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Practical advice - wwyd? long, sorry.

12 replies

omnishambles · 06/03/2011 12:30

I was on a train yesterday coming back from London (I saw people at the march(Lenin deep in convo on the way past JL in Oxford Street!) but didnt want to do it in a MN way as I found it quite intimidating at other meet-ups - another thread but deffo my own problem.

Anyway after all that empowering day I found myself on the train back on my own listening to 3 (about)10/12 year old boys becoming more and more offensive very loudly.

They started off with normal kids stuff about farts but then moved on to discussing porn they had on their phones including torture porn in great detail and at great volume.

It was really disgusting and I was three groups of seats away with older men coming back from the footie in between and noone said a word - I was upset with myself for not saying anything and in the end I moved carriages and felt disempowered, upset and frankly shit about myself and the world.

My question is in that situation, on a frankly dodgy train line with children who clearly want to transgress and are pushing at boundaries - if I has said something I would have got a mouthful of what they were saying - fair enough but surely the speaking out should come from the men on the train or it wont mean anything and what does it tell those boys about society and women if the men dont say anything.

It was really depressing tbh.

OP posts:
omnishambles · 06/03/2011 12:47

Is it just that I've learnt nothing then and am a complete wuss and everyone is thinking it and noone wants to post it?

Its true, am disempowered both by their words and my reaction to it. Sad

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Prolesworth · 06/03/2011 13:02

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omnishambles · 06/03/2011 13:32

It would have been easier if I was sitting near them ironically - I would have then given them The Stare and then just said 'thats enough lads' in a teacherly way. It was the fact that I was going to have to get up and walk over to them blah and I just wasnt sure whether they wanted that confrontation and so was it better to ignore or what...

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dittany · 06/03/2011 14:02

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaryMungo · 06/03/2011 14:07

I'm afraid in this day and age I can't blame the men. Any 10yo who publicly discusses their taste in torture porn would have no qualms over shopping a nyone taking them to task as a paedo....

"Conductor! Conductor! This horrible old man was trying to talk to me about sex!"

That scenario a sure way tolengthen your commute.

omnishambles · 06/03/2011 14:10

Mary - I wouldnt have expected the blokes on the train to have started a convo about it - I would have expected them more to have looked over and said 'enough boys' or even just 'shut up' and they would have done I suspect.

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Saltatrix · 07/03/2011 19:40

On trains people basically ignore each other, unless you are doing something to annoy them or interacting with them somehow then you might as well not be there. I wouldn't be surprised if the men in that carriage just thought 'I don't know these kids and they are not interacting with me so not my problem'.

And even if they really did disagree strongly enough to want to say something, because the boys are 10-12 years old they will want to stay well away from them keeping any interaction minimal.

And in your case the boys were talking about porn, no way is a man going to get invovled in that, it's a recipe for disaster.

SardineQueen · 07/03/2011 19:48

So the answer is that nothing can be done, and no-one does anything, and that's the way it is?

That's so depressing though.

Saltatrix · 07/03/2011 20:06

It depends on whether people care, I don't know the people in that carriage so I don't know if they were bothered enough to want to say anything that puts them on the spot. I think that people who do feel strongly about it should say something as it does make people who were not overly concerned to change their minds and think "hmm maybe that person was right". I also think it would have been easier for the OP being a woman to say something to the unknown children considering their topic.

I think this applies also to a situation where a man shouts out something inappropriate to a woman. Many men nearby might feel awkward but they often won't say anything because they don't know the woman in question so don't see why they should get invovled and feel they would look stupid. If however 1 man does say something you will often get a couple also saying something as well.

InmaculadaConcepcion · 07/03/2011 20:25

I think I would have wussed out too in your position, sadly. What a crappy situation to be in.

I suspect my DH would have said something to them if he'd been there (which makes my own cowardice even worse, but he's had experience of dealing with out of control kids so would probably have a better handle on the best approach to take with them).

omnishambles · 07/03/2011 23:09

I'm not sure in this case saltatrix - everyone was very uncomfy with the situation - you could see that they were.

And in practice the only people who have the power to silence this sort of thing are other men - and other men from their own community not some useless middleclass teacher type like me who they would expect to object.

I really didnt feel in any position to go upto them and say anything - i was frankly freaked out by their discussion about tits being sliced off and thrown out of windows etc etc.

Am not sure it is the same as the heckling from afar - if the boy has directed some bile at me I would have answered back and then some as usual - it was more that they were shouting incredibly loudly at eachother and so I wasnt being directly challenged.

Am still pissed off and depressed about it.

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TeiTetua · 08/03/2011 00:53

Time was when any adult felt entitled to say something to misbehaving children. Now we all keep our heads down and hope they pick on someone else. If someone had tackled them, do you think their parents would have said "Quite right too, they deserved it"? Fat chance of that.

And now little boys are into torture porn by cordless phone. Technology is wonderful.

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