Tube bosses could wage an ad campaign telling passengers not to grope women travellers and it’s thought advertisements on the transport system could serve to restrain sexual harassment experienced in the rush-hour.

Some passengers see their rail trips as an excuse to feel up women and sadly it is a place where people appear to believe it’s an excuse to act disgustingly and it’s thought an advertising approach could be very powerful.

Having a campaign on the Tube carriages: ‘Please don’t think this gives you the right to grab someone’, that could be really useful because you are all standing up, crushed together, staring at the advert which can’t be avoided.

But is this actually a way to campaign and will it actually work? Is it the right way to use taxpayers money?

Whether we put ads on the tube or not, there will invariably be somebody out there that believes it’s okay to perv and grope somebody on the tube during rush hour and advertisements are not the way to go when trying to stop sexual harassment of women and girls.

Admittedly we live in different times where music videos are plastered across our TV screens of women dancing with their cleavage hanging out and butts on display but that does not consent for a man on the tube to push his face into woman’s cleavage in front of startled passengers.

Pornography online has exploded exponentially in the last decade and it’s presenting us with really disturbing challenges on how women are viewed in relationships and what boys expect of them and what girls expect of themselves.

However, groping on the tube is not a recent thing, it’s been going on for a long time and if we hop back to the 1980’s it was going on then if not before then.

There are over 12 thousand CCTV cameras on the London Underground system, watching the actions of millions of travellers every single day but some passengers are also doing their own electronic reconnaissance.

There is an increasing number of websites and photo spectators devoted to critiquing the look, attire and habits of individual passengers.

Travelling on the Northern line in South London on a Sunday morning, a picture was covertly taken by someone using a mobile phone but it wasn’t until three days later that the man whose picture had been taken realised that his photo was part of an online trend.

His image arrived on the website Tubecrush.net and a connected Twitter account, and his appearance and style sense was being ranked online but he had no idea whatsoever. He was simply sitting on the tube minding his own business on a Sunday morning after being out the night before.

Several days later his friends were phoning him up and emailing him and laughing about his picture being online.

Tubecrush.net encourages passengers to post images of strangers they find attractive or eye-catching and subjects must be guys commuting on the London underground and the men having their picture taken are usually oblivious to their image being online.

Tubecrush.net was established by four young professionals residing in South London.

Seven months ago Steve Motion, Gemma Dean, Andy Kaufman and Michael Sparrow were watching a dating quiz show on television when they came up with the concept for the site.

They were watching women judging male participants on the TV, and imagined it’d be hilarious if you could do that in real life and they imagined that taking photographs of men on the tube in London would be best because the underground has a particular kind of ambience.

People frequently sit in silence and gaze around at everyone they’re travelling with so it seemed an entertaining concept so they chose to start taking photos of themselves and then invited strangers to send theirs in too.

The site now gets images from as far afield as Brazil and Japan, as well as other UK cities, including Glasgow and Manchester but many are refused and if the pictures weren’t taken on the Tube then they don’t tweet them, as they want to keep the main website centred on the Underground itself.

Hundreds of pictures posted are then classified into categories, including which portion of the tube system the image was taken on and the Northern Line and the District Line appear to be most prevalent for images.

A number of related social networking accounts and online galleries have sprung up. Some like @peopleonthetube focus on strange attire and unusual events, while the now-defunct @tube_chicks rated photos of female travellers.

But @tubecrush chose not to request pictures of women as they felt like men taking photographs of women on the tube felt strange, it’s not the same as gay men or women taking photographs of other men.

The site first brought in gay men who wanted to send in pictures, but now 60 per cent of images taken are from women and Tubecrush.net is now so successful it has prompted a sibling twitter account to be set up in New York – @subwaycrush.

It has also started to market branded commodities and is looking at establishing websites in other cities.

There are also the legal complications of viewing this sort of pornography and how it might affect their loved ones, their girlfriends, wives or even their children and is this a violation under the Public Order Act?

However, electronic reconnaissance could be a thing of the future, a little like our neighbourhood watch because it could hinder those pervs and those groping women on the tube but honestly, we need real policing on our underground system.

