“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.”

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.

India: the Story You Never Wanted to Hear

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?

Same India-Different Story

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.

[Click to read more]

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]?

Related Posts:

Pubs in Andhra to be officially Reserved For Men?

“A protected generation of women like my grand mother’s did NOT seek equal rights.”

It could have been you or me – Shail

What do dented-painted women and disco-going protesters understand about a rape victim’s loss of honor?

The night I was not an easy prey.

Of course it was unsafe to ask for lift, but what exactly were their options?

Why was this radio cabbie, a rapist, not afraid of being arrested?

How did we make Indian criminals believe that they have 7 khoon maaf if they can claim to be teaching Indian women a lesson in Indian values?

“The same man who rape a girl… respect his mother…so please go ahead and teach them what you want to…”

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

“Such mannequins will excite men and pose a danger to women.”

“Sunitha Krishnan spoke in my kid’s school about violence against women, only girls were allowed in the audience.”

When they don’t even understand crime, how are they ever going to begin controlling it?

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.” 

Which city in India, do you think is the safest city for women? Do women in that city stay at home after dark?

Whose fault is it anyway? – ReturnToBasics

RoseChasm , gender and race – INDIANFEMINIST101

160 thoughts on ““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.”

  1. i had read this story yesterday but somehow it didn’t arouse in me the sympathy or disgust which it was meant to arouse! instead, i think that it depends a lot on which conditions and which places you are living in. no doubt, groping and all very common incidents in public transports and crowded places but its not like every girl in the country lives with the constant fear of molestation. i may be totally wrong in saying this but probably the experience for foreign people might be very different because the perceptions of people is, as the lady mentions, they are looked as lose and available.

    but, i would definitely say it is really sad to hear to such things especially for someone who is going to carry back such memories as well!!

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    • @Swati Murti, you say, “but, i would definitely say it is really sad to hear to such things”

      I disagree. It is not the *hear* part of it that is sad, but that such things HAPPEN FOR REAL to people. That is what makes ME sad. If it did not happen, we won’t ever have to hear or read such articles from anyone. If it happened to even *one single person* we are obliged to hear it and they have every right to air their grievance.

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    • “but its not like every girl in the country lives with the constant fear of molestation.”

      So then I take it that you go freely go into all public transport and crowded public places without feeling the need to watch out for random approaching hands, holding your bag in the front rather than the back, wrapping a stole around even on the warmest of days and so on? I would say every girl does live in constant fear of molestation because every girl who has ever been out in public without body-guards probably has been molested. It’s just that people don’t acknowledge this as a ‘fear’ when you live in India, you just think of this as a part of life.. just precautions that are to be taken constantly when one is in public (only if one is female).

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      • Judging from their blogs, female bloggers from Mumbai and Kolkata and the South have different priorities than those from NCR. There is more bitterness about society among NCR female bloggers whereas those from outside seem to have a bias towards travel, culinary arts, photography, fitness and such.

        Peninsular India is ‘relatively’ safer for women, perhaps? Just my observation. I hope I am not trivializing the problem. A conversation with an American lady who lived in “dry” Delhi for 3 years triggered my thinking.

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        • “Peninsular India is ‘relatively’ safer for women, perhaps?” No, it’s not. Really. Not. My blood boils when people claim that the South is safer, because I have interminably suffered while I have never been molested in Delhi. Does this mean I should go about saying that the North is safer? It simply isn’t safe anywhere. Even safety in Mumbai is an illusion, though it’s much better than other places.

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        • I have lived in Mumbai most of my life and daily stalking, harassment and molestation in public places is common here too. There is still a culture of workin women, so you will find women outside at all hours, which is much better than NRC (have stayed with family there too).. But the culture of harassment is still very much there. The thing is that we are taught to see it as normal.

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    • @Swati: You talk as if the groping, harassment and molestation are to be expected on the streets of India and we shouldn’t complain about them. And let me tell you most girls DO live in fear everyday. My complete body becomes stiff and alert when I have to pass through a crowd of strange men on the street. That is my body telling me to be careful and watchful of all that regular things you mention.

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      • You know what makes me most sad? That for some Indian women this is such a common occurring that it has become a part of life. That they are so used to it they think that’s how life is. It doesn’t feel scary or arouse empathy. That’s what scares me the most. Lack of feeling, lack of disgust, lack of wretchedness that you would feel when you know that the incidents that are being talked about are true.

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    • @swatimurthy
      You write “…..no doubt, groping and all very common incidents in public transports and crowded places…..”.
      But that does not make it OK.Just because something is ‘common’, does not make it harmless. It is harmful.To the minds of girls who have to use public transport and go to crowded places, it affects them badly. One needs to acknowledge that it is wrong.Not simply say, matter of factly, that ‘its common, these things happen’ and leave it at that.Now, that is WRONG.

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    • You know… I lived in Delhi for 3 years. Never have I been stared at, groped at once. (Not saying that chauvinism were zero of course). And being from Kerala, I was very much on the look out. Yes I did go to places alone at night. Sometimes when we reached hostel after curfew, we had to spend the night outside. And we have, roaming around the DU campus. A few times we had gone to India Gate, ended up missing the metro, walked around, dozed off at the foot of India Gate as army men snored away nearby & then got up at 6 to catch the first metro. YES, I am talking about Delhi.
      But does it mean I can claim Delhi to be safe? The only reason was that I was incredibly LUCKY. I was too dumb. What was I thinking of? My brains must have got frozen in the Delhi winter.
      But the fear was always there. May be I didnt recognize it becz it was always there- birthright of an Indian woman. Since I am not so thoughtless anymore, I can feel and see the presence of fear in my mind.

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    • “its not like every girl in the country lives with the constant fear of molestation.”

      Really?

      Maybe I don’t “fear” molestation when I’m back home in India, but I’m CONSTANTLY on guard against it. I didn’t realize how much work it is until I moved abroad. I don’t have to keep a straight face all the time, I can smile back at strangers without thinking they’re out to get me. I can run in a tank and not have ugly eyes ogle me. I can use public transportation without the fear of being felt up. Just to name a few.

      Being on guard all the time is hard. I get tired now just thinking about it. It’s sad that girls have to live in a constant state of almost-paranoia to avoid harassment.

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      • You know, I have never experienced harassment in India.
        But I am LUCKY. I am lucky to have a driver when I go back who drives me places so that I don’t have to take public transport. I am LUCKY to live in a town where everyone knows my mother and grandmother so I never get harassed. I am LUCKY to never have to go anywhere alone, and to usually be accompanied by someone.
        Harassment is a huge problem in India. Just because I haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means I’ve been very lucky.

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  2. I have stated this elsewhere, but to say this again.
    If you don’t add “some men” in every sentence (just for India, it is totally cool when it comes to any western countries though) while narrating your experience it is wrong? Of course there are ‘nice men’. Did someone else who read this article was stupid enough to believe that she was saying every Indian man sexually harasses women?
    This is not sensationalism. And the problem is not even close to what you get in US or the likes, as much as some Postmodern “feminists” (or victim blamers) would want you to believe otherwise.
    Now just imagine if someone writes a similar “but all men are not the same” bullshit when a women who had gone through sexual harassment in US posts an article on that. How well would that be received by the same feminists?

    My problem with articles like these is the issue I have with some of the ‘equalists’.. ‘Women get sexually harassed men get sexually harassed, so lets leave it there and move on’ sort of attitude. That does not even convey the proportion of sexism against women, and neither do they have no intention of tackling the issue. And that is not really helping in any way. And no, Indian men don’t get any awards for not being douchebag misogynists.

    Is it any surprise that feminism is still in dire straits in India and other non western countries? Half the people don’t give a crap, and other half is such Po-Mos or people who are silenced by Po Mos from posting anything that resembles criticism.

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    • Ok, let me put it in this way.

      These are some questions…

      Why women file false – rape cases?
      Why women file false sexual harassment cases?
      why women have extra marital affairs?
      why women selling their wombs? (surrogacy)
      Why women are entering into prostitution?

      Or even better.. way..

      Why Indian women file false rape cases?
      Why Indian women file false sexual harassment cases?
      Why Indian women have extra marital affairs?
      Why Indian women selling their wombs?
      Why Indian women entering into prostitution?

      Remember all these question raised by a foreign man after visiting India.

      And final conclusion by that Good Samaritan is India is travelers heaven but place of false rape accusers, false sexual harassment cases, place of extra marital affairs where women don’t have any moral values, and hub of surrogate mothers, will do anything even for peanuts, and finally women are …. O.K I want to stop it here.

