A woman stepped in when two girls were being harassed by a creep — and reminded them that they owe him nothing
London literary agent Marilia Savvides took to Twitter this weekend to describe a scenario she witnessed while riding the train that will sound horribly familiar to most women.
Savvides got on the train and noticed two young women sitting together when a man approached and purposely sat near them despite a number of available seats. Because of course he sat near them despite a number of available seats.
Was on a train from Cambridge earlier. Two young girls with beautiful face paint walked into my carriage and sat down about half an hour into the journey. A couple of mins later this man walked in and sat next to them even though the carriage was empty with plenty of empty seats
— Marilia Savvides (@MariliaSavvides) June 10, 2018
She says, “Immediately my brain went ‘red flag’ so I moved to an empty single seat next to them. He proceeded to talk at them for ages. Girls visibly uncomfortable. He was in his 50s. Telling all kinds of weird stories, interrupting these kids, asking them what they’re doing.”
Savvides listens to the trio and realizes the man has actually followed the girls from another train car. She says they were being incredibly polite out of fear as he asked prying questions about where they go to school. They gave only vague responses, clearly not wanting to tell him, and “…he laughs and says ‘alright you don’t want to tell me, fine.'” And that’s what set Savvides off.
She approached the man and told him maybe now was the time to let the girls hang out on their own, and of course, he wasn’t having it. “Mate, he TURNED on me so fast,” she writes. “Stood up to his full height and ranted at me for a few minutes.”
She says he insisted he’s not “some weirdo” and threatened to call the police (for what offense?). “Friends, not one other person spoke up,” she writes. “I remained extra sweet, which pissed me off so much, because here I am managing a creep’s feelings in case he turns violent.”
Sound familiar, ladies?
Then, he really let loose with his entitled maleness. “He ranted at me for a few minutes, got really aggressive and then eventually left, all the while whining like I’d ruined HIS fucking day because ‘he’s not done anything wrong”’ and it’s ‘none of my business,'” she writes.
As soon as the jerk left, the girls thanked Savvides and said they were trying to get away from him before she stepped in to help. The moral of the story? “…predators are master manipulators and prey on young women who are afraid of seeming rude and setting creepy men off. If you see something SAY something,” she says.
Savvides says she and the girls are now friends and even following each other on Instagram. They had coffee and a cigarette outside until they were sure the creep had left. She told the girls it’s ok to trust their instincts and not feel bad about rejecting a guy’s advances and attempts at making them feel guilty. But even though this story ended with everyone safe and sound, this is still not a happy ending. “I’m just SO ANGRY that we live in a world where we’re all just navigating men’s entitlement and their weird feelings,” she fumes.
How many women can tell some version of this story? It doesn’t even need to be in public or on a train. It can be at work, at school, or even while out jogging. There’s a man on my usual neighborhood running route who makes a point of shouting things at me about how long I’ve run so far and how fast I’m going. I have my ear buds in. I’m a sweaty mess and focusing on my progress, but I have to stop and be polite because I have the very same concern these young women had. He’s being nice, right? I would feel guilty ignoring him, or worried I might piss him off.
But what we need to keep in mind is exactly what Savvides says in her final tweet on the matter.
“They owed him NOTHING.” Nailed it.