“The only thing they ‘respected’ was if I was the property of another man”

Riding a city bus in Rome, I was rubbed against from behind by a man.

As with many other people this has happened to, I thought he needed more room, so I moved forward. He moved with me. This went on until I was right behind the driver.

Then I’d had more than enough. When he pressed against me again, I turned to face him & said loudly & very sternly, “Move it or lose it!!” I was a bit taller than him, so I was right in his face, scowling.

I don’t know if he understood English or just the threatening tone, but he moved away & left me alone. I was disgusted that he’d touched me like that, but proud that I made him back away.

Other times riding the bus (I was there as a college student / tourist for 2 weeks) I was approached & bothered by men and even teenage boys. I found the only thing they “respected” was if I was the property of another man… I bought & wore a cheap “wedding” ring for most of my trip. I didn’t feel too good about it – esp. since they weren’t respecting me but some fictional non-present male – but at least they left me alone with no work on my part.

– MKEgal

Location: Rome, Italy

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Find suggestions for what YOU can do about this human rights issue.

One Response to “The only thing they ‘respected’ was if I was the property of another man”

  1. beckieweinheimer says:

    that is horrible, but interesting that they would check your finger before their harassing. I’m married and have worn a wedding ring for thirty years and at age 53 I still get harassed, and rubbed against on the subway. No ring here helps. But ironically my husband has never seen me harassed because here in NYC they do respect a man at your side. Sigh. Thanks for sharing your story. And I think that was a smart thing to do, for your own safety.

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