What bothers me is how quickly we are getting used to our freedom being taken away and how we are willingly shutting ourselves in our homes for safety.

Do you realize that you are supporting the rights of others when you continue to live your rights, by dressing, socializing, travelling, working,  partying and generally refusing to have your freedoms snatched away?

And I am glad that all those of us who do wish to fight, generally have the law by our side. 

Sharing an email by a Gurgaon girl.

Dear IHM,

I have been following your blog and I love how the comments turn into long discussions and how so many people feel so strongly about the terrible attitude people have towards women in our country.

Also, from the tone of the comments, I have a feeling that things are going to change – bit by bit, but change they will. Maybe it is just a handful of us who feel so strongly about this, but I am sure we will at least try to change the attitudes of the people around us. I know I try to and am sure others do too.

There is one thing that worries me though. It is how we impose restrictions on ourselves as much as the society does.

In the one year that I have been in Gurgaon, I have seen the ‘curfew hours’ being advanced from 9 to 8 to even as early as 7. Though, usually, it is family that imposes such restrictions, I have seen women themselves being afraid to step out alone even not so late in the evening and even on crowded, well-lit roads.

A friend of mine had to travel from a metro station to meet me on one the busiest roads in an auto for a distance of about 1.5 km at 7:30 P.M. but had to ask a male friend to accompany her. Maybe it is because of all the incidents of women being assaulted that have been reported recently, but things were not considered as bad as this even just one year ago.

What bothers me is how quickly we are getting used to our freedom being taken away and how we are willingly shutting ourselves in our homes for safety.

This thought had been bothering me for weeks so I decided to step out and reclaim my space. At 8:00 P.M., on a major street in Gurgaon, walking a distance of some 2 km, I came across a lot of men- in cars, on two-wheeler, on foot- but just one woman- in a car with her husband. Thankfully, nothing untoward happened (could have something to do with the small rock I had in one hand😛 ), but people did look at me as if I were crazy. After all, if you see a woman alone at ‘such an hour’, the least you would expect is for her to be in an auto, looking anxious.

I couldn’t help but think how just having more women on the streets after dark would make it safer for us. This is a terrible vicious circle we are letting ourselves fall into- the streets are not safe in the evening because there aren’t enough women there and there aren’t enough women on the streets after dark because they are unsafe.

Like a lot of people in Gurgaon, I am a working woman who lives alone and comes back from work at or later than 7 P.M. So, if I were to impose such restrictions on myself, I wouldn’t be able to get any of my chores done – basic things like getting my clothes ironed, buying groceries and getting milk for the next day’s breakfast, forget about wanting to go for a walk or a run.

The day is already here when a girl walking on the streets alone after dark is seen as something out of the ordinary, almost insane. It won’t surprise me if it becomes normal for such men to assault women who ‘dare’ to step outside after dark because they think these women are ‘looking for trouble’. Lets not allow our society to get used to not seeing any women outdoors.

Best,

Ankita Yadava

PS – A friend of mine just started taking self-defense classes so that she could step out at any hour.  :)

Do you agree with Ankita?

Related Posts:

How does the Gurgaon administration make it even more difficult for women to find employment, and stay safe on Gurgaon roads?

In Gurgaon, jobs, safety and roads after 8 pm, reserved for men?

72 thoughts on “What bothers me is how quickly we are getting used to our freedom being taken away and how we are willingly shutting ourselves in our homes for safety.

  1. I live in Hyderabad. My friend came home to visit and had to find an auto on her way back. After seeing her off, I had to cross the road to get home and to cross I had to use a foot over bridge. The road dividers were too huge, so I had no other option. It was 8:30 in the night and I had to keep talking on the phone with a friend till I crossed the deserted bridge. To be honest, I was scared. May be about being attacked by drunk men, but I was scared.

    As I thought of it later, it looked silly to me. I use the same bridge everyday in the morning, on my way to college. So I wanted to put an end to the fear in me. I started using the bridge more often, alone, even after dark. (without talking to anyone on the phone😀 )

    Agree with every word Ankita says.

