Harassment stories you would want to hear..

I have seen this outrage for women’s rights only recently, precisely since Dec 16,2012, and there is a sense of shock amongst the masses. More disturbingly, amongst women. I’m surprised all these surprised women have only heard about such horrible incidences recently. Do you really think it is only happening recently? where have you been? or are you just lucky to not have experienced anything disturbing ever living in this neighborhood, OR may be you are too naive to even comprehend what was happening around you. I could believe that last one. I’ve been surrounded by such ignorant women all around me.

Rapes, as we know it, in India were a taboo to be spoken off until recently the media took it as another acceptable news piece amongst the masses, hence almost every day one rape news-line comes in your view from different parts of the country. Only recently, this crowd of ignorant people started to acknowledge it as a bad thing that needs to be prevented. These women, only recently thought it is worth coming out of their homes and talking about it. They dare would not discuss it with fellow friends just a couple months back.

Rape as only some of us may know, is not the only way women in India are harassed. There are multiple stereotype activities that Indian men use to make a woman feel uncomfortable to the point where it is mentally and emotionally fatal.

I came across this post by a foreigner and her experiences in India (http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1023053), and though I can understand her shock to such harassment as she comes from a better environment, it was annoying that there were more gasps from Indian girls I knew – they thought the men ogling at your body, masturbating at you in public is so weird and unheard of. I mean, now it is weird? you mean you didn’t know of indian men to be pervert headed? or you were too naive to catch gestures often made by men in public ever since? Right, like I said, most of women here are way too ignorant to even comprehend acts of shame by men. And they have taken advantage of it at every single point. Had the women always made a fuss about it, at every pervert act by men, these men would know what is not allowed. Now they are just more confident.

May be it is also about bad luck. I as a woman, have been conditioned to shameful acts by men ever since being a kid. Don’t know how, I didn’t have boobs back then, or was tall as an adult, but I have been through bad behavior in public spaces. A lot of it. Whether you are with your mom, or your dad, these men do not hesitate to rub against you or touch while they pass you. By the time I turned 11, I had been through groping incidents almost daily. And if you happen to be unlucky enough to have a slightly more prominent bosom, you’d probably never go un-noticed by these pervert men. It was rather safe for a child down in Maharashtra where we lived. I remember being terrified to be asked by mom or dad to go somewhere on my own, because if I did, and I was alone, I would have so many men hounding and surrounding me, and I could be groped any moment. On protesting to my parents to not send me alone, they would hand me my little brother “take him with you”. As a child I could not convey to elders in words what exactly happened, but they didn’t seem to think it was a big deal anyway. I never felt protected even with so many of my family members around. A girl is just not safe in this country.

Once while traveling in train, a guy beside our seat, pretending to be asleep, was constantly grabbing me while everyone was asleep. I was in deep sleep beside my mom when I realized he was doing it way too often. I woke up, and stayed awake to wait for him to reach me next time, and there it was.. I held a very heavy school bag I had with me and banged it hard on this guy’s palm- kept stabbing it with my bag for about 5 mins, hoping my cutter or a scissor at the bottom may just wound him, I wish I had the courage to actually take them out of my bag and stab that bastard. I knew he was awake but he kept pretending to be asleep. He stopped reaching me after that. But I stayed awake. Next morning, I gave hime daring angry stares through out the travel, until he got down at some station. It didn’t seem to bother him much, but as a 12 year old, that is all I could do to vent out my anger for a stranger. As telling my parents did not seem to make them scold the guy or drive him away.

I was always scared to venture into crowded place when in U.P., it was a sure way to get groped. By the time I turned 14, even any place in Maharashtra was the same for me. There were men stalking you for days, giving you long stares till you feel disgusted and leave. I remember me and my girl-friends joking about the appearance of those stalkers, as all of us had atleast one. But in our minds, we all were terrified by the thought of those stalkers actually being around in some place secluded. Most of us would not dare be out after 7 p.m. One day I had one chase me till home, finding my dad at the gates I was relieved and immediately told him about that guy behind me on a bike. My dad looked over my shoulder, and simply turned away as if something else was more important to be done that time. I never tried again to share my inhibitions with parents, but decided to take care as much I can from there on.

