Tag Archives: Public Transport

Kate L

This happened a while ago, only now do I think back at it with any significance. When I was in schooling I, along with many others, took the bus to and from school. Normally I’d keep to myself and everything would be fine. I was one of the last people on the bus, behind me were a group of boys getting off at a later stop just like me. Soon I heard them make remarks about my appearance, their ‘compliments’ seething with sarcasm. My short hair at the time seemed an unwomanly novelty to them so they entertained the hilarious nature of casually making sexual remarks at me as well as other females. Just before I got off my stop I felt someone kiss around my upper arm almost neck area. In comparison to other people’s experiences this is minor but it was an invasion of boundaries and creepy thing to do because of my gender and clearly general disposition. I had also experienced casual remarks and further ‘jokes’ about me throughout schooling but those are too many to list. I was 13.

Violetta

I don’t think I realised how big this problem is until recently. I am 25 years old, I see myself as self-confident, smart, attractive, sexy and beautiful woman. In school I guess I didn’t feel it, because I didn’t feel my female power and confidence as much as I have it now. Few weeks ago I was walking back home from seeing my mum it was a day time 3-4pm and I was wearing short jeans skirt and t-shirt with top (which is totally normal outfit but not for me anymore), there were 2 men standing at the bench and I saw how one of them was staring at me. I tried to avoid his eyes because I hate situations like this and I try always wear headphones and pretend that I don’t hear all these comments which men say to me sometimes, especially when I am in skirt or in skinny jeans. So he grabbed my hand and tried to stop me, it was so disgusting. I wanted to vomit. Since when men decided that they have a right to touch ANYBODY ? Especially female and especially at the street. It was a daytime, kids were playing 10 meters away. The worst part is that I couldn’t even answered to him, I hated myself for silence. When I get back home I asked myself “Should I have try to fight with him or what? Why is this so normal”. The same day later I was walking to shop and car was beeping and stopped whilst I was walking. Why do they do it? I live in Moscow, its a busy city and because of constant rush and lack of time I used to wear very comfortable clothes no highheels, no dresses, rarely I wear skirts and when I do I already know that something like this can happen and it so sad that I became NORMAL. I bet if men were grabbed at the street or wolf whistled themselves they would had a better understanding of women. If I want to be beautiful somedays for myself, not for anyone else and wear not my usual jeans and sneakers but maybe shorts or skirt or dress why should I always have a fear that I might get touched, grabbed or that another car will stop and will try to “bring me wherever I need”. That isn’t the society I want to live in, it isn’t the place where I want my kids to grow up in future. I believe that we can do better. So after this accident I was really disappointed and I remembered all similar experiences I had. When I was around 18 yo I saw a man masturbating at the street during the day and people were just walking by, like no one saw him. Few times I was touched in the club and when I was younger I used to excuse these accidents thinking “this is club, its fine, maybe people are drunk there”. Last year, I was walking home and 5 years old boy slapped my ass. It was shocking and again I was paralysed, couldn’t properly react, few seconds later I said something to his mother but she didn’t say anything to him. It just a little boy, why would he did it? Was it because he watched it in the cartoons, the treatment to females? Or same thing happened in his house? When I was 20 I was grabbed by my hand and followed for few mins in Paris whilst I was travelling. Public transport is a separate issue. I am just sick of it but I dont want to wear always neutral clothes from now only because some men cannot control themselves or because they are so ignorant and pathetic. I don’t want to be scared every time I wear a shorts or short skirt/dress. But this fear still exist. I really hope this issue will gain more attention and in few years or in few decades there will be less women facing this everyday sexism.

Julie

I was 16 and just come out of a terribly abusive relationship. I was still recovering. I was on the bus home from school. A boy I’d known since primary school was sitting next to me. We weren’t talking, which seemed odd because he was usually friendly. All of a sudden he asked me “Are you still going out with Gabriel?” To which I replied no. He then said and I kid not ” You’re not? Come over then, wearing something else…” I didn’t reply. I was stunned. Here I was, just recovering from abuse when another boy objectifies me all over again! My thoughts about this event now are Why were you assuming a) I’d just obey you, no questions asked b) I was attracted to you. I wasn’t c) I wanted to dress to please. I didn’t d) I’d want to do sexual things with you. I wouldn’t and e) You had rights to my body????!!!! That’s what your comment implied. Another incident happened in my 20’s. I’m Christian and wanted to wait till marriage. That was my choice. I went to see a male gp about some tummy pain. A student doctor was with this gp. The student gp asked if I could be pregnant. I said no. He asked if I was sure. I said yes. He kept asking me if I was sure until I said Yes I’m sure because I’m a virgin! His response? “You’re too hot to be a virgin.” As if my hotness dictates when I lose my virginity. As if the idea that I was allowed to choose when I give of myself wasn’t a real thing or even allowed to be a real thing! As if my “hotness” was wasted because it wasnt being used to please a man. My body, my choice! And that comment was really unprofessional. These 2 are not the only times I’ve endured harassment and they are aside from much worse crimes I’ve endured, which I dont wish to disclose here. Thank you for reading.

Anon

My male taxi driver just shouted, “women drivers!” out the window at 2 young women driving on the other side of the road. They were doing nothing wrong. He thought it was a hilarious joke because he’d just picked me up from dropping my car at the garage for its MOT.