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  2. 🙂 Occupy the Night? Reclaim Independence for Women (Aug 15! perfect date also!) ? The Dark Night Rising? (Pardon my attempt at being punny :D)

    What we NEED is something like the Pink Chaddi campaign. A major out-there-in-the-limelight campaign that sends an unequivocal message to the Hindu Fundamentalist Goon Senes and Vedikes and whatever else these culturally challenged thugs call themselves. Organize a day (night) and time via social media, and go out into the night. With pepper spray. Or even a pocket knife. In numbers. Flood the trains, especially the general compartments. Go to pubs. Go where we have been told not to. Go wearing what we have been told not to wear. Go carrying rude/in-their-face placards that tell the goondas exactly where they can roll up and shove their misogynistic we-will-throw-acid-in-your-face posters.

    Small changes will not suffice. We need a revolution🙂

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  3. How many assaults against women do actually happen after dark? This was in today’s news.

    Bengal girl commits suicide after sexual harassment
    http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/bengal-girl-commits-suicide-after-sexual-harassment-254876
    Ujjawala Prasad, 13, had set herself on fire last night and she succumbed to injuries on Tuesday morning.
    Police said the girl complained to her father about some boys teasing her regularly, following which he went to confront them. The boys said the girl was having an affair with one of them.

    The father had a heated argument with the girl Monday night after which she allegedly immolated herself.

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    • It’s not just physical, but mental and psychological harassment against women. The “culture” rot goes down so deep, that even the father could be turned against his daughter so quickly, by baseless accusations from strangers on the street.😦
      Only if women disavow the “virtue” of being “innocent and pure and virginal” , will we develop thick enough skins to laugh at such tactics.

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      • Rama’s legacy to the women of India. His repudiation of Sita set a precedent for every two-bit moral policeman to question any woman’s chastity and for her family to disown her.

        Sometimes I think Ambedkar was right — he said Indian society would only become just the day the Shrutis and the Smritis, the Ramayana and the Gita were destroyed and rejected wholesale.

        At least so far as gender is concerned, I’m inclined to agree with him.

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  4. Hi Friends,
    I am quite shocked after reading your comments and also the post written by Ankita, I suddenly feel I am an alien to this world, me…I am a citizen of free country called INDIA, I don’t smoke or drink, reason I love life n like control on my life n for that I need full control on my MIND but yes I do travel on my Scooty at 11.30 in the night without a pepper spray or a weapon, my protector ME, myself…..I’ve never been brought up like a person who needs to fear nione, even in my growing ages whn a guy or bunch of guys would tease me n I’d come to my dad he’d say u’re strong enuff to fight ’em n if nione tries to touch u ever, punch his lights out, kuch nahi toh ek patthar uske sir mein mar chahe joh bhyi ho n if nithing happens I’m always wid you coz I know U’ll never b wrong….. I thank my dad n my entire family whoz just like this, all my aunts n cousins are working, coz they like doing that, they like taking control of their life n we all have had innumerable incidences in our lives where we have thrashed, slapped, beaten MEN who have misbehaved in any way, not just with ourselves but any women in front of us n yes we r normal Indian women🙂 I just feel Ranilaxmi Bai, Jeejabai, Durga, Kali have done their job….fight against what’s not right, it’s our time to fight coz all these forms are inside every one of us, we can be Laxmi, Saraswati n Kali too u know🙂
    Also we as women play a huge role in shaping the society, when we have kids, say a boy if we teach him the basic values in his growing age itself, like respecting women, cooking n caring for children, also punishing him when he dose wrong, bfor ni girl complaints bout ur sons misbehavior if you urself slap him you will gradually create a sensitive humanbeing…. when your young daughter comes all teary eyed saying shez mein teased, rather that ask her to just ignore if you can go n wrap da issue rather than wait for you husband, brother or son to come back it will help your daughter mature into a strong woman. And being strong dose not mean just being strong mentally, it has to b a culmination for mental, physical n emotional strength. I personally don’t see a country to be blamed for what life YOU lead.
    Eat right, take up self defense classes, don’t give reason that you don’t have time for them, if you don’t have time to change your own life no one else dose, are not that strong, make urself strong if you love urself….inshort take control of your own life n then see the way society changes….it will have to n ladies u’re not alone in this fight coz u r not wrong…. Jai Hind!

