I found this video through a tweet from Elle Magazine. And all of it just stuck to me.
“I’m getting off on you feeling uncomfortable.”
This is really true.
I’ve learned to ignore the cat calls, but some guys do get creative.
I remember from 4 years ago, on the way home from my dentist in Alabang, I had to take a Sucat to Baclaran public utility jeep on a rainy evening (around 7pm) I was wearing a simple knee-high dress, and a long-sleeve cardigan, my hair in its usual ponytail. I was still a bit drugged up by the dental procedure and that was probably evident on my face.
In transit, the stranger beside me kept rubbing his knee and thigh to mine. As passengers get on and off the jeep, I keep moving away in hopes that one of the incoming passengers would sit between us or at least I could put distance between our legs, but he’d move right back, closer than before.
The person on my left just got off the Kraft intersection and I had the space on my left to angle my legs away from him. This was when I felt his arm touch the side of my right boob.
I elbowed him and told him in a loud voice to keep away. I remember him say as the jeep neared the Shell station in Valley 1, “Hindi ka dapat nagjejeep, miss, kung ayaw mong nadidikitan ka” (translation: you shouldn’t be riding jeepneys, miss, if you don’t like people getting close to you) he gave me a smirk, and he got off the jeep. I sat there frozen, livid and teary-eyed.
Nowadays, I still commute. And this incident hasn’t stopped me from wearing the clothes I’m comfortable wearing. Because it doesn’t matter how shabby you think you’ve dressed yourself, or how covered up you think you are, as long as they see you alone, you will get cat calls, harassed, or worse assaulted. You just have to be alert and be prepared to protect yourself. It shouldn’t be the case. And it’s sad and infuriating and frustrating that this still happens today, everywhere.