      Don’t you feel there is something missing here? I feel it’s commonsense and maturity. That’s what the girl don’t have. Blaming entire nation just because some people in some areas have bad experiences is a bad Idea or even worse than that.

      (I am sorry writing above 5 statements, my intention is not to blaming all women for the acts of some women. But countering a person who don’t see the difference between absurdity and criticism)

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      • //but place of false rape accusers, false sexual harassment cases, place of extra marital affairs where women don’t have any moral values, and hub of surrogate mothers, will do anything even for peanuts, and finally women are …. O.K I want to stop it here.//
        Thanks for that, because I nearly threw up reading that pile of crap that you just posted there. I don’t think I have to dignify this bullshit with any response.

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  3. RoseChasm does not need to cater to the “other side of India” . She is talking exclusively about her experience in India, none of which is contrived. What she faced is what many many Indian women face every day of their lives. Only when we see it from the eyes of a foreigner who is unaware of the status of women in our society do we realize how unfair and misogynistic the whole system is.

    Ofcourse there are good men in India. I married one of those good men. But the fact is far too many men behave in this fashion with women because they think they are entitled to it.

    We can only solve a problem when we accept that there is a problem in the first place. A better reaction will be to acknowledge the issue and try to figure out how we can change this mindset of entitlement.

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    • I Agree.

      When a foreigner comments about her ordeal in India we get all patriotic.. “who is she to talk about us?” kinda attitude.
      what about Indian women then? are we safe otherwise? focus should be on improving the safety for women and not bringing up statistics on how many rapes happen worldwide!
      She called a spade a spade and it’s hard for us to digest..

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    • You said it “RoseChasm does not need to cater to the “other side of India” . She is talking exclusively about her experience in India, none of which is contrived. ” !!!
      It is her experience. Her sentiments. Her thoughts.
      She does not owe it to anyone to write an impartial essay conveying different points of view.

      Men (or anyone) may disagree or protest how much ever they want. But the fact remains that mostly any woman who’s walked the streets in India has experienced similar situations.

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      • I agree. When you are harassed, molested, narrowly escaped rape the last thing you want to do is ‘cater to the other side’. Are people so dumb to not understand her state of mind. She doesn’t owe it to anybody to cater to the other side. She is not writing an article on pros and cons genetic engineering that she needs to cater to the side. she is stating her harrowing experience.

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  4. I think all of us are very intelligent and understand that she is only narrating her story and not generalizing. You really do not have to add ‘some’ every time you mention Indian men. It is very childish to colour the whole gender in a single colour and all of us are adults enough to understand this.

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  5. I came across the article 2 days ago. I agree that most of the things which she has written are true especially if you are a white person in India

    http://www.whiteindianhousewife.com/2013/08/why-phone-cameras-are-the-bane-of-modern-india/

    At the same time, I am kind of skeptical. She mentions she needs LOA for mental stress and the article implies it was because of her trip to India. That seems extreme to me because I have met plenty of foreigners who traveled to India and I know most of them get diarrhea and are overwhelmed & tired but I do not think they had to take LOA for a semester due to that. TO me, it looks like she had issues which got aggravated with her trip to India but she makes it look like India trip caused it.

    Secondly, I know how these articles from students who go on a study trip from a university turn out. They often end up being extremely polarized as I have seen them become, like I have a theory/thesis to prove, I go abroad and collect evidence and write a strong note proving my point. This is how her article sounds to me.

    I am not denying all that could have happened to her. It is very much possible and it is true. I am not in denial that all those things happen. I am not nationalist for sure. But something in my instinct does not trust her article and I trust my instinct. I can sympathize with a similar article from white indian housewife but somehow this article failed to strike a chord in me which is why I chose not to pursue/analyse it.

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    • There was a rape attempt on one of her friends, the woman who is countering her says, // 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.// This in a country they sense is hostile to women, and they are far away from the safety of their culture, family and home.

      Then there is the humiliation (not saying this is what happened, just an example) – you be polite or worse you actually smile flirtatiously at someone and that someone thinks you are asking them to rape you, or you are ‘available’.

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      • Yes, IHM, not only white women (people can justify & say she does not know indian culture) but also Indian women are subject to that all the time. Many people I know are careful not to laugh too much with their classmates or smile too much in public because this is construed as she is “interested”. That is true & I am aware of that & also am toned down ( or try to tone down but often it fails but I am more quiet) around Indian guys i just met because of the precise reason.

        The thing is I was referred to this article 3 times in 3 days (third time being your blog) and usually I would trash it all out and criticise but this article fails to evoke that in me. Something in it does not reach out to my heart though I am acutely vehement about street sexual harassment in India. I do not know why, but instinctively I am not trusting something in there

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        • That doesn’t matter, Boiling. Not striking a chord doesn’t mean anything. She could’ve experienced it tenfold worse because she is not normalized to this unlike us here.
          If you don’t mind me saying this, maybe it is the ingrained xenophobia that is at play here? I am not blaming you for that, because we don’t have a choice when it comes to nationalism as it is constantly bound to rammed down our throats, whether we like it or not. We have all gone through it.
          I won’t get into speculation, but what I would say is that ‘not striking chord’ is no excuse to criticize or dismiss someone’s account, especially when this is not unlike the experience Indian women themselves have to put up with. Especially as a feminist (I am thinking), and we have seen this kind of shit with MRA types all the time.

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        • Indianmalefeminist, I disagree with you. I know and trust my gut feeling & with a good track record. Please do not come up reasons like ” ingrained xenophobia” without knowing me in person because I definitely do mind such lame opinions on me as a person.

          My best friends are white people, I have no nationalism and am pretty clear I have zero interest in returning or living in India no matter how ungrateful to India people tell me I am. I am known to be more critical of India than foreigners who have been to India and they defend India when I am critical. I am entitled to my gut feeling and I will criticize if something does not sit right with me.

          When I do not blindly believe news/ religion/ people’s accounts from Indians, why should I not critically look at a white woman’s account? I do not hold a white person’s account in higher esteem to validate and showcase the issues than an account from an Indian woman. I am equally logical and critical of both races. To me it looks like, people are so used to listening to Indian women’s account of such things, that they are desensitized to it. But the moment, a white woman comes along, everybody feels validated because a white woman said it & goes about – see? A white person saying the same thing means it is true & gives it more weight.

          You need not deny it but low self esteem is way too common in Asia especially in relation to white skin and I am tired of seeing it play over & over again. FYI, I did provide another white woman’s link of something similar & I have nowhere said I disagree with the other woman’s complaints.

          As a feminist( I am thinking)? – I am a Feminist & I do not hide that fact & more than that I hold people in higher respect & above that is my repsct for myself & my feelings. Being a feminist does not mean I jump blindly in anger at every woman’s complaint without using my head & heart to guide me.

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    • “I have met plenty of foreigners who traveled to India and I know most of them get diarrhea and are overwhelmed & tired but I do not think they had to take LOA for a semester due to that.”

      I haven’t met anyone who needed to take an LOA either, but to each his/her own. Those of us not used to this, or not having grown up with being violated every single time they step out on the street, can react pretty adversely to such barbaric behavior.

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  6. I hated the second article for trivializing what the first one said. Suppose I am the one harassed, molested, I am definitely not going to appreciate people telling me there are good men in the country. It does not need rocket science for me to know that there ARE indeed good men out there. And all these people so offended by what Rose said should be doing something about such a thing not repeating itself rather than blaming her for writing. What exactlyis their point, that if you have a bad experience you should not write about it?

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    • And the pompous line, “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.” makes me want to laugh.
      Hope that includes us Indian women too who have a poor image of their countrymen.

      Like

      • We just hate it when people hold up a mirror to us. That’s all. As long as we do not read or write or about, talk about it we can pretend that the problem does not exist. But if it’s in print, it’s real. And we don’t like raking up such issues. We would rather live in our fantasy world.

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  7. Just because rapes happen all over the world does not mean that we have an excuse for whatever happened in our country. We have to accept that as a country we also have serious shortcomings and women in the country are not as safe as anyone would like. It is a sorry state, but is the truth and we should definitely acknowledge it.

    As for the disclaimer, this writer has written about her particular experience in the country and she has no experience of what else happens anywhere else. She is right to write about her experience without any cover ups. A country is diverse and everyone has sees a different side. She was unfortunate that she saw the ugly side of it and she wrote about them. There is no dearth of people writing their pleasant experiences, they never saw the ugly side. Nobody expects them to write a disclaimer that while I have had a pleasant experience, some might have a horrible experience. In their minds, the country will be a pleasant and safe place.

