m terrified. I know I can defend myself but what if they overpower me or the cops catch me for assaulting them when it was just self defense. I’m not drop dead gorgeous. I don’t have blond hair or blue eyes or that innocent girl look. I am naturally tan and I have black hair and black eyes and glasses. I have clear skin and I’m pretty short. Just 5’4 but i am lean not thin. Most people find my body attractive and when I’m cat called or groped its blamed on my body and my outfit. My outfit is usually slin Jeans and a tank top or sweat pants and a sweat shirt. I went for a concert and a guy asked for my snap to look cool in front of his friends in a very rude way. So I told him to F*ck off and showed him the finger. And he and his friends followed me for 20 minutes hoping I would get intimated so I simply went there slapped him for harassing me repeatedly and told him to get lost. People had the audacity to say that it was my fault for wearing a crop top to a crowded 40 degrees Celsius concert. And I’ve always been told that what kind of a girl can’t cook, what kind of a girl trains martial arts and lifts weight, what kind of a girl dosent wear make up everyday of her life, what kind of a girl dosent like wearing dresses all the time, what kind of a girl hits the person that harasses them for self defense, what kind of a girl is so picky with guys, what kind of a girl dosent show her insecurities on her sleeve, what kind of a girl eats all the junk food in the world. I’m told that I should learn to cook and clean not because it’s a life skill but because in the future if i get married. It dosent matter if me and the guy that I would marry both work. I’m the one that has to know how to cook and clean. Im told that I should learn to compromise because its always the women who have to compromise because that’s just how the world works. I should wear make up because girls look prettier with make up. I should not argue with people and or say my opinion. If a guy has that same opinion its valid and considered but not for me. I have been told to laugh at rape jokes when I called the person out on it. I’ve been sent to the year head for being “disrespectful” to a fellow class mate. My disrespectful behaviour was calling him out on his sexism and gender stereotypes. I’ve been told that even though I can lift a 100kgs or even more a guy is still stronger because he’s a guy.

