What do you think of the post linked below? Does it anger you? Does the article make you feel ashamed of your country – if yes, why? Does the article make you wish RoseChasm had taken care not to hurt our sentiments? Then, does the skewed gender ratio also make you feel not motivated to do something about it but somehow ‘ashamed’ of your country?
To me, nothing in the post seemed to imply it was meant to shame Indian men (or women) – the article made me think of all the suggestions made by Justice Verma Committee that were not taken seriously.
I could relate to the story. No verifications were needed, most Indian women I know (including myself) have faced most of the harassment RoseChasm described, or risked facing it if we were to do any of the things RoseChasm and her friends did, like travel [link] alone [link], dance in the streets, or shop or walk in public spaces in India without watching for groping hands and eyes, or cameras [link].
Not only does the story below needs no verification, most of us also know what many Indians (men and women) think of women who forget that men can get provoked. We have heard justifications like that “Freedom at midnight but doesn’t mean we can roam around freely at midnight.”
Here’s the story by RoseChasm.
Do I tell them about our first night in the city of Pune, when we danced in the Ganesha festival, and leave it at that? Or do I go on and tell them how the festival actually stopped when the American women started dancing, so that we looked around to see a circle of men filming our every move?
Do I tell them about bargaining at the bazaar for beautiful saris costing a few dollars a piece, and not mention the men who stood watching us, who would push by us, clawing at our breasts and groins?
When people compliment me on my Indian sandals, do I talk about the man who stalked me for forty-five minutes after I purchased them, until I yelled in his face in a busy crowd?
Do I describe the lovely hotel in Goa when my strongest memory of it was lying hunched in a fetal position, holding a pair of scissors with the door bolted shut, while the staff member of the hotel who had tried to rape my roommate called me over and over, and breathing into the phone? [Click to read more]
And then followed this post from twoseat who travelled with RoseChasm. What do you think?
The problem that this (RoseChasm’s) article has is that it ends up blaming an entire population for the actions of some
To address the attempted rapes on the program, I was also very frightened while on the trip. After hearing about the attacks that happened to girls I knew, I also stayed up at night wondering if someone was going to break into my room. RoseChasm has addressed this, but what RoseChasm doesn’t address is the fact that rape happens in America as well. This focus on what happened to one individual on a study abroad trip to India makes it seem like no woman can enjoy a trip to India and that she would be ultimately safer in America. We must be aware of the rapes that occur worldwide…
I understand RoseChasm’s pain, and I too had a hard time readjusting to life in America after my experience in India. I truly hope for her to be well again, but I will not sit back and allow the image of India’s men to be tarnished by an article that does not articulate other sides to India.
Do you think RoseChasm or any other survivor of sexual harassment should be expected to add a disclaimer that they do not think that every other man/his country/race/caste is a rapist?
Should RoseChasm have mentioned that rapes happen in other places too? Does it matter that India is not the only country where the culture indirectly and directly treats men as helpless victims of provocation by women, [which is why only girls were allowed in the audience here]?
It could have been you or me – Shail