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A woman saw a man masturbating on the subway, snapped his pic, and took it to the police. Problem solved, right? Not at all. They told her to submit it to 311, the city’s information hotline. Considering that according to a 2007 report, 10% of riders are assaulted and only 14% ever report it, this news is no less than tragic. This woman took a leap of faith, only to be shot down. How are we ever supposed to end harassment and assault on the subways if the authorities are insistent on pretending it doesn’t matter?
From the Metro New York:
“It’s an ongoing problem of the police showing insensitivity to harassment, lewdness and violence against women on subways,” said Emily May, co-founder of Hollaback NYC, which encourages people to post images of their harassers. “It discourages women from reporting.”
Kudos to the woman who took the picture and filed the complaint. The city needs more heroines like her. As for the police, better protocols and some sensitivity training are in order.
It looks like even Minnie Mouse is not safe from street harassment. From today’s New York Times:
“A 60-year-old man has been convicted of groping a woman in a Minnie Mouse costume at Walt Disney World. [...]
He was convicted Tuesday of misdemeanor battery and sentenced to write the victim an apology, serve 180 days probation and complete 50 hours of community service. Moyer must also pay $1,000 in court costs and possibly undergo a mental evaluation.
The victim says she had to do everything possible to keep Moyer’s hands off her breasts.”
…by harassing a nice young woman as soon as she sits down next to you in the only free seat, and then telling her you wouldn’t sleep with her if she was the last woman on earth. But that’s what this guy (bottom right, not a great shot) did. And continued to hassle her (“white bitch” “nasty skank” etc.) despite her impressively cool-headed ignoring of him. Then tell “come on baby” as she gets off the train.
So yeah, all you heteroguys out there, take note. The whole sexual harassment pick up strategy doesn’t work so good.
(in the spirit of full disclosure, the woman thought he probably had mental health issues or was drunk/high, but I heard him speaking quite lucidly before she got on)
Submitted by Claire
As I was leaving my house to walk my dog, a passing tan-colored van slowed down in the middle of the street and the male driver (probably in his 40s) stuck his head out the window, looked back at me, and smiled creepily. I looked at him and snapped “What?!” His smile dropped, and he goes (completely expressionless) “Nick rack”, and then drives away. Another passenger in the car simultaneously yelled “Nice…” (something – I couldn’t hear the rest).
Ten minutes or so later, I’m still walking my dog, and the same van drives by AGAIN, with the same dickless creep this time just GLARING at me. I see it go further up the street and slowly turn back onto the street where he’d originally harassed me – it looked like he was pulling over there. I started getting nervous at this point, because that’s where I was headed and it’s the street I live on. I started thinking of what I’m going to do if he’s indeed parked there and waiting for me (I could have turned around, but going the other way would have added another 20 minutes onto my walk, and it was getting close to sunset). Fortunately, he wasn’t there when I got to my street. But I’m so tired of going outside and then wishing I hadn’t left the house at all.
Submitted by Amy
I was at the Carroll street stop off the G/F at 2:30am on a Thursday reading a book on the bench along with 5 other people and the f train came (not my train… waiting for the G) and this guy next to me (early thirties wearing an ipod) tries to force himself on me as I am screaming and pushing him off. He runs on to the train, and no one says or does anything. It all happened so fast, didn’t get a photo, totally shocked and horrified. WTF! Ladies beware of perverts late night on this stop.
Submitted by Leah
Wouldn’t you want someone to have your back if this happened to you? Help us make this a reality by donating today!
Today’s AMNY article highlights the MTA’ s station booth closures. HollabackNYC recently co-founded New Yorkers for Safe Transit with RightRides, Girls for Gender Equity, and NOW-NYC. New Yorkers for Safe Transit has protested these cuts alongside TBOU, a transit union. HollabackNYC’s Emily May is quoted in the article:
“Without that worker, people are really defenseless,” said Emily May of New Yorkers for Safe Transit, an advocacy group protesting the cuts. “Who are they supposed to reach out to if they are assaulted or harassed?”
