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Harassed at a Railway Show

(Yes, I took this in the loo on the train.)

Over the weekend, my husband and I did a whirlwind of things – we went up to Yorkshire, we went to London, and we even made it to Wales. But my worst experience out of the whole weekend had to be our visit to the London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace. Now, my problem had nothing to do with the show itself – in fact, I enjoyed the layouts (when I could get in to see them) and I got to meet a Twitch streamer Tim and I watch and while we only purchased a single book at the show, there were plenty of stands we would have made purchases at if we had unlimited spending!

My problem was with the people attending the show. More specifically, with men.

Whenever we attend these more generic modelling shows, I never see a lot of women, unless they are assisting their husbands with their stands or being dragged around by a child or spouse. This means there is never a queue for the loo, but it also means that seeing a woman is a rarity. Probably even more rare to find one wearing a skirt (my preferred clothing choice). But it doesn’t excuse the behavior of some of the men I encountered.

I got looked at. Looks, I can handle, and I’ll even smile back. But a double take? Inappropriate. Looking a third time and then doing a weird winking, tongue clicking “here’s looking at you, kid” kind of thing….not ever appropriate. Nor is it appropriate to repeat it a second time.

It also is OK if you accidentally brush up against breasts when you’re trying to move in a crowd. You just apologize to the person and you’re fine. It is, however, not OK to either not apologize or smirk. 50% of the population (give or take) have boobs. Those of us with boobs know they can get in the way and know it’s usually an accident if someone brushes against them. Also, while we’re on the subject – boobs are there and there’s nothing those of us with them can do to conceal them, so looking down someone’s top is also not appropriate.

In addition to the incidents above (of which I was boob brushed at least three times and I actually yelled at the triple take tounge clicker the second time), there also was the rude shoving. One guy was even pressed up against my back trying to shove past me and that’s just not on. USE YOUR WORDS. Say excuse me if you need to get by, or wait your turn. At one point, the crowd was getting thick and I was following Tim and there was another couple about a foot away from me and this man just decided to barge past us and shoved me (and touched my boob in the process). I mean…really? It’s a model rail show. THE MODELS AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE. With the exception of a few bespoke items, chances are the stands aren’t going to run out of whatever it is you wanted to buy.

So here are my tips for attending railway shows. Or sci-fi conventions. Or…you know what…these are just general tips for being in groups of people —

1. Don’t ogle people.
2. If you accidentally touch someone, apologize.
3. Don’t ogle people.

Simple!

***

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8 comments

8 Comments so far

  1. LittleSassy April 7th, 2018 11:56

    Are you for real? How can you be so oblivious? They aren’t ogling you they are looking at you and smirking because you are so weird. Even train anoraks who themselves are weirdos find you weird. You are a midget with thinning hair, a hairy chest, and brackets stuck to your jagged teeth. its shocking how you can’t see it,

  2. Rebecca April 7th, 2018 19:48

    I am totally for real. Are you? I don’t let the products of a disease or genetics slow me down or keep me from being my awesome weird self. But, nice try. You get points for telling me weirdos think I’m weird, but I’m cool with being weird.

  3. Rebecca April 7th, 2018 20:19

    You mention physical attributes not visible from this photo which only leads me to believe you know me….in which case, why are you friends with me? And if you don’t like me…why are you reading my blog?

  4. T April 7th, 2018 19:21

    So, Rebecca is weird and everybody who likes trains is weird? And on the other hand sad, lonely inadequates with no life of their own who choose to validate their pathetic existence by throwing insults from behind a veil of anonymity are normal? If you’re normal I’ll take weird any day of the week. And as for hairy chest, nah, I don’t notice even the slightest tickling of my nose when burying my face in that magnificent cleavage.

  5. Rebecca April 7th, 2018 19:50

    I’ll take being weird over not weird any day….

  6. Nick Manchester April 7th, 2018 19:36

    I read this post by my friend a while ago, and commiserated with her in private about how horrible men can be when they can’t follow the basic social rules of decency. Then came the comment from LittleSassy, and I gotta respond. I gotta.

    Are you for real? How can you be so obtuse? We aren’t laughing at her, we’re laughing at your sheer stupidity! Is she weird? Yes, but that’s why we love her. Weirdness is all part of her charm, and you say it like it’s a bad thing. Believe me, her weirdness is far, far preferable of your “normalcy”… if you’re normal, I hope I never sink that low.

    How long did it take you to blow up her picture far enough to see any chest hair? (That’s a little past creepy, don’t you think?) Her mouth is closed, so why do you assume she’s wearing braces on jagged teeth, or are you just projecting your own insecurities? It’s shocking how you can’t see that your comments tell us WAY more about you than they ever will about her. And before you want to tell me to look in the mirror, I already have a poop hat in my closet, and know I’m a %^&%head.

  7. Rebecca April 7th, 2018 19:50

    Ok now I’m a little weirded out that someone would zoom in on my cleavage…they could have just asked….

  8. T April 7th, 2018 19:56

    I’m asking…

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