being a girl on the subway

Melilelen

Registered
laina7 said:
hi everyone,

i'm from boston, brand new to buenos aires, just got here yesterday :)

i hope it's alright if i skip the intro post and just launch into my question. i was well aware before i came that dealing with aggressive behavior from argentine guys can be a bit of a challenge, but i don't think i was completely prepared.

today i took the subte around 7pm with three friends, two girls and a boy. (i use friends in the more liberal american sense of the word, because we literally met yesterday). anyway, we had to switch lines and we arrived at the second platform just as the train was pulling in, so i sort of sped up to make it because it was pretty crowded. as i was about to board, a guy literally body checks me out of the way to get on the train, and when i recovered he forced his body in front of me so aggressively to board ahead of me that all my weight fell back into my friends. the train was crowded, but everyone fit just fine and we still had an extra ten seconds or so before the doors closed- the aggression was completely unnecessary.

as we started to move, this guy wrestles past a few people until he's right behind me and then pressed his entire body against my back. i tried to play it cool thinking it was just a result of the crowding that can happen anywhere, but this was definitely inappropriate. when i twisted my body so that my hip was facing him, he just grabbed my waist and pulled me into him. i never made eye contact or said anything, and instead just turned around so that i was pressing into the boy traveling with me, and sort of acted flirtatious with him hoping that the other guy would back off.

a few minutes later i could tell he was doing the same thing to one of the girls i was with, and she looked super uncomfortable, so i invited her to squeeze in next to me. a couple of stops later when he'd left and the train was much clearer, i mentioned his behavior to the group and the third girl said he'd rubbed up against her as well AND grabbed her ass.

everyone sort of brushed it off, we're all new here and we're just trying to adjust and roll with the punches. i know it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it's still getting to me. i think what bothers me most is that he was even more inappropriate with the other girls, and i don't know how well traveled or experienced they are dealing with these kinds of things.

i would love advice from you guys- men or women. i know it's best to ignore suggestive comments in the street and what not, but when someone is literally threatening your physical comfort? what should i have done? is there something i can say in spanish?

sorry this got so long. despite this slightly negative note, i'm so happy to be here. i've been reading this site for a couple of weeks and it's been so helpful in terms of advice and preparation, so i really want to thank everyone.
hello laina,
unfortunately you ran into a sexual pervert. next time you should expose him in front of everyone by yelling help! or no me manosees pervertido!!! or i would even go further by saying "te vas a comer una patada en las bolas si no dejas de manosearme hijo de puta!"
hope this was helpful...
good luck and i hope the rest of your stay is a happy one..
 

MClare

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Wait one second...why has no one commented on Mr. QuentinDaniels comment? It's a little hard to sense sarcasm on written forums, so let's hope that was.

Anyway, Laina7 - welcome to Argentina, but for real! These things happen every now and then, and it's happened to me, too, but they are learning experiences. This really is a great place to be :)
I'm from Boston, too, and if you have ever ridden the Orange line you know that it has it's fair share of problems, too! You learn to stay away from the drunks though, just like here I've learned to wait for another train if I see that it's already crammed. The trains can always fit more people, even when you don't believe it. And the evil eye doesn't do much for the "pushers".

If you are looking for any more Bostonian "friends" (we expats have to stick together haha), my roomate and I would be happy to meet up!
 

ElQueso

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The amount of rubbing the guy did may not be normal - to tell the truth, I've not heard of this myself, even once.

But one thing I have noticed about Argentine men is that they are not shy at expressing their feelings for women.

My wife is quite lovely and she receives catcalls, whistles, and rude offers somewhat often when she is walking down the street. It doesn't seem to make too much difference if I am with her.

Last summer, we were crossing 9 de Julio at Santa Fe. To our right the cars were stopped. One of the cabs, a front car, started honking his horn and was leaning out his window. He was yelling "Hey baby! Over here! Hey baby!" over and over as we crossed in front of him.

