Digital Voyeurism: when our tool to end street harassment gets turned on us

One July morning, while on the L train from Brooklyn to work at 1st Ave and 14th I was a victim of what can only be deemed digital voyeurism. I noticed the man sitting opposite me on the train was staring intently at his Blackberry, probably watching a music video or something of the sort. What was strange was that he held it upright, in line with his eyes and not in his lap like most folks usually do. When I moved, he moved and at times he would glance at me. The lady next to him was looking at me too, as were the other two ladies standing next to him. My self-conscious self wondered if I had spilled my breakfast on my shirt, so I looked down, started rearranging my skirt and noticed that the culprit seemed mildly perturbed by this. I was convinced that he was videotaping me on his phone. I glared at him, but he kept on videotaping. I kept my head down, the way celebrities do when they’re avoiding paparazzi. I moved to another side of the car. When I got off at my stop, the two ladies who were next to him, stopped me and asked me if I knew he was taping me. I asked why they hadn’t alerted me earlier and chose to be complicit viewers of this injustice. I was outraged and felt completely defiled. I wish there was a way to report this. The sad thing is that two weeks later, the same thing happened again, on the L train. This time I was quick to act. The culprit was pissed when I changed seats and got off at the next stop.

Submitted by J

You’re a fighter—or you wouldn’t be here. Help us fight the war on street harassment, at the frontlines. We’re using brains, not brawn. Send us weapons. The green kind.

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2 Responses

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  1. Sometimes you have to be a bitch for getting things done

  2. Jinx says:

    Take out cel phone, take picture of his face, give to Transit Police.

    We have the right to feel safe and comfortable in public.

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