With rising figures of sexual harassment on public transport, particularly on the London Underground, It would be wrong to state that it came from ‘nowhere’ when Jeremy Corbyn suggested we enforce sexual segregation on our public transport.
Logical? Maybe. Rational? No.
This notion would without a doubt move us backwards – back into the years where young boys and girls had to queue at separate doors to get into school, that’s ridiculous right? So why is segregating public transport any different? The real contemptuous issue here is that it is seemingly ‘okay’ to commit these sorts of offences, where it is not. Please do not assume I am writing this pointedly at one particular gender. Though statistically men are the worst offenders, it is men who defend the victim at the time of the offence.
We as a nation need to be taught that this is not okay – and offenders will not escape unscathed, these victims will speak out, and the offenders will be caught and suffer the consequences. This falls to the hands of – you guessed it – the government. There’s such a huge focus on ‘tampon tax’ currently that every other arduous issue seems to have been swept under the carpet. (The tampon tax issue is however, preposterous, I’ll fight that case another time – though I can’t say I’ll be lining the streets of the Houses of Parliament in white jeans with the crotch coloured in red felt tip pen, that’s just mildly disturbing).
How it should be dealt with, I’m not going to pretend to know, all I do know is that a few posters here and there with words to the effect of “Women need to speak out” probably aren’t going to cut it. Being a victim of that sort of attack is bloody scary, as a particularly confident person, I would probably be considered one of the main candidates that would speak out – I’d like to think that about myself, but you never know. Recently a very strong woman (incredibly strong and a role model for women everywhere) who I met not so long ago published a piece not so different to this.
She detailed an occasion where she was a victim to sexual harassment on a bus, and found herself physically unable to speak, or scream or act physically – she just froze, and I don’t blame her at all. Upon reading her article the reader is willing her to do something, I found myself physically shouting at my computer scream in the middle of the office (I got a few strange looks) but she simply couldn’t, and we have to understand that this reaction is normal – not that these incidents should ever be normalised.
As is commonly mentioned with rape cases, why are we only considering teaching victims to defend themselves or how to speak out – when we should be stopping the offences being committed in the first place. I’d love to know how.
Food for thought.