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At around 9:45pm I got on the Q train’s first/last stop at 57th Street heading to Brooklyn. The doors are all closed save for one at the end and only half of the double doors at that. This is normal. All the doors are opened just before the train leaves. It usually sits there for a while until another Q train pulls in. So I’m sitting in the car by myself next to the window reading a book when I hearing someone tapping on the window. I choose to ignore it because something tells me it is trouble. Well this person taps again and again and again. Finally I just turn my back towards the window and pretend to read because I’m nervous by now. What does this person want? The tapping persists until another guy walks in and I think this other person by my window will leave but the tapping continues.
Suddenly, all the doors open and my heart drops. A short sleepy-looking man holding a crumpled piece of newspaper in his hand walks in and sits right by me. I’m thinking that he’s probably a homeless guy asking for money until he removes that piece of newspaper and shows me his penis, hanging out of his pants. Oh so this is why he was trying to get my attention. He makes sure that the other guy, sitting not too far away, doesn’t see what he’s doing by creating a “wall” with that newspaper. I can smell the alcohol on him and he acts so nonchalant, which feeds my anger and indignation.
A few years ago a man in an old Mustang stopped me on the pretense of asking for directions so that I could see him masturbating. When he drove off I remember feeling so disgusted and victimized that I resolved never to let that happen again.
Here was a guy exposing himself to me in a similar situation. So I decided to take action. I had read about women empowering themselves in situations like these by taking pictures of the perpetrator so that gave me strength. I move so that I am sitting directly across from him and took three photos with my cellphone. I then walk quickly out of the train and break into a run to find the train conductor. I find a woman operator and explain my situation. She says something about the police not being around when you need them. I walk with the woman and point out the man with the beret holding the newspaper, who had come out since I left and she suggests I move into her train car. Moments later she comes back in and speaks into the PA system that the next stop will be 42nd Street. The train starts to move and I wonder what happened to the creep. Did the police apprehend him? Then the train operator comes back out and tells me “Thanks miss, that guy didn’t get on this train.” I am baffled. Shouldn’t more be done to stop him? I look out the window as the train pulls away and I see that same creep now sitting on a bench unbeknownst to the people around him.
All I can do is post on this blog for the whole world to see. Ladies, beware.
Submitted by Clara
I got on the 8:20 Manhattan-bound M train Monday morning at the 4th Ave., 9th Street stop and was sitting down, reading the paper like I normally do. A few stops later, a man came on the train, and stood to the left of me next to the doors. I didn’t pay close attention until I saw something in my periphery that was moving. I turned to the left and saw the man’s penis sticking out while he rubbed it. He stared at me the entire time. I jumped up and shouted — WHAT THE F–K ARE YOU DOING? The doors opened and he got out at the Dekalb stop, but stared at me through the doors as the train left the station.
I wish I had my camera out so I could take a picture and show it to the police. I’ve filed reports to the MTA and the police, but who knows if anything will be done. I really want this asshole caught.
Submitted by Kim
I wasn’t able to take a photo, but wanted to write about a recent experience of subway harassment anyway because, as they say, third time’s a charm. I’m referring to the fact that I was recently confronted for the third time in the last decade with a passive aggressive pervert jerking off on the subway, and I finally reacted in a way that I feel good about.
More on that in a minute, but the first thing I want to mention is that each of the three asshats who felt it necessary to flog their flabby little phalluses on public transit were all different in terms of age (one in his early twenties, one seemed to be in his late thirties, and one seemed to be solidly middle-aged, has kids in high school range), geography (one was on the D train in Coney Island, one on the F train not far from Park Slope, and one on the MBTA in Boston) and ethnicity (two were white, one was a man of color), but despite their differences they each wore the exact same sickening, sweaty and totally smug, “what’s getting me off is you being uncomfortable” stare as they groped themselves while trying to lock eyes with me. The smugness is what stood out the most each time — as if what was sexually gratifying to them was women’s inability to stop this harassment.
Anyway, when this happened again it took me totally by surprise, because while I often deal with street harassment whenever I’m in Manhattan and often in various parts of Brooklyn, I’ve almost never dealt with it in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. Here’s what went down. I was standing at the bottom of the steps on the F train platform at 6:30, lots of other people on the platform but no one else near me at the bottom of the stairs. I heard someone from the top of the staircase call out, a “Psst” kind of sound. Instinct caused me to look up the stairs, where I saw a middle aged man beating off, smiling that same smug smirk I remembered from the last two guys I saw do this on subways. My initial five-seconds-after reaction was to instantly turn away, really startled, somewhat frightened and incredibly angry. After those five seconds, though, I realized that this guy had no power over me other than in his mind, and if I didn’t react in a way that took my power back, I’d be mad about it all night, maybe longer. So, I turned back around, looked directly at him and screamed, “Fuck you, asshole! Who do you think wants to see that?” He froze, a fearful dear-in-the-headlights look passed over his face, and he dropped his dick as if it were all of a sudden burning his hand. A second later, he turned and ran away, while I screamed after him, “Yeah, you better run away! Run away like the sad, pathetic, small-penised pervert you are!”
I instantly felt better.
