My girlfriend and I were waiting for a bus, and some guy kept standing really close and trying to chat up a woman. She was in a wheelchair, and the street was crowded, so when she was trying to inch away from him, he had a significant edge on maneuvering around, and kept getting close. I stepped in between, and asked him why he had to make people uncomfortable. He was more confused than confrontational, and I couldn’t really tell if he was on something or maybe didn’t have good English, but he didn’t really give any reasonable reply. Just some quiet mutterings. I kept myself between him and the wheelchair using woman (as well as my girlfriend) until we got on the bus. He got on after us (without paying), and was more towards the front than us, so it was basically done then. He got off a couple of stops later dragging his arm across a woman’s chest along the way.
I didn’t know if he was planning on following the wheelchair using woman after her bus ride or not, but I was extremely troubled that no one else took a stance as things were happening. And maybe I helped stop something terrible. It’s impossible to know. I was happy that I made someone feel (and maybe be) safer, but it’s pretty disheartening to think that this guy has an opportunity to harass people without much response.
Shouldn’t every story of harassment end just like this one? It’s possible, we just have to teach people how to do it and celebrate it when they do. Donate to the “I’ve got your back” campaign. Only 10 days to go!