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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.
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
The AMNY story is a follow-up piece to co-founder Emily May’s recent op-ed in the Metro. The Metro piece exposed the NYPD and MTA for failing to release crime stats on harassment and assault in the subway. Since the op-ed, Emily and New Yorkers for Safe Transit have successfully joined forces with Assemblymember Jim Brennan and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. (Both Hollaback Heros!) Brennan will submit a bill to the State Assembly in the fall forcing the MTA to release crime stats. Stringer’s office is currently FOILing the MTA to see if they can get the data. Together, we will put an end to harassment on the subway!
I’m writing to report an incident that happened to me on the subway today. At approximately 9:30am on the D train going between Atlantic-Pacific St. and Grand St. (right before the Manhattan Bridge), I awoke to the sight of a man masturbating on my arm.
I was napping with my iPod on, and I woke up because I felt something repeatedly hitting and rubbing up to my arm. When I looked down, I saw an uncircumcised penis being masturbated right on top of my arm. Luckily, he hadn’t finished yet. (Though the police mentioned that it would have been better to have DNA evidence. Ew.) I immediately screamed something like “OH MY GOD, GET OFF OF ME YOU SICK MOTHERFUCKER!”
At that point, the man mumbled something like “sorry” and walked quickly through the crowd to the other side of the train. I was stunned that no one tried to stop him, and even shifted to let him through. I screamed again “DID ANYONE SEE THAT? THAT ASSHOLE WAS MASTURBATING ON ME!”
No one did anything. No one saw his penis, because my arm was covering it.
So I took my camera-phone out and went after him. He had taken a seat more towards the front of the carriage and pretended to be asleep. I snapped these two pictures of him (attached). And then when I was done, I screamed again “I’VE GOT YOUR PICTURE NOW, YOU SICK FUCK. I’M GOING TO REPORT YOU TO THE POLICE!” Of course, this got the attention of everyone around us and everyone was staring at us except the pervert who was still pretending to be asleep. There was no way he didn’t hear me. So I went back to my seat.
Later I did report him to the police, and am still waiting to hear back.
Submitted by Alice
I honestly wish that I had taken my cell phone camera out to snap this creep asshole’s picture and made a big scene. Anyhow last night at around 11ish I was coming back to Brooklyn on the J train from Manhattan after meeting a group of friends, usually when I’m on the J I either text my friends or I look at the ads I try not to look at anyone on the train. Anyhow my stop was about to come up and so I got up and I quickly looked at the guy who was sitting across from me and I noticed he had his penis out and was playing with himself. At that point I was really shocked I was about to call my friend to loudly let her know what was going on but my stop came up and I quickly darted out of the subway car. Usually at my stop on the J line there are cops around but last night there weren’t any, I saw an MTA worker and I let him know what was going on but he ignored me.
Submitted by Amy
On Monday afternoon, I was getting off the train at the Clark St station in Brooklyn (2/3) when I was walking up the stairs from a subway platform, a man lifted my dress and when I jumped up quick, he tried to hold on to my ankle. I screamed and he ran down the stairs and got on the train. I called the police and was told that there wasn’t much that they could do…
Scared the hell out of me.
Submitted by Suzy
NOTE: We don’t usually accept second hand stories, but this sweet and observant post from a man working in Soho caught our eye.
I work at 305 Hudson, which is on the corner of Hudson and Canal. Every night, there are a group of traffic cops there directing the traffic into the tunnel. The other night, there was a woman walking a few yards in front of me, crossing Hudson, going east on Canal, and someone was whistling at her. I thought “Oh no, she’s gonna turn around and think it was me”… but it wasn’t me, it was the 4 cops standing looking at her! I would have loved to taken a picture, but that would just have left me beat up on the ground. Good luck, women.
Submitted by Anonymous
I was walking back to the Credit Suisse building from lunch through Madison Sq Park, and one walkway out was filled with construction workers on both sides. As women walked by, this group of 15+ men would hold up placards with numbers written on them (1-10)— and that’s not the most ridiculous part. I asked a “ranger” in a pimped out smart cart to intervene, and he replied, “Well, what did you get? You know you’re a 10 in my book”. I told the security officer in my building the same thing, who answered in the EXACT same way, with an extra “baby” thrown in at the end (for good measure).
Submitted by Laura and also covered by our friends at Gothamist.
This morning on the F train I inadvertently sat kitty-corner to a toucher. I boarded a Manhattan bound train at 7th Avenue around 10:15 AM. In the backwards-facing seat next to me was a nondescript guy in a white t-shirt. Thick dark hair, glasses, jeans, looked like early 20’s. My peripheral vision is pretty sharp, having had 2 previous encounters with gross subway pervs, so I stared him down when I noticed him rubbing his crotch. All in a matter of about 30 seconds. EWWWWW. That’s what I yelled, “Ewwww! Pervert!” There were other passengers close by, who looked up when I yelled, but no one seemed too concerned. I moved to the other end of the car until the next stop, and then hopped from car to car looking for a conductor or MTA police. Didn’t find anybody and had to switch trains at Jay Street, went to work feeling defeated and totally grossed out.
Next time I’m going to make a lot more noise and remember to get a photo.
Submitted by Joanna