    Readers who read the article by RoseChasm must understand that this is the experience of one person, similarly there will some who might have had a good experience. Basing your opinion and judging a country based on one article is a folly on the part of opinion maker not the author.

    For me, no cover ups and definitely no disclaimers!!!

    Regards.

    Law v/s Culture: Does law stand a chance against peer pressure from culture?
    http://balckwhitegrey.blogspot.in/2013/04/law-vs-culture-does-law-stand-chance.html

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  8. Recently an expatriate friend (living and working in India since last seven years),mom of two, was in shock when swimming instructors of her 4 yrs old daughter were sharing dirty jokes while leching at her saying things like ” maa bhi mast maal hai” without realising that she understood some Hindi.
    Result she is more cautious now and is looking for more modest swim suits for herself and her daughter and will always carry one more bad memory from India.

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  9. I could relate to the first letter totally. Me and every girl I know from college or school has been molested/groped/harrassed or ‘eve teased’ at some point in her life in India. And I am not even talking about lewd looks, or catcalls !!! Seriously every girl, EVERY SINGLE ONE of them. Cute or ugly , thin or fat, in jeans or in a salwar kameez , doesnt matter. So, in my experience, a scarily high number of Indian men , must have groped or molested at some point in their lives.

    After having grown up in India ,being so used to curfews of 9:30 PM if going outside alone, when I travel almost anywhere outside of South Asia, what strikes me , everytime is number of women outside on the streets after 10 PM. Just normal everyday women doing normal everyday things. Defintely in the West, but even in developing countries like Thailand, Malaysia , China, and even Mongolia. Immediately , the sight of so many women outside makes you just feel a whole lot safer. So clearly in India we are doing something really really wrong. How did we end up like this?

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  10. How does this sound?

    “My wife went to Brazil for 2 weeks on a business trip. She says it is awesome with terrific people. All the people she met including the hoteliers and shop keepers are polite.

    She recognises 5 men as stalkers and could not help feeling intimidated. Also about 45-50 Brazilain men stared at her breasts. A dozen groping attempts and she admits both public transport and hired transport were horrible experiences. Just 2 rape attempts.

    All other men apprently called her Madam and smiled and were polite. There were women too. Some of them spoke to her in English. Educated and all that.

    We are going to Brazil for our Holidays. Awesome Place yaar. They have tourist vans and their food is exotic and non-oily. Gotta experience it.”

    Disclaimer Time: I chose Brazil randomly. Nothing against Brazil at all. I haven’t a clue about the place.

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  11. I can relate to the first article. In fact I feel relieved that someone could articulate that staring thing that happens in India, the kind of staring where men don’t even flinch if you look back or speak up. You are not human, they don’t hear your voice and dissent. I need no verifications of her account. You only have to walk down a busy street in India as a woman to know that this is true.

    Coming to the second article, to me it comes off kind of defensive.

    “The problem that this (RoseChasm’s) article has is that it ends up blaming an entire population for the actions of some”

    Well she didn’t end up blaming the entire population at all. To me, it’s obvious she was narrating her own experiences. However, more importantly, the entire population DOES contribute to this problem. This sexual harassment happens in public all the time and no one bats an eyelid, no one protests.They may not actually be the molesters but the attitude of people witnessing and ignoring sexual harassment on a daily basis enables molesters. It is clearly not an exception to experience sexual harassment in India, it is the norm. In that case, we must all ask whether we are part of the problem or part of the solution, because the problem is bigger than the actual people doing the harassment.

    “what RoseChasm doesn’t address is the fact that rape happens in America as well”

    Ofcourse it does, however, from personal experience, the level and type of sexual harassment in the US/ UK is not nearly at the scale that happens in India. Even if it was the case, how does something happening in America make it ok for it to happen in India? Is America our baseline for everything now? What I will say is that I feel a weight lifting off my shoulders when I land in the UK after visits home to India. I feel like I can walk down public streets again without that tense feeling of feeling like prey!

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      • So well said, this is exactly what Indian men should be ashamed of, yeah they might be holier than thou (I doubt it after hearing all the horror husband stories on this blog), but they are part of the entire population that lets street sexual harassment happen day in and out as a part of life and do nothing about it.

        I am glad RoseCharm put this article out. India needs to shamed on a widespread global scale on how terribly it treats women on the streets and at home. Nothing wrong in publicizing and making the world aware of how misogynistic Indian culture is. Much better to shame India than hide behind empty praises on ancient great culture and other bullshit that Indians love to hear from foreigners. Actually I am happy this was published, and we are not painting a wrong, romantic fantasy picture of India such as in Eat Pray Love or Marigold Hotel.

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  12. Just two days ago, a really scary drunk man followed me home. He even tried to barge in and would not leave. It was only after he saw we were calling the police he left. This in a dry state. And one of the safest place for women in India. Gujarat.

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  13. I’m sure most Indian women or others who have roamed the streets of India relate to the first post. Ofcourse it would be foolish to read it as “all Indian men” and the second article upholding the goodness of the other Indian men is unnecessary. There will be good and bad people in every country. Doesn’t mean bad need not be mentioned and talked about. In this particular case where the victim has PTSD BECAUSE of the horrific experiences, it definitely NEEDS to be mentioned and talked about. Nobody deserves to be under clinical treatment for trauma because of someone else’ bad behaviour, sexually targeted and forced.
    Rapes happen everywhere, and each of the incident deserves a mention and talking about and justice be done. Just because it occurs everywhere doesn’t mean it has to be the norm or that one shouldn’t complain about it.

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  14. //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?//
    No she should not. 1 in every 100 may be a rapist, but the other 99 getting offended by the article like that are shielding that one person.

    //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]?//
    Seriously? I am a man, and I believe this is bullshit -> men as helpless victims of provocation? It could just be one step up

    About the first article, she is not taking about an isolated incident but about an entire experience. Take a walk on the street and look at the people oogling at girls who are walking by. Look at the confidence few people have when passing lewd comments in a mall. And then look at the people who you will find in abundance having no respect for woman, law or any other person. Who deny even common courtesy towards anything that walks.

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  15. RoseChasm has all the right in the world to describe what happened to her in her words. It was her experience and I can relate to each and every incident and I am sure all women I know in India would relate to it. Yes her reaction was extreme..because for her this is not normal because for any sane person this kind of behavior shouldn’t be normal and acceptable. No it doesn’t affect us with this gravity, no I have not ended up in an asylum for being molested publicly number of times..because like many others I see this happening around me all the time. This has may have tuned it down for me but THIS IS NOT NORMAL AND ACCEPTABLE. What she faced is sickening and no wonder she is sick!!

    I say more articles like this should be published and promoted. May be our govt. would be ashamed enough to put forward and practice stricter laws. May be this will embarrass enough Indian men to think twice before ogling at/touching women at public places. We need stricter application of laws…a majority of these men are educated, belong to good families. They do these things because they CAN.

    And no it is not okay because it happens in other countries also. A murder is not okay because people in other countries also murder right? So how is molestation, eve teasing and rape be okay?

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  16. I am a foreign woman and I have travelled alone in India. And I was disgusted by the article of RoseChasm. I regularly read comments from white women who claim they have been badly harassed in India and they leave me wondering how come we didn’t get the same experiences. Although I have been stared at, and have received many sex propositions both from complete strangers and people I thought were friends, I have not considered this to be harassment but rather bothersome compliments. What’s more, almost each time I have felt uncomfortable there have been Indian people nearby, men and woman, to offer help and advice, even when I didn’t ask for it.

    I am married to an Indian man, and I feel articles like the one by RoseChasm are unfair. I should add that I have been groped and followed, but outside India.

    Also as Boiling mentions many foreigners get “India Syndrome”, a kind of mental breakdown, and have to be flown home. In case of white women, I can’t help wondering if there is not an overeaction when unwanted attention comes from black men.

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    • Well Victoria, I am not a white woman, but as an Indian woman I know what Rose is talking about and have faced it. It is not Rose’s article that disgusts me, but the attempt by people to pretend it does not happen.

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      • I am not saying it does not happen, I am saying the choice and unusual accumulation of examples in the article of RoseChasm is not characteristic of what the vast majority of foreign students and tourists experience in India. Therefore one can have doubts about the article and wait to have more in depth informations before jumping to conclusions.

        As an Indian woman you are not an American student and cannot possibly know what she went through, as even if she studied India, she was not raised in India but came to the place as an adult with a frame of mind, experiences and expectations that came from American culture ; you can only extrapolate from your own experience to understand her.

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        • “I am saying the choice and unusual accumulation of examples in the article of RoseChasm is not characteristic of what the vast majority of foreign students and tourists experience in India. ”

          Of course it wasn’t. Many, many people visit India. Not all of them experience the same thing that this woman has experienced. But this does not invalidate what RoseChasm has faced. It does not make her experiences any less real, or any less horrific to her. She does not have to cater to all the sides of the equation in order to keep people happy. The author is only obliged to discuss what has happened to her, and how she frames India within the context of what she has experienced.

          To tell someone that their experiences are somehow less than valid, simply because in your eyes, they are not widespread, is wrong. It is, by extension, eliminating the personhood of the individual talking about what they went through. It is undermining their lives and the right they have towards their emotions, and it devalues the horrors of what they faced. People will have their feelings hurt or will be forced to reevaluate their country in the wake of her article. But RoseChasm? She will have to endure the results of the harassment for the rest of her life.

          So no, she is not obligated to assuage the hurt feelings of a few people at the expense of her own voice.

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        • Carvaka, that in only 3 months the same woman should be stalked, groped and nearly raped seems very unusual to me. It’s the first time I hear a story like this. If this is the reality of women in India, how come nobody talks about it ?

          A, I am not invalidating anything, merely saying that the article of RoseChasm as it is written, does not make me conclude that all men in India are perverts. But I’m sure this woman has suffered, and the least I can do is give her time to tell her story more in detail at her own pace and not pressure her.

          Remember this American journalist who was molested in Egypt ? She took many months to tell her story, just as women from war zones in Africa who are gang raped need sometimes year before they can testify. I have heard the story of RoseChasm, and the story told by her friend. I am going to wait before asking my government to bomb India (as has been suggested on the CNN website).

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        • //that in only 3 months the same woman should be stalked, groped and nearly raped seems very unusual to me. It’s the first time I hear a story like this. If this is the reality of women in India, how come nobody talks about it ?
          A, I am not invalidating anything…//

          Victoria, did you read all the comments from Indian women who are saying they face this every time they step out?
          Take a look at this post, A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

          And, In Rape Culture, we understand that if the rapist was living alone, away from his native place, he could lose control over himself.

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        • //As an Indian woman you are not an American student and cannot possibly know what she went through, as even if she studied India, she was not raised in India but came to the place as an adult with a frame of mind, experiences and expectations that came from American culture ; you can only extrapolate from your own experience to understand her.//

          I would request ALL of you to read the above. I rest my case🙂

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        • Am I the only one who is appalled that this is increasingly slipping towards victim blaming and gaslighting? Really Victoria.

          //Carvaka, that in only 3 months the same woman should be stalked, groped and nearly raped seems very unusual to me. It’s the first time I hear a story like this. If this is the reality of women in India, how come nobody talks about it ?//
          It is not unusual at all. If she chose to not always travel in her own car/taxis or have some sort of guards, I would perfectly expect all this to happen. And three months is a fairly long time too. I wouldn’t expect RoseChasm’s life to be any more easier as a white woman, we have this atrocious stereotype of ‘loose white woman’ going here. So these harassers might have felt even more entitled to do so.

          Indian women have always talked about it, I don’t know why other women don’t – maybe the liberal ‘silencing’ by the post modernists has to do something with it? Taking a wild stab in the dark here. Because some of the shit I have seen these post modernist ‘feminists’ say is downright disgusting and I have seen more well behaved MRAs. Maybe that is exactly why CNN was compelled to post another article to make it all ‘fair’.

          //I am not invalidating anything, merely saying that the article of RoseChasm as it is written, does not make me conclude that all men in India are perverts.//
          Gooooooooooood, why do people say keep saying this..? I would like to know who here thought that RoseChasm was anywhere even hinting that all men in India are perverts?

          //I am going to wait before asking my government to bomb India (as has been suggested on the CNN website).//
          This kind of paranoia is ridiculous. Telling the misogyny in India as it is (and I can’t repeat this enough, she is not making anything up that we don’t know already – and I won’t expect many Indian women to tell any different story) doesn’t make America to bomb us or anything.

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        • @Victoria,

          Well I HAVE lived in India, grown up in the cities there, and I don’t think that a woman being stalked, groped and nearly raped in three months is unusual at all. You say ‘why aren’t indian women saying it then’, well they are.. have you read the comments here on this post from Indian women? How many Indian women have you asked about this?

          Also, what does India’s internal misogyny have to do with you asking your government to bomb India? Has the US already bombed Steubenville then? Texas? No, not yet? Thought so.

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    • “if there is not an overreaction when unwanted attention comes from black men”

      I didn’t get a single hint of racism in RoseChasm’s article. Why do you think it’s skin color? I’m sure she’d have been equally traumatized if the person trying to rape her had white skin.

      It’s great that you’ve only had positive experiences in my country. But that does not invalidate RoseChasm’s experience. Or mine. Or the millions of other women in my country.

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      • Last week I saw a famous painting representing a Black male totally in the nude. The artist wanted to “confront the white fears and stereotypes surrounding the black male and tackle the widely accepted notion of the hypersexualised black body that continues to be codified and consumed around the globe”. It is called “No Naked Niggahs” if you want to research it. And it sure seemed to embarass a lot of visitors.

        This deeply ingrained fear of Black sexuality is also something you find in numerous colonial writings, and even in modern movies.

        I didn’t have only positive experiences in your country, and I am not minimizing a woman’s fears or experiences (by the way she didn’t say somebody tried to rape her, she says somebody tried to rape her friend), only wondering what exactly happened so that she would curl up in her bed with scisors and have to be sent back home. It seems she came to a point where she thought everybody was after her. In any case, I feel sorry for her.

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        • “This deeply ingrained fear of Black sexuality is also something you find in numerous colonial writings, and even in modern movies.”

          This is a very valid point. But what the author experienced was not the sexuality of Indian men. Forgive me, but I don’t really think that stalking, harassing, banging on someone’s door in the dead of the night as they are huddled in their room, to be very healthy signs of sexuality to begin with. No doubt, there have always been efforts by people to denounce healthy expressions of sexuality that are present in Indian men and women. One only needs to look at our history of colonization to see this in it’s fullest light, and it still occurs to this very day.

          There is a massive confusion in India about what constitutes as a healthy, consensual expression of sexuality, where both partners are willing and able, and what constitutes as an unhealthy expression of sexuality. This unhealthy expression of sexuality is, by and large, touted as the ideal and what people should strive towards. Our movies and our media glorify the stalking and harassment of women as something “romantic”, and the consent of women in this equation is almost never considered. It is considered perfectly acceptable, romantic even, to blackmail a woman with suicide if she does not accept someone’s proposal. If this is what sexuality is, then I think any woman should fear it, and rightly so, because their rights are never even taken into account.

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    • Although I have been stared at, and have received many sex propositions both from complete strangers and people I thought were friends, I have not considered this to be harassment but rather bothersome compliments.

      Victoria, with all due respect to your experiences, I would say that what you experienced WAS sexual harassment – “persistent and unwanted sexual advances”. They may have been merely ‘bothersome’ to you, but this may not be the case with other women. Rose seems to have experienced this throughout her trip, and she is completely entitled to air her grievances. As such, I don’t see why you would be disgusted by her article. BUT, that is your opinion, and you are entitled to feel that way. Just keep in mind though, that just because your experience has been different, it does not allow you to invalidate Rose’s, or that of countless other women who live in India and face harassment every day.

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      • Starlitwishes, I am sorry, but if one follows your reasoning then nothing allows you either to invalidate my experience. What I don’t like about the article as it is written is the gross generalisation and lack of details which makes it impossible to form a judgment about what really happened.

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        • Let me ask you something–who does this gross generalization hurt? I do understand where you’re coming from, especially with regards to racial issues. I’m an Indian living abroad. I know fully well the types of stigma that both Indian women and good Indian men face. I’m aware of the cultural stereotypes used against people of colour, I’ve been at the receiving end of it, and I’ve watched people being at the receiving end of it. It’s not pretty in the slightest.

          But, with all due respect, we’re not talking about a country where Indians are minorities. When you are a minority, the power dynamics are vastly different than if you are a majority. And Indian men, in India, are a majority, by and large. As such, they are afforded powers and privileges far beyond what any minority is afforded. This means that they are given vast amounts of leeway, in the legal system, in the day to day customs of our daily lives, and in pretty much every public and private sphere they inhabit.

