True talk: I consciously avoid taking the metro as much as I possibly can. Most often, this means I have to get places by taking a taxi or an Uber... which is chill, except that it gets super expensive, especially since I'm already paying for an Opus card.
But, whatever. Money is a small price to pay if I get to avoid the anxiety, paranoia, and straight-up fear I feel whenever I have to step into a metro passed 9:00 PM.
Some people don't get why taking the metro - or walking anywhere from the metro - is super scary for me. I've had some really messed up experiences, though, and it's really saddening for me to hear that I'm not the only one who's experienced weird shit while simply trying to get around.
I've been followed more times than I can count, for sure. For example, I was taking the bus home late one night, which was empty except for a few people. When I came to get off at my stop, someone got off with me, and I didn't think anything of it at the time, obviously.
Until he tried to talk to me. And not, like, normal midnight conversation starters - he started saying some super creepy shit, so, naturally, I ignored him and walked a little faster to my house.
He followed me, all the way to the front door, the whole time keeping up his super inappropriate rhetoric. It wasn't until my father came to the door that he stopped talking and hopped away.
Unfortunately, it doesn't just stop at scary conversations and being followed.
Another time, I was about to head into the metro, minding my own business, when I was approached by someone I'd never seen before in my life.
Now, I'm a nice person (I swear), so I didn't immediately write this person off... But he literally asked me if "they" were real. Which was pretty creepy in and of itself, TBH.
He then managed to one-up himself, by reaching into my shirt to give them a feel. No joke, I was terrified, and frozen in a state of shock/panic. I couldn't think, move, or do anything productive except stand there like a shocked potato.
Thankfully, he took off super quickly after that. I know the situation could have been a whole lot worse, though, and it's something I still think about to this day.
I have many, many more examples of being straight-up disrespected as I try and make my way through the city, and I know I'm not the only one who experiences this. To be completely honest, I don't know what the solution is.
I do know that a lot of people are unaware that women get accosted very often in this city - and, when we do, it's not cool. There's a fine line between being flirty and being terrifying. In my experience, the ultimate thing to keep in mind is that if you're making another person feel uncomfortable, then just highkey stop doing what you're doing, and move TF on.