I may have inadvertently become part of the #metoo movement last week. Imagine this: Friday morning rush-hour, I entered the Metro station as I do most mornings and checked to see if the train was in the station. No train, no need to run. As I was going down the stairs to the platform I heard the train arrive and picked up my pace.
At the bottom of the stairs, I saw the train, doors open and passengers getting off and on. It was very crowded, I picked a door to run to and off I went. As I made my way to the end of the concrete wall and onto the platform I was met by a woman who was running in the opposite direction, I suspect to catch a bus at ground level.
She came around the corner in one direction while I did so in the opposite direction. We avoided a total wipe-out collision by a nano-second. Both of us reacted reflexively and pivoted, thereby reducing any contact to a small sideswipe. She went on her way, and I got on my train.
However, in the course of our run-in, as I was unexpectedly confronted by a person coming around the corner at high-speed, and not knowing if I was about to collide with a college coed or a college linebacker, I naturally put up my hands in a defensive position.
Wouldn’t you know it? My hands were at breast height. Her breast, not mine. I got a left hand full of boob.
There have been many jokes about gropers claiming the victim placed whatever part of her anatomy in their hand, but in this case the whole thing was unintended. I know I am not a manslammer. She made nothing of it, but it stuck with me all day. Would she have confronted me if she was not in a hurry? Would we both, in true Canadian fashion, have apologized? I know it was accidental, but it made me wonder just how many times women are grabbed and “bumped” in fully planned incidents.
Frankly, I would not know the woman if I saw her again, given the brisk nature of our encounter. But if by some chance she reads this I hope she understands the complete lack of intention on my part.