          As such, making a generalization about Indian men, who live within India, is not going to hurt them. It will make them irritated, yes, but it will not change their status quo in the least. They will still continue to wield enormous amounts of power. Indian men will still continue to hold sway over the police, the courts, the media, everywhere. A generalization made in one little article, by one single woman, is not going to change this at all. It will make them annoyed, but it will not remove the power that they have. Being prejudiced is wrong, but in this instance, the consequences of being prejudiced are minimal. So yes, in the interest of speaking about her experiences, RoseChasm is perfectly entitled to make “gross generalizations”, as she pleases. She’s not harming the people she’s making gross generalizations about–she has no power to do that.

          Also, for the record, anybody who reads her article and extrapolates this as applicable to all Indian men, across the board–well, that reader is the one who needs to learn critical thinking skills. They are the ones who need to re-evaluate the way in which they consume media and literature. Not the author, who is only trying to discuss her personal experiences.

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        • Thanks for your perspective, A, it gives me food for thought. I understand RoseChasm and many Indian women are angry and they are perfectly entitled to express their anger. I am disgusted by violence but I think one shouldn’t throw the baby with the bath’s water. Living abroad like me, you know how the racist types can instrumentalize these kind of articles to blame entire communities.

          One day I saw an Indian woman slapping her daughter hard on the mouth while she was talking. I was so shocked I couldn’t speak. I know beating one’s children is part of Indian culture, my husband was beaten regularly as a child. Should I publish an article on CNN saying that all Indian women are bad mothers ? It would sparkle a debate, but would it do any good ?

          What is the best way to change mentalities ?

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        • “What is the best way to change mentalities ?”

          I’ve thought a lot about this myself, and the only answer I can think of is that it is very difficult to change mentalities. There is no “best way” to go about it, because the humans who possess them are not all the same. I feel like mentalities will only change when the people who own them are willing to change. When someone has a misogynistic or racist mentality, no amount of proof otherwise will ever change their opinions, unless they are willing to be proven wrong. It seems somewhat defeatist to say this, I suppose, but I fear it’s the truth.

          So, the only way is to write what we think, as we think it. To call things out as we see it, and take no prisoners. When someone makes a mistaken assumption as a result of those words, correct them to the best of your ability.

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        • I’m not invalidating your experience at all. Sorry if you feel that I was. I would say what happened to you may have been harassment; doesn’t mean you have to feel it was. All I’m saying is, while you’re entitled to feel the way you do because of your experiences, the writer was entitled to feel the way she did, and write about it the way she wanted to. You do not get to judge her for what she feels. And as many others have previously said, she wasn’t generalizing and saying ALL Indian men engage in such behaviour – just that many of the ones she came into contact with did. Anyone who cannot understand that needs to re-read the article.

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    • Full blown indian woman here. And faced these exact circumstances countless times. Married to a lovely indian man but that doesn’t mean I like to be groped or a reciepient of indecent sex pro portioning . It’s abuse plain and simple and I know SOME Indian men do it .

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    • Victoria,
      I am sure you had the positive mental syndrome of getting all the attention, in your own words “bothersome compliments” and you probably also attributed that to you being a white woman.
      However, when born as a woman in India, this is what you get every day, including the stalking, staring, pushing and groping. There are Indian women who avoid this by sitting at home and doing nothing but home making. They rear girls to do the same.
      On the other hand, the other Indian women who have to go out for work or school experience this harrowing experience day by day. The immense freedom that comes with a feeling that no one is staring at you and the fact that you don’t have to be on guard all times just because you are born is an incredible feeling.
      Since I work outside India, that is what I enjoy the most. If you ask me what I would like to see in India change is just this. And when 50 percent of the population starts feeling free like human beings and contributing, the economic growth will follow and poverty will decline.

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      • Shallotandginger, I think staying at home is certainly not a solution, it only makes matters worse. Only when women dare to act like free human beings can we hope a change to come.

        Please consider that in the west, women had to fight for their rights, nothing was handed to them on a plate, and it is by everyday actions and battles that we ensure there is not a regression in women’s freedom. We are still fighting.

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      • Shallotandginger – I agree

        Victoria, I totally get what you are saying..
        but there are 2 kinds of experiences one gets in India –
        1. if you travel in India with your own vehicle, interact just with people you know, you are aware of the dangers and are wary, then yeah, it’s an exotic place and a nice experience…
        2. but instead, if you want to experience India like an Indian, and mingle in the crowd, take public transportation… then you are doomed. Not long ago, there was a swiss national(I think) who went with her husband for cycling and got raped. These kind of adventures are a big No-No for Indian women. In her case, at most, what everybody came up with was – what was she doing out at those odd hours! I mean, this ‘being alone and getting raped’ has become such a common thing that it seems like a norm now! I think that needs to be changed, big time. Articles like these only bring issues to forefront and if it is generalization, then all I can say is – yes, that’s how bad it is!

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    • I have been grabbed, touched, harassed, stared at even afterward I expressed my displeasure, followed home for months on end.. I do not consider these compliments, especially being touched without my permission.. And no Indian people around gave a rats ass or tried to ‘help’, after all one is supposed to act like nothing is happening even as they are being molested. I have lived in India for many years and I know this is true and I also know I do no owe it to creeps to consider their actions in a positive light as being compliments. I can assure you I am not racist towards people of my own colour, I am not afraid of their sexuality, I am just sick of men treating me as if my body is their property and women telling me to shut up and cover up.

      Your experiences are yours alone but this article is not far fetched, given what every Indian woman knows about India.

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      • Carvaka, thanks for your comment, I think you have just explained the difference in our experiences. You say “after all one is supposed to act like nothing is happening even as they are being molested”.

        Nobody ever told me that, so when I am molested I get all red in the face, I shout and move a lot and go near groups of people, as I have been told that you are usually safer in a crowd. Therefore people around me know there is a problem. If you pretend nothing is happening you are in fact helping your agressor.

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        • ‘Although I have been stared at, and have received many sex propositions both from complete strangers and people I thought were friends, I have not considered this to be harassment but rather bothersome compliments.’

          Bothersome COMPLIMENTS????!!! I will come back and comment once I get over this!!

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        • So it’s my fault I was molested at age 10.. because I didn’t do exactly as you did? Victim blaming much?

          No, in fact moving into a crowd does NOT help in India, everyone in the crowd generally prefers denial. In fact crowds are where the MOST molestation happens. Getting red in the face is not what you see others doing around you, it’s not something you can come up with if that’s not the ‘done’ thing around and actually doesn’t always garner support. There was a story here somewhere of a girl who stood up for herself when being harassed in a metro in Delhi and then had the entire coach berate her for it.

          What I have explained to your is the ‘normal’ Indian experience of harassment, of being harassed in rape culture. What you have explained to me is your idea that if someone has been a victim of crimes that you have not, it must be their fault.. never-mind if it was in a country you might not know much about. I think you’ll pardon my lack of gratefulness for your lack of perspective.

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  17. The first article was something, I could relate to. It is so very common, if you have lived in India. I can only imagine how much worse it could have got when it was Western women, with all the perception of how Western women are ‘loose’. I never for once felt that she was generalizing or accusing the entire population of it. But yes, as someone mentioned, the whole population is party to it, with every street molestation/harassment that we turn a blind eye to. Haven’t we all heard, read of accounts of women who have faced street harassment and have found that everybody else just ignores what has been happening.
    I did not feel that she was generalizing or making a big issue out of nothing. It is a degrading experience, and she wrote about hers. That’s it.

    The second article, however, did feel rather judgmental. It was almost as if she had a bone to pick with RoseChasm.

    Wherever it happens, whichever country it happens, it is wrong. Just because crimes like this happen everywhere, should we stop talking about it?

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  18. Here is my take on this.

    What RoseChasm went through was horrific. There is zero doubt about this. It is not simply the story of her, but the story of women in our nation as a whole. This is what women in India experience, day in and day out. When we assert our rights to be in the public sphere, we are met with zero respect for our personhood, and zero tolerance for our rights over our bodies as human beings.

    This is a disgusting cultural heritage to have. You cannot cover up something this horrific with the phrase, “Not all of our men are like that!” and “Well rape happens in America as well!” Yes, both of these statements are VERY true. But they do not belong in the context of this discussion. When people bring these statements up, what they are truly attempting to do is defend an institution that actively dehumanizes women. This is wrong, and it should NEVER be allowed. You are talking about treating HUMAN BEINGS as something less than what they are. You are talking about violating the rights and personhood of someone. You cannot defend this by stating that “It happens both ways”. That does not take away from the fact that this still happens, and is horrific, and needs to be addressed. This logical fallacy is a tactic often used by people who want to minimize and erase the sufferings of others to preserve the shoddy status quo.