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    • I just came back from a run outdoors. I ran on a dark trail along the shore, where I didn’t see a single living being. I was out until 10.30 PM. I felt safe. I KNEW I was safe. I can’t do that in India. I can’t run even in the city, which is well-lighted, let alone in a dark “remote” route.

      I was wearing running shorts, and a tank that would be considered “indecent” by Indian standards. Even if I were running in the sweltering heat (in the night!) of my hometown, I would have to wear bermudas/3/4ths at least, and even that would draw a frown from my Mother and anyone in the neighborhood who cares to look.

      I like to dance, and I especially like latin music. I have been out dancing in Bangalore, but there is always an element of watching your back, of constantly being on your guard, that dampens the fun more than a little. Even when you are with a huge gang of friends. And after the recent incidents, ESPECIALLY if you are with a huge gang of friends.

      I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, I DON’T have the freedom to do as I please in India. I know, I can FIGHT, but ever goddamn little thing shouldn’t have to be a battle. Out here, I’m normal. I can be me. But back in India, I would be considered out of control. Someone who needs to be “tamed” and put on a leash.

      It is easier if you conform to the conservative “norm” of a good girl, or if you are brave, and have the gumption and the physical capability to fight off potential molesters. You don’t feel the chains chafing as much. But not everyone is brave, or has the ability to fight off a potential molester. It should be just as comfortable to be a “bad girl”. To go out, to smoke, to drink, to party, to even have an affair. You shouldn’t need a certificate in Kung fu or Karate to be able to live.

      It’s not just about being out in the dark on your own. It’s about being able to live life on your own terms, without having to defend yourself or your actions, physically or verbally, to your family, friends, and every other Sita, Geeta, Ram and Shyam.

      We can treat the symptoms in many, many ways. Or we can get to the root of the evil in our Society. Or both. There is nothing to be shocked about in saying things as they are.

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      • running in a dark place at 10.30pm, with music on as most people do, where no one is around is unsafe in all parts of the world for both men and women. Personal safety in such circumstances is an illusion borne out of over familiarity and over confidence. Why would anybody do such a thing? Is it for the adrenaline and the kicks?

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        • That isn’t true Randomguy. It would be considered an entirely safe thing to do in most parts of Scandinavia, where I live, for example.

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        • It is for the exercise. The only “kicks” involved would be if “random guys” try to harass me, there would some very swift kicks in the groin then, yes.

          Over familiarity and over confidence? A direct descendant of Cassandra are you? Or just not willing to believe that there are parts of the world where women don’t dread (or need to dread) being accosted by random guys?

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        • Err there are lots of places where doing this is perfectly safe i.e. Canada where I live. I (a girl) walk my dog almost every night before we go to bed. No adrenaline rush, no kicks, nothing. India is not the norm in these matters.

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        • Randomguy, looking at your response, I realize that half the world doesn’t know how the other half lives🙂.

          In New Jersey, whenever I woke up in the middle of the night at 2 AM or 3 AM, I used to regularly hear women’s voices from the nearby houses where they were walking outside and talking. In London, I have seen women walking around at 11:30 PM without any fear of being accosted or harassed.

          You are right, running in a dark place alone may or may not be safe anywhere in the world. However, the over familiarity or over confidence that you talk about comes up because usually nothing happens. If anything did happen to anyone, it would be an exception. However, in India, it’s the rule. It is pretty much unsafe for women to venture out beyond 8 PM unless it’s in a group.

          Also, some people run late at night because it is the only time they get. Some people run alone precisely because they want to be alone. It does not matter why anyone would go running at any time of night. What matters is whether, as a society, we have created an environment that gives them the freedom to do that.
          In India, we are nowhere close to ensuring such freedom.

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        • Perfect personal safety is an illusion in every circumstance.

          On the other hand, I lived in the Greater Toronto Area (Oakville, ON) for years and both me and my wife regularly went out for late-night jogs after work. It was plenty safe, certainly not much more unsafe than going out during the day. I also lived in Stockholm which was, if anything, safer. The only places I’ve had trouble with were London (student-heavy neighborhood, too many drunken troublemakers) and Delhi (incredibly unsafe at any time of the day, even in relatively quiet neighborhood).

