SUZANNE HARRINGTON: Dick, (sorry, Brian) goes underground for love

A man called Brian Somethingorother has written something or other called How To Meet Women On The Subway. A manual on how to bother commuters in possession of vaginas? A dating guide to harrassment?

Don’t be silly, says Brian. The subway— any subway— is “a babe smorgasbord.” No need to wait til you are in a bar to bother women, you can do it anywhere. Just wear a suit, carry a briefcase, and tell big fat lies about yourself, advises Brian. You’re a dancer? So am I.

No you’re not, Brian, you’re a creepy guy spinning webs of self-interested deceit in order to gratify yourself. Not at all, laughs Brian. Ha ha ha, the joke is on us, ladies, apparently, as he has dated “over 500” women since employing his trapped-in-a-subway carriage method. Really? Over 500? Astonishing. Assuming that this is one date a day, this would be almost 15 months of non-stop dating, every single day, not including all the rejections. So when did he start this campaign of underground lady-bothering? When he was 12?

Once a woman comes on his radar, he sits next to her, and asks for directions. This implies vulnerability, he says, rather than anything predatory; what kind of cold-ass lady monster would not freely give directions to a poor, lost chump on a train? (Probably every woman alive, once she has heard about Brian and his book. Brian could be single handedly responsible for genuinely lost men staying genuinley lost, as women recoil from simple travel-related enquiries).

Once Brian has elicited unneeded information from an unsuspecting woman, he then spouts some rubbish about hearing a non-local accent, asks the woman where she is from, and then says that this is where he is from too. He told one woman he was from Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, even though he’s an advertising salesman from Oklahoma. Perhaps the clue is in the job, eh, ladies?

Brian has since married some poor eejit, but still saw fit to share his “dating”— inverted commas intended— methods. So much so the Salon website called him “the creepiest man in New York.” Other media outlets have called him the “Subway Romeo.” Like it’s a compliment.

So let’s do some imagining here. Let’s imagine Brian is a lady, and has written How To Meet Men On The Subway, using Brian’s methods. Now let’s imagine the media reaction. LadyBrian would be a slut. Putting herself in terrible danger. An opportunistic home-wrecking predator. A mental case. In need of counselling. There would be a film made about LadyBrian, played by Glenn Close’s great-granddaughter, and end up being pushed under a train, but only after lots of gratuitous sex scenes.

But because Brian is a man, he and his book have been greeted as an amusing curiousity. Ha ha ha. Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s give Ched Evans his job back at Sheffield United. He’s only a rapist.


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