eumelia: (slayer)
[personal profile] eumelia
Trigger Warning: Frank discussion of sexual harassment, breach of body autonomy and dealing with the above


Last week, on my way to work, I was groped on the bus.

My commute to work can last up to an hour, but it's usually about forty minutes and because the bus line start very close to where I live, I will usually manage to find a window seat, so I put on my earphones and hey presto I'll usually sleep the whole way.

On this day, I did just that, only at some point around mid way, I felt something poke me. It poked me in the ribs and then poked my breast and stayed there.

My first instinct was that my bra had flipped over, or something, and I lazily opened my eyes and looked down, planning to deal with the discomfort.

The thing that had poked at me and then, just, stayed in place, feeling my breast, was a hand.

My stomach dropped and I couldn't believe it. The fingers actually wriggled and I sat there transfixed at the sight of a hand, sticking out from the side of the seat, obviously belonging to someone sitting behind me.

Surely this was a mistake. Surely this is just someone who inadvertently moved his hand between the seats to hold on as the bus swerved and drove on.

I sat there, holding my sides for about five minutes, I couldn't move and I kept thinking, surely I imagined it, it can't be, why would this happen?

The hands stayed there, peeking from the side of the seat and I just felt too nauseated to keep sitting in that seat and I was lucky enough that there was a seat across the aisle, so I skipped over. This seat was also a few seats back, so I had a diagonal view of where I had been sitting and of the seat behind me.

Just then, the bus slowed down and stopped at the station and the guy who had previously sat behind me, stood up in order to get off the bus, he turned his head and looked at me.

I hadn't imagined it.

It did happen.

It's been weighing on my mind for over a week.

When I walked into the office, my friend who works with me (who got me this job) saw my face (it ain't no poker face) and asked me what was wrong. I told him I had been groped on the bus. He was very sympathetic and very kind to me that whole day, because quite obviously, this affected me.

It didn't help that two other co-workers decided to tease me that morning about being feminist. I don't even remember what they were saying, I just remember they were doing it to rile me up, so I told to quit it, for today is not the day to tease me for my world view, for my political identity, certainly not when that world view is the only that kept me from becoming useless.

There's no anger like righteous anger.

Throughout the day and the past week or so, I've been processing what happened. And feeling guilty about how badly it affected me. As I stood in line this evening, someone brushed up against me and my flight or fight reaction was on. It was just someone pushing through the throng of people.

Personal space is something kind of unheard of.

Not to mention that women's bodies are forfeit.

One of my co-workers, she being of the "always look on the bright side" and "the glass is always half full" attitude, said that in a screwed up way I could construe what happened as a compliment.

I nearly went Hulk on her, because fuck you very much, you are a part of the problem!

This man, decided to randomly stick his hand through the seats of the bus and touch me. He touched my breast, just so he could touch a woman's breast! He felt he was entitled to it, just because he is a man in public, whereas I, a woman in public, am nothing more than an ornament for him to grab at.

I was told by other friends that the fact that I moved, and removed myself from his reach was proactive, that I didn't just sit there and take it.

But my voice was gone. I had no voice. I chocked. I felt utterly helpless, because I was sure that if I had said something, I would have been the one shamed for disrupting the relative peace of the morning commute.

Because the fact that I was sexually harassed and had my personal space violated is a personal problem, one I should force other people to deal with.

I feel guilty for making a "big deal" out of this. After all, I wasn't assaulted, I wasn't hurt in any way. I mean, the worst thing is that now I can't sleep on the bus and have small freak outs when people stand behind me.

Back the fuck away, motherfucker.

I couldn't say that on the bus.

ETA: Cutting due to request. I'm sorry any of you were harmed by reading this.

Date: 2012-05-19 07:52 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Hug)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
I wasn't assaulted

You were. It might have been a comparatively minor assault, but you were assaulted nonetheless. Unfortunately the freeze reflex is a perfectly normal reaction in a situation like that, however much one might wish things were otherwise. I know someone who managed to react by grabbing her assailant, holding up the hand, and shouting 'I found a hand on my arse. Whose is it?' but I don't think I could *do* that - even when the space is safe and public and well-lit etc.

Have a <Hug> if you want one.

Date: 2012-05-19 08:23 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Cygnet)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
Imposter syndrome. I had that when I was in an abusive relationship - 'but he never raised a hand against me, that means he can't be abusive' and I have it right now in my current life crisis - all that's wrong with my life can be fixed with a comparatively [to the national average] small sum of money, I have no right to freak out when my friends are struggling with lifelong disability and recent losses of loved ones and...)

It's not a competition where only the worst off are allowed to complain.

Date: 2012-05-19 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] amethystfirefly
+1 to this.

-hugs-

Date: 2012-05-20 02:06 am (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
Another +1.

The standard here is not "is mine so bad that I have the right to complain", but "did that happen to me?" Because any assault like that is unacceptable.

It's not a personal problem, it's a societal one. Or if it is personal, it's the person doing the groping that has the problem.

Date: 2012-05-20 06:19 am (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
It's easier for us to say this. It didn't happen to us. It happened to you. We're here to support you however you need it.

Date: 2012-05-20 01:40 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: Daredevil from 1602, Marvel Comics, "Without Fear" (1602)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
Don't let people diminish this. You were assaulted. You were treated as an object. You are right to be angry at that motherfucking asshole and the entire society that makes this a personal problem and too much trouble.

Date: 2012-05-20 05:46 am (UTC)
st_aurafina: Katara hugging her grandmother (Avatar: Katara hugs)
From: [personal profile] st_aurafina
Hugs okay?

I'm so sorry that this happened. Do not feel guilty, not for one second. You should make a big deal about your physical safety being compromised, and people should support you in that.

Date: 2012-05-20 11:13 pm (UTC)
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
From: [personal profile] askygoneonfire
What a total shit.

I'm sorry this happened. I think that had it been me, like you I would have been frozen. I was pushed into someone as I passed them in a club once and they just turned and without a pause, punched me. I was so shocked I didn't do a thing and by the time I had regained the power of speech the person who had punched me had gone so I really sympathise - it's so frustrating to look back and wish you had done something else but as someone else has said, the fact you moved seats is brilliant and more than I think I would have done.

Be angry, definitely. Is it worth calling the customer services of the bus company? Mention time, day and route and leave a number in case anyone else reports something similar and they need additional statements against this man.

I'm getting angry on your behalf the more I think about this. It makes me angry for society. Ugh.

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eumelia: (Default)
Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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