Note from Dan: Ralph Cox lives in Northern Virginia, following a 20-year career in the Navy. He wrote this to the newspaper Thursday and it landed on my desk.
By Ralph Cox
I am a 47-year-old father with a daughter in college. My daughter and I live in Northern Virginia. On a family trip through Virginia last weekend with my visiting mother and sisters we spent the evening just outside Roanoke.
My mothers and sisters and I were traveling to see Natural Bridge and Monticello on Sunday, but my daughter had to get back home to study and go to work in the late afternoon.
I dropped her at the Greyhound terminal at 5:00 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. bus back home. By the way, your downtown area is wonderful, and I hope to be able to pay a proper visit in the near future.
My daughter hadn’t been able to print the ticket she purchased online, so she had to be at the terminal one hour early to get a printed ticket. The terminal was closed. We waited.
The bus arrived at 5:30. As I waited in the car across the street my daughter approached the bus to ask the driver if someone would be there before the bus departed or if she would be able to ride by showing the e-mail confirming her purchase that was on her smart phone.
The driver laughed and said “it depends on how cute the next driver thinks you are. This will be a test of your womanhood.” The others waiting for the bus also laughed.
My daughter came back to the car and discussed it with me. I wanted to confront the driver, but my daughter was afraid the driver might react violently. And, she was afraid she wouldn’t be allowed on the bus and decided to put up with it.
I sent an e-mail to Greyhound and called them last Monday. I spoke with a Ms. Paige at their customer service center. She was polite and sympathetic. She assured me a supervisor would contact me within 24 hours. It’s Thursday now. I haven’t heard from anyone.
I can’t seem to get through to Greyhound on my own. I hope you can use your newspaper to draw attention to the problems young women can face, even in nice places like Roanoke.