    As many commentors have pointed out before, anyone with half a brain will realize that her article is about her experiences alone. Nowhere does she negate any of the good experiences that she has had–she talks about them in tandem. She balances them in a way that a LOT of other people never would, and this is quite commendable.

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    • With that being said, let’s address why some people might have an issue with RoseChasm’s article. I would like to state that I am, in no way, endorsing the comments made by ignorant people in her article. The intent with which they wrote those comments is wrong, and it is something I disagree with.

      She ends her article with, “This is the story about India you need to hear.” And this is wholly, 100% true.

      But what of the story about India, wherein you have women like IHM, like the commentors on this blog? What of the story about India, where there are women who recognize the evils in our society, and actively attempt to fight it? The problem with an article like RoseChasm’s is not that it portrays Indian culture and men in a bad light (this part is frighteningly accurate, unfortunately). The problem is that it completely erases the Indian men and women who actively fight against this, every day of our lives. It makes it seem as though our narrative is not present, that we are somehow nonexistent. It showcases India as some kind of monolithic entity, where everyone is unenlightened, and nobody sees anything wrong with its culture, where all our women are only oppressed and nothing else. This is no fault of the author, but entirely the fault of her shallow readers who hail from the other side of the spectrum.

      To me, this is quite problematic. I don’t live in India. I live in the West, and some of the comments I get from fellow feminists who are not of Indian origin are quite frightening. A lot of the time, feminists from South Asian communities are seen, not as individuals, but as people to “be saved”, as though we cannot save ourselves. This is abjectly untrue. Yes, our culture is oppressive, but we refuse to be oppressed by it and define our own lives and choices. Yet, I was told that by virtue of my heritage, I am a “poor oppressed woman”. These were the exact words used to describe me, even though I clearly was not.

      The problem with articles like these, is not the narrators own experiences, but the shallow way in which her readers will treat them. For Indians, this will be an attack upon them, even though it isn’t. For Westerners, this will be an affirmation of previously held stereotypes about Indian women, even though our experiences are broader than that. And both of these aspects are extremely troubling. The only way to combat them is not to talk about the bad and the good, but the ways in which the bad things are being demolished, torn down, and stomped on by people who refuse to put up with such bullshit. Again, ANYBODY, with half a brain would know that there is truth to RoseChasm’s words, and that even as there is truth, it does not fully describe the entity that is India. But people are dumb. They are shallow. And they are ignorant. They lack critical thinking, and need things dumbed down for them. It’s a shame.

      To be clear, RoseChasm, in no way, owes anybody anything except the breadth of her own experience and what she wishes to share. She wants to share what she as seen in India, and I commend her for it. Nobody should be denying her experiences, especially the women of India, considering that they too live the same thing day in and day out. And it is not her fault, not in the slightest, that her article is problematic. The problems reside with the readers themselves, who cannot think on their own.

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      • //The problem with articles like these, is not the narrators own experiences, but the shallow way in which her readers will treat the//
        But then what happens when the newspapers say similar sort of things?

        Afghanistan worst place in the world for women, but India in top five
        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jun/15/worst-place-women-afghanistan-india
        //Some people may be surprised that India ranks lower than Saudi Arabia where women are not allowed to drive and have not yet had the chance to exercise the right to vote. In India, the status of women is closely linked to wealth and class. There are plenty of well-educated, professional women who enjoy personal freedoms and a Western lifestyle. India first had a female prime minister in the nineteen sixties and currently has its first female President. But their experience stands in marked contrast to the lives of rural women in the least developed states. //

        India worst place for women among top 19 economies, Canada best
        http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/India-worst-place-for-women-among-top-19-economies-Canada-best/Article1-870387.aspx

        India is worse than Pakistan on gender equality
        http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-11-05/india/28243298_1_maternal-mortality-india-ranks-pakistan

        According to a UNICEF report, 57% of Indian boys in the age-group 15-19 think it’s okay for a husband to beat his wife.
        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/57-of-boys-53-of-girls-think-wife-beating-is-justified/articleshow/12862006.cms

        Rape is a crime everywhere, but India’s crisis is unique
        DOUG SAUNDERS
        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/rape-is-a-crime-everywhere-but-indias-crisis-is-unique/article6931835/

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        • There is no denying what Indian women experience. Of course not. Articles that bring to light the situations of Indian women are very much needed, and they are welcome information for people who like to claim that Indian culture is somehow progressive when it isn’t.

          My problem does not reside with that. Criticism is necessary, and it is needed. But my problem stems from the fact that when people discuss this much needed criticism, they often do not talk about the people who are working their hardest to dismantle these institutions of oppression. Yes, sometimes, they will add a quote or two from an Indian feminist or feminist author, but that does not talk about the initiatives taken by feminists, and ordinary people in dismantling these institutions. These things should also be addressed, shouldn’t they? If someone wants to discuss the problems, they should also discuss the solutions that go with those problems.

          The problem with media discussing the horrific experiences of Indian women is not that it talks about them, but that it presents an image that there is no one doing anything to put a stop to it. I’m not talking about those comments from cultural warriors about how India “treats women like goddesses” and what not. I’m talking about people, ordinary people, like bloggers and just regular men and women, who reject oppression where they see it. People like my father, who fights for the women in his family to be taken seriously by our relatives. People like my grandmother, who refused to let widowhood define her. These are Indian people, who are not blind to their problems, and solve them using their own intelligence and strength. Many, many times, this intelligence and strength that reside in the people who fight cultural norms is thought to be non-existent. This is not true. Any intelligent person would know this, but again, people who often consume media and the news don’t see this and need to have it spelled out for them.

          Indian culture NEEDS to be criticized. Articles like the one you cited, they are enlightening as much as they are frightening and they are very much needed to call upon the conscience of people. I’m not opposed to this–issues need to be aired out. This is the only way in which we will dismantle the problems with it. It’s the only way in which we will ensure that everyone in India is treated fairly, equally, with the respect that should be afforded to them that they are entitled to.

          But. I’m not a big fan of when people don’t realize that there are also individuals who fight these things as well. And it irks me sometimes when people discuss the problems with our culture and finish by saying, “Well, it’s sad that there’s no one putting a stop to these things in their own community.” This is not true. There ARE people putting a stop to such horrors. And it would be nice to have this side recognized in addition to the bad sides.

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        • I guess my problem is not so much the discussion of negative aspects, but the lack of recognition for the people who actively fight against them? Let’s set aside the whole argument about how we appear to the West. When people know that there are movements and institutions in place to fight the institutionalized inequality in our culture, they are inspired to do so in their own lives. The last blog post, for example–when someone is aware that blogs such as yours exist, they become empowered to make changes. It is through becoming aware that change is born.

          Often times, the news does not talk about the people who make changes. You can talk about problems, but if you don’t recognize solutions, how will people move forward? They cannot do it on their own. The questions that arise after reading such articles are, “What can we do to solve this problem?” When solutions are not offered, people often shrug their shoulders and continue to struggle in their lives. This was the legacy of women in the generation before mine–they saw no other options, and they suffered in silence.

          It is necessary to talk about the people who fight, and the people who win those fights. When oppressed individuals know that there are people who are fighting, they will become inspired to do so on their own. This is how movements are born. And there need to be more articles that are well rounded enough to acknowledge this as well.

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      • I totally agree with you A. What disturbs me about the article of RoseChasm is that she negates each positive experience by a terribly negative one and leaves it at that. It sounds like a vengeance. I would react in a totally different way if the story was told in a different way.

        IHM, India is apparently one of the top 5 dreamed destinations for solo women travellers.

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        • India is also one of the top 5 worst countries to be a woman in. So what if she negates the positive with the negative? Maybe that’s how it felt to her. What good is forcing people to artificially ‘balance’ the negatives with positives? That’s just denial. I am glad this stuff is out in the open and in people’s faces now. This is a positive step. Silencing negative experiences mean that they cannot be addressed at all.

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    • //But. I’m not a big fan of when people don’t realize that there are also individuals who fight these things as well. //
      A, I don’t know who claim that..? Individuals are not enough. Those who do deserve all credit in the world, yes. The problem is that number of those individuals are still not satisfactory. And those who do don’t get enough voice to speak up against this. And if someone thinks 0% of people fight against misogyny, they must be that stupid anyway.

