Thanks for starting this project. These stories are horrifying to read, but also so, so important to discuss and acknowledge and validate. I just learned about this blog today, and I’m really glad that I have this venue to air my grievances.
I was on the 19 Metrotown this evening on my way home from work. The bus wasn’t particularly crowded, and I was standing by the back door. Somewhere along Pender, a red-haired man, slightly stocky, maybe 5’6, got on and immediately yelled at an older woman in the aisle to “Get out of my way! Watch where you’re going!” So, you know, great first impression. He came to stand next to me, and made another comment about “stupid people getting in the way, idiots, blah blah.” I ignored him. From pretty much right away, I could feel him staring at me from the overly-close proximity that public transit affords, and after a couple minutes, he says, “You know, you look really good today, miss.” Again, I completely ignored him. Dude, I just saw you yell at an old woman, but wait, you think I’m pretty? Watch me swoon.
When a seat in front of the door was vacated, he made a big show of offering it up to me. I took it, and said thanks, and hoped that would be the end of our interaction. But no. He then starts going on about lazy people taking the bus when they could be walking–apparently in reference to a woman who had just rung the bell after riding for what he deemed to be too short of a distance. He got right in her face when she was getting off, calling her lazy, and finally I had hit my tolerance level for him being a jerk to undeserving people. I turned around, told him to shut up, and turned back to face the front of the bus.
He then proceeded to move in close behind me and tell me, “I should slap you in the head with my dick.”
SO NOT OKAY. I froze, not knowing what to do, but then my adrenaline took over and I stood up on autopilot and yelled “THIS MAN IS MAKING COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS AND I WOULD LIKE SOMEONE TO GET HIM OFF THE BUS PLEASE.” There was a moment when no one said anything, and then the guy mutters, “I’ll get myself off the bus,” and slinks off at the Main St stop.
I’m bold and sassy and even I freeze up when a man says something like this. It is so unexpected and so degrading and so incredibly uncalled for. Thanks to the ladies who spoke to me after the man saw himself off the bus–in those moments, having strangers reassure me that I’m not crazy for feeling and reacting as I did is a huge comfort. Nothing is worse than having something like that happen, and then everyone just pretends they didn’t notice. Plus, one of them kindly directed me to this blog.
Also, maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I’m having trouble finding a way to email a harassment complaint to Translink / the Transit Police. Like, this is really personal, so I’m not comfortable sending it to Translink’s general complaints people who deal with late buses etc. And I’d rather describe my incident in more detail than texting the Transit Police number would allow, and I don’t particularly want to call the associated number and be forced to say the words “slap you in the head with my dick” and then probably start crying.