sexual harassment

So I got harassed in the jeepney today. Peyu (my niece) and I were off to SM Centerpoint this afternoon to watch a movie she’d been insistent in watching earlier this week. At around 5 PM, we rode a jeepney and sat beside a guy who I didn’t realize was drunk until he started talking to me few minutes into the ride. He didn’t reek of alcohol, but he was more than jolly than the typical guy alone in a public transportation.

Our first encounter was when I told him to move a bit away from me, to give us some space since the guy sitting beside him just got off the jeep. He said sorry, moved and resumed talking to someone who he was having a chat with on his phone. I wasn’t paying attention at him, until we reached Pureza and he started asking me where I am getting off.

“Miss, san ka bababa?” he said. I didn’t budge, I figured if I pretend I didn’t hear him asking, he’d let it go. But he’s persistent. So I looked him in the eye and said, “Anong paki mo kung saan ako bababa?” “Ang suplada mo naman.” He kept asking me then “Saan ka bababa?” a number of times followed with “Ang suplada mo naman tinatanong ka lang.” “Ang ganda mo pa naman, suplada ka. Balang araw, magtatanong ka rin.” WTF is that? I as questions for a living, kuya.

Pissed, I looked at him again and said, “Kuya, kapag hindi ka pinapansin ng tao, hint yun para wag mo na kausapin. Gets mo ba?” I felt he got a bit humiliated and I thought he’d stop. BUT NOOOOOO. He just kept on pushing my buttons asking me where’s my stop I was thinking if I should take out my pen/knife just to teach him a lesson. But I remembered I have my niece with me and I couldn’t risk taking out a knife in front of her, she might get hurt. At this point, I was super pissed. Konti pa, mananapak na ‘ko ng di ko kakilala.

Thankfully, two women who were staring at our exchange got off just after Pureza station and the girl told me “lipat ka na lang dito, miss.” I tugged at my niece and we moved to the seat farther from him. At this point, the driver’s wife castigated the guy who was fucking nuts ranting on why won’t I tell him where I’m going. Sa impyerno kuya. Sama ka? She told him to basically fuck off and stop harassing other passengers. “Hoy, makatingin ka para kang nanghuhubad ha! Umayos ka! Pag iinom ka, ilagay mo sa tiyan mo, wag sa ulo mo!”

He was still ranting that he’s just a passenger blah blah… at this point I was just so annoyed at this guy’s existence and at how unlucky I am I have to be riding the jeep with him. NAKAKAIRITA BES. I wasn’t the least bit nervous though, I knew he was harmless the moment I told him to fuck off. He got off in Altura.

So why am I even writing about this if I wasn’t even harmed or alarmed, just annoyed, you’d probably ask? It’s just that I realized that these things happen so very often that it has become a common occurrence in any commuters who happen to have tits and pussies.

Nakakagalit na every day we have to go through things like this, that getting harassed and/or catcalled is as normal as humans having to breathe. Nakakagalit na every day we have to think about what clothes should we wear that will prevent us to become targets of cat-callers and maniacs that we are surely going to pass by on the streets. Nakakagalit na we have to think about which way should we take to avoid inevitable stares or if our makeup makes us look like whores to you dimwitted men out there. Nakakagalit na kailangan kong maging vigilant tuwing uuwi ako ng disoras ng gabi dahil sa trabaho.

I mean seriously, you guys should be ashamed at yourselves that people are making up rules and making us women look unpretty just so you can have your shit on in front of us. Is your natural instinct is to look at women at a lewd manner? Does our calf, arms and shoulders make you lose control? Are you animals? Are you barbarians? Aren’t you mad at how the society paints you?

The reason I’m writing about this is that I was so happy three women stood up for me today. So shout out to the girls who offered their seats to me after they left so I can get away from the bastard and to the driver’s wife for basically owning that guy today.

Ang sarap lang sa pakiramdam na may mga kababaihan pa ring mag-stand up para sa kapwa nila babaeng binabastos. Women for women. Na kahit may kaharap akong lalaki na malaking katawan e pinili niyang manahimik at wag makielam. Gets ko naman, hindi niya gustong ma-involve, I wasn’t waiting for him to, hindi naman ako pa-damsel; but this is how women should be for other women out there. We should all be looking out for each other. Let us keep each other safe. Because nobody is going to do that for us, the world is full of misogynists, sexists, and apathetic men who think they run the world, when they don’t. You guys fucking don’t.

Also, while we’re on the topic, guys, a word of advice, when a woman does not respond to your apparent pagpapapansin, pagtatanong, it does not equate to us being pakipot, pahabol, feeling maganda. It meant we’re not the least bit interested in talking to your fucking stupid face to validate that we are pretty or sexy. We are not flattered nor do we feel pretty or sexy. We get annoyed, pissed, scared, and at times homicidal. Puñeta.

One day, I hope I’ll wake up no longer a feminist, but a humanist.