Simbly Bored

It's me that's bored enough to blog. The posts are interesting enough.

Abuse on the Streets April 11, 2007

Filed under: Personal Favourites,Priceless,The Way I Say It,The Way I See It — The Goddess @ 10:43 am

The blog post that inspired this

What bothers me more than actual eve teasers somehow, is armchair activists.

There are a zillion people ready to condemn. Most of them well educated, well informed and sensitive human beings. Yet if a girl is being teased on a bus, not one will step forward to help her.

Five scenes that happen a million times a day across the country.

Scene 1:
Location: Bus Stop on a busy road
Scene: Girl standing at the edge of the road, waiting anxiously for a bus. Guys, usually three or four, on bikes ride past slowly singing or saying something mildly to moderately suggestive. They drive past four or five times till they tire of it and leave.
Girl Feels: Angry, embarressed, helpless and extremely uncomfortable
Recommended Action (by society): Ignore them
Reaction of all males in vicinity: Turn a blind eye. Or, common occurance. They didn’d really harm her.

Scene 2:
Location:In a crowded bus/lift
Scene: Girl standing in the bus. Guy standing behind her presses into her and gropes her.
Girl Feels: her space deeply violated, ashamed embarressed and generally abused.
Recommended Action (by society): Ignore. Or in more liberal cases, carry a safety pin.
Reaction of all males in vicinity: If she feels so terrible, ask her to get a scooty. What else can you expect on a crowded bus?

Scene 3:
Location: All Girls school. Classroom opening onto road
Scene: Half a dozen guys on bikes shine mirrors into the room. Reflecting light and making sound.
Girl Feels: Bewildered. Schools are supposed to be safe!
Recommended Action (by society): Ignore them
Reaction of all males in vicinity: what are curtains for? Besides they cant even see the girls!

Scene 4:
Location:Girl walking down a street
Scene: As the girl is walking down, five or six guys stare, pass comments, sing lewd songs and make gestures
Girl Feels:
Recommended Action (by society): Ignore them. Dress better. Don’t walk alone.
Reaction of all males in vicinity: Who said that was for you?

Scene 5:
Location:Movie theatre
Scene: Guy sitting in next seat pretends to be settling down and touches the girl wherever he can.
Girl Feels: Physically Abused
Recommended Action (by society): Switch seats. Thats why you should not sit next to unknown men.
Reaction of all males in vicinity: Genuine mistake. Could happen to anyone! Women are so quick to accuse!

These are the small things that an urban woman with decent means faces. I don’t want to think of what goes on behind closed doors in the name of dowry, children and financial difficulties. I don’t want to think about women who get raped because they were walking down the road after dark. I don’t want to think about husbands who abuse the women they promised to take care of. About Jessica Lall or the Nithari killings.

What I want to ask any male reader is not to comment, concur and agree. I want to ask what they have done when they have seen women be abused before their very eyes.

I’ve lived my life stamping on feet, poking with pins and shouting.

I’ve had a drawing teacher grope me when I was 7 and too young to understand what was happening. Only that I felt ashamed.

I’ve been groped on busses, approached by strange men when I travelled alone by train and had people stalk me when I walked to my school 2km away.

I’ve stood up in class and tried to explain to 16 yr old guys how it feels to be a girl and had three or four say they appreciated it.

I shall probably live my life this way.

But you educated, sensitive, physically stronger men. What are you doing?

ps:chakri, I’m sure many men are nice and everything. Please, don’t think I’ve gone bitter 😛


7 Responses to “Abuse on the Streets”

  1. chakri Says:

    Sam, I agree with u..
    We lived up in a hypocritical screwed up society. We dont admit that there is a problem. Most guys do it (at different degrees) and the rest dont stand up against it.
    Personally I tried stopping my friends and the most common response I got is “are darta kyon hai, ladkiyon ko yeh sab pasand hai”. But still I managed to make a few of my close friends stop it.

    But then, I witnessed the same thing done more than once done by some strangers. To be frank, I felt bad for the gals but I was scared to retaliate, when u dont know a person you cant mess up with them. You dont know if he is a goonda or he knows a politican.. you never know.. unfortunate but true.

  2. Freak-Y Says:

    hmm.. scene 1 , i also agree words should not hurt.

    scenes 2 through 5 , I would say to someone to do something that they will not regret :). be silent if you think you will be embarrassed to raise the issue. hit back if you think you will regret being silent for the rest of your life.

    and i have a doubt here , the girls clearly outnumber the fools who are doing crappy shit like that, then why arent the girls doing anything ? I dont mean to offend you or something , but most men do not realise that there is an actual problem like that. and the ones that do realise are the ones most vocal about it 🙂

    in my case, i thought it was just something they showed in the movies until a friend of mine blogged about it..

    p.s. I almost hit a junior of mine for doing something crazy to a girl 😛

  3. Ivar Says:

    yep…i know i totally fit the ‘slick guy on bike, eve-teaser’ type…darn, thats a past i would like to forget

  4. Chakri Says:

    is it a typo..? Was it supposed to be “sick guy on bike, eve-teaser type”

  5. munna Says:

    i ll never do it again, i ll never do it again, i ll never do it again…………….!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Vishnu Says:

    I agree totally with what Chakri said…we do indeed live in a hypothetically screwed up society. I too have been a mute spectator many a times but in all such cases it was my own college boys and girls in questions and I knew the girls reputation better to keep silent. But that put aside all I can say is until now I had been a mute spectator but Sam what is it that you think guys should do in such situations?
    However I myself have never done anything lewd (other than stealing glances at people on whom I had crushes). I have always shifted to the other side of the seat in cinema halls when my neighbor’s a female, been always far away from females in buses and will do my best to avoid any situation where a girl has to be embarrassed or feel offended by my behavior.
    When it comes to things behind closed doors (like dowry and abuse of wives)all I have to say is enough room has been given for male ego to flourish in Indian society.

  7. deepthi Says:

    You know what irritates me most Sam??? Men just empathize with this and we feel “ok, atleast he is not saying it is my mistake”- This is so bad! I mean I took all the guts that I had and went to my manager to tell him of a person who was harrassing me and he said, “who is it?”… I was so scared to tell him about it because no one would think if they saw Mr X that he is capable of doing such non-sense.. A nerd, a very shy guy, an introvert. Who would even want to accept it? When I said it was Mr. X, you know what he said? “Why do you think I would not expect that kind of behaviour from him? I have a very open mind”.. And then I say, (by this time I’m very nervous and started blabbering shit)”I experienced this before also, I’m not sure if you know the signals are correct or not. Probably my interpretaion is wrong or I am by nature a little provocative” and stuff like that. He says, “I do NOT like it when people blame it on the girl saying she is provocative and stuff. This is a free country and people can dress up as they want to. Guy’s head should always be on his shoulder. He should know how to exert control on himself. If he doesnt know it, then it is called sexual harrassment only- whatever has been said and /or done”‘

    The worst part where I felt very bad was out of the whole charade- I felt happy that he did not blame me. I mean it is so pathetic that we are in a society where people are feeling happy by just the feeling that thay get that others are not blaming them, even if all of US know it is not my mistake!!!!

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