Kamal: Transit confrontation leaves student ‘disappointed’

I am writing to you today with regards to an incident that occurred on a London transit Commission bus on Tuesday. I want my story to be heard, just so that no one ever has to experience the same humiliation and fear that I did.

As usual, I got on the 10 Wonderland this evening headed home, and again, as usual, the bus was crowded with many students from the university. So the bus driver asked everyone to move to the back of the bus, and as I was trying to move toward the back, he pushed me. He pushed me because as he said I was “in his way.”

I, of course, told him he had no right to lay his hand on me and push me. He then decided to stop the bus, and demand I get off.

After 20 minutes of argument, I decided for the sake of others on the bus that I would get off. Note that it was raining and freezing cold outside. All I wanted was to get home safe to my family.

I felt humiliated, embarrassed and in fear. I have every respect for our bus drivers as they do a great job serving Londoners. However, I go to sleep tonight disappointed – disappointed because our London community is no longer a community where one can live in peace and dignity and enjoy his/her rights.

I wonder if this man would have done the same if I was not a woman. Did he feel more powerful and that I would not be able to defend myself because I am a woman?

Sherin Kamal
Faculty of Science student