Last Thursday, September 27, around 6pm, I was waiting at the
Montrose stop on the Blue Line to go downtown. I had just missed the
train, so it was just me and a guy, who was wandering the platform,
muttering to himself. After a minute or two, he wandered over and
stood uncomfortably close to me, looked me up and down, making eye
contact and muttered something unintelligible.
I looked him in the eye and asked "Can I help you?"
He said something else I couldn't understand. At that point, I noticed a younger guy with a bicycle had come onto the platform. I decided to go stand next to him and
see if this other guy would follow me. He did, but didn't stand as
close. The train came and of course, he got on the same car as I
did. I sat at one end and he was standing at the other. There were
some other people on the car, but it wasn't full. I looked over at
the guy a few times to make sure he wasn't coming my way.
It was then that I realized he had found a new victim! A woman was sitting
and he was standing over her, muttering quietly to her. I caught her
eye and saw fear and discomfort. At that moment, a great wave
of anger rose up in me and a voice inside me shouted "Do
I suddenly remembered my new camera phone and reading
about taking a picture of street harassers. I whipped it out, jumped
out of my seat and walked quickly over to him in a rage.
"Get away from her!" I shouted. "Stop bothering her!"
He stopped and looked at me. I lifted my phone and got his face into focus. Suddenly he
was able to communicate clearly and put his hand up, saying "I don' want you to take a picture of me."
"Then get over there and leave us alone!" I said and pointed to the end of the car where I had been sitting. Then I sat down next to the woman. He obeyed and shuffled
down to the other end of the car.
The woman thanked me repeatedly and got off at the next stop. He got off a few stops later.
I have never done anything like this in my entire life but I am so sick of this shit! I grew up in Chicago and have been street harassed since I was 9 years old. Enough is
The sad part is, that after I ordered him to the other end
of the train car, I looked around at all the other people on the
train, fully expecting a round of applause or at least some nods and
smiles of approval. No one would meet my eye. Everyone was looking
down or out the window, acting like nothing had happened! There is
no way that every single person on that car did not see and hear
everything that took place, but not one acknowledged it.
~Submitted by Shari P