Skip

Since I spend about three hours a day on the subway, I have many opportunities to ponder the mystery of
June 6, 2000 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Since I spend about three hours a day on the subway, I have many opportunities to ponder the mystery of And there are lots of great resources on the web, including this summary of current theories and research (which even includes a personal space diagram). This site and this site offer to send discrete letters to people who are violating your personal space, asking them to stop. This site explores personal space in Thailand (where you should NEVER pat someone on the head). And while I am more interested in mundane misdemeanor violations, there are, of course, more extreme personal space crimes. Dancers have to deal with this. So do Asian women on the subway (warning: I found this last link disturbing). But most of the stuff I found is from the point of view of those who feel violated. What about the violators? Why do some people sit right next to me when the train is full of empty seats? Are they trying to be provocative or do they just not care?
posted by grumblebee (8 comments total)

 
Okay. I learned my lesson: Never type a metafilter post in MS Word (which I like to do, because it catches my many spelling errors). The quotes around hyperlinks don't convert correctly when you cut & paste. Sorry about all the broken links. Here's a working version (hopefully):

Since I spend about three hours a day on the subway, I have many opportunities to ponder the mystery of "personal space." And there are lots of great resources on the web, including this summary of current theories and research (which even includes a personal space diagram). This site and this site offer to send discrete letters to people who are violating your personal space, asking them to stop. This site explores personal space in Thailand (where you should NEVER pat someone on the head). And while I am more interested in mundane misdemeanor violations, there are, of course, more extreme personal space crimes. Dancers have to deal with this. So do Asian women on the subway (warning: I found this last link disturbing). But most of the stuff I found is from the point of view of those who feel violated. What about the violators? Why do some people sit right next to me when the train is full of empty seats? Are they trying to be provocative or do they just not care?

posted by grumblebee at 8:07 AM on June 6, 2000


I just fixed it. Evil smart quotes! I can do a search-and-replace to get rid of them...
posted by mathowie at 8:08 AM on June 6, 2000


Thanks, mathowie!

I really intended this to be a thread about garden-variety PS violations, but since posting it, I've been reading more about chikan, the somewhat "accepted" practice, in Japan, of groping women on the subway. I remember years ago seeing a spot on "60 Minutes" about a best-selling book in Japan, which was a "self-help" book about how to successfully grope.

Then I found this qoute on the site that I linked to above:

I know the most of woman do not like being molested nor groped. But some do like it and many do not care about it. If the woman likes it or at least does not care about it, touching is no crime at all. The trouble is you can not tell if SHE likes it or not until you touch her. WOMAN, PLEASE, if you do not like it, tell the man before he touches you. (well... Maybe the man must ask the woman first. "Pardon madam, but I found your lovely round tits are pressed on my upper arm and I really am fond of small tits like yours... may I... ")

I don't have any daughters, but if I ever do, remind me to keep them away from Japan.

posted by grumblebee at 8:20 AM on June 6, 2000


Pardon me, sir, but my kneecap is pressing into
your groin and driving your testicles into your
tiny pelvis...do you mind?


The dark path is best. Teach them with pain.
Knees were put there for a reason.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 9:42 AM on June 6, 2000


I don't have anything to say about Japan, except that I understand everyone there shares bathwater, and are therefore capable of anything.
My problem is that when I am sharing a benchseat with somebody on the train, and another benchseat clears out entirely, do I move to the empty seat? I want to, I feel the person probably wants me to, and yet I do not for fear of offending the person (stranger) I am sitting next to. I blame the internet.
posted by thirteen at 11:54 AM on June 6, 2000


I go through the same thing. Once, I was alone in a train car, then this one guy came in and sat very far from me. Then he started whistling. I was trying to read, and I after a while I counldn't concentrate because of his whistling. I didn't make a face or anything. I just quietly got up and started to move to a different car.

The guy started sreaming at me, "IT'S OK! IT'S OK!!! I'LL STOP, MAN. I'LL STOP!" I was to embarrassed to stop, so I just kept going. And I felt bad about it, even if he did over-react.

I guess I should have said, "hey, you have a right to whistle and I have a right t read, and there are plenty of cars..."
posted by grumblebee at 12:19 PM on June 6, 2000


After a year of spending about 10 hours on the subway per week (I got a lot of reading done), I have no real stories. I guess I'm boring. I guess Toronto is boring.

Then again, some of my female friends have a lot of stories. Which shows quite well what kind of people the subway attracts.
posted by mkn at 12:25 PM on June 6, 2000


The "stories" usually happen when you don't read. I read a lot on the subway, but I can't always read, because I don't always get a seat. And I'm usually carrying a big bulky hardback which is too hard to manage while straphanging.

So I have nothing to do except watch my "roommates." Which is when the stories happen.
posted by grumblebee at 12:35 PM on June 6, 2000


« Older   |   This Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post