It sucks being a woman, I’ll tell you why. As I type this, I am sitting perhaps 7 rows in front of the man who just sexually harassed me.
Why are we still in the same proximity? Cause we’re on a plane. And I have about 10 more hours of being in the same confinement as the person that moments ago just petrified me cause of the way he touched me.
Yes, I am traveling alone. Yes I am attractive. No I am not in sexy attire. In fact I have no makeup on and am wearing my nerdy glasses. The saddest fact of all? Some people are going to have the opinion that I shouldn’t be traveling alone. And because I did, I deserved it. Well, why don’t I deserve to feel as safe alone in public as the other 50% of the world’s population?
Here is what happened:
I boarded my flight on Turkish Airlines. The guy beside me tried to strike a conversation with me, perhaps he was bored. He talked for 3 hours. Maybe cause I am a TV host, I make people comfortable enough to talk about themselves, a lot. I now know his name, his 3 year old daughter’s name and that he works in New York. All this without sharing about myself, besides the fact that I have a boyfriend cause he asked. I was just listening to him talking, just like any other polite, decent human being.
Throughout those couple of hours, he had about 3 small bottles of (187ml) red wine.
2am, I wanted to sleep but he still wanted to talk.
Then… And this is where it gets uncomfortable.
He asked me if it was ok if we hugged each other to sleep…..Cuddle a stranger?
I was quite taken aback by that request. Unfortunately that was not the only time in my life I have been asked to do something I was completely uncomfortable with by the opposite sex. (Ask any woman)
I was too shocked to reply, and to my horror, he pulled me towards his lap and tried to cuddle me.
To try and stop this, I gently reminded him I had a Boyfriend and that he wouldn’t be happy with this. (Girls always use the bf excuse because men respect other men more so than women, it takes another man to fend off men’s advances towards women, because girls simply being uninterested is not a valid excuse)
To which he said:” Your BF is not here.” And tries to pull me down to his lap again.
I replied:” I am uncomfortable with this.”and he asks me why.
I said, I just met you.
“So?””Its just hugging?” He exclaimed.
To which I replied:” I think you’re a little drunk”.
Then he got so offended It made me quite afraid. Mind you I was sitting at the window seat and couldn’t go anywhere.
At this point he was going on about how offensive it was for me to reject him and saying he is drunk.. Then he gave me an apology I think, but honestly all I could gather was him justifying why he wants a cuddle and guilting me into giving it to him.
After that exchange, he still had the audacity to put his hands around my shoulders, twice.
He took off to the toilet. I ran to the air stewardess to ask for another seat, to which she placed me in the same cabin space, a few rows in front of where I was seated before.
Did I misguided him to think I was interested? Was I supposed to be rude, cold, just cause I am.. god forbid, pretty and a decent human being?
Why do men think they are entitled to anything they may want from a woman? Should I have made a bigger issue of this incident so the flight attendants would take me seriously?
I did went out of my way to downplay this situation. I said “The man beside me wants to hug me, but I dont want any trouble.” Instead of “I was just sexually harassed by the man sitting beside me.”
That incident made me feel violated. But i still felt bad for him. Maybe it was just the alcohol? But why am I made to feel guilty? Last I check, I didn’t owe anyone a hug.
Could it be that it was my fault? Large part of society still blames the women.
I’m still afraid, sitting here in this airplane. How do I run out of the aircraft when we disembark? How do I avoid him at immigration?
Ladies, how many times have you walked away from a situation that left you afraid, ashamed and guilty all at the same time?
Men, how many times have you made a woman feel that, because you felt entitled?
Yeah, its sucks being a woman. Because half of the human race is a threat. Because they are men.
Source: Yong Wan Jun