Submitted by Jennifer P.
my friend and i were sitting on the N the other night, heading uptown from 8th street. we both noticed this guy sitting towards the middle of the train, eyeing us as we stepped in, but soon forgot him as we settled into our seats at the end of the train. As we chatted, we noticed somewhat, this guy getting up and walking towards us…nothing really to freak out about at that point, i mean, pretty much anyone except maybe jolly folk from kansas or something will look
sorta creepy on the train late at night….
anyways, i soon noticed that this guy had his sorry excuse for a penis hanging out of his pants, hidden on one side by a black garbage bag, so that only we could see what he was doing… i’m a firm believer in reminding flashers that not only is it wrong to flash women, but that there are women out there who will whoop their scrawny little asses if they disrespect them like that… so i proceeded to curse him out, in a loud enough voice for everyone to hear how pathetic and perverted he was. i walked away from the experience unsettled – not because i and a friend had been sexually harassed, but because there were so many people in that car, even a guy sitting right in front of us, and they ALL IGNORED US. they continued chatting, sitting quietly, minding their own businesses, and a group of people calmly followed the bastard out the door and up the stairs at union square.
don’t we all inadvertently condone acts like these when we just sit by quietly? i’m not pissed because my friend and i were sexually harassed – i’m disgusted with those new yorkers who witnessed a crime and just let it be… what the fuck, new yorkers?
This guy kept his leg wide open the whole time on the Q14 bus tonight. He kept putting his hand between his legs and massaged the area like he’s in a porn movie. He kept eyeballing me and staring at me until I took out my camera phone and snapped this nasty pervert’s face. As soon as he got off the bus, he just stared right at me through the window and I just flipped him my middle finger. Dirty pervert.
Submitted by C.
I guess I’m just naive and tend to think the best of people (I come by it honestly, from my mom), so my first thought of the middle-aged “dad-type” guy sitting directly across from me with the golf ball-sized hole in his crotch and testicle squeezed, spilling out onto the his seat was that it was gross, but just an accident. Here’s me thinking “aw, that poor guy doesn’t realize he’s got a hole in his pants! But can’t he feel that?”
Idiot. When I met up with my friends that night and told them the exact the same scenario above, they laughed and said, “You got flashed! That rip was completely intentional.” Then when I got home and told my husband, he agreed. Ugh. It was disgusting and disturbing enough for me to see it, but what if I was a little kid sitting right across from him? Maybe a little kid would’ve pointed and yelled. Maybe I should’ve too.
Well, at least I’m holla-ing back. That’s a start.
Submitted by Ali
I was sitting on the R train on the two-seater where you can see directly outside of the window onto the platforms. At about 1:30pm, the train pulled into 34th street stop going downtown and I noticed a man directly outside of my window who kept looking inside of the train. He looked lost! So, I just kept on glancing around and minding my business…then I felt as though he was trying to get my attention; you can feel when someone is staring hard at you. So, I glance his way, and happen to notice something peculiar…well, his penis was zipped right out his pants and he started swinging it back and fourth with his jacket pockets. I froze! I didn’t know what to do, and it didn’t occur to me to take his photograph with my cell phone until the train started moving…and it was too late. I hope someone catches this pervert because it was a traumatizing experience!
Submitted by Jenni
This morning circa 9:50 am, I rode the 4/5 train to 86th St. Leaving 59th St., I saw a creepy guy in the doorway with his dick hanging all the way out! His bag was pulled to the side & he was looking confidentally casual, not like he was even prepared to adjust his bag quickly should he be caught. He had briefly stood opposite me back at Union Sq. & I wondered if he had it out when he was standing right in front of me!!! I calmly got off at 86th St. & easily reached the conductor. I simply pointed through the window to the next car.
“That man was exposing himself to me.” He looked surprised, pointed to him and said “That man?”
He simply walked over to him between the cars, and the asshole was standing there w/his bag positioned in front of him and not even looking nervous. He probably even still had it out, covering it w/the shoulder bag.
The conductor returns with this look on his face that said: “Well, sorry but I don’t see anything unusual…” And then, Mr. Dickhand ran out of the car because the genius conductor had left the doors open the whole time! I went to chase him, but said: “Wait, can you just call upstairs and tell the token booth person?!” And he says…”Well, he just ran off, and there’s nothing I can do since he’s already left the train…”
I never was able to find the slimy weasel again, but saw an NYPD van parked right there. They took my description and phone no., & asked me if I wanted to press charges if they found him. (Hell yeah!) The cops were actually really nice. The female officer actually said: “I’m sorry this happened to you…” The male officer was more aloof but still seemed vaguely concerned. And then they drove off to look for him! I went back downstairs thinking maybe he was somehow still lurking around the station, instead of running to street level. I told the token booth clerk: “A guy was exposing himself to me on the train…I told the police but thought maybe you want a description?”
She said: “Well did they call it in?”
I looked at her blankly because I didn’t see them make any phone calls. Though they did seem on it.
“Well they’re handling it, something, something, blah..”
It was time to tune out and go to work.
From our friends at New York Hack:
“This was when I really started to get scared as I thought he might be reaching for a gun. I already had the camera out and managed to take a shaky picture, thinking, “Fuck. Okay, I guess this is really it,” but then I saw that, instead of a gun, he pulled out his dick. Unfortunately, my camera didn’t capture it in all its shriveled glory.”
To read the rest of the story, click here.
Submitted by Jeanette.