Neither Your Feet, Nor Your Penis Own The Train Or: How to be a DECENT FUCKING PERSON IN PUBLIC

Dear public transportation cohort,

I wish to illustrate inappropriate behavior by recounting two specific cases just from today. I hope that these instances will adequately demonstrate the ultimate takeaway: BE A RESPECTFUL HUMAN FUCKING BEING.

These are not isolated events; each case epitomizes daily observable behavior.

  • (1)A young woman on the busiest train (Red Line during rush hour) takes both seats on her row, one seat for herself and one for her feet. There is no cast, and no ankle swollen, thus ruling out medical necessity. Instead, it appears that this young woman believes herself to be the most important of the importants. So important that, even when every seat is full and people are standing, she does not move her feet to open up the seat. So important that, when an elderly nun gets on the train, she does not move her feet. OK, maybe she isn't religious? However, she also does not move her feet when a VERY pregnant woman boards the train. While one can rest easy tonight regarding fundamental feet rights (specifically relaxing those tired old dogs), the relief of being witness to such a magnificent civil rights win for feet is likely to be overshadowed by being witness to SHITTY FUCKING HUMAN BEHAVIOR. Please, dear nun, take my seat. Oh, and dear sir sitting just in front of me? GIVE YOUR FUCKING SEAT TO THE PREGNANT LADY.
  • (2)A middle aged man turns his head, followed by his whole torso, to stare at women passing by on the street or entering/exiting the train. Over and over and over. During one of his "society has deemed me, as a man, the owner of and ultimate authority on women's bodies, and as such, women must be exceedingly honored by the attention that I, as man, bestow them, so there is no reason to hide my behavior" turns, his eyes land on yours truly. For the next 30 minutes, until my stop was reached, the middle aged man stared at me. He stared, and stared, and stared, and when it seemed like this man might need to take an eye drop break, he stared some more. Well, I had to look out the direction without a view this half hour, because every time my head would turn as little as a degree in this man's direction, this man would try to catch eyes by winking and smiling and nodding. Of course, it is nowhere on this man's radar that, as the train passes the West End, I may be looking at the Holocaust Museum, the 6th Floor Museum, or at the spot Kennedy was assassinated. It is inconceivable to this man that I am contemplating anything more than his flaccid (my assumption) penis. THIS MAN BELIEVES HE IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN GENOCIDE OR ASSASINATION. Thus, I was forced to stare at nothing, pretending I did not notice this man, in hopes that, by some miracle, he will not talk to me; I was forced to feel this man's dirty, dumb, and ignorant man-child eyes burn through my skin like a laser. This man is a duplicate of most DART men, and the "maybe he will leave me alone" miracle was unachievable on the rush hour Red Line, per usual. The woman next to me gets off two stops before mine and this man comes and sits next to me. I have headphones in. He says something, I ignore it. He says something again, I ignore it. "Surely he will either decide I can't hear him and leave me alone, OR (most obvious but, unfortunately, most unlikely) he will understand I do not wish to speak with him," I thought. Nope. This man pokes my shoulder and says something and I take out one ear bud:
  • Man: Hey, just wonderin' how you doin'?
  • Me: Fine, thanks. Listening to music and do not feel like talking. Thanks. (Put ear bud back in).
  • Man: (Pokes) Awww, you had a rough day mama?
  • Me: (Smiles and turns head away)
  • Man: What you got against me, girl?
  • Me: (Ignores, pretending not to hear due to music, crossing fingers)
  • Man: (Pokes me) MAMA, WHAT'S WRONG?
  • Me: (Takes ear bud out) Please, like I said, I am just listening to music and decompressing, so leave me alone please.
  • Man: WHY YOU GOTTA BE SUCH A BITCH?! I'M JUST TRYING TO BE NICE! I COULD MAKE ALL THOSE WORRIES GO AWAY IF YOU JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE! BUT YOU GOTTA BE A BITCH!
  • Train arrives at my stop, thank god. I gather my things to make it clear I am getting off so this man will get up and let me out.
  • Man: You getting off here, girl?
  • Me: Yes, please.
  • Man gets out of seat to let me out and begins to FOLLOW ME.
  • Me: DO NOT FUCKING FOLLOW ME OFF OF THIS FUCKING TRAIN OR I WILL CALL THE COPS, BUT ONLY AFTER I HAVE CUT YOUR FUCKING DICK OFF!
  • No one on train even looks or pretends anything is going on.
  • Man: DAMN BITCH, I just wanted to make you feeeelll goooooooooddddd.
  • At my stop and the train door finally opens.
  • Me: You know what makes me feel good? THE LIKELIHOOD THAT I WILL NEVER HAVE TO ENCOUNTER YOUR FUCKING DUMB AND STEREOTYPICAL "I THINK WITH MY PENIS" UGLY MUG AGAIN. Flips the bird.
  • Man: (speaking to rest of train) Mannn…. Can you men even believe what we have to put up with the ladies?!?!

I am hoping that these two cases require no elaboration as to what point is being made. I am hoping that we (male or female) can agree that it is a good thing to not bogart the train's seats, that it is a good thing not to make a woman so uncomfortable she has to threaten 911. I think we can say these are good things. As a general rule, it is a good thing when no other part of your body than the brain makes decisions- it is a good thing when your feet and your penis don't win out.

Thank you for reading, and remember: BE A DECENT AND RESPECTFUL FUCKING HUMAN BEING,

K.