Once due to a late tuition class, I was heading home after 8 p.m. a guy was stalking me since the whole day, I had noticed him somewhere, and realized he had been chasing me around the town. It was a small town though. Thats my bad luck to be there. Anyhow, since it was late, this guy finally had the courage to go beyond his cheapness of stalking and drove right beside me, looking at me and attempting to talk. I had gone through such situations in my head a multiple times and did exactly as I thought may help – I drove faster to reach a place on road that was well-lit with some more people standing near by. I reached there and stopped. The guy was a bit confused but he stopped too. He finally spoke to me – what’s your name? I without panicking, calmly and un-caringly answered – why do you want to know? he then asked – which class do you study in? I lied with a confused-disgusted look on my face ..I study in Std 10th? why do you care? this time I shouted on top of my voice and said “Stop chasing me, or I can right away report you to police”. Some people standing near by turned to look what was going on. The guy hastily drove off – to my relief. But this was temporary. I drove for another 5 mins, and he was again beside me on an over bridge road. I mustered all my courage and showed a calm face, again not-caringly questioned him – “tumhe samajh mein nahi aata ek baar mein? mere papa police mein hain idhar, abhi le chalun kya chowki ..saamne hi hai” (Don’t you get it? My dad is a police officer here and that is why I can easily take you to the police station just around the corner), which was true, I knew the area. I was lucky too, the guy was panting and not much of doer anyway, so he drove off again. To make sure, he isn’t following again, I actually took the route passing the police station, which led me through police colony as well. I took longer route home. Ofcourse didn’t want anyone to find my real house. That day passed. I was 16 then. One thing was clear, no one here is going to protect you, only you will have to take charge, try and if you are lucky, you may be saved a terrible incident. Just don’t fear it before anything even happens.

After that I have come across multiple incidents of misbehaving men. In a local bus, when a man sitting beside you, presses his body hard on you, as if the seat isn’t enough for his space. Even after asking him to sit properly, he wouldn’t stop. In such situations, if you are a teenager, and alone in a bus, you can’t really expect anyone to be on your side. I knew no one there was going to take my side, if I asked for help, because the guy didn’t really actually do anything. Such pervert ways to advancing are still not recognized in India. In a train, if you are alone, even in an AC coach, there will always be some uncle-age of a man who can’t stop staring at you. To such people I just give a stare back, if they don’t budge, I speak up in a loud voice – “Uncle, aapko koi takleef hai kya? kyun ghoor rahe ho?” (do you have a problem uncle? why are you staring?). Everyone has your attention and he is embarrased to do it again. I mean train is the safest place to stand up for yourself. Well most of the lucky times.

Oh and this one is my favorite incident, that happened in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Me and my cousin sister were to reach a place to meet our parents who were waiting for us for a movie. It was 7 p.m., traditionally way too late for girls to be out in a city like Kanpur. We were on a two-wheeler, my sister driving. Suddenly on a very main road, with so many vehicles around you, a motorcyclist drove close and the pillion rider grabbed my back as if I was his self-assinged property. I was disgusted and immediately grabbed his hand and flung it away, yelling at the top of my voice – “Saale, kutte bhenchod! baap ka maal samjha hai kya?” (Bastard, sis/motherfucker! you think I’m your dad’s property?). The guy gave back an extremely astonished look, and me not losing the anger on my face as if I will right away kill him, he instructed his rider to drive off faster. They sped ahead. Later we were laughing and telling the story to our parents, who as usual weren’t bothered.

It is wrong notion that having a male accompaniment will help you escape situations. I have had gestures by men even in a place like Bangalore and Pune, those they do using their mouth or eye-brow raising ones, even though I have had a guy right beside me. Indian male has guts, he knows there is no way to prove his mis-behavior. I was riding behind my husband on the bike, and the traffic police guy staring at us, and he suddenly gave me the eye-gesture, smiling dirtily. It was quite unexpected. I thought he was staring at us for a out-of-State number plate. Actually funny, and very very sad at the same time. Even with your husband, these lecherous men do not seem to deter. But you Woman, you always have to stand up for yourself, and don’t fear them at all. Because you know, most of them have no spine or guts to do anything to you – they just want to see your scared face.

It requires a metamorphosis of genetic nature for women, of being shy or timid, to build a mental strength to stare back at a man who just winked at you or made another pervert gesture. When girls in the metros are repeatedly getting bold, why can’t everyone else? it is not like these girls face more harassment on a daily basis than any others in smaller towns. Man up and face them without fear, stop hiding. Actually Woman up!


The Uncouth Indian

As far as I can remember, growing up in this country I have learnt to let the strongly routed patriarchal culture pass through me. It really has come in from a long way, with longer time till it stays, until we may be able to uproot it.