          If you’re in a Western country, perhaps you should consider moving to a safer area.

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        • RandomGuy, the main point here is that women feel unsafe on the streets where there are ‘only’ men around. Why should the same public place be unsafe for women? And these places are not the ones where drug-dealing or other illegal activities are taking place. These places are grocery-stores, medical stores, parks and playgrounds. Wouldn’t you think something is wrong when this happens?

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        • It is common sense not to run alone in dark lonely places, but hey to each his own. How ever to coat it as some form of achievement and rights issue is wrong and misleading. Jog during daylight, avoid bushes and woods, walk with a partner, stick to well lit areas is advice you get in all parts of the world, even in the safe ones. It is a totally different issue that in India you are not even able to do the safe things without a high probability of personal harm.

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      • Hi Thumbelina, I agree not everyone is physically that strong but if you think running at 10.30 in da night on a deserted shore or go out, to smoke, to drink, to party, to even have an affair is freedom in your terms then I don’t feel the need to defend my point…. as far as safety goes I dont think any country in da world can vouch for an individuals safety at all times and can take pride in saying that in our country there are no cases where a women is assaulted, molested or mistreated….. welcome to the new age India!

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        • You must defend it even if you don’t feel the need to or else it is invalidated.

          Running at 10:30 to go out, smoke, drink and have an affair is indeed freedom.

          Also, you are talking through your hat. Countries cannot vouch for perfect safety (who said they can? A straw man if there ever was one), but if you’re trying to tell me that there’s no difference in safety levels in suburban Canada and suburban Delhi, all I can say is, get out of the country for a bit and experience something different for once.

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        • Priyankam, perhaps you do not feel the need to defend your point because you do not seem to have a point worth defending🙂.

          Yes, no country can vouch for everyone’s safety at all times. However,

          1. There are countries that can vouch for most of the people’s safety for most of the times, and
          2. In case such safety is compromised, the victim’s habits are not called into question. The focus for the crime remains on the criminal

          Yes, Thumbelina (or any other person) has the right to expect that a society that calls itself as a free society will provide an environment where they can go running at 10:30 PM, to smoke, to drink, to party or to have an affair without being harassed for it. If such harassment does occur, they have the right to expect that the harasser will be blamed and not the victims.

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        • I would just like to add to the list of places that one can run outside at 10.30 pm without fear. Hong Kong, and it is in Asia. The government here does see it as its responsibility to ensure the safety of its citizens and the police does think about how it can ensure safety more if an incident occurs not blame people for going about their business.

          Why would anyone want to? Because I would like to run after my kids are asleep so I can be a good mom and spend quality time with them when they are awake and I am working the rest of the time. Would that satisfy the traditionalists? Do we have to give a valid excuse for why we would want to run?

          What about India where outsourcing means that people have weird hours? So they don’t excercise at all because they work in shifts?

          It appears that half the problem is that these people lack imagination… they are so constricted that they cannot actually imagine a society where citizens are by and large safe, yes, even at night.

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      • Ah Thumbelina, woe…woe. You have predictably aroused the ire of the “Bharatiya Nar” by your shameless jogging and salsa dancing.

        How dare you? Good Indian girls wear half-saris and jasmine flowers in their hair when out walking in the park at 10 am.

        That’s after they’ve made hot,hot idlis for everyone, and spent two hours cleaning the puja room and drawing the rangoli.

        Here you are — shamelessly running along deserted shores wearing shorts…and SALSA dancing. Aiyyo, why not Bharathanatyam akka? Aiyyo, (major head meets palm moment).

        Your poor amma, think of her; she must be heartbroken.😉

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        • My Amma has already given up on me – as long as I don’t wear skimpy clothes when in India, she’s fine if I don’t don a half-sari and jasmine flowers😀

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      • It’s so ironic that you’re defending your right to run unafraid on deserted shores on Independence Day.

        For Indian women, August 15th doesn’t means much, doest it?

