The Bus Home by Amina Aineb

My parents don’t let me ride the bus home at night. Actually, this isn’t totally true. The only buses I have ridden at night were the 44 (which I ride every day anyway) and the 1 (which goes through the Richmond district.)

However, I work in the Mission for (fellow CW) Stella’s dad, and according to my parents riding a bus through the Mission at night is “NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, AMINA.” It’s winter, so it’s been getting dark pretty early, and since my parents usually aren’t available to drive me home, this means I have been working considerably less. As in like, two hours in the past two months. Which means I’m broke as hell and the little money I do have is being drained on lunchtime sandwiches from Mollie Stone’s.

It’s a pretty direct route from Valencia Street to my house, just a ride on the 33 and then a short trip on the 1. It’s completely doable, and I’ve done it a thousand times in daylight. But apparently, my parents have the idea that as soon as the sun sets, suspicious characters pile on the bus like clowns in a car.

Recently I was working and told my mom I would be bussing home. She seemed adamant that that was not a possibility, until I mentioned, “Oh yeah and my boyfriend will be bussing with me,” and then she was fine with it.<

WHY?! If any parents read this blog, please sit your daughters down and tell them to try to be as safe as they can, but PLEASE do not take away their right to ride public transport by themselves! The idea that a woman is in danger unless accompanied by a man makes is so belittling, and it honestly makes me feel like I’m a child who needs constant supervision and protection. (Ok I am a minor, but you all know what I mean…) As my friend Hanne pointed out to me when I asked her about this, many girls will one day be living on their own in a city, and it’s important to learn how to navigate your way home by yourself, even if the sun isn’t out. And while I know my parents are just trying to protect me, the way they’re doing it is only enforcing the patriarchal nature of our society. Sigh.

Amina Aineb, class of 2017

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