Syreeta McFadden

SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, and a co-curator of Poets in Unexpected Places. You can follow her on Twitter @reetamac.

Posts Written by Syreeta

“Sit back and shut the f*ck up”: On taxis, gender, and power

Ed. note: This is a guest post by Jeanann Verlee. Jeanann is an author, performance poet, editor, and former punk rocker based in New York City.

A few years ago, sharing a cab with a male friend of mine, I asked the driver to make two stops. The driver dropped my friend first and scarcely made it to the end of the block before he pulled over and told me to get out, refusing to go to the second stop. I asked why he waited until after dropping my friend to refuse a second stop and he declined to answer, simply continued demanding I leave. (It was obvious to me that he didn’t want to argue with a man, but had no qualms the moment I was alone.) I explained that I know my rights as a passenger and demanded he take me to the second stop. He did so begrudgingly—amid curses, shouting, and erratic driving—but only after I refused to leave the cab and threatened to report him.

Not long after that incident, in another taxi, I announced my destination, offering to help direct if needed, and the driver (presumably upset over going to an outer borough) began shouting at me and gunned the engine, tearing violently off into traffic. I asked him why he was angry and shouting, and he yelled, “Sit back and shut the fuck up!” I was stunned and did so almost reflexively, my mind ...

Loading Posts
Load More