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    • I think Random guy and people agrreing with him seem to be missing a key point. Yes, some places are safer than others and yes, it MIGHT be considered unsafe to run at 10.30 in an isolated place in many parts of the world. What we are fighting is people’s perception, if something goes wrong on trips like this. In India, its like, ‘oh you were running out at 10.30 in the night so you had it coming.’ While in other parts of the world, nobody is going to turn around and blame YOU. They are going to acknowledge that there are goons about and go about finding them, rather than trying to turn YOU into a lesson. If we can get to that point, I think a lot of our issues will be solved.

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  5. I completely agree that women should start an Occupy night movement in all major Cities and Towns of India. Only the physical presence of a large number of women (not of Police) will turn the tide against street harassment.
    IHM, I won’t agree that there is increasing Talibanisation in India. The noises in the media are more because more women are breaking the curfew and media is more gender sensitised. Things are getting better but only slowly.

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    • //I won’t agree that there is increasing Talibanisation in India. The noises in the media are more because more women are breaking the curfew and media is more gender sensitised. Things are getting better but only slowly.//

      I agree… let me change the post title a little…

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  6. I want to offer encouragement and hope. Yes, sometimes it feels hopeless. Yes, sometimes it feels as if there’s an infinite amount of clueless sexist harassing males, and all too few people working for respect and equal rights. Often, it feels as if progress is much too slow.

    But this is a battle we are winning.

    And all of you participating on this site – and thousands of other sites, play some tiny part in that in a thousand ways, big and small. By walking to the bus-stop when someone thinks you should not. By choosing your clothing yourself. By letting daughters, and sons, know that they are free to marry whomever they so happen to *want* to marry, and that you’ll try to do your best to help whenever you can but the choice will always be theirs alone. By standing up and saying: “that’s bullshit!” when some neandertal engages in victim-blaming or slut-shaming. By raising awareness. By building a community, supporting eachother.

    I’m an outsider. I’m Norwegian. I’m male. I’m (fairly) wealthy. The indignities and abuse suffered by millions of Indian women has never hurt me personally. But it’s hurt *friends* of mine, I’ve shared tears (and sometimes laughter) over Indian misogynists and their hurtful actions. Today, much thanks to all of you, I’m an ally. I’m in your corner of the ring, and I’m going to stay right here for life.

    I’m confident, in that time-frame, we will see a lot of progress. Not enough, it’s never *enough*, even here in Norway, problems remain.

    But we’re winning. One step at a time.

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  7. Gurgaon Girl, so bold and gutsy of you. Relieved that nothing untoward happened. Agree with all you said… especially the vicious cycle. Yes, all of us need to break all these barriers that we are setting up for ourselves in the name of so-called safety.

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    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ankita… got your name only when I came to the end of the article… typed my earlier comment in excitement at reading what you wrote so well🙂

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  8. Nice post. And yeah, it’s THAT simple- more women on the street = easier for all women.
    The next step is to find enough like-minded people to step out with you🙂 (If I’m ever in Gurgaon count me in! ) And even if you don’t , don’t let that stop you from living the way you want, just find creative ways to stay safe.

    Thanks Ankita and IHM- feel-good story feels good on I day, after all the gloom and doom we’ve been hearing about.

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  9. good for her! And more should take her example and start living their lives again!
    It’s not enough to have one day put aside for a Slut Parade or whatever and then stay indoors for the rest of our time or expect to be chaperoned from place to place by a male bodyguard.

    It’s your life… giving it to someone else to safeguard is not the way to live it. Reclaim your life NOW!

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  10. Ankita’s mail reminds me of something a good friend once said to me: “If all the good people leave a place, the place won’t become better.” In other words, the streets won’t become safer for women if women start to become exotics there.

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  11. I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.”

    I’m not sure I agree with that statement, but it sounds rather apt in the context of this email.

    What is the best way to fight for our rights? Frankly, I do not know. It all depends on who it is that the fight is directed against.

    If the fight is against a democratic government, perhaps the best way is a political movement.
    If the fight is against public opinion, the media is likely to be more effective.
    If the fight is against ingrained attitudes held by an entire society, a mix of coercion and persuasion is what will probably work.

    Changing a country is an uphill task. Let us not minimize the magnitude of the change we want to see – it is gargantuan.

