Stand Up To Pervs

Street photography: Uncle scrolling through his photos of women on public transport

Say you were on the train and some moron started taking pictures of you with his camera/phone. He might be a STOMP content producer so you check yourself to see what it is about you that might be worthy of a salacious headline in that venerable broadsheet.

There’s nothing worth talking about, unless the photographer is thinking what a slob you are for wearing your yoga workout clothes home on the train/bus.

Then you think, hey OMG, he’s taking a picture of me because he’s pervy like that and OMG, he’s gonna go home and do unimaginable things to himself while looking at that photo he’s just taken. You feel friggin’ how you say it, violated.

The photographer is now scrolling through his phone nonchalantly, and you vacillate between wanting to confront him and listening to your parents’ voice in your head saying, “Girl, don’t get involved, because these people don’t care one, will anyhow whack you”.

Then you realise, WTF, I am involved what. My photo is in his damned camera/phone! He has taken a piece of my soul/being with him and is going to wank to it!

So you steel yourself to confronting him when he alights, conveniently near your home (OMG, the perv lives nearby!) and you ask him sternly, “did you take a photo of me?”

He’s taken aback, but not about to back down meekly. He says, “No”.

You say, “Don’t lie, you didn’t even put your phone to silent! It went “chikchak”!”

He still denies it and you yell at him to show you his phone to prove his innocence.

Sure enough, your photo is not there. But. There are dozens of pictures of unsuspecting (or suspecting, seeing as the phone was not on silent) young women on various modes of public transport.

Incensed and emboldened now that you’ve gotten this far, you yell at him for being a pervert, and that he shouldn’t be taking pictures of people without asking for permission.

And then, and then, and then, he says “I’m not a pervert. This is my HOBBY!”

It is his HOBBY! He takes nice pictures of women he says! He thinks he is Russel Friggin’ Wong!

He even says he’s deleted your photo because it’s blur. Thank god for the jerky bus driver. You keep yelling at him, telling him it’s wrong to take people’s photos without permission and he THREATENS TO PUNCH YOU!

Downcast, you go home to your parents telling you “I told you to be careful”, and you make a police report knowing full well they’ll tell you the perv is not a perp because he “wasn’t filming porn” and you’re too tired to think about why there would be porn on the bus for him to film.

The officer at the cop shop taking your statement tries to reassure you by saying “lucky he delete your photo. Or else you know what he’ll be doing at home”. You feel sick to the core.

You’re angry and you want to tell the whole world about the perv. You did have the presence of mind on the bus earlier for a little quid pro quo to take an unflattering photo of the perv.

You post it on Facebook and that is that. Or not. There are morons out there who are turning their attention on you instead.

But let me tell you something. If enough of you stand up to pervs and morons like these, there’ll be fewer of them. So if someone takes your photo without your permission, confront them. They may not take down the photo, but at least you’ve put it in their heads that it’s not the right thing to do.

There’s a difference between a street photographer and a pervert/STOMP content producer. Stand up for yourselves. They’ll back down.

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