Fighting Back

I was attending art lessons at some institute outside school . My art teacher started hugging and touching me everyday. I was uncomfortable but I was 6 so I didn’t know what to do. I stopped going to set lessons there after a while because I was afraid of him. I was 6. I was coming home from ballet classes and was right under my building. These 2 men made rude comments at me and grabbed me and started touching me on my breasts and all over me. I was wearing my ballet uniform. Not sure what it’s called. I ran home and felt disgusting. I cried. Since that day I would always wear a sweatshirt and sweatpants after leaving ballet and wouldnt leave my mum. I was 8. For the first time I was told that if i dont know how to cook what will i feed my husband. I was 8. The harassing increased as I grew older. I hated my body and screamt at god everyday for making me a girl with beasts and a vagina. I would try my best to conceal every part of me. I would wear lond sleeve shirts sweatshirts jackets and Jeans and never get close to a guy. I was 9. Everyday I was harassed or cat called and I didn’t know what to do. I started self harming because I hated my body and blamed my self for being cat called. I was 9. I completely closed myself off. All around me I got the message that being a girl is being weak. I saw that people said they if you cry you are a girl if you show pain you are a girl. My parents unknowingly always told me to be strong. To not cry to not feel pain. I always saw my brother and cousin brothers never crying and always being happy. No emotion other than that. They they conditioned to be men apparently. So I closed myself off. I wouldn’t cry I wouldn’t speak about my feeling I wouldn’t show any weakness or vulnerability. I got depressed. And continued self harm. Due to the harassment and sexism I stared acting like a “guy”. I didn’t wear make up I didnt wear dresses or heels I just wore shoes and jeans and sweatshirts. I was 10. My parents finally noticed my strange behaviour and found out about my self harm I was diagnosed with severe depression and bipolar disorder. I was 11. I liked a guy and he rejected me and embarrassed and bullied me in front of the entire school for 2 years or more. He rejected me because I wasn’t feminine and pretty enough. I was tan and had glasses and braces and I hated make up and dresses. I wore baggy clothes and played sports. I was better at sports than guys. His ego couldn’t take it and everyone casted me out for that. That year and 2 years after that were the worst. I was constantly catcalled and groped on the streets. I was not feminine enough and was told that no guy will ever tolerate my nonsense. I was too much of a “man” apparently because I would scream and shoot and be hyper. I would fight back to people in school. I was 12. On the vacation of 2018 I had enough. I was changing schools due to bullying. I stopped self harming and started to love and accept myself. I didn’t care what society said. I loved myself. With work and counselling and therapy I got over my depression and got my bipolar disorder under control. I stopped trying to please others and lived for me. I was 14. Now I live my life on my terms for myself. I love my tan skin, I love my glasses, I love the fact that I don’t take anyones bullying. I love that I can be hard and a leader when I need to but also soft and caring when I need to be. I still have problems expressing my feelings and trusting people due to me losing more than 23 friends in 4 years not I no longer chase people and beg them to be my friend. I no longer need male attention to feel valued. People whos opinion actually matters dont tell me that I should be more feminine or that I should take care of a guy or rely on a guy or that I should know how to cook ot clean for a guy. I’m not this perfect doll that society expects me to be. I train 4 different martial arts and gym and play sports but I still love science and studying and reading and poetry. I love horror movies and gory movies like purge or the hostel but I still love romance movies too. I still have crushes and flirt with guys I like but their rejection dosent affect my self esteem. When people harass or grope me on the street I no longer hate my body or run in fear I stand tall and brave and slap them or punch them and scream at their face that HARRASSMENT IS NOT OK!! I have insecurities everyone does but I no longer hate Myles for them. I focus on my positives.I’m not perfect and I dont care. I’m real. I no longer feel obligated to follow gender norms of society. I like art and sports. I like partying and studying. I can scream and shout and jump and do everything a girl sint supposed to without caring. Now when Someone tells me to learn to cook for a man or I need to change my attitude for to get a good guy or that I’m not feminine enough I simply tell them that I don’t need a man not now or in the future. If I get man it’ll be because i want him in my life not because i need him to take care of me or prove for me. I don’t feel obligated to send nudes or hook up. I don’t care if people call me a prude or a slut or a slag or a whore or a strumpet or anything. I’m now I want to be and that’s ok with me. I finally found people who love me for me. I am loud and dominant and hyper but I don’t care. Society won’t tell me how to behave just because I’m a girl. My vagina didn’t come with a terms and conditions manual when I came so I’m not gonna live by what society’s terms and conditions are. Now I call people out on their sexism be it towards men or women. I live my life on my terms. I’m 16.

Anusha

I was 16 when this happened, I was in a bus and had taken a back empty seat and that apparently gives off the idea that I’m ok with anything sexual, that’s one of the reasons my mom asks me not to take the back seat. It was 8 hours journey and in the middle of it, people come in and left. After sometime a guy comes and sits next to me( he was sitting in the front seat). Starts talking to me, asking me about my parents and siblings. He tells me he’s an engineer and then he tries to put his hand around me, that moment everything around me just slowed down ..I didn’t know what to think and I didn’t have a phone with me to call anyone, I was terrified and it showed on my face. He asks me if that’s ok( to put his arm around me). With the little courage I could muster, I said “NO”. After sometime he moved to his front seat and I came back home and cried for 5 days and I was scared of travelling alone in buses again