Here are the stats:
186: Station agent positions cut this year
105: Booths closing
65: Booths closing in Manhattan
126: Subway stations without a PA
9: Stations that are also losing a station agent
A: Subway line with the most stations lacking a PA
I had experienced so much aggressive harassment over a three day period- men cat calling me as I’m walking toward them and then calling me a bitch and a cunt when I passed them without responding- in my neighborhood, I decided to take a summer scarf and drape it around my shoulders, to cover the bare skin I was revealing by wearing a tank top. It was hot, and I wanted to wear a tank top, but did not think I would make it from my house to the subway without this intense harassment that was making me crazy. As I exited my apartment and attempted to walk down my stairs, I encountered a maintenance man who was also making his way down the stairs in front of me. He saw me, turned to me and smiled and said hello. I smiled back and said hello. He then proceeded to walk down three rows stairs backwards, facing me, looking me up and down the whole time and smiling at me, like we were doing something together. My skin crawled. I couldn’t even say hello to this man without him taking it as some sort of romantic or sexual invitation. As soon as I reached the bottom of the stairs, as he stood there, just staring at me weirdly, I took the scarf that was around my shoulders and wrapped it around my head, almost instinctively. I walked past him quickly with the scarf fully covering my hair, my shoulders and part of my face. It was one of those kind of checkered patterned scarves that some Christian organizations had petitioned Duncan Doughnuts remove from an actress in a commercial last year because they said it had Arab which equaled terrorist connotations or some crazy shit like that. Whatever. I made my way from my apartment to the subway in relative piece that day, with the exception of one young construction worker who actually stepped into my path as I was walking, to make eye contact with me around the scarf, and repeated “hello, hello mommy.”
Submitted by Chavisa
On July 31st I had a dispute on the corner of E 7th St. and 1st Ave. with two truck drivers of Hollywood Dairy LTD. The location of this business is 3190 Rawlins Ave., Bronx, NY 10465. The New York commercial license plate of their truck read: 31228 JT. There were three drivers, two harassed me. I have photos of the truck and the aggressors. I am a woman in my twenties.
I was walking by and one of the drivers hissed at me (familiar to any woman, never appropriate to do this to a stranger, a woman, but there was certainly nothing palliative about his way of hailing this ugly sound at me, his sound effect was in no way mild or naive; it was sharp, accustomed, unmistakably aggressive and disrespectful). I challenged the person who thus disrespected me, I wanted an apology, and he and one of the other men set in on me, insulting and demeaning me in every possible way (mocking my intelligence, sanity, appearance, and investment in the situation. Any bigot surprised to be called out will try to downplay his accuser).
I called the police and was waiting for them to arrive, so I was next to these men without an ally for about twenty minutes, trying to reason, losing my temper, and being ludicrously, sadistically baited. I want these men held accountable. I want Hollywood Dairy held accountable for putting such nuisances on the street to interfere with and to denigrate women. The incident was very upsetting to me. I do not treat people this way, I do not see people in the dehumanizing, small way that could only have allowed them to treat me as they did. Ignorance is unfortunate, but it cannot be an excuse for bigotry and demeaning aggression.
I have contacted various news channels, as well as the police again, and I have left messages for and mailed a long letter to the manager(s) of Hollywood Dairy. Please hold these people responsible (let there be an affecting consequence) for their bigoted behavior that caused me great stress, which I did not deserve. No woman should be taken out of her peace on her own streets.
Submitted by Lia
I was waiting for the train in a mostly empty station at 2:30 AM on 8/1/09. Soon a man walked down the stairs. I glanced up at him and looked back down at my game. About 5 minutes later, I looked up again and saw that he was staring at me and masturbating on to the track. I was so freaked out that I didn’t say anything or take a picture. I just ran to the other side of the station. People walked down to the track soon after and he ran away. He looked pretty unremarkable. White tank top, blue jeans, fair complexion, and dark hair.
Submitted by Aria