    In my opinion, it is useless to hold out for immediate revolutions; things simply do not happen that way. It will be a slow, long-drawn, even painful process, comprised of many, many small revolutions. There are going to be many Mangalore pub accidents and Sweetus and Keenans and Reubens along the way. There are going to be the Muthaliks and the Vedikas. There are going to be people who want to suppress the idea of change, people loath to give up their undeserved privilege.

    However, the change is inevitable.

    I agree completely with agrajag. This is a fight we are destined to win, for the smallest spark of Liberty, once granted, cannot be forgotten.

    My wife grew up in an India where a female VP would be unimaginable. She had to live out her dreams on more accepting foreign shores. Today, people in India do not see it as something extraordinary.

    In today’s India, it is considered somewhat strange for a woman to be on the road at 8:00PM outside a vehicle. I have no doubt that in the India of the future, this would not be quite natural, quite normal.

    Meanwhile, it is this sentiment which inspires me, and should inspire us all:

    If they do not answer your call, walk alone.
    If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
    Oh you unlucky one,
    open your mind and speak out alone.

    If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
    Oh you unlucky one,
    trample the thorns under your tread,
    and along the blood-lined track, travel alone.

    If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
    Oh you unlucky one,
    with the thunder flame of pain ignite your own heart
    and let it burn alone.

    We are all heroes. We are all agents of change. Let’s set about changing things, one day at a time.

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      • If they do have something to say about it, it is likely to be either stupid or an insult to everything the man stood for.

        I’d rather they keep mum than mouth off about lines of though they are wholly incapable of understanding, let alone appreciating.

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  12. yes, agree with Ankita. I think there is an NGO in India which does exactly this – bring women out in the night – in groups, but to get the message across.

    i also live in gurgaon, and dont look at the watch to go out. i just go out. now, there is a car, which one drives (alone) and even when i m coming back late night from a party in delhi, i insist on driving myself back. once a host asked me why i wanted to do that. reply: “every single girl who has been pulled out, has been pulled out of a taxi. not one girl has been pulled out of a private car. because if anyone messes with me, i will just drive the car over them. baad mein dekhenge jo hoga…”

    if there was no car, it wouldnt change a thing. i would still go out at any time of the night(provded the shops are open) , and the only thing i am really scared of, is the stray dogs. the men, they can stare, but, like hell one cares.
    are there more of us out there? of course! the curfew is self imposed. ignore it. walk on that road. drive. ride a bike.

    in my religion, we have a small lesson that we give to our kids: raise the weapon or the hand, only to protect the weak, or to prevent an injustice. for self defence, a true follower has enough strenth on their face, for their opponent to think twice before striking them.i think women should hear this too.

    sorry for the long comment ihm, tho am a repeat offender🙂

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  13. I agree cent per cent with Ankita! Yes, by staying afraid, we encourage others to frighten us.
    It is said that a bully is brave only until you are frightened of him. The moment you speak out, the bully mellows down. If only were all girls to speak out, and venture outside whenever they wanted to, the so-called “dangerous” elements on the road wouldn’t dare do anything untoward. But the key lies in this part – ALL GIRLS.

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  14. For all you brave girls and ladies,my salute. Do continue with your campaign, thing will change.

    Another thought is running in my mind, who is the mother who is raising such monsters, who pounce on women walking alone. Why metros /cities have become haven for such monsters? How come we are not addressing the issue from the attackers’ side? Sad.

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    • I’m thinking the exact same thing. I have 2 boys and i would chop their hands and legs off if there were to even think of such behavior. we lecture them incessantly on peer pressure, group behavior, teasing, harassement etc., now where are the parents of these boys???men??? whatever.

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      • You are right, it’s not fair or rational to hold just the mothers accountable. Both the father and the mother are accountable for the behavior of their sons.

        The problem is that the parents are also a product of the same sexist and misogynistic culture that pervades our country. My dad tries to rationalize his sexist viewpoints by his quoting scriptures (for eg: apparently father’s side of the family should be given more importance than mother’s side because 75% of the child’s traits comes from the father’s side…it is given in the scriptures…scientific fact…true story! :))…My mom refuses to accept that some of her view points are sexist (for eg : A few years back, a commercial airliner landed in Bangladesh, skidded and went off the runway. The pilot happened to be a woman. My mother’s comment : This is what will happen if a woman is asked to fly a plane!) I’m pretty sure that I too have a lot of sexism internalized within me. So, in such a culture, I’m not sure what parents will end up teaching their kids.