      Even then, let us still consider that this might make people think 0% people fight to solve misogyny… I will take that ‘irk’ every single day over the lack of attention these serious issues deserve. They deserve to be pointed out, and the only way is to get that out to as wide an audience we can. I also want the proportion of sexual harassment in our country to be properly represented rather than the “some men are nice, while some men are not” balancing act.

      I do get your point – trust me, I do.. But I am tired of this serious issue not getting anywhere near the attention it deserves..

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      • “But I am tired of this serious issue not getting anywhere near the attention it deserves..”

        Don’t ever get me wrong, talking about problems is absolutely essential. It is the first step, and one of the most important steps. No one should allow this fear of being perceived badly as a community to get in the way of discussing everything that is wrong with it. We need to talk, there needs to be dialogue. There needs to be articles like the one IHM linked to, which fully demonstrate how awful and endemic Indian culture can be. There is no amount of attention that is “enough” attention when it comes to talking about issues like rape, sexual assault, and inequality. As long as they exist, they must be talked about, and they must be done away with. Irrespective of how many people think I can or cannot talk about these issues, I will still talk about them and bring light to them.

        “The problem is that number of those individuals are still not satisfactory.”

        Exactly. The number of those individuals is still not satisfactory. This is not going to change by merely throwing a bunch of statistics at them. That is the first step to the solution, yes. You have to start by showing them the problem exists, yes. But you also, in equal measure, have to show how we can work towards solving those problems.

        This is not a “some men are nice, while some men are not” balancing act, as you put it. What I am asking is not to paint over our faults as if they don’t exist, or make exemptions for people when they don’t need them. This is not hiding the issues in any way at all. It is bringing them to light, and then compounding upon that exposure to discuss the ways in which we can get rid of the problem at hand. We have to talk about solutions, the people who break the barriers in our culture, the ones who challenge the status quo. We have to show that these people exist, so that there can be more people who are inspired by them. Just talking about statistics alone, all day long, is not going to get us anywhere. The media has to discuss solutions as well, as much as they discuss the problems.

        Let the serious issues be discussed. Let’s also give a voice to the people who fight for those solutions. There is a severe apathy in our country, and just showing statistics won’t make that go away. To inspire a movement, you also have to show the people who are moving and making a difference.

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        • //Let the serious issues be discussed. Let’s also give a voice to the people who fight for those solutions.//
          For which the problem has to actually get enough attention, which is what I am saying.. People have to be aware of the disproportionately sickening amount of sexual harassment.. I don’t think I or anyone else here would disagree with you that solutions should also be heard, but I believe the blog is rather about the experience expressed by a woman in India and the ‘balancing out’ act they had to carry out later to please all the post modernists and co.. saying ‘but all men aren’t like that!’ nonsense.

          //This is not a “some men are nice, while some men are not” balancing act, as you put it. //
          I was not talking about you, A – but the kind of immediate balancing act that they had to do with the other blogger, and this is because of the shitstorm the Post Modernists and liberals who support them.. And this is a real problem.

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        • I get your point, but your concern of giving “a voice to the people who fight for those solutions” seems minor in comparison to the HUGE problem of sexual molestation in India. Yes that is needed, but why does that even come into play when reading RoseChasm’s article? I can completely relate to her words, and I don’t currently live in India either – I have lived there long enough to know that sexual molestation is debilitating and inhumane and most of populous India just ignores it completely. There are those of us who fight back and do not need “saving”, and we might not be recognized, but I will fight that battle when this larger war is won.

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  19. Why the comparison with no. of rapes in America? Its like saying “Even my neighbor kick his wife. Why cant I slap her?”. And comparing the sexual crime rates will only tarnish the image of Indian men more.
    Indian men do not need anybody’s help to tarnish their names. Some of them manage well enough for the entire group.
    Some of my male friends complain of women eyeing them warily in crowded places as if they might reach out and grab any time. We cant help it. Unfortunately we are not equipped with a radar that beeps when a potential molester/rapist approaches us. So we have no choice but to be wary of all men.

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  20. I agree with her 100%. I as an Indian woman feel like I am not safe, every walking trip is an exercise in controlling myself from shooting people who are staring and commenting and ready to cross the line at the earliest opportunity. Whenever I complain about these things, people around me behave as if I am the bad guy, making everyone uncomfortable by bringing up the obvious, or they ask me to shut it coz it happens ‘even in USA’. Who the hell cares if it happens anywhere else? How are we ok that 50% of our population lives like this?

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  21. This article horrified me as I believe that it would any woman of any ethnic origin because as women, we are all too aware of the particular vulnerabilities that we must always consider.

    I do not think that the author of this piece should have to place in qualifiers (such as “there must be some good men in this country”) into her piece. It was her experience to share, and she is doing a first-person reporting on the incidents she lived through.

    I’ve read some of the comments here that suggest that her article leaves out the notion that there are plenty of lovely Indian people who do fight against these behaviors and the cultural norms that promote them.

    I will add that I believe that is your job not hers. It is your job to tell that story in whatever way that you can. It’s your job to own your story and share it because if you don’t others will and there is no guarantee that they will do a great job with it.

    I would love to see documentaries, articles, and pieces about the people of India who are fighting back!

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  22. I don’t need rose chasm to explain in elaborate detail I experience it firsthand.
    To be blunt.

    I have been groped, followed, cat called, and rubbed against in India, I have never been groped, harassed, followed, rubbed against in America, London, Sweden, Switzerland, Maldives, Thailand, Hawaii, Sydney and Perth.

    That is enough proof for me. I agree not all men are disgusting like this, but the number of disgusting men is higher in India, or should I say the no of men who do bad stuff in a group and think its fun is higher in India. Sensitivity is not our forte and nether is respect for women. Of course this is only a select group of men, but IMO more than enough to make an bad impression.

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  23. The second article is for the american public and not for you Indians. She is trying to explain to her people that the first article is not indicative of the entire country or its men. She is not trying to devalue your personal experiences . The writer of the second article knows of how biases are created in her country. She is trying to make sure that this does not happen in India’s case.

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    • Nothing wrong with shaming Indian men across the globe, they deserve every bit of it. The “good men” if they are not molesting or groping other women on the street, then they are complete mommy’s boy who will never lift a finger to support and defend their wives against abuses as we very well know from this blog. I have zero sympathy for Indian men, let them get bashed, may be that will put some senses into their grand Indian male entitlement syndrome. The rare minority of truly “good” Indian men will do just fine, I personally know a few and they are leading wonderful lives.

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      • “Nothing wrong with shaming Indian men across the globe”

        Exactly. Shaming Indian men will result in hurt feelings and some angry articles like this one. While shaming Indian men will undoubtedly annoy them, it will not kill them.

        Shaming Indian women, on the other hand, will. Shaming Indian women involves throwing acid in their faces for refusing proposals. Shaming Indian women involves sexually harassing them for retribution. Shaming Indian women results in their maiming, their dismemberment, and in the worst cases, their death.

        There was a great quote somewhere–“Misandry irritates. But misogyny kills.” There is a vast difference between the consequences of the two, and people need to understand how to react accordingly.

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    • The second article is trying to undermine the experiences of the author of the first article. She IS trying to devalue our personal experiences and the experiences of all the women who have faced sexual harassment in India by trying to sweep the whole issue under the rug. By saying that, “Not all men are like that!” the second article is attempting to make a bigger issue of the fact that the first article made a blanket statement, when in fact, the bigger issue should be the personal experiences of the author.

      It is wrong to undermine the experiences of a whole group of people like that, simply because you do not agree with the language used by someone. The author of the second article is far, far more concerned about this so called “insult to Indian men”, than she is about the terror that is being faced by Indian women. And this is the problem.

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      • Exactly.I kept thinking the second article was written by a man.I had to keep telling myself, over and over again, that a woman has written it.Did not sound at all like a woman.

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      • “The author of the second article is far, far more concerned about this so called “insult to Indian men”, than she is about the terror that is being faced by Indian women. And this is the problem.”

        The nail on the head, right there.

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  24. Some western women might have indian partners or friends and when articles like the first one come out, they might find the need to clarify that all indian men are like this. What is the harm in it?Does the first article become untrue just because the second one was written?

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    • “Does the first article become untrue just because the second one was written?”

      No it does not – but it does trivialize the issue making it appear as though RoseChasm’s account was just one overwrought woman’s experience. This is not an issue to be trivialized by putting up disclaimers – this is a serious matter, and needs all the attention it can get. It didn’t just happen to RoseChasm, it happens to most women in India.

