This woman's story of harassment was familiar to women but got a big reaction from men.

With one simple tweet, Nathalie Gordon had the attention of men and women everywhere.

Women who saw her tweet probably knew more or less what kind of story was coming. Men, on the other hand, were in for an eye-opening ride.

Gordon began by recounting a seemingly casual encounter with a man on a bus.

The conversation quickly escalated from casual to obnoxious to downright scary.

"I'm horrified and turn to ask him to stop doing it. He laughs at me," she tweeted next.

When she ran to the front of the bus to report the man to the driver, the driver reportedly told her to "sit somewhere else."


The bus driver was no help.

"You're a pretty girl, what do you expect?" the driver asked her. Gordon had a pretty powerful answer to that.

As Gordon's tweets went viral, similar stories from countless other women poured in.

Several women responded about their own run-ins with creeps on public transit. One woman wrote that, in her case, it was the bus driver himself who wouldn't take "no" for an answer, actually following her off the bus one day and insisting on a date.

"The stories I'm being told [from women] are harrowing," Gordon explained over Twitter direct message. "There's a real sense of hopeless when you see these messages en masse."

Then men began responding to Gordon's story, many unthinkingly proving her exact point: They just didn't get it.

Some of their responses were truly vile.

One man even responded by writing a lengthy screed from the perspective of Gordon's bus driver, in which he tried to explain that the bus driver's right to say "no" to helping a female passenger avoid being sexually harassed or assaulted is what equality really looks like because the bus driver shouldn't have to "fight her battles for her."

To them, Gordon has one simple answer: "Men, your input isn't necessary here. Just listen."

"Don't find fault or shout your opinion over people talking about actual experiences," she later wrote. "Just listen, read these stories and be a better, kinder, more informed, supportive and understanding man for the women in your lives."

Despite the critics and the doubters, Gordon says she came away from the discussion feeling encouraged.

"For every guy saying something cruel there's 10 rushing to my defence," she explains. "They've recognised that women don't want, need or expect to be saved. We want people standing beside us going 'This is wrong, we need to find a way to stop this from happening.'"

"I know so many good men and this has confirmed that there are plenty more out there," Gordon says. "I just hope they are as vocal in real life as they are on Twitter because they have such power if they do."

True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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