The Women Riding ETS Don’t Owe Anyone a Conversation

After a particular bad encounter on the #7 I feel like this needs to be said again. While on the bus, just because a man decides he wants to talk to a woman it doesn’t make him entitled to her time. She is not egotistical, or stuck up, or not friendly, she’s just not interested or potentially busy.

When I leave school I listen to course readings (audiobook) or my notes (text to speech) on the bus ride home. I am preoccupied, I need to get this done. I did not come on the bus to get a date, I need to use that time. So no, I did not notice this man staring. I did not hear him talking at me from several seats over. His incredibly angry response at the fact I couldn’t hear him didn’t encourage me to want to engage him. When he got into a verbal altercation with other passengers over his creepy staring it really didn’t improve my opinion of him (the driver threatened to kick him off).

While this was one of the more severe bus incidents, stuff like this happens all the time. It doesn’t even matter if I have a physical book in my hand, in comes some dude either looking for a date, making gross remarks, or wanting to know intimate deals of my life. No, I will not give up the opportunity to study to make myself potentially available to a guy putting himself out there. If anyone looks preoccupied leave them be!

While I am not rude to the men who approach who aren’t acting predatory, I’m sick of this. Can no one read body language anymore? I hate having to jump off the bus and wait 20 minutes for the next one just to escape the worst of them.

I know many women who have had similar experiences. Just… don’t.



1 Response

  1. Marie says:

    Definitely one of the downsides having to commute via public transportation.
    I recall those days.

    Best be cordial in your body-language.. make eye-contact, smile firmly with pursed lips, point to your earphones, point to your book, then simply move your way to a less bothersome area of the bus.

    I have empathy for bus drivers, they see, hear, know when certain passengers are bothering others. They may be caught and need to mind their P’s & Q’s as well for fear of some unstable individual or nutcase on board.

    THEN, when your situation allows, learn to drive in the peaceful setting of ‘self’ toward your own life agenda.

    Good luck – Keep safe.


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