Creeps are everywhere
And on Monday, 25 March, a woman's experience of witnessing sexual harassment onboard a plane about a man in his late 30s who was "delighted" to be seated next to a teen separated from the rest of her family went viral.
The woman, who is a reporter for the Star Vancouver, was flying on an unnamed Canadian airline and tweeted the account of how she and other women passengers onboard the plane rallied together to stop the creep as soon as they realised what he was up to.
The collective effort of the women was also appreciated by the crew.
According to Joanna, the middle-aged man in at least his late-thirties or early forties, who was sitting in the row behind her, was making his move on the teenager in the window seat beside him
"He started off by asking about her career plans and laughed when she said she wanted to be CEO and kept giving her ridiculous advice.
"She was friendly and he seemed to take that as a welcome cue to get very familiar and started teasing her and kept saying that he wanted to take her out to eat, which she was ignoring," Joanna tweeted to her more than 38K followers, adding that at this point, she decided to stay awake "in case anything went further than that."
Joanna revealed that she wasn't the only woman being vigilant about the unfolding situation. "A woman, seated behind the man and the teenager, was following what was happening closely, too."
And as Joanna had suspected, the man tried to take advantage of the situation.
The man asked the girl for a "dirty" photo while leaning close to her, Joanna wrote, adding that as soon as this happened, she "stood up, tapped him on the shoulder and rage-whispered to him that I couldn't help noticing that he was acting like a pervert."
He pretended he didn't hear me and went to the back to use the washroom.
This was when the other woman reached out to the teenage girl to ask if she was OK.
"Another woman seated behind him was listening and monitoring too and while the man was gone she let the teen know that she had the right to change seats and that she was just behind her if she needed any help," Joanna tweeted in her follow up tweet.
She added that while the other woman checked on the girl, she "went to get a flight attendant and informed her of what was going on."
Once informed, the flight crew, headed by a woman, acted swiftly
The flight crew collected witness accounts from others, offered support to the teenage girl and asked the man to move, Joanna revealed in a column yesterday, 26 March.
"He refused to leave at first and demanded that the head flight attendant fetch her boss to handle the situation. She calmly said, "I'm the boss. This is serious, and we could land the plane." Then he directed his anger at me and while trying to control my fury, I reminded him that I heard him asking for the "dirty" photos," Joanna wrote.
After being confronted, the man finally moved.
"The attendants checked in with the young woman and wrote up a report.
"They handled the situation well as far as I could tell, and it's good to know other adult women passengers on the plane were paying attention and taking action while trying not to embarrass the teen," Joanna revealed in her follow up tweets.
When they landed in Vancouver, "a security officer was waiting for him. The man looked like he was sweating bullets," read Joanna's tweet, who added that she "caught his name and the company he works for" and she will be sending a private note to them.
She revealed that while fellow women passengers had picked up on the warning signs early on in the conversation, none of the male passengers onboard the plane seemed to show they noticed what was going on.
In her column published in The Hamilton Spectator, she also revealed that the reason she was listening carefully "because this has happened to me, too."
According to Joanna, while "women may tend to have more lived experiences about what being subtly harassed feels like more than men would," she wants all adults "to be on guard and know there are things we can do to intervene even when a crime hadn’t technically been committed yet. Men need to figure out how to “spot creeps” in their vicinity as well and men can help too to prevent harassment or assault."
Earlier this month, a woman took to her Twitter account to out a driving school instructor in Selangor. She accused the instructor of sexually assaulting her for four hours. Read her account here: