Bystander Intervention on the Tube
A man snatched away aggressively the newspaper from the lady sitting next to him yelling at her and shoving the newspaper in her face “how long are you going to keep doing that for!” It seems that he was annoyed with her turning the newspaper pages and the pages had accidentally touched him.
She was apologetic and meek and apologised. He continued to abuse her.
So, I told him that what he had just done was an act of violence. He said “what would you know”. So I said, in my line of work, my clients are security specialists and police, whereby I design spaces and buildings such as airports and office towers that require a high level of security. I told him if he did that at the airport, he would be arrested. But because he is sitting on a train next to a young woman, he feels emboldened to behave like that, and suggested that if he feels so comfortable treating women like that in public, imagine what he does behind closed doors.
I would like to point out, that two minutes before this, I had moved seats because I felt uncomfortable with the person in front of me on the train. I did not abuse or physically assault the person, I simply moved. This man, if he genuinely felt uncomfortable with a person next to him reading a newspaper, then he should simply politely ask her to stop or move, like I did. What he did was assault. What is alarming is he felt justified to do it.
My thoughts are, if a large male was sitting next to him, he would not have behaved this way. I would further surmise he seeks out this kind of thrill. He ran off at the next stop, I reported him to the rail staff.