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TikToker Stands Up To Man Sexually Harassing Another Woman On Train

by : Emily Brown on : 11 Aug 2020 08:59
TikToker Stands Up To Man Sexually Harassing Another Woman On Train@lilbluzipoo/TikTok

A TikTok user has been praised after sharing a video of herself standing up to a man who was sexually harassing another woman on her train. 

Art student Caitlyn, from New York City, saw the scene unfold while she was on her way home from work late at night. She was listening to her headphones at the time, but made eye contact with the other woman in her train carriage and noticed she looked distressed.

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Caitlyn removed her headphones and realised a man on the train was saying horrible things to the woman, telling her he ‘didn’t really care that she had a boyfriend’ and ‘explicitly talking about how he was going to f*ck her and what it would feel like for her.’

See how the TikTok user responded below:

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Speaking about the incident to Buzzfeed, Caitlyn said:

I started looking around to see who else was on the cart, and we appeared to be the only two women on the train. There were three other men sitting somewhat near the situation.

Nobody else on the train seemed bothered by what was happening. The man then stood up and began walking towards her, grabbing his d*ck and blatantly staring at her.

Caitlyn stared at the man in an effort to make him realise his actions were inappropriate, but when he didn’t stop she decided to say something.

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In the TikTok video, the man could be heard asking Caitlyn why she was ‘watching [him] that hard’, adding: ‘you’re all the way up in my business.’

Caitlyn wasn’t going to let the man try and turn things around on her, so she replied:

What am I supposed to do when you’re yelling at a random woman about your d*ck? You’re sexually harassing someone and I’m not gonna let you do it when it’s not right.

Woman stands up to man sexually harassing another woman@lilbluzipoo/TikTok
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The man told Caitlyn to ‘stop using that word’, presumably rightfully uncomfortable with being accused of sexual harassment, and asked whether she was ‘a feminist’, as if that made any difference as to whether she should stand up against harassment.

She responded:

Oh, if that’s what I have to be, bro, to tell you to stop bothering a human being? That’s what it takes?

The accused man went on to claim that he doesn’t do it ‘all the time’ and that this ‘was [his] first time’, though I shouldn’t have to remind anyone that there should never be a ‘first time’; it just shouldn’t happen.

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Caitlyn said the argument lasted around 20-30 minutes, continuing even after the other woman left the train.

The student initially decided to upload the video as part of a trend where a certain song or sound is supposed to match the last video you took – she ‘really didn’t think anyone would even care that much about it.’ She has since been requested to upload the video without music, and the footage has gathered more than a million views.

After going viral, Caitlyn said the response she’s had has been largely positive, with people telling her she’s brave for standing up to the man.

In the caption of one of her posts she asked men to start calling out other men for inappropriate behaviour, prompting some people to argue that not all men are complicit, but she responded to say that her caption was a call to action, not an accusation.

She told Buzzfeed:

I think [this event] very obviously points to the fact that this is a very real and often thing that happens to almost every woman out there. In this society, we’ve been trained to mind our own business, and that catcalling and pushing boundaries is something women are just supposed to be used to.

It doesn’t matter what you wear or what you’re doing, the majority of men still think they have the right to openly sexualise people however they please.

Almost every woman in the world can tell you the countless times they’ve had experiences like these, how invasive and attacking it feels, and the common theme is no witnesses ever speak up to stop the behaviour.

In order to break the cycle, people have to be willing to call it out when they see it, and hopefully correct the behaviour, or else these people will continue to think it’s acceptable.

Woman stands up to man sexually harassing woman on train@lilbluzipoo/TikTok

Caitlyn admitted the only reason she felt brave enough to confront the man was because she’d been inspired in the past by other women doing the same thing.

She said:

Watching a woman find their voice and having the power to be who they want to be, unapologetically, is what inspires me daily.

Caitlyn hopes her video will prove inspirational to other people, encouraging them to consider the risks of speaking up and to do so if it’s safe for both themselves and the others involved.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.

Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, new york city, Sexual Assault, sexual harassment, TikTok

Credits

lilbluzipoo/TikTok and 1 other
  1. lilbluzipoo/TikTok

    @lilbluzipoo

  2. Buzzfeed News

    A Woman Stood Up To A Man Sexually Harassing Another Woman And It's Something We All Should See Today