        Also, even if, by some chance, the parents happen to tell the right things to their kids, they are not the only source of influence. The kids are getting hundreds of subtle and not-so-subtle messages from teachers, friends, television, movies, video games, internet etc. Most of those messages reinforce the viewpoint that this is a man’s world. So yes, parents are the first line of defense, but until there is a complete paradigm shift in the thinking in our country, things will change very very slowly.

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      • Included.
        Yes, I did not exclude the fathers, but asked about the mothers, since we are refer erring to safely of us women.(she is also a women). women who are mothers , let the boys know, ( despite having arrogant fathers), that they need to respect other girls as equals. That was my point.

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    • Their mothers bought into the whole so-called “traditional” ideology of “never question the men”. I think it is better to not reproduce than unleash brats onto the world.

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  15. I totally agree with Ankita, and completely understand her anguish. It IS so true that the growing lack of safety is bearing such a grave impact on us that, consciously or otherwise we are allowing ourselves to accept/follow the restrictions being imposed on us, even willing to let go of our freedom .This is so sad!

    Admire her for the will she showed in challenging those restrictions and stepping out to reclaim her space head on. THAT is the way to go
    This is something we all need to start doing- to reclaim our space!

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  16. I totally agree with ankita. It is a vicious circle indeed. And yes, one must fight, many a times for small everyday liberties. But I do feel the fight is worth it. And I feel more women should start this fight. It will take more energy out of them, perhaps the squabbles at home will increase, but eventually they will be doing something they like doing. For themselves. They will be true to their own self. And this in itself is so fulfilling.
    And I dont think there is any “best way” to fight for our own rights. Whatever will give you your basic rights, that is the best way to fight for it (provided one is not breaking any laws!)

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  17. Totally agree!! The one reason I feel safe in Chennai upto atleast 10 PM is because there are so many women on the road and also because police here is ruthless on any kind of criminals (no partiality towards crime against women).

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  18. But do we have a choice.? Considering what has been happening.? I came to a very near to rape situation when i was in the third year of graduation.! since then atleast I’ve succumbed to one fact, which is that even though change in on the cards, we ourselves are responsible for our safety.! I agree self defense classes work, but they wont work always.! Until it is some law like in the western countries of Iceland, one can’t think of being too adventurous.! I travel in the womens coach of the metro and even though that is absolutely against my feminist principles, I do it because the feeling of being groped at my body is not a fun adventure I wana indulge in everyday.! And as Keerthana said our police in Delhi, mumbai and places like Bangalore gota hit hard at the criminals. Until then we can’t think of putting at stake our modesty and our lives.! Easier said than done.!

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  19. What bothers me is how quickly we are getting used to our freedom being taken away and how we are willingly shutting ourselves in our homes for safety.

    totally agree with this ! Me and a friend visited Mumbai first time few month back and I was so happy to be able to travel freely as late as 11pm . when I commented about this , my friend said that if there were people out on roads , the roads would be safer. More the ladies step out , more safe we can make the place. Maybe 10 min at a time , we can sure reclaim our freedom !

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  21. Absolutely agree with Ankita. Yesterday, i wore shorts and a tee in a busy market of Hyd. I was out with my friend and had gone shopping. It was a hot day, i wanted to wear jeans since i knew i was going to this place which is not really what you call “posh”. My friend had to coax me a lot to wear something lighter. I ended up with shorts and tee(and it wasnt even really short- was uptil knee).You wouldnt believe the kind of looks i got. Everyone-literally everyone stared at me-even the women.(different matter that he was in shorts and tee as well). Some men went whistling past me, made comments and laughed when they passed by me. But i dint look down or act scared. I put on a very brave and stern face and walked. I have every right to wear something light and comfortable as much as my male friend has( and it was nothing vulgar even!!). The very fact that i am having to give so much explanations in my comment about the length of my shorts or whether it was decent shows the state of our society.
    Needless to say, i felt good at the end of it and felt i had atleast taken a small step towards reclaiming my rightful space.

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