Saturday, August 20, 2011

If you are surrounded by people, SPEAK UP.

I have just spent several hours reading the holla back experiences posted by people in DC and Chicago. I did not respond to any of them individually because the postings were rather old, and I would have been typing for hours and repeating myself. I have noticed a pattern. The pattern seems to be ignoring, walking away, or simply taking it, which to me is actually accepting the behavior. I know from experience that it’s hard to think of what to say or do at the actual moment of harassment. Been there - haven’t done anything, either. And cell phone photography is difficult at best, not very fast and oftentimes not possible. But if you’re on a crowded bus or train, it seems to me that a very loud Stop Touching Me would be appropriate. Stare down your attacker. Report the incident to the bus driver AND the transportation authority. Further, an “accidental” yet well-placed elbow (oh, so sorry, this ride is SO bumpy/this train is SO crowded) to the chest or face or groin area (depending on your location, seated/standing) is in order. STOP TAKING IT. Don’t ignore it. If you are surrounded by people, SPEAK UP.