Bethany

Sorry, long rant ahead… When I was 19 I was going to university to meet some friends and was going on a bus route I wasn’t familiar with. It had the right destination, but I didn’t realize that it took the very scenic route to the university, so most people got off and transferred when it got close to university, but I stayed on, not knowing that the bus went on an extra like 40 minute loop. When most of the people off to catch a transfer, it was pretty much empty, and I was by myself a couple rows from the back when a man came and leaned over my seat and asked me “Got a smoke?” I said “No, sorry” and he took that as an invitation to sit down right next to me and keep talking to me. I thought it was weird but couldn’t really stop him from sitting where he wanted. He kept asking me more questions, starting with why I don’t smoke, then if I drink or party or do drugs. When I said “no” he called me a “good girl” which is also weird but I didn’t mind because he was an older man and exactly the kind of person who would be disappointed by someone doing drugs. He also asked where I was headed and ended up being the one who told me about the stupid bus detour and that I had a long ride left but he’d keep me company. I wanted to be alone, but I still said “thanks” to him. He kept asking me questions and I kept answering out of politeness, even though they were getting weirder, like what my name was, if I had a boyfriend, etc. and he’d sneak in some comments about my body, like how cute my shorts were or how I filled out my shirt nicely. But I was stuck in the window seat for apparently like another half an hour so I just kept thanking him and telling him what he wanted to know. He started asking me about more personal things and slowly got more sexual, and even though I noticed and knew what he was interested in I didn’t do anything about it. I just kept answering what he asked about, waiting for the bus ride to end. A few times when I was too uncomfortable or embarrassed to answer, he’d just change the question to something a little less embarrassing (but still super inappropriate to ask a 19 year old girl). I almost felt like I was responsible for answering his questions and whenever I couldn’t do it I’d feel like I did something wrong and tried to make up for it by opening up with some other detail he wanted. I thought there was maybe something wrong with me for even having bad feelings about the guy. The only time I did stop him was from trying to put his hand somewhere more sensitive than my leg. He didn’t get mad or try to force himself on me, and I even apologized for it and preferred going back to discussing intimate details of my body (and what he wanted to do with it). I felt so stupid for not just standing up and leaving, and for letting him do that to me for the whole bus ride. He was bigger than me and probably a lot stronger, but he hadn’t threatened me or hurt me. But somehow I still ended up feeling almost powerless and that there was literally nothing I could do but answer his questions, be honest, and keep him happy until I could leave. What made me feel so weird about it though was that even though I was freaked out and scared and my head was filled with all the things he COULD be doing with me, it still seemed like I WANTED to answer him and I felt bad for even thinking about lying or not answering. By the end of the bus ride I felt like an open book for some man twice my age to read about any very intimate details of me, and for some reason I still thought I was doing the right thing. Even gave him my phone number and let him take a picture of me, although I tried to hide my face the first time. He didn’t follow me after we got off the bus fortunately since there were enough people around so he couldn’t be weird anymore. But once I was gone from him I had to run to the washroom and sit down to panic and figure out what had just happened. I felt totally violated even though he never did anything to me and I answered everything willingly, and I felt like a slut for even allowing such gross conversation from an obviously creepy old man. I eventually met up with my friends an told them about the creepy guy (but seriously downplayed how involved I was), and still refuse to take that bus ever again in case I accidentally run into him. He texted me a couple times, and asked for selfies to prove that I didn’t give him a fake number, but fortunately I got a new phone soon after and got a new number and didn’t have to deal with it for long. Nowadays I still get some creepers hitting on me but I have definitely learned to ignore them and definitely not apologize for it, but I still feel pretty dumb for not knowing how to deal with someone like that at the time, and for thinking it was my responsibility to be polite and helpful. I totally could have gotten him kicked off the bus if I had actually stood up to him, and hopefully someone else has done that to him by now.

Lena

Just now, scrolling through the website, I remembered an incident that happened to two of my friends when we were around 7 years old. Our class went on a small trip and to get to the our destination we had to take the subway. We were 23 children and of course couldn’t all sit together and our teacher always had a hard time trying to keep us from being too loud etc. My two friends, both girls, were sitting with an man and apparently he at some point began to unzip his pants. Luckily we got off the train rather quickly and nothing more happened, he propably just enjoyed showing it to two 7 year olds. I didn’t notice any of it on the train and only learned of it through our teacher, who later told us, that when something like this happens we should say it out to raise awareness. I hope that if something similar happens to me now people would actually care and not just look away.

Silvie

This incident occurred a few years ago, when I was living in Scotland as a student. One day, I took the train down from Edinburgh to visit a friend in Lancaster. The coach I travelled in was relatively empty, and the scene was dominated by a boisterous group of 5 or 6 men who had clearly been drinking already and kept at it during the train journey. With very few people around and them being so noisy, I left to sit elsewhere but returned shortly before my stop to get my suitcase. As I was passing the men to get off the train, one of them blocked my path and the group gathered around me, talked to and about me, made fun of me and touched my arms and waist. I tried to push past them, but they wouldn’t budge, so I just stood there silently, staring at the floor and hoping for it to go away. Eventually, I managed to get off the train, and burst into tears while still standing on the platform. While I emerged physically unharmed, their behaviour felt threatening and humiliating.

charlie

When i was around 14-15 i was in the tube (i think it was around notting hill or camden market) and it was during rush hour so it was very busy and a man grabbed my but.