So, I spend quite a bit of time on public transit in my city (since parking anywhere is hellish and expensive) and I thought I had seen it all. But of course, the universe had to prove me wrong in the most delicious way.
I was on the train, sitting, listening to my ipod, minding my own business, when I noticed a girl, who at first was sitting at the opposite end of the (mostly empty) train, moving toward me. I didn’t think anything of it, and when I got to the transit center where I transferred to my bus, I had already pretty much forgotten this chick.
I sit down on my bus, and lo and behold, the girl from the train sits down behind me. She tapped me on the shoulder, and, assuming she was doing something like asking for directions, I gladly turned around and asked her what she needed. She leaned in close, and in barely a whisper, said “Hey, sorry to bother you, I don’t want to scare you or anything, but that old man has been staring at your breasts since we were on the train.”
I was confused. I had noticed the man back on the train (I have PTSD and one of my symptoms is hyper-awareness of my surroundings. I notice everything), but he wasn’t doing anything but looking at me. I looked back at the girl and said, “so?”
"Well, he’s clearly objectifying you! I mean, he looks like he’s looking at a tasty piece of meat, not a human being! If you want, I’ll get off the bus with you at your stop so he doesn’t follow you."
What? I was so confused. Since when is a random old man keeping his distance but staring a threat so severe that the buddy system should be implemented? And what is a skinny little woman half my size (and probably not carrying any protection) going to do that my tazer and pepper spray and fighting ability would not? And why, for the love of god and all that’s holy, does it fucking matter that some old man was staring at me?
So I said, “Well, I appreciate the offer, but I am more than capable of defending myself,” and she interrupted me with, “well, as a survivor of sexual assault…”
What. The. Fuck. I stopped her right there to explain that I have been raped by three different people, about a dozen times, and molested and otherwise touched inappropriately by several others. I am well aware of rape. I am also well aware that some poor gentleman in his 60’s (at least) is not going to pose a threat to me, and his staring was nothing more than just that. Fucking staring. I don’t care if it was an “objectifying” stare or not. I am a pretty girl (not cocky, just confident) and I do get looks from people sometimes. It is flattering, and really not a problem. So then, this girl looks absolutely shocked and says, and I motherfucking quote; “Oh my gosh, you’ve been raped?! I was groped by a man on the train one time, so I know exactly how you feel. How can you stand to be around strange men after what happened to you?”
Holy shit. So now, a stranger grabbing one of your private body parts is equal to rape? A stranger, touching you in public, through your clothes, is equal to being forcefully made to have sexual intercourse?
So then she says, and this was my favorite part, “I actually run a blog on Tumblr to talk about this very thing. The misogyny of this patriarchal society we live in, where men just think they can stare at women and make them uncomfortable.” And again, I stopped her right there and responded, “I also run a blog on Tumblr. Fucking RadFems. And you just gave me a subject to talk about tonight.”
She then got all huffy, called me a rape apologist, and stomped off the bus. The old man ended up getting off a couple stops before me and I smiled and waved as he left, because GODDAMMIT LOOKING =/= RAPE!
So, this has been story time, since the feminists are so fond of posting little stories that somehow validate everything they’re saying, I’m posting mine. This is why I DON’T need feminism <3