3.08.2006

The Blank Noise Project blogathon

I might be a little late for the blogathon which was supposed to link all the participants on 7th but does it really matter. What I want to do is support the cause.
I am a woman who has gone through harassment more than once. Even if it was mainly verbal harassment it nevertheless made me want to burrow into a hole. It is very difficult to share one's own experiences of this nature. I tell my husband, it’s the feeling of shame that engulfs us more than anger at the offender when such incidents occur. Because if it was rage then I think eve-teasing could have long been abolished. But the attitude of looking down and scurrying away is taking its toll. When I was in school and had to go through eve teasing on the roads I used to wonder if these guys were perverts. Even middle aged b*****ds indulging in it. But today when I read news about young girls 8 yrs old, 6 yrs old, 4 yrs old (God almighty!) I am not left in much doubt. It is not very easy for a girl to tell her parents about the harassment that she is subjected to in public places. It requires a lot of courage. I developed the sense to handle such situations early in my life. But again I did this because it was easier to handle it myself rather than give it unwanted publicity by telling parents. What all could I tell them? The sleazy brush in the bus, the passing of lewd comments as one passed by, groping in crowded places, glances pointedly on one's chest area? There was this handicrafts exhibition we went to once. We here being my parents and me. There I spotted a guy who was tagging along with a stream of girls. He kept one of his hands in his pocket and if one observed one could see it moving back and forth. I don’t need to explain what was happening here but it made me feel so sick that I forced my parents to get out of that place as fast as we could. Would I have had the guts to stop this guy and question him? I don’t think so. Not in front of my parents. Another sick incident was in a crowded market place. Now, market places are the breeding grounds for mentally-deranged-sleaze-balls. One of this ilk tagged on to me as soon as me and my mom got out of the bus. His modus operandi was very simple. I was walking behind my mom and he kept in step behind me. Whenever there was a people jam he would rush up against me. The first time I gave him a dirty stare he seemed to look behind him and shrug. The next time it happened he stood askance behind me and I knew. This happened many times to his credit because it was just a fifteen minute walk. The next few times I just stuck my elbow out so that the creep would encounter a sharp jab. But it dint deter him! Finally to get rid of the menace I had to tell my mom about him and get her to walk behind me. *Sick*. They don’t just stop at letching at nubile young girls. It extends to any woman who does not have any obvious signs of old age.
What is in their perverted mind? How did such crappy thoughts enter it? Did they go to the same kind of schools that we went to (eve teasing is not the domain of only the illiterates)? Do they ever feel guilty? What do they get out of jeering when they are with their friends? Of course they are sure the girl will bend her head and walk away but will not come and slap him. But seen from the girl’s side its fear. Fear of repercussions. Can she afford to confront these creeps? Would it ruin her life?
One way of getting rid of it would be to have stringent laws and conscientious law enforcement officers. Ideally I would like to give sexual harassers whether mental or physical a lifetime in prison just to set a precedent but again I am not qualified to pass judgments. We should also try to get to the root of such a personality trait. All those questions I asked before are very important. Can we study the causes and come up with Prevention is better than cure mechanism? Can we teach men to respect women beyond the body? First thing I would do in this direction, would be to decouple the association of a woman to a child bearer. Leave the womb and the breasts out of the picture. There is much more to us than just that!
Let's start a revolution on Woman's Day

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