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Getting Touched on the T - The Northeastern News

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Anchors AWAY!

Of course, the one night I forget my camera phone at home...

I was riding the Green Line to Park St. with one of my guy friends, and as we sat down on the train, we began conversing with this very friendly girl across from us who wanted to talk about colleges nearby, where we were from, etc. She was alone, wearing jeans/sweatshirt and explained that she was a freshman on her way to a party. The next stop, two guys got on, and proceeded to both grip the pole right over her, hovering while they looked at her, (no one was sitting on either side of her), and then they started dropping comments to her, and she eventually looked across at us and rolled her eyes.

Meanwhile, we hear a commotion at the far end of the T and notice this group of navy officers being loud and trying to talk to other women squished next to them (and we also see the telltale rolling of the eyes for the second time that night, from one of the women as she turned to face away from them).

My guy friend, our new freshman buddy, and I finally get off at our stop. I begin telling her about this website - and she immediately responds to us:

C. and D.
"Oh, wow. What a coincidence, b/c some other guy just full-on grabbed my ass the other night...and I fucking HATE that; it's so gross!! I was like..." but then, MID-sentence, one of the navy officers walked right up to her, between us, and eye-fucked her up and down while reaching out to grab her hand as he said, "Well, aren't YOU BEAUTIFUL."

We all kind of paused, stunned; then I said incredulously, "I can't even believe this happening again," before I stepped in front of the guy and obnoxiously waved
"um, BYE!!!" in front of his face. He gave me this weird look and then thankfully just walked away to catch up with his entourage. As if I was the one out of line!

All of this occurred within about 5 minutes. WTF. But we all got the point: it's more than just a coincidence. It happens constantly. Exhibit A. B. C. and D. Even in the middle of public conversations about it!!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Never safe

Tonight around 10 PM, on a train back to her apartment in Brooklyn, a hooded man seated next to my best friend, a 22 year old woman, whispered in her ear "I am going to follow you when you get up." He did follow her, just a step behind, up the subway steps of her stop and out onto the street. With amazing clarity in a life-threatening moment, she stepped inside a bodega, while he stood outside, waiting for her, and was fortunate to find a couple who were willing to walk her the few steps from the market to her apartment door. When they exited the bodega, the hooded man was still there, waiting for his (potential) victim. Unfortunately, it took the help of two people--a woman to make her feel safe, and a man to protect her-- to allow this woman to arrive home unharmed.

The most important part of this is that my friend is safe, but I feel such anger and rage that men like this, who derive such a false, disgusting sense of power from physically and sexually threatening women in public (or private), can make strong, smart, powerful women like my friend doubt their decision to live alone if they choose, to live free and independent lives, or to merely live at all. We're all under threat, and it's so completely and utterly unacceptable. I am completely disgusted, and very concerned for my friend.

Somerville, MA

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