Please note. . .

Don't Be Silent DC has been inactive since March 2008 and has not been accepting entries since. If you are in the DC area and have a harassment story to share, please go to HollaBack DC. If you are outside the DC area and want to submit your story, go to Stop Street Harassment. Thank you.

As of 3/1/08, I will no longer be working on this blog. Please read this post for more details.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More Harassment on Metro

This came into my inbox from a contributor who would like to remain anonymous.

This is my last week living in DC before I migrate out to Western Maryland, so the fact that my last Metro ride as a local should involve being harassed by a jerk...I don't know if it is par for the course or just disappointing.

I was meeting a friend who was in town from Alabama in Union Station and we were together on the Red Line heading out to Dupont Circle for some lunch and catching up. It was standing room only and us being two young, more-or-less able-bodied people, we took the bar and kept chatting. As people came off and on, a tall, young man kept playing music clips loudly on his cell phone and slowly but steadily made his way up to me and my friend. I--foolishly? bravely? impulsively?--put myself between my friend and him, just in case, and I was rewarded with this young man deciding to rub bodily up against me like a cat expecting to be petted, albeit crotch-first, singing unintelligibly in my ear.

It happened so quick, I didn't have a chance to shove him off. The train stopped, off he went, and I was standing there, feeling like I reeked of cheap cologne and like I'd just been violated. I don't think my friend noticed too much; if she did, we certainly didn't speak of it.

I should have shoved him off and yelled at him, but I froze up. This has happened to be every time I've gotten harassed on the street in DC, from getting fondled by a homeless man outside my work in Silver Spring to being shoved into a corner and rubbed up against by a schlub in a business suit the first time I took the Metro into the city alone. I've wanted to love DC, but the harassment has coloured my perception of the city, and now, despite how much fun I've had in town, I'm quite ready to flee for less populated portions of Maryland thanks to these schmucks.

Keep up the good work. I wish I'd known about your blog and the other HollaBacks when I first moved to the city.

Hearing about this stuff breaks my heart. I get so angry hearing about these men who think that women are theirs to do whatever they want with. In the same token, I've heard too many stories of women not fighting back. Please, please, PLEASE do whatever you can to stop him! You may not be physically strong enough to tackle him, but push him off, knee him in the groin, yell "get off me!"---anything to let these fools know that you won't be having it! Don't worry about the's more important to defend yourself and get out safely than worry about what others would think. Until the day comes when men learn to keep their hands---and their members---to themselves, we've gotta be strong and defend ourselves.


Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

Wow, I'm sorry to hear the anonymous poster had those experiences on the metro. I would have shoved that guy so hard....

I hear you about being groped by a homeless man. It happened to me in broad daylight at 6th and Mass. NE one time. I passed too close to a homeless man who asked me for money. When I declined (politely), he grabbed me and started giving me wet kisses on the cheek. I got away by running to my apt. and locking myself inside my gate. I called the police but they never came.

Be safe out in Maryland.

Rae Carruth's Trunk said...

I always love the blind items about Senator Lott.

Seriously though, its the Metro, people are going to rub up against you, mostly because its tight and we need to get somewhere.

Desidirius said...

Seriously, make noise. Attract the attention of other Metro riders. Ninety percent of men would not stand for that taking place and would intercede.

Golden Silence said...

"Seriously though, its the Metro, people are going to rub up against you, mostly because its tight and we need to get somewhere."

There is a huge difference between an accidental bump into one another on the Metro and someone deliberately rubbing himself against someone else. Huge difference.