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A Girl At A Bus Stop

Women Should Be Safe

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
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From the #MeToo Group

This happened as a teenager in the mid seventies. I was driving home from a night in Garstang and was coming through Broughton and noticed a girl I knew at a bus stop. I stopped the car and got out and ran up to give her a big hug from behind, saying “Hi” . It was ten thirty at night , there were street lights and two pubs , one The Golden Ball close by.

I realised it wasn’t who I thought it was , I didn’t know her at all, I was horrified , and apologized profusely. Being grabbed by a big lad late at night at a bus stop must have been very scary.

Luckily she found it funny , and I told her who I thought she was and she was actually friends with the girl I’d mistaken her for. I said “I don’t suppose you want a lift” but her bus was coming so she was fine with that.

Stepping back from this, what I did was terrible. It was the mid seventies and misogyny was normal and acceptable (not that I ever partook in that , and throughout my life I always challenge anyone who acts in that way.

I have been with people who use the phrase “She’s asking for it” and similar when they see a woman or girl who reveals the slightest bit of flesh , to which I reply “If she was naked , she wouldn’t be ‘Asking for it’ as you say”

Women and girls are just seen as easy targets for men , especially bullies, and even today , no woman alone feels safe and they should be able to feel safe, be able to walk anywhere alone, safe from harm.

One of my most shocking incidents , again as a teenager after the above incident, was in a pub near that bus stop where I saw my dad’s friend's daughter . She was 13 . She was with a biker , who’s mum provided him with a flat and he was going to , well you know. Again I pulled him outside and told him if I saw him anywhere near her again , I and several others would effectively get biblical on him. I then went inside, got my dad’s friend’s daughter and took her home, saying that she needed to get someone closer to her own age, and not be visiting pubs yet. She had been swayed by his motorbike and money , and was shocked when I told her his intentions.

The thing is that the incident ended well , but I have a feeling there were others that didn’t . We see where money and power gives men the “right” to do what they want to women. To them women are a chattel and a thing to be used and thrown away.

I was talking with another friend about situations that happen when I am walking home on an empty road or street and I see a woman alone. Do I keep behind her , or go in front of her or go to the other side of the road to make her feel safer? Unless they know me well women haven’t a clue whether I am safe or not.

That incident I recounted at the beginning still horrifies me, that I was so idiotic and unthinking to do that.

Social media has been both bad and good , but the #MeToo movement has been great for empowering women, but as women are generally smaller than men they are still targets.

The number of times I have had girlfriends round and then they try to insist that they walk home alone, so as it wont inconvenience me. I always ensure they don’t walk home alone , but they say “But you will be alone when you walk back over the park”, my reply , “I am the scariest thing in the park” which they agree with.

We need to make this world safe for women , offering protection if they want to take it, calling out misogyny, and finding out ,by talking to them , how to make them feel safe.

I hope none of this has been too shocking for you , and hope you don’t think less of me.

Women should be empowered and be safe in todays world.

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