Lacey

When I was an undergraduate I used to take public transit everyday to and from school. One night after finishing class I was riding the train with my bike and I noticed a man enter the train car. He looked like he was on drugs, he looked at me and didn’t stop. He looked me up and down as he stood by the train door. He was holding a bag of chips near his crotch, he pretended to hump the empty chip bag and stared at me as he did it smiling licking his lips and laughing. I moved to the next train car to get away from him but he followed me so I blocked the walkway with my bike to keep him from physically touching me. I stared at all the other passengers (which were all men). They looked away and out the windows. I was clearly alone no one was going to help me. I knew the man would follow me when I got off the train and my stop was coming up soon. I noticed the train had a camera and it was pointing right at me. I took my ring of keys and made the only weapon I could think of. I stared into the camera and mouthed HELP! while showing the camera my key fist and pointed at the man who would not leave me alone. As I got off the train car, the man followed me. The police were already there at the train station, they detained him before he could follow me. I got lucky because there was a camera on the train. Remember that you cannot count on men to protect you, even in a public space. Always pay attention to your surroundings especially at night!

A

I was getting the train home from school that I got everyday, and it was not very busy. A man sat in the four seats to the left of mine, facing the opposite way to me so we were facing each other diagonally. I had PE last lesson, so I did not wear tights that day, just my knee length skirt. He kept looking at my legs, and then got his phone out and placed it on his knee/on it’s side so the camera was facing me – he kept leaning forward to look at the phone, as if he were recording my legs. I was terrified, angry and frozen in fear. I stood up early as my stop was next, and as I stood up, looking at the man in the face, he looked a bit shocked as if I knew what he was doing and immediately put his phone down. I told my dad what had happened and he asked me why I hadn’t worn my tights/if this would’ve happened if I had: I was crying. I was fourteen. I told the public transport police who called me a few days later to let me give them details of the man, and I never heard from them again. I vomited after that phone call. Why are there cameras on trains if they can’t use them to identify paedophiles? It’s been three years now, and I am still incredibly wary of men on public transport.

Devika

I am a twenty three year old woman. I was working night shifts a few months ago and got off work at 4 AM. I was on my way back home ( I was riding my motorbike as I don’t have a car) and I slowed down a bit to take a turn. This guy pulls up next to me (also on a motorbike) and tugs at my clothes in an attempt to make me stop, he showed me pornography on his phone. In this moment, I thought I am going to be raped and this is it.I sped up and he kept following me. I finally reached a point where there were some people on the road and I begged them to stop and help me. As soon as he saw me talk to these people, he sped off. Ever since that day, I have been traumatized to the core. I never step out of my house without pepper spray, I am always on alert even during the day. Sadly ,this isn’t the only time I have been harassed or assaulted. I was in 10th grade when a boy grabbed my breasts. On public transport, men have tried to touch me and rub themselves up against me. I am just so tired of living my life in fear. And its so sad that every woman I know has been through something like this.

V

I’ve had my fair share of sexual harassment but lately I’m in a situation I don’t know what to do about… So short side note first, I live in a flat that is connected to another one though we are 2 separated flats (it’s difficult to explain). I’ve lived there for 2.5 years now and one of the tenants living in the adjacent flat as been kind of stalking me since I moved in. It started with inappropriate messages (let’s go swimming together/how about we have a drink in my room tonight) and escalated to an kiss I did not consent to. I have been ignoring him since the beginning but he just doesn’t stop (even for the short period of time he had a girlfriend!). Last Saturday I was invited to a birthday party of his flatmate (we get along really well and he’s a genuinely nice person), and while there I kissed another guy. Afterwards my stalker interrogated my flatmate if that was normal behaviour for me (specifically going out to meet guys to sleep with), started mopping around and at the end insulted me before hugging me (again against my consent) telling me he didn’t mean it. I told him that he definitely meant it and if he still feels bad about it when sober to come over and apologise. Which I’ve been waiting for since. As a student in a city with high rental prices I can’t afford another place. And since he knows where to draw the line (we are both law students) or only acts inappropriately when inebriated (try proving intent) there is nothing I can do since (according to the law and the police) he didn’t overstep any law. I’m just happy my flatmate and friends understand and help me to avoid situations where we are alone. It just annoys me that there is nothing I can do and I’m scared of telling him no outright cause he might sneak in at night/when I’m home alone (I can’t stay locked in my room the whole day).

L

I have been sexually assaulted 4 times during a psychotic episode and have formerly worked as a sex worker. Despite these occurrences, a recent sexual harassment stood out to me the most. I visit the city regularly and it was quiet at the time due to COVID-19. I ran into a man, name unknown, who had hit on me once in early 2019. Of course, when he saw me, he started a conversation and, of course, I obliged. I saw him AGAIN two days later, he again hit on me, and I again obliged, having a brief chat with him. I then saw him AGAIN, only about 2 days later. I was on a bus and he got on. He started trying to talk to me again but I ignored him. The bus slowly emptied out and eventually it was just me and him on the bus. He then came over to me, sat next to me, put his arm around me and started calling me “baby.” He then started touching my leg and at that point I got up and moved. Luckily, he stopped. I’ve only seen him once since, but now every time I go into the city I fear he will be there.

Mara

Firstly, I think it’s so wonderful that this project exists. Thank you. Secondly, I can not possibly remember the countless times I have been sexually harrassed in my life, but I tried to tick all locations that I remembered something like this happening. I just wanted to share my newest approach in dealing with sexist men: Whenever a guy tries to objectify me by staring at me with an open mouth, cat calling me etc., I simply try to emit the same disgusting, masculine, and aggressive energy that they do. I do that by asking them things like “You want me to finger you pink tight asshole?”, making a jerking-off motion or grabbing my own tits. I feel like this in their minds lifts me up from being a passive woman to another “alpha” they have to compete with. I also like to think that it’s nice to show them that we are sexual beings too and can be a 100% in charge of our sexuality (femininity‚Ȇsubmissiveness). Plus it’s super fun seeing their idiotic faces switching from horny to absolutely disgusted in a split second. I love you all, stay strong and own your bodies <3