Friday, August 03, 2007

Things people say... or don't

Today I was on the subway heading home. It was about 4 p.m. When I got on, there was quite a few people on the train and no available seats. I went to the back of the train to stand against the wall. On the right of me, near the doors, was a man, seated, talking very loudly to someone. He appeared to be directing his comments in the direction of people to my left. I noticed a girl about 19-21, turn and look at the man to her right, and look at the men behind her. The 2 men were approximately 40, well-groomed, in causal attire. She asked them if the man was talking to them. One of them said not really.
She turned back and addressed the loud talker telling him that he was rude and please not to speak to these men like this.

The loud talker must have said he wasn't.

She responded "yes you are. You're swearing at these men. You have no right to be doing this."

"I have every right to say whatever I want." was the response or something to this affect.

The man must have made a derogatory remark about the others being homosexual, because the woman proceeded to say that "these men have just as much right to not hear this. They are a part of this world and they are beautiful people."

The argument continued. The men behind her indicated that she should stop, leave it alone. She continued her admonishment of the man for a bit with everyone on the train watching.

I was wondering various things. "Where is security? Isn't anyone going to do something? But then I guess this girl is doing something. Is she crazy? If she didn't say anything than he would likely stop. Most people realize that."

So, I admired this brave but perhaps crazy woman for saying something when no one else did. I finally heard the girl say "whatever!" and the man stopped talking. She turned back to the men and apologized for the other man's insensitivity, and got off the train after 2 stops.

It was a hard scene to watch. I actually had tears in my eyes at her compassion and courage to stand up for these men. I suppose these men could have done so for themselves, but they likely faced situations like this before and figured it wasn't worth it. Either way, I'm sure they appreciated it. As did most people present on the train.

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