Saturday, September 19, 2009

Take Back the Night

It’s happened with every woman at some point of time or another – some man brushes against you intentionally on a crowded street, men leer at your breasts at a public place in the most disgusting way, men on the streets pass comments of a sexual nature when you walk by, attendants smirk at you when you go to a hospital/clinic to get a pap smear done etc.

I've seen it happen to women when they go to a pharmacy to buy birth control/emergency contraceptive pills. The store attendants will either smirk or talk in hushed tones and generally be so secretive about the entire process, it makes you feel as if you’ve got the plague! After all, it’s not for no reason that women in India don’t go to buy condoms themselves.

We (Indian women) encounter sexual harassment at every nook & corner, every day of our lives. We can’t walk down the streets without getting harassed either overtly or in a covert manner. The men that are less brave will leer at you or pass a comment, while the relatively braver ones will brush against you or try to touch you at the most private places, pretending it was unintentional of course. It’s disgusting.

It’s just so sad that a woman has to constantly fear for her safety in this country, where as it should be our birth right – just as the right to breathe. We shouldn’t always have to look over our shoulders, always beware of who’s walking on either side of us. Freedom to walk down the streets without having to worry about getting harassed simply on account of our gender should be our basic right, not something we have to fight for.

Unless all men in this country, down to the last social strata, learn to respect women, and not see them as merely sexual objects or 'things' to procreate with, we are not going to progress as a society. Bad news is, I think we’re light years away from that happening!


Moonshine said...

We used to carry pins.. in college.. if any man tries any stunt.. he would be nicley poked / pricked with a pin!!!!

Scarlett said...

@Moonshine - Did you poke anyone ever? You know the scary thing is, even if you hit back at the guy, for all you know he'll stalk you & gang up on you with a bunch of other guys the next time 'round. I shudder at the very thought of it. I think any man who teases/harasses/molests a woman should be castrated. Without a second thought. No negotiations.

Moonshine said...

Yeah.. have poked!!! In DTC buses.. you have to be like that else you will end up getting teased on a daily basis!!!!

My sis has even slapped a guy!!!