Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, June 24, 2021

A lot of the women I’ve talked to abhor the idea of riding the subway.

As someone who rides it practically every day, I’m puzzled by this revulsion. I mean, sure, it’s not the prettiest physical environment, but it does the job. So what’s so bad about it?

Reading an overview of the indecent exposure incidents that most women routinely experience while riding the trains gives me a better idea of why the ladies avoid descending into the nearest station.

Women know the drill. Just as some men reflexively check to see if they have their wallets on a crowded train, women check their bodies.

Pull in your backside and your front. Wedge a large bag for protection between yourself and the nearest anonymous male rider, who might, just might, be planning something. Put on your fiercest face, and brace yourself for contact that seems too deliberate to be accidental, too prolonged to be random.

A few weeks ago, a girl told me offhandedly that she would never take the subway, solely because she was a “bus girl”. I didn’t ask for elaboration, but I have a feeling I now know the backstory.

I tend to ride on lines during times when they’re not especially overcrowded. I’m not sure if that makes thing better or worse for female riders. I’ve seen the “fiercest face” look on many a ride, and it’s certainly offputting. Most days, I’ll spot a woman I wouldn’t mind starting up a conversation with, for just that ride if nothing else. But the tension level is so high on the other end that I’ve yet to venture forth. So much for the subway being a prime spot for meeting people.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/24/2006 10:17:43 AM
Category: Society, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback