I have full tattoo sleeves, which I understand is pretty unusual for a woman, but what is strange is that people feel compelled to A) touch my arms, and B) grab my arms to turn them over and look at my tattoos. I’m talking about complete strangers, without asking or provocation. For some reason I used to allow this (I guess I figured my tattoos were something one doesn’t see every day, and that if I put myself out there in an unusual way, I should expect it), but it’s always creeped me out, so I made the decision to adopt a zero-tolerance policy unless asked.
Anyway, my story:
I was standing on the green line platform at Gallery Place, wearing headphones (as I generally do), and felt someone standing uncomfortably close to me. It was clear they were trying to talk to me. I turned and there was a young kid, probably 16-18, right in my face, saying something like “I like your tattoos – I need to see those tattoos up close.” and, as predicted, both hands shot out for my arm. I jumped back and said, “DON’T touch me.” I would have done that with anyone, but the kid seemed… off in a way, I don’t really know how to describe it.
The metro pulled up, and I tried to move quickly to get in another car from the kid, but he was right behind me, talking in my ear the whole way. Even though I put my headphones back on, sat in a seat, and kept my head down, he kept getting in my face about seeing my tattoos, wanting my number, etc. I told him “seriously – you need to leave me alone” to which he said, “what, you ARE a woman, aren’t you? You don’t like a little attention?”
Of course it was a rush-hour-full Metro, but nobody said anything.
So, furious, I said, “Last I checked, I am a woman. A woman who is NOT interested in you, so step off…”
I’m sure the kid called me a bitch or something – I have no idea. I rode WAY past my stop to make sure this kid got off the metro. I wasn’t afraid of him, I just didn’t need him following me home. It pisses me off that I had to get aggressive toward him. I would think “don’t touch me” would suffice.
Submitted by Anonymous on 06/09/2010
Location: Gallery Place / Chinatown Metro Station
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