Thursday, July 26, 2007

Personal Anecdote

The following situation occurred last night around 9pm on a Fremont - Richmond BART train. I was sitting with my legs stretched out as I usually do after a tired day at work. There were 5-6 other people in the car I was in. I was in no way dressed provocatively (if anything I looked like total crap) - just wearing a large coat and jeans. At Coliseum station a burly, scary looking man came on, looked around the nearly empty car, saw me and decided to sit in the seat across from me, staring at me the whole time. Uncomfortable, I sat up and faced the window (away from his direction). All of a sudden he shouts, "Hey, do you want to fuck me?" I had my headphones on luckily so I pretended not to hear him. He repeats "Hey you, you want to fuck?" Thank god the next station was my stop. What should one do in such a situation? Should one obviously get up and move to another car, thus acknowledging them? Or should one just ignore them and hope that they go away? I am always scared to get up and move because they may decide to get up and follow. But if I sit and ignore, they may decide to pester me throughout my entire commute (which has happened several times).

Submitted by Anna in SF.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Subway Blues

I used to take the Muni Metro underground to work every day for the past year and a half. I only go 2 stops and even when it is crowded I squish in to the car and get to work twice as fast as I would on an above-ground bus.
Then last week I squish in as usual, moving my back to my front to make room and I settle in for the short ride.
I felt something pressing against my back side and at first I thought it was someone's briefcase or backpack, but when I turned to look the man behind me abruptly turned away and moved into the crowded car.
I have heard many women tell stories of men on the subway rubbing up against them, and now I know how confusing and disorienting it is on a crowded commute train.

I wish I had had quicker reflexes or figured out what was happening before it was too late and he was gone into the crowd. I am now careful to either wait for the less crowded train or to keep my bag on my back, even if it takes up space, because if trying to give people more space means some creep can move into mine, I am not having it.

Submitted by Jessica in San Francisco.