The Indian culture from ancient times, like from the earliest times, suggests a very bold and wise culture, a very open minded settlement. Known as a land of wisdom, where people have come full circle in life to realize the ironies of it, and set their priorities right. Those times are known to have the wisest Rishi-munis and Saints, who had everything figured out. literally! The Vedic texts, the maths, the science .. they just had it all figured. The Chanakya era, known for its progressive lifestyle of a kingdom. From various studies it appears the ancient indian sub-continent was very open-minded about their women, ranging from their influence in the society-to how they dressed. Kama-sutra is one such huge example of the advancement of this society. There are even Sanskrit texts that have stories with women protagonists who were very open about their relationships with men, stuff like extra-maritals and multiple partners. By advancement I mean exactly what you are questioning in your head? a character-less woman ? My stupid dear, what does character mean to you ? I’m certainly not interested in your definitions of character, but for me it is the sole quality of a human to survive at his will, with may be some integrity which won’t involve hurting others. That is all, no amount of relationship graph can possibly define someone’s character.

It occurred in the mid-century where some numb-nuts thought a peaceful world is not good enough. They did not mean to find meaning in life, instead they wanted to take away everyone else’s peace of mind, and control as much as they could. I’m referring to the Alexanders & Mughals who started the trend to invade the peaceful sub-continent. Not that within sub-continent there weren’t negative elements, but most of it was outsiders. I’m basically suggesting we always have the dim-wits who do not get reason or logic.  So these invasions caused the sub-continent to protect their women against assault, they required to hide them and cover them, in order to protect that pride-respect associated with a family or clan.

Up north of India had dramatic changes in the culture of open-mindedness, women could no longer wear single shoulder drapes hugging their bodies, showing off their beautiful curves, no longer bathe in open rivers and ponds and walk out wet to entice strange men. They could no longer be treated as equal to men, as they desperately required protection of men, they could not support or defend themselves, they were refrained from being themselves i.e. being free humans. All this only because the women have a little slit down under, which happens to be creator of life, the biggest power known to this world. Thus, it has been speculated many a times, that a patriarchal society originates from this fear, that if a women can give birth, she can have the greater power. The only way a man finds his solace is by having control over this possible threat to his false-ego – The woman. Constantly over a period of time, women were deprived of gaining wisdom through any means, education or interaction, were continually made to believe they were the weaker sex, they can’t survive without the stupid Adam. And c’mon! we have this woman in all of us. What? you don’t agree? you definitely need a man to control that thought about independence. Without a man , you are nothing, at least in this country. (being sarcastic.. duh!)

And of course, the men have continually been taught to be all-mighty and the big power all this while. Why are you disappointed if you yourself have been participating in this. All women I’ve known have constantly believed in themselves to be something to be protected, and fearing if its intruded upon. Its all these women.. our mothers, our grandmothers, mother-in-laws who constantly instruct their daughters and daughter-in-laws to behave in certain ways in order to protect that imaginary and glorified pride. This Pride has been over-rated, over centuries.

Why a woman’s pride must be tagged to that of an entire Clan or family ?

why is she constantly burdened to be carrying that weight, even though she is supposed to be weakest of all others ?

why is she made to feel ashamed if she lost that pride due to an un-called for event ?

Why must she feel she is capable of losing her pride at all, or anyone else’s ?

Ask yourself, and I hope this generation of mothers or grandmothers who have instilled this belief in us are reading such posts online, to reflect upon themselves, their education, the values they pass on to their daughters. What about sons? you definitely wouldn’t instill good values in your son if you haven’t for your daughters.

You are the culprit. You always let other’s interest stand over your own self-respect. You always have been dumb enough to let them make you weaker. This is because of your slight need for comfort or may I say .. laziness. Of course you like to be treated as a princess.. just like men like to be the King, but don’t you think you need to have some pride of your own to go with it ?

Men have succeeded in making you believe that his pride is a natural occurrence and yours isn’t. You are someone who just needs to follow his pride and lose yours on the way. That isn’t collaboration, that is slavery. Giving the argument about being physically weaker than men, is another scam. Eat well, and keep trained, nothing with a hanging organ can ever do anything to you. Not even when you are leaking with red.

