Street Harassment Specialised – road harassment
Louise Livesey // 22 July 2008
Further to this and other posts on the same issues I was prompted to wonder about harassment and violence when driving or driving related.
The prompt? A guy threatening to dowse me in petrol today for daring to question his actions.
So I filled the car up today at my usual filling station which is a supermarket one. After I’d started to fill an attendant put cones out because they were expecting a delivery. The cones blocked off all the pumps. Shortly afterwards a mint green van (reg Y148 ?NK) pulled up behind me, sat there for a while and then the driver’s mate got out, moved the cones they pulled around me to the pump in front. Then they parked, skewed across all the available space. Out got the driver. Politely I said “Are you not going to straighten up?” – he looked at me, tutted and continued fiddling in his wallet. So, undeterrred I said “Sorry I do find ignoring me quite rude, are you not going to straighten up so I can leave when I’m done?”
“No.” He said. “Why not?” I said. “Because I don’t [expletive] have to.” he said.
Hmmm thought I. “No you don’t,” I said, “But you are blocking me in entirely which is kind of difficult.” He had now found his card to pay (it was pay at pumps).
“What is it with women that they are too fucking stupid to use reverse?” he replied.
I pause, but then consider myself too angry to let is pass. “I can use reverse perfectly well,” I say, “It’s you who appears to have a problem with reversing, given you can’t even straighten up your van”.
He looks at me (by now he’s putting petrol in his van, I’ve finished filling my car and am closing the gas tank cover). “Listen you [expletive] bitch, come here and say that.”
“I’ll [expletive] pour this petrol over you and set fire to you.” He is now holding the nozzle facing me and occassionally pumping the handle until petrol dribbles out.
“Really,” I say getting into my car. I reverse out and think about getting a staff member involved but then realise it’ll do little or no good – they have CCTV, they’ve seen it and they’ve done nothing to help.
This was at 7.45am in the Home Counties. Anyone else has similar experiences?