I had an unfortunate experience on transit today – I was getting on a crowded bus, and while standing at the front an older man turned, leered at me and said “well aren’t you pretty!”. I didn’t say anything, just smiled politely, signalling that I heard the “compliment” but didn’t want to engage further (was on the way to an audition). He continued, “How did you get to be so pretty?”. I said nothing and tried to walk past him. That’s when he stopped me and said “Why don’t you give me a hug?”. I very clearly replied “No”, and then tried to walk past him again. He then blocked my way past, moved closer to me and said “Cmon, just give me one hug.”
Without thinking, in a LOUD, clear voice so all my fellow passengers could hear, I said “Stop it! You are being innapropriate. Back off!” And like a dog who had been scolded he immediately shrunk and backed out of my way. I walked to the back of the bus as far away from him as I could get. He stood the rest of the bus ride staring forward and did not look at me again.
It felt SO GOOD!
Usually when dealing with transit or street harassment I just ignore it – but today I stood up for myself and in a moment I went from feeling very powerless in the situation, to having all the power. I highly recommend it.
wishing you all,
LOVE AND PEACE AND BETTER BUS RIDES.
Dear readers, please be aware:
Two sexual predators, repeat offenders who have both used the transit system to facilitate their predation efforts, are still allowed to ride transit. It is extremely difficult to have someone banned from a public system like this, and even more difficult to enforce. As a result, unfortunately, it is on the public to be educated and aware about potential risks.
Vigilance is encouraged–remember that you can contact the Transit Police discreetly at any time via text (87-77-77) or by phone (604-515-8300).
It was about 7am and I was doing my daily routine. Get up real early, stop and get a coffee, go to King George Station skytrain to columbia transfer and then off to school I go. I never have any issues, my dad taught me how to take care of myself. There was a guy and I have anxieties towards brown people for personal reasons but I’m working really hard on not pushing them into a group of all pigs. He was slurring his words but it was a Wednesday I thought either he was on drugs or handicap because I’ve dealt with drugs and disabilities my whole life. I wasn’t going to be rude because of any of that so we had small talk on the skytrain. At Columbia he continued to follow me, because I take the same route everyday and love to socialize I know all the regular staff working at the stations so I knew how to get the securities attention without him noticing after he fell down the stairs on me which I would like to add I haven’t used stairs since because I’m so tiny and he was a full grown man. Turned out he was actually drunk. He didn’t smell like booze and the thought didn’t cross my mind considering it was a Wednesday morning at 7am all connecting lines are the most dangerous because that’s where all the stations can meet up.. Male, brown, leather jacket, spiked hair
About a year ago I was on the 210 to Phibbs Exchange when I felt a sudden tug to one or two hairs at the back of my head, like someone was trying to pull out my hair. When I turned around, I saw the man behind me quickly tug his hands back to his lap and look out the window inconspicuously. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt at first, because it seemed ridiculous that someone would want to take my hair, but when I leaned forward and watched our reflection in the windows, I saw him slowly creep his way back to resting his hands on the back of my headrest, inching his fingers closer. I felt really uncomfortable about confronting him about it, so I just leaned way further forward in my seat and pretended it wasn’t happening until we both got off the bus at Phibbs exchange. I found myself wondering if I should tell the bus driver, or call someone about it, but wondered what a bus driver could even do about such an obscure problem.
More recently, about a month back, I was standing on the millennium holding onto a pole when things got a bit crowded. A man started getting super close to me. I thought this could just be due to the lack of space, but he put both his hands onto the pole on either side of me, so his arms were surrounding me, and pushed up close so that his pelvis was pushed up against my butt. Once again I felt super uncomfortable about confronting the man and did nothing. As soon as the train stopped and people shifted I moved away from the man.
Today, I was travelling from Vancouver to the SFU Surrey campus. This incident began at the Waterfront station.
I had just got onto the expo line train to king George at around 1pm, and it just so happened that the car I entered was completely empty. I was carrying a big heavy black bag, as well as a bulky camera bag and a tripod, also in a bag. I was headed towards the end of the car to a two seater (so that I would not be in the way of travellers who would later board). However, just as I was about to put my 3 big bags down, a man who looked to be around 50-60 years old, with a big white beard, big turban on, and dark sunglasses came up almost immediately behind me, and this action just made me highly suspicious as to why he wants to sit in my immediately vicinity in an empty train.
I Immediately turned around and headed to the centre of the train, upon which he asked, “aren’t you going to sit down?” And I pretty much politely said no and say right in the middle of the middle row, making sure I had him in my sights. I then took out my phone and called my boyfriend and told him loudly that I didn’t feel safe, and continued talking to him until the train eventually filled up with other passengers. He and I both remained until I almost reached my destination. I got off early and phoned a friend to meet me and then continued the journey.
Did I overreact?
I found it extremely odd and also uncomfortable when he was about to sit next to me in an empty train. Fyi I am also a pretty petite, Chinese girl. I have simply heard so many stories about girls and women being taken advantage of – molested, groped, etc. and I also had no interest in talking to anyone, being quite tired from having to lug such a heavy load around. Better safe than sorry?
I just got called a “fucking bitch” because I didn’t engage a guy in conversation as he was following me trying to say hello. Then when I told him that that was rude and unnecessary and I just don’t want to have a conversation, he blew up in my face and started yelling at me and calling me names. Then I got on the bus and he did too and he and the bus driver started talking about how rude I was and what a bitch I was and how much of a nice guy that guy is. So I got off the bus and am so pissed off.
I hopped on the 325 bus yesterday outside Chermside Library to head toward Geebung Station when I was told off by the bus driver for not smiling at her. When I realised she was talking to me; as I had wondered in absentmindedly and tapped on without really thinking about it, I went went back to ask her to explain herself to which she demanded I show some polite courtesy and acknowledge she actually stopped to pick me up. When I tried to explain that just because I had forgotten to smile did not give her the right to make snide remarks to a customer she told me and I quote, ” Just remember I did not have to pick you up”. When I asked her what that was suppose to mean she refused to give me an answer instead she requested I take my seat and made an effort to whistle tunelessly for the rest of the journey. I was waiting at the right bus stop, I was not behaving drunk and disorderly, I had tapped on before taking a seat and had only made enquiries pertaining to her offensive behavior. I had to stand in the rain and wait for the bus for 40 minutes because the first bus I hailed down refused to stop for me. So unless I’m mistaken she was implying she didn’t have to pick black people like me up so I should be grateful and keep quiet when she throw jeers at me in front of other passengers. Of course she only gave me a smiled when I asked and refused to say anymore after that so its anybodies guess.