Drunk on a train
This weekend some friends and I were going out partying. (TRIGGER WARNING: This may be triggering if stories of harassment bother you.) On the Red Line there was one of your quintessential “Loud drunk crazy people.” This guy was walking up and down the cars yelling about God and Jesus and his message to everyone and blah and blah.
He got to our car and he was starting to sit down, to maybe chill out when these three dickheads in the front of the train provoked him. Now when these guys got on the train I thought “oh look, some math graduate students decided to leave their cells for a night.” In retrospect I realize that this was unfair to math graduate students, they were probably undergrad economists. (Jk…kindof)
Anyway these three Dickheads start spouting out about how there is no god. Now of course, I agree with them, but the crazy drunk guy on the train(CDGOTT) is not interested in a theological debate, so he walks past us over to these guys and starts yelling. He is now riled up, someone has responded, he has an audience, the volume is cranked. They argue with him a bit, and when he’s not getting anywhere he turns around and starts walking back.
Of course, CDGOTT has to stop in front of me. (I must have been wearing “random guy” attracting cologne, it was a very weird night.) Hilarious that he would turn to ME for help in his religious crusade, less hilarious once he started grabbing his crotch and talking about how he was going to fuck me. When my “Ignore him don’t make eye contact” technique did not waiver he actually grabbed one of the other girls who was with me. At which point I did make eye contact and started to get up, and he backed off. (My friend then slathered herself in purel. I wish I could slather my brain in purel.)
Eventually CDGOTT gets back to the three dickheads in the corner giving atheists everywhere a bad name. They are arguing and the guys are clearly desperate to get rid of him. Trying to get him to leave the car. When I get really pissed off is when another young woman gets on the train by herself and one of the dickheads start encouraging the CDGOTT to harass that woman instead of their perfect and lovely selves.
I actually got up and told them off, I don’t know how effective it was, but I told them it was ridiculous for them to rile up this guy and then sit there while he sexually harassed women, even going so far to encourage him to harass another woman. They didn’t exactly seem cowed by it, but I just couldn’t let that behavior stand without comment. I”m sure some angry fat chick yelling at them between the rantings of the CDGOTT was hardly effective. But I couldn’t have lived with myself if I didn’t say something. (And the girl they had been trying to put in the line of fire actually thanked me, which made me feel like it was at least a little worthwhile.)
I don’t think that men are obligated to protect women. But the annoying theological bullshit the dickheads had to deal with (read, crazy rantings) was a far cry from the sexual harassment my friends and I were enduring. This guy was standing there threatening to rape me, and it wasn’t as important to those three dickheads as arguing with a crazy guy about God, and yet maintaining the comfort of their evening.
I know I was in no danger as there were a bunch of people on the train, and I could have taken this guy out. But having someone stand there and say disgusting and vile things to you while everyone else just tries to pretend its not happening is not exactly a warm fuzzy start to ones evening. (Nor does it make your plan to take the train home drunk at 2am seem like a particularly good idea. Three dickheads, if you read this, you owe me a $30.00 cab fare.)
It surprises me that men wonder why women don’t trust them. Not one of the many virile young men on that train could be bothered to take the heat off me and my friends. Not one of the other people said anything to those three dickheads in the corner encouraging a crazy man to harass a young woman.
I know I’ve said before that I hate chivalry, and maybe this is another reason why it bugs me so much. Holding a door for me is nothing but an empty fucking gesture. I can hold a fucking door, chances are I can hold a door better than most the tiny menfolk who hold doors for me. I can handle my chair, I can deal with it if you curse in front of me and I can buy my own fucking dinner and drinks.
What I can’t do is convince other men not to sexually harass or rape me. Where the fuck is the fucking chivalry then?
I do have to say that this incident made the CTA’s new anti harassment signs seem much more relevant. (It also made my friends and my earlier conversation about the creepy guys on the train seem all the more pertinent, fact, all three of us have had some guy on the red line jerk it in front of us. Ahh safety.) And a bystander did apparently call the new CTA anti harassment number and the CDGOTT was removed a few stops after we got off. Unfortunately the dickheads were allowed to go out among the people and continue being dickheads.