Another Time, Another Place, The Same Old Story

I grew up in Northern Ireland in the 1960’s. Male sexual harassment was endemic. It used to annoy me most using the bus to go to school. You would sit on your own in a nearly empty bus and a man should sit beside you and do the frotteur trick of widening his legs and rubbing against you. Or you would get a man in the seat behind you trying to fondle you through the gap in the seat.  I adapted to this by sitting beside other women, choosing the side seats so men couldn’t get behind me, never sitting g where I could be trapped on the inside, staying near the driver and putting my bags beside me as barriers. Beautiful women have hell in public places, as men will just walk up to them and solicit them or grab them or kiss them. In Northern Ireland the women responded to this by androgenising their appearance to the extent that they could be mistaken for men – then the harassment stops. One beautiful friend had so much trouble with men grabbing her in public she masculinised her appearance so much girls thought she was a handsome guy and started eyeing her up. In the UK most buses have CCTV so you don’t get so much of that problem now.

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