Keep the Porn to Yourself, Please… AND OFF THE BUS!

I grew up in Vancouver and have been taking transit for years now. I have been lucky compared to many of these commenters, but have had my fair share of unsolicited comments, conversation, stares and have on more than one occasion called someone to meet me at the bus stop to ward off a creepy man. I also definitely alter my actions and routine to try and avoid these experiences and not be a target (eg. not bussing at night, sitting near the front, sitting near other women (safety in numbers!), headphones/window stare/avoid eye contact, ‘don’t mess with me tough-girl face’ and so on…)

I recall one incident in particular though that happened when I was a young teenager (14?) where a man on the bus started showing my friend and I porn magazines and holding them in front of us to make us look at them. He was having a great time, we were not.

I think we can’t rely on Translink employees to intervene all the time, and if we see something inappropriate going on, we need to say something, particularly when we see things happening to younger women and girls. Sometimes all it takes is one person to speak up and divert the attention, to offer their seat, for others to take notice and back them up. I’d rather see an initiative asking transit users to help create a safe environment for everyone, than to resort to ‘women’s only’ buses or increased police presence.

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