I was on a bus during a school trip with my classmates. I was talking to a male student, let's call him James, when another male student, let's call him Alex, sat in between us. Alex began to thrust his pelvis in the air whilst three inches away from me, and looking at me. I asked him to cease several times and said it was making me uncomfortable repetitively. Alex refused to stop and his behavior progressed until eventually James said, "Yeah it's really inappropriate can you please stop". Alex responded with, "What? Me trying to make Anna uncomfortable by jerking off?", and Alex stood up and left. Alex is in eight grade, what happens if we allow this behavior to continue?
"This weekend, something pretty disgusting and criminal happened to me, but the police didn't seem to care. After a friend's shabbos party, I swiped into the turnstile and paid the Metropolitan Transit Authority the $2.25 they've decided it costs to transport me safely home. It was late, and when I got down the stairs I could tell from the signal lights that a train had just departed; I was alone on the platform... There was a series of grunts, followed by a lip-smacking. I turned, and without raising my head from my screen, I glimpsed the same man, still standing in the same spot on the platform, masturbating. Vigorously. Brazenly. With his genitals completely out of his pants. Facing me square on. He smacked his lips and grunted again. I played it like I'd turned around for no reason, like I hadn't even maybe seen what was beneath my notice, and just walked straight back to the middle of the uptown platform, where by now a couple other people were awaiting the next train. Over on the downtown platform, the masturbator took a few steps as if to follow me, facing me, his audience, the whole time. I think it is the right of any citizen to feel safe on public transit...In the days since, a lot of people have shared stories with me of similar incidents. Of being 12 years old in a public library. Of coming home on the subway from a high school play rehearsal. Of having to ride the subway in middle school. Of Greyhound buses and isolated train stations. There is so much that this world asks us to bear, as women. To ignore, to hope will go away. Hearing these stories has been both heartening and depressing...Women are taught so many messages about how we need to behave in order to "prevent" sexual assault and sexual harassment in public spaces. How we need to look, how we need to dress, how we need to walk, how we need to make ourselves small and unremarkable, how we need to anticipate the behavior of others, how we must not "attract" the wrong kind of attention. Even though I resent that these messages fundamentally imply that women bear responsibility for insuring sexual assault does not occur, I still, almost in spite of myself, take all of these things into account when I get dressed and when I go out in public. To have already engineered your behavior to meet the threat of assault and then to still face criminal harassment just feels like an added injustice," ( http://jezebel.com/5837687/a-guy-jerked-off-to-me-on-the-subway-and-nypd-didnt-do-a-thing).
It is not okay. It isn't okay that someone said they were jerking off to make me uncomfortable. It isn't okay that I asked them to stop several times, and the only time they did stop was when another male told them to. It isn't okay that that this was merely forgotten by everyone who was around me; it isn't okay that this situation was normal to them. It isn't okay that I'm only 14, and this isn't even the worst sexual harassment I've experienced. A friend came to me the day after this happened and said the following, "Alex said to me, 'you're like train tracks... you've been laid all over the country'". It isn't okay that one of my friends had to have the same guy, who sexually harassed me the day before, come to her and say something like this.