Tubecrush.net does set out on its website what to do if someone sees their own photo in a gallery and wants it removed and it has a photo removal request option and so far, in seven months, only three people have asked for their picture to be taken down.

However, the underground is deemed a public area, making photographing legal, but there are the moral concerns when the photographs of strangers are uploaded online.

Most are totally oblivious their picture has been uploaded and is being scored by strangers and should the site be taken in the spirit it was intended? And isn’t this invasion of privacy?

An invasion of privacy happens when there is an interference upon your reasonable expectation to be left alone and incorporates the four principal kinds of invasion of privacy claims, an intentional tort primarily controlled by state laws.

Encroaching upon another’s solitude or private affairs is subject to liability if the invasion is deemed extremely objectionable to a reasonable person. This tort is frequently associated with peeping Toms, someone illegally intercepting private telephone calls, or snooping through someone’s private records.

Taking pictures of someone in public wouldn’t count, but, using a long-range camera to take photos of someone inside their home would qualify and making a few undesirable phone calls may not constitute a privacy invasion, but calling frequently after being ordered to stop would.

I guess taking photographs of people on the underground would depend on a person’s opinion and how they feel about it and I wonder out of 100 people on here, how many would agree it was acceptable and how many would say it wasn’t.

I know that when I’m out and about taking photographs of my family that I’m really mindful that there are no people other than my family in the background. But, if I was in a place like Trafalgar Square where there are numerous people, people don’t seem that bothered but if I was in a public place like the tube and couldn’t help but get other people in my shot I would attempt to ask if it was okay to do so, it’s just a matter of respect.

On principle. A person has a right to protest having his/her face plastered over newspapers or shown around to all and sundry. So, get permission if you need or cannot avoid the person’s presence in the photo if you plan to show it around or distribute it.

In almost every country, the act of taking photos, despite the subject is allowed when you’re in a public place. You can shoot people, buildings and public art. No one needs to give you permission.

Bottom line, be courteous, respectful and kind and it may not be illegal but no one in a public place has a reasonable expectation of privacy, but what you do with that photo is a different story and if you intend to distribute it, then you should do so with their consent.

Doing it without consent is allowed, but it’s also other things as well, like offensive.

British reticence on the rail network is making it difficult for women to speak up about being sexually violated and figures gathered by BBC Radio 5 Live Investigates reveal that the amount of recorded sexual offences on trains has increased in five years from 650 in 2012/13 to 1,448 in 2016/17.

The data, which was released by the British Transport Police following a freedom of information request, reveal that the majority were sexual attacks on females aged above 13.

The figures, which include England, Scotland and Wales and cover the London Underground, revealed that women were more comfortable reporting incidents to the police, but also that passengers must do more to look out for each other.

As many times as you hear a genuine story about someone intervening to help, you learn another one about nothing happening.

People don’t socialise on the tube and we should put our mobile phones away or Ipads and socialise a little better and take some responsibility for each other and we require a different kind of transport system because, after all to most people who travel on them every day to work, it’s partially their home for the best part of the morning and evening.

It’s somewhere that people want to feel safe and not have to look over their shoulder all the time in case somebody decides they want to feel up your arse or put their head in our cleavage, but most occurrences take place in the rush hour when carriages are busy.

And I can remember the days when I went to work and had to stand on a very packed tube, my face up against the glass, like a sardine in a tin can whilst some stranger behind me groped my arse and I couldn’t move because there just wasn’t enough room to turn round.

And what gives men the freedom to believe that they can do that to a woman, do men not have any self-control over their penis, or do they think that they have the god given right to do so because they’re men?

It’s an opportunistic offence in many ways, and when the tube is really full these perpetrators act on that and busy carriages make it even more challenging for others to intervene, so it’s especially difficult for a stranger to see what’s happening.

The probability of a victim saying something is really low, so we should all be looking out for each other a bit more and many of the reported crimes involve men pushing up against or touching up a victim, usually in a busy carriage.

We could have women-only carriages which would decrease these assaults but then there would be people out there that would say that’s sexist and perhaps it is, but the point that’s missing is that men should be able to keep their sexual urges under raps, and the odds are that many of those men have probably got wives or girlfriends at home waiting for them.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s