We hear tales of female commuters being harassed by guys who will not leave them alone despite clear signals to go away. I've had it happen. I've seen it happen. I've seen a woman stand up to it and have seen the guy stand up, yell obscenities about her, throw things, and storm off (with a slight backtrack to get their stuff before they forget). I’ve actually seen that repeatedly and I used to get it back when I was standard-issue-hot. We talk about the bystander approach, and how it can be much more effective for a third party to step in, especially a male third party, to make it clear to the offender that what he’s doing is wrong.
We've also heard the saying: "homophobia is the fear that gay men will treat you the way that you treat women." It's worth a good chuckle. It's telling, but literally true? Maybe, maybe not. Why doesn't someone test these things for me, because science!
Thursday, a man alone in the wilderness of BART (a commuter train system in the San Francisco/Oakland area) saw a woman being harassed and he stepped in, using his wit as his weapon and putting the homophobia theory to the test—by harassing the harasser.
"Hi," I said with a little smile.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy—which isn't exactly untrue—and turned back to her.
"How are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm fine," he said flatly without ever looking back.
"I really like your hair," I said. "It looks soft."
It’s a story with a happy ending, so go give an ally some page views.
ETA: Link fix. Even my fingers are fat.