He didn’t like the look on my face so he called me names
I had planned on posting something else today however I need to write about an incident that just happened to me on the subway.
I was on my way home, had my bag on the seat beside me, yes I know not cool, car was mostly empty and I became engrossed in my newspaper. A business man came on, stood over me. I noticed he was there and proceeded to move my bag and return to my reading. He said, ‘fucking little, who does she think she is, fuck’. I turned to him and asked’ what did you just say’
I never, never normally speak up. I am usually the type to replay it back in my head with all of the things I wish I had said, yet I spoke up. Maybe because I just came from my mindfulness class where we talked about self care and dealing with difficult situations. Maybe just the mood I was in. Truthfully there was no thought process when I asked him the question.
He went off. ‘I said who do you think you are? I am fucking pissed off, the look on your face when I sat down. Fuck you’.
I said, ‘that is your choice to be pissed off’ ‘No it is your fucking choice’ ‘I’m not the one pissed off’ I replied’
He escalated as I got calmer. ‘You are such a little bitch…’ As he drew breathe to continue to name call and swear at me, I said, ‘you don’t get to call me that. It is not ok’.
Remember we are sitting shoulder to shoulder on the subway and I am faced with this angry man, blocking me from leaving.
He snickered, ‘I’ll say what I want. Bitches like you…’
I told him that if he continues I will press the alarm button. He said go ahead he would tell them that I had my bag on the seat, and that I am a bitch.
I repeated, louder so everyone could hear, ‘It is not ok for you to swear at me or call me names. It is not ok.’
Than calmly I turned away and went back to my reading. Proud of myself for sticking up for myself. He sat there stewing, texting, snickering, hoping to engage me further.
It is funny as I write this my adrenaline from the confrontation is wearing off and the scary aspect of it all is setting in. Here was this very angry, irate man, who did not care who was around, he was damn well pissed and grew more and more angry when I met his anger with calmness.
Should I have had my bag on the seat? No. Does that give him or anyone else a right to swear at me and call me names because he didn’t like the ‘look on my face’? One hundred percent no. I can’t recall all of the swear words he used or the derogatory insults he hurdled at me. However, the emotions from it are there.
No one spoke up for me, maybe they saw me handling it? Maybe they didn’t know what to do or if they should?
My pride in myself for finding my voice and using it is still lingering, however the shock, fear and outrage is now seeping in. Why fear? I don’t know. I am safe and ok from this brief experience. It does remind me of the verbal abuse others, men and woman suffer daily and who do not have a voice.
Has anyone else experienced this? What did you do?