I had a slightly sticky situation on my hands on Wednesday night, and had I missed a performance I was due to see with E then I think I would have had a very original excuse. "Sorry Darling, I was late because I was accused of molesting someone on a tube platform and had no reception so couldn't call you". It would have been something along those lines.
I was stood on the platform when I had my arm grabbed and a woman was shouting at me telling me to take my hands off her. Within this someone to her other side did scuttle off and it people around me gave me very dirty looks. I was feeling slightly confused and I think a few survival instincts popped in.
To be accused of touching someone inappropriately or even sexually isn't an easy one. So with my response to her I lied slightly. I told her that I hadn't touched her and that I was a gay man. She calmed down quite quickly and when someone brought over a station porter who was asking her if she wanted to call the police she said no. She did apologise too as she realised that the side of her I was stood on meant that it wasn't me and also (this is what she said to the station bloke) "he's gay".
Now my reasoning for telling her I was gay? I wanted to get on a train as quickly as possible, I had a date with E and I didn't want to end up being horribly late for. I also wanted to make it clear to the woman that there was no way that I would be interested in her.
Being male and getting accused of something like that is potentially tricky. Therefore to make things feel safe again for her I wanted her to feel reassured that I wouldn't be interested.
As for the chap that did touch her, I really hope his hands fall off. It is possible that he could have also been trying to pick her pocket, but it sounded like he was doing something inappropriate given her reaction.
It really angers me that people will behave like that. In Lisbon there were slimeballs on the tube there as well. Men really shouldn't behave like this or have it drilled into them that this isn't the way to behave towards women or anyone.
It was also ironic that this happened to me given that I am very respectful towards women and one thing I am borderline obsessed with is boundaries. I cannot stand the ways in which people will try and justify being selfish or acting in a 'free-for-all' manner where certain things are concerned. It is important to always consider how someone else feels or what consequences our actions will entail.
I have found that in some circles where it is all about boundaries and negotiation is where I do see some things getting blurry and in certain cases seeing people acting the most immature. From having various conversations though with people I do admire and do respect it seems that some people like to try and push that, or try and push their own agenda where possible.
Interestingly this is what seems to happen when something has a sexual element. When people feel horny or attracted to someone I think it's about not being able to convey their desire in the way they might have hoped. I'll admit that I am clumsy and not always the best at trying to convey what I would like sometimes or have done things in ways that has felt like a demand to another. Ultimately desire works both ways and we can't force or make people 'give' us what we want if they don't feel like it. Otherwise it is a battle, and the lines around being aggressive and assertive can become a little bit hazy.
Ultimately people do have self control and all this bullshit I see sometimes where people try and pretend that things have happened accidentally is beneath me.
People touching people is a conscious thing. Either it is wanted or it is not wanted.
There has to be consent.
I am a little angry about what happened as I could have been in quite a sticky position because of the actions of someone else who didn't respect the woman or respect boundaries.
It's massively out of line and I am glad that she did make a loud fuss about what was happening. It's just a shame she got the wrong person.