Chariot for Women could confront two big concerns for drivers and passengers: safety and harassment – and also offer potential for great conversation
It’s Halloween 2014 and I’m parked outside of bars at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, fifteen minutes after last call waiting for my passenger to find me. A man in a tie-dyed shirt and a curly wig hops into the front passenger seat of my black Honda Fit. He’s dressed as a hippy, he tells me. His friend is still outside, yelling at someone I’m not sure he knows, wearing a white tank top with the word “lifeguard” on the front in black block letters. He’s a lifeguard, I’m told.
The hippy is pleased I am neither male nor old. He tells me that his friend’s yelling is OK, nothing I need to be upset about, they are both on the men’s lacrosse team at a local college. The lifeguard is the star player, he says reassuringly. The hippy will remind me of his team-mate’s “number one” status again when, three minutes into the ride, the lifeguard proceeds to scream at a group of women who this time I am sure he does not know. And once more when the lifeguard jumps out of the car to pee outside the door of One Financial Center. “Number one,” the hippy says again, calmly, when I voice my disgust.