It saddens me to have such mothers and mother-in-laws myself. In my mid-twenties my mother had once instructed me to protect my virginity, as she thought it was horrendous to lose it to someone you won’t marry. Many social stigmas behind that, that you can’t question. My mother-in-law constantly wants me to cover my face and hide in the back-room of the house, as people outside the house may just have a glimpse of me, and since I hold the pride of the household, no free-shows! The Karwa Chauth being the most dim-wit kind of fast invented by the north indians. I mean why in the world must I refrain from food and water for an entire day for the husband ? for that matter Roza for Ramzan sounds better, as then you fast in the name of God atleast. oh oh .. the husband is supposed to be our God you mean ? .. ah now I get that. well ..fuck that! And if I do not fast for your son, it is a matter of worry for you, because it possibly holds a threat to his long life is it ? ohh.. poor that you actually believe that crap. I’m a women, I can control birth of a life, not finish it. duh.

That does it. I do not mean to carry any dim-witted cultural stigmas and rituals into the next generation. I quit being this weak woman. What happened in Delhi lately, will not change unless you stop being so fearful of it. The man needs to be shown, he possibly cannot make you lose pride. He is not capable of it. And certainly that little tool he has hanging below, isn’t actually a tool that can destroy someone.

The f***ing Indian mentality

It defies every logic how the indian mentality works, especially the men here. Its been too many years I’ve faced that mentality, and even though it angers every bit of the woman in me, the truth is, you can not , just simply cannot do anything to change the way things have been.

In the past few years, with more social network tools available online, more women have found ways to come out in the open, express themselves and be what they actually are. For some it works just as good as another way of life, while for some it is indeed another life, may be a life that is not otherwise possible for them to live.

We’ve had many writers, female ones, writing freely about anything and everything unconventional, unacceptable in this very conservative society, winning awards and accolades worldwide, but recognized by a much smaller clan which is relatively free amongst this closed-minded community. They still do ofcourse face resilience from the regular crowd, this crowd I’m talking about, never is willing to change. There are so many women, the famous, recognized, respected on various platforms, who have always spoken their minds. But then among them are the ones who do not believe in being conservative or even acting like one, who aren’t afraid of speaking their mind, in other words will not fear from acting as free as men. Its a twisted mind-set. Its okay if a guy leches about the opposite sex in public, just try a woman doing that in public, for that matter, on a social network, and there are eyebrows raised. Well, there is nothing unique about that observation, I know. What bothers most is however, on a social network ? is it even necessary to bother if someone acted like herself online ? each and everyday, I witness how on these social networks, women have to face offensive messages and comments, just because they happened to be, well, themselves. Be it celebrities like Gul Panag (a well known actor and celebrity), Tasleema Nasreen (a renowned Writer), or any regular women, who like to just speak out whats in their mind, giving a fuck about how they’d be judged.

Being judged…well, that still drives even the most educated, or the most famous people to speak their mind in a certain way, they all go through a certain censorship exercise in their head before they post something on a public platform. But those aren’t the kind of women I’m talking about here. Its the fearless ones who matter, who know there will be a backlash, but that is exactly what they do not give a fuck about.

If we leave alone celebrities, and look at regular women who do not mind making offensive and bold comments (as per indian standards) on a public platform like twitter, the kind of responses aren’t generally warm. But if you come to talk of twitter, crude and abusive responses is what given to not just regular general female public, but celebrities too.

It is amusing how these men, who merely have read something on the internet, from a certain unknown person, most possibly a woman, are capable to being angered by the freedom of expression they happened to portray. If she happens to simply be writing about whats on her mind all day, stuff like what she listens to or what she drank or who she found hot ..bam! the egos are hurt, and a judgement is passed. Slut!

So. These amazing species a.k.a Indian Men, have some really really admirable qualities. And they are not specific to a sun-sign or a region, they are just the same everywhere. Even if they lived away from India for long, some elements do not leave them for life. It varies at different levels of eccentricity for that logic they apply. Some of them –

  • They tend to judge a woman’s character, by how she just behaved
  • oh, I just realized there are so many types of judgements, that we can’t cover in points. :-/

will write about that in detail some other time.

  • well, here goes some more.. they do not believe a girl even requires to express herself, as in they study with them, work at offices with them, comes to parties with them, adventure trips..still it really amuses them if you happen to have the gut(read dick) to think and speak up in an unconventional manner.
  • Oh, and some are even idiotic enough to assume, ‘that if she is so free in her mind, she might as well be free to go to bed with anyone, and of course she wouldn’t mind being called a slut. duh..simple math’  – such amusing logic!

There are more fun-facts I know that I know, but need to think over to put down. later!

I’ve personally known some fucks like that, sometime, may be in last life or something, but these creatures are really amusing, really. beats every reasoning in anyone of us, that why, god why, do they have the balls to be like that.

more sooner..