Confronting sexual harassment on transit

I've been in multiple situations where I've had to approach a man bothering a woman on a super packed bus and tell him to stop. These men have ranged from your average 18-35 year old bros to aggressively drunk/mentally unstable individuals, who I always question being allowed onto the bus in the first place when they are so obviously aggressive. Often times, these women are very young and the men are not. I am a small woman and have also been harassed on transit, many of us have I am sure. I want to know why no one, especially other men or the drivers, speaks up when this happens. It seems ridiculous to be on a bus packed with people twice my size who sit quietly while I have to tell some leering pervert to leave a 16 year old alone. Stop being passive and speak up. It's scary sometimes to have to confront some of these men but I don't understand how anyone can just sit there and let it happen.


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Nov 21, 2017 at 12:15pm

On skytrain the other day a completely trashed hardly walk 20 something street dude got on carrying a 2 litre of cider making all kinds of rude comments to much for the fare gates I guess.

21 9Rating: +12

Translink is debating....

Nov 21, 2017 at 12:22pm

whether to provide gender exclusive transit units, there is a problem with men who self identify as women though.


Nov 21, 2017 at 12:53pm

I know. They just sit there and do nothing. I think many of the men that do nothing are guilty of the same behaviour themselves and many of the women are paralyzed with their own fear.


Nov 21, 2017 at 1:07pm

Sounds like maybe you're stepping into a situation where there really isn't one. Men look at women, talk to women, approach women, hit on women... it's what nature intended. If said women don't want to accept the gestures, they can say so.

I suspect people like you might be viewing normal behaviour as 'abusive' due to all this recent hyper-sensitive liberal snowflakeyness. Can't even look at someone without being accused of creepy behaviour or worse.

Why don't others stand up to these guys on transit? Maybe, because they see it as normal everyday human interaction between a man and a woman. Not abusive, disrespectful or anything other than boy trying to meet girl.

Can't go 2 days in this city without reading about women complaining that Vancouver men are wimps. "They never approach...", "why do men here act like scared boys, and never ask me out or talk to me!"... Well, I can't imagine why men feel apprehensive to approach a woman here. I'm stumped.

Prob. because...

Nov 21, 2017 at 1:12pm

... I don't care. We don't all fancy all men naughty little boys for us to discipline.

9 27Rating: -18


Nov 21, 2017 at 1:30pm

Is it actually harassment, or are you just cockblocking a guy who is trying to connect with a woman? If it's clearly unwanted and aggressive then by all means step in, but don't be a party pooper. Maybe other people don't step in because there's nothing wrong happening. Interest is not necessarily harassment.

Bus rider

Nov 21, 2017 at 1:34pm

Because we're busy minding our own goddamn business.


Nov 21, 2017 at 1:41pm

I know. I have seen some really aggressive situations with young women and I don't understand why the drivers don't do anything. The girls get very scared and I'm a 55 year old woman who wants to help too, but I get nervous also. And the men just sit there staring. Maybe they are scared too, who knows, but these situations are happening more and more.

29 8Rating: +21

I Know, but its Complicated

Nov 21, 2017 at 2:37pm

I've read about so many good samaritan stories in the news where people try to intervene in incidents like the one you describe and they end up being the ones who get assaulted. Sometimes, they even get killed. I think a lot of those people on transit desperately do want to say something but don't want to risk getting stabbed by some nutcase. It's a tough problem, I know. We can't afford to have security of every bus or skytrain and the drivers don't want to risk getting assaulted either.


Nov 21, 2017 at 3:17pm

Just as people don't want to talk to each other in this city, they also don't want to help each other.
I've made it part of my moral code to stand up for people who need it, regardless of the consequences to myself.
I wish more people would do that and I admire your bravery.

I recommend downloading the Metro Vancouver Transit Police app.
It allows you to discreetly message transit police dispatch. I downloaded it after someone threatened to stab me on the 99 B-Line.

30 8Rating: +22

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