Subway Groping Makes the News

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From Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s website:

“[I]t is hard to find a woman who rides the subway who hasn’t been harassed – or who doesn’t know someone who has been.   Our goal is to raise the profile of these crimes, so that the police can formulate a plan to combat them, and so that the victims can be empowered to fight back.”

The report includes this data:

63 percent of respondents reported having been sexually harassed in the New York City subway system.  

10 percent of respondents reported having been sexually assaulted in the New York City subway system.

69 percent of respondents reported having felt the threat of sexual assault or harassment in the New York City subway system.

Of those respondents, 51 percent reported”sometimes”or”frequently”feeling the threat of sexual harassment or assault in the New York City subway system.

96 percent of respondents who indicated that they were sexually harassed did not contact the NYPD and/or the MTA to file a report or seek assistance.

86 percent of respondents who indicated that they were sexually assaulted did not contact the NYPD and/or the MTA to file a report or seek assistance.

The empiricists now have some data to back up what women have been saying for years.  

Groping is not a compliment.   At least on the subway, there  is no  “pleasure/resistance in the interstices of the regime” (in Duncan Kennedy’s words).  

-Bridget Crawford

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0 Responses to Subway Groping Makes the News

  1. Media outlets have cited a 2007 study which found that 63% of women reported being sexually harassed and 10% saying they had been sexually assaulted while on the subway. Based on this shocking statistic, it would seem that there is an epidemic of male molesters running amok in the Big Apple’s underground. There’s only one problem – the statistic is totally unreliable. As was previously reported more than a year ago by both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, the study’s methodology was fatally flawed. As a result, the 63% figure which has been so widely circulated likely grossly overstates the actual extent of the problem. This type of sensationalistic reporting has become so widespread that many don’t even question how improbable these statistics sound any more.
    Undoubtedly, steps should be taken to deter the victimization of women on the subway. Rather than starting a scare campaign based on bogus statistics, however, it would be more constructive to promote a campaign based in fact, which encourages and empowers women to deter this type of behavior by forcefully confronting it. As noted in the WCBS story, the failure to confront offensive behavior only invites further attacks – whether on women in the subway, or on men in the media.