10pm Friday night. Walking up the stairs to my platform and I feel a man brush past me and a hand slide right across my bum. I was in complete shock. Suddenly a thousand thoughts went through my head. Was that on purpose, was it a mistake? I came to the quick conclusion that he was a scumbag as I remembered that I was wearing a long coat and my bottom was completely covered by it. Which means he has to reach up into the back of my coat to grab me. Coming to this realisation, I suddenly shouted “What the actual fuck? That guy just groped me!”
Then, he did something that sealed his fate and cemented his place as the grosses person on this station platform. He sped up. He started walking quicker and quicker as I gained on him. I don’t know what came over me. I was stone cold sober and tired as anything but I was so fed up of this. He got halfway down the platform before the train arrived so he stopped to get on, never looking back at the woman speed walking towards him.
“Hey!” I shouted, “you just full on groped me!”
“Did I?” He replied, looking shocked that anyone would actually retaliate.
“Yes you did. How dare you.” Adrenaline was coursing through my veins. I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. I didn’t know how he was going to react. I once asked a ‘youth’ if he could turn down his music and he squared up to me and started into my eyes before kissing his teeth and reverting back to just being an arse.
This guy was clearly not a fighter and wilted like a flower when I confronted him. He made excuse after excuse.
My parting words were “don’t you dare do that to anyone again”, and I got onto the next carriage to avoid him. Once I was free of the conversation I cried, this was not a cry of sadness but of anger and frustration. I felt violated and disgusted. Sure I get catcalled on the street and I always try to shout back, but this is only the second time I have been physically touched and both times have been on London Transport.
And as my life usually goes, a tap dancing busker then starting performing for the carriage right next to me.
But I have learnt something very important from all this. The next day I tweeted that I had been groped and that I chased after the guy and yelled at him, and I got a reply from a “man” telling me that ‘you got aroused though right?’
And I now know that if you get assholes like that trolling you, you’re doing something right.