Another time we were walking down the street and passed a van waiting for a light (we were walking near Paraguay and Talcahuano). The van was filled with a bunch of young guys who were hollering at my wife and telling her they could make her happy, just give them a kiss, etc. I turned around, and with some effeminate posturing pointed to myself with a big smile and asked if they were talking to me. They shut up real quick and pulled their heads back in the van.

Just the other day, my wife was out with her sister looking for a place for her sister to move to. Some guy drives up in his car and motions the two women over. Naively, they moved to see what he wanted (we had a big talk about that later!). He asks "I'm wondering if you can help me. Can you give me your address so I can come see you?" The two women stared at the guy open-mouthed, then walked off without saying anything. The guy followed them in his car, they went into a local cafe and sat down, had a coffee, exited about half hour later and saw the guy parked near an intersection on that block. There happened to be a cop near them and when they went over to talk to him, the guy started his car up and left.

The first two are the two biggest examples I have seen personally. The last one was the scariest thing that's happened personally to my wife.

Catcalls and lewd comments happen occasionally when I'm with her, but it's usually just some guy with his tongue hanging out of his mouth and his eyes roaming up and down her body. But often she comes home from being in town by herself, cursing because the damned men can't keep their mouths shut. She always asks if they really think she's just going to go running into their arms and say "make love to me!"

I'm caught between a rock and a hard place here (no real pun intended).

One of the things I really don't like about the US is its prudish leanings. Its PC-ness. It's one of the biggest reasons I've stayed down here once my work needs didn't require me to be here all the time.

I like the sexualism of most Latino cultures. But it can go too far. I mean come on!

And I have to ask too - what do these guys think is going to happen? Are they on the quantity theory, that all they have to do is make lewd suggestions to 500 women and the odds say that one of them really will respond positively?
 

Moonwitch

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Just ignore it. Not every guy in Argentina is like that. If you have a problem with guys checking you wear a burkha.
 

ElQueso

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Moonwitch, you make a very good point - and I think that most Latina women like it - to an extent. I was trying to say in my post that sometimes it just goes too far and makes some women, even Latinas, feel very unsafe.

It is definitely something about the Latino culture that I like (when not taken too far, of course) - where in the States every man is scared to death to make any comment to a woman, no matter how small, for fear of getting sued or lambasted by other women.
 

missveronica

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I must admit that this hasnt happened to me in quite some time...(feeling self concious now... ;) )
My technique used to be to answer in a rude way when the commentary went too far...Even made some guys blush in my old good times
If the comment is nice I just keep going and feel a bit better about myself, honestly
 

razal

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ReemsterCARP said:
Next time a guy tries to do that to you shout to him in the most hysterical fashion possible:

"Dejá de tocarme pelotudo de mierda! Andá a la concha de la re-putísima madre que te re mil parió!"

That should do the trick.

NB: Pardon my French

Good one, I try to yell something like:
"¿¡por que no te vas a tocarle el orto a tu vieja!?!?"

it-s always a crowd pleaser
 

citygirl

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In my experience - I have never had a man touch me on the street, on the bondi or the subte. They talk (for sure!) but normally they don't touch. I'm sorry to hear it happened to you but yes, feel free to scream at him in any language you want. People gave you some good examples of things to say.

In a club however, all bets are off. I've had a lot of men grab me in clubs. Men can be really aggressive there. And careful on dancing with them - sometimes things are implied in how you dance and the body language. You may think you're just having a fun dance but they make take it very differently.
 

arty

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citygirl said:
In my experience - I have never had a man touch me on the street, on the bondi or the subte. They talk (for sure!) but normally they don't touch. I'm sorry to hear it happened to you but yes, feel free to scream at him in any language you want. People gave you some good examples of things to say.

In a club however, all bets are off. I've had a lot of men grab me in clubs. Men can be really aggressive there. And careful on dancing with them - sometimes things are implied in how you dance and the body language. You may think you're just having a fun dance but they make take it very differently.
All bets are off if you go to their house too. It is understood that if you invite a women to your house and she accepts then sex is to be expected.
 
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