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      • Amodini is right. The first article really conveyed the actual proportion of sexism women experience here quite well. And then second article did to an extend trivialize her experience, making it sound as if she is paranoid and exaggerating. And I didn’t find rosechasms article some sort of rage out at all, she was very polite and tried to describe what she experienced as she could. And then it followed with the trivialization article by the other. Why do people want to neutralizing the words of a woman who experienced sexual harassment? The article is supposed to invoke rage, convey the misogyny women face in India.

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    • Simply ask yourself this – if the author of the second article had gone through the exact same experience that rosechasm went through, would she have written ‘not all indian men are like that’?
      No, right?

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  25. //Pubali R. Chaudhuri via Moupriya Das
    FB Post I May 1, 2013 “I am in a Western country… women are walking around me…one is wearing pants… the other is wearing a short skirt…another wears shorts…men and women are walking side by side… it is strange… no one is staring… why don’t I see the looks of men I saw in my country? Those looks that made a woman feel naked… those looks that I hated… the ones that made me hate being on this earth, and hate being born a woman… those looks that deny me my humanity…why don’t I see those looks here? All the women are dressed up… why don’t I see those looks even though all the women are attractive here? I saw one women run and laugh… I remembered that I wasn’t allowed to run once I hit puberty… I remembered my aunt’s window… I remembered I was an object of temptation that must be covered… I remembered that a man in my country wears white, while I am covered in black… I asked myself, why don’t men wear black? Why don’t men cover their faces? And I couldn’t find the answer…”//
    Shared here: https://www.facebook.com/IHM.Indianhomemaker/posts/572313262802132?notif_t=like

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    • This is exactly how I feel when in west vs India, absolutely true experience. You can wear 3 inch short barely covering your butt, backless tops or just a bra at an outdoor music concert for a hot humid summer day and no one is going to pinch, grope and stare at you even in the most crowded areas, it just doesn’t happen. Sure you might get your cellphone or wallet stolen, but that is just normal pick pocketing that can happen anywhere, nothing that strips down and dehumanizes women for simply walking down the street in broad daylight or even at night. Until and unless India improves this situation, they should shut up and stop acting so offended because a women dare raise her voice and show the world what a disgusting place India is for a woman.

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      • “it just doesn’t happen.” — This is not quite true. Street harassment IS a problem, but the existence of it is actually much, much lower than in India, and is never quite as blatant. And when it is pointed out, while you will still get some idiots that tell you, “It’s a compliment”, you will never face the type of victim blaming that you get in India, where the questions will be along the lines of, “Why were you even existing on this Earth? If you’re here, men will look at you, no matter what you wear.”

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      • Just to add something to A’s point, Street Harassment does happen, but the difference is that they don’t have the sense of entitlement men here have, that if a woman walks by the street, it’s a man’s right to harass her. You won’t get advice that you should dress more modestly in accordance with our ‘bhartiya sanskar’. Women have mostly accepted this is something they have to expect every time rather than an issue.

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  26. RoseChasm speaks the truth – I need no verification. Experiencing life in India as a woman is proof enough. She does not need to qualify her experience with “not all Indian men are like this” – this is not some minor inconvenience, it is a HUGE issue which the country ignores. Girls are socialized into accepting that you will be taunted/leered/groped/molested – and that is WRONG. It is a pity that it takes an American viewpoint to bring it to the fore – all Indian women go through this each and everyday, and everyone ignores it as a part of life.

    The second article was defensive, and a little pompous – there’s nothing she can say that will untarnish the image of Indian men.

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  27. No, obviously RoseChasm isn’t making a generalization. But the fact remains that it has been her general experience. And as an Indian, I am ashamed. Wish we could do more.

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  28. I distrust the second article negating Rose’s article as well & even more. The writer tries to sound balanced but it sounds even more distrustful to me. Sounds like some Indian wrote it.

    “what RoseChasm doesn’t address is the fact that rape happens in America as well”

    So? Rape may happen in USA does not mean it is dealt the same way either. There you can complain, nobody will bribe you to shut up and not file an FIR and the institutions there work ( at least partially). Their critical kidnapping cases/rare cases got a judgement soon. The ohio kidnapping guy (amanda berry) is in jail sentenced to life without parole now. What has happened to the Delhi gang rape Case? They have a live witness. And all they do is keep deferring judgement. I am tired of checking the news daily for that. What happened to all the cases after & before that? Nothing. Our institutions are barely functional. So, it is useless comparing a crime happening in India & US.

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  29. she doesn’t need to qualify her statements, she has every right to feel like she did. we in india can totally relate to her. i think why people are bristling at her accounts are because the way it is written and sort of blackwashing experience as generic in india. which it is, actually.

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  30. If we prepare a questionnaire on sexual harassment on Indian streets and have all Indian women from all age groups reply to it I am sure 100 percent would have gone through some(an understatement) harrowing experience or the other. So why is Rose Chasm questioned? Just because she wrote about it? So what are we suppose to do? Get harassed and shut up? I remember once in Bangalore I was walking with a friend and out of the blue a construction worker threw himself on me and started groping me. I was so taken aback all I could think of doing was crossing my arms across my chest while my friend was hitting him left, right and center and trying to pull him away from me. We made such a hue and cry and it being a residential area, people came out as he ran away to oblivion. We dropped our phones and other belongings and ran after him. There were some people on bikes who just stood there to see the tamasha. We requested them to chase that guy but they just stood their stupefied and smiling. We went to police station too the next day.I felt so violated I took me a long time to get that incident out of system and laugh and smile again.. I started carrying my sharp paper cutter with me all the time. I got vary of people who walked too close to me(though most of them were innocent). Just when I was getting back to normalcy I was groped again by a cyclist who even looked back at me smugly while cycling away as if challenging me to do something about it. So I totally believe Rose Chasm when she mentions how psychologically damaging it was for her and had to get therapy and medication. I pray that she recovers from the nightmare and I wish people to stop being mere spectators and help tackle this issue in whatever capacity they can.

    Please do check the link below. My friend has started this . Please lend your support for this cause .

    http://safecity.in/main

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    • Yes, preparing a questionnaire seems like a good idea. It might make people open their eyes to see the truth.A commenter above, I think victoria, said she found it unusual that rosechasm was stalked, groped and almost raped in 3 months time. Did not find a handle to reply to that comment and bringing it up here since it seemed appropriate and within context, that, a questionnaire will really help such people realise that it is not unusual. It is not unusual if in one day alone, a female gets stalked and groped.Why is it unusual if it happened over a duration of three months? I visited the link with the questionnaire last night but while trying to fill Location in the report, the page got stuck.So I could not submit the report.Will try again.

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    • Honestly, Indian women should have the right to carry concealed weapon in public and shoot these damn bastards who think any women outside is free for all property to grope/touch/pinch and ride away with a smug face. Such men are scums on earth with worthless lives, who cares if they die or incapacitated for rest of their lives, teaches them the lesson. If George Zimmerman could kill Travoyn Martin and walk a free man simply because he “felt” threatened by a teenage, all these Indian street molesters are absolutely fair game to shoot and kill. But obviously it is India and this is dream fantasy that will never happen.

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  31. The article was not about Indian men, It was about the long-lasting effects of sexual harassment on a woman’s mental health. How can people, especially other women, reduce her personal experience to: “it’s just a generalization”; “it makes Indian men look bad”, etc.
    Why is it so hard for people to be empathetic to this poor girl’s story, instead of thinking only of reputation? Is the only thing people are concerned about their reputation? Come on…have some empathy for what that poor girl went through!

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  32. IHM,
    I have read that activism can help and bring down these street attacks eventually. But I wonder, how do we tackle this issue at a practical level. What are the solutions?
    Your blog probably can be a platform to give practical suggestions to handle this, not only in handling the trauma, but preventing it.
    Once my husband suggested that, if we collectively name and shame the person who does it ( I know its hard to even identify), this may reduce. Because all men act like sheep anyway among their own family and friends.

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  33. Of course I am ashamed. And I ought to be. This is my country. And as long there is a single such incident, I should feel that shame. Perhaps this shame would ensure that we don’t defend such abusers (‘men would be men’ funda) or encourage them by accepting abuse as way of life.

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  34. I do not understand the indignation with which some people are trying to defend ‘good Indian men’. Aside the fact that RoseChasm’s account is based on her experience alone, we know that each occurrence that she mentions in the article rings true of our own experiences or those of someone we know. There is no denying that sexual harassment has become a dangerous norm and we, as women, are getting only too used to modifying our own behavior to deal with it. Excluding a certain population of Indian men from this criticism will unfortunately do nothing to change that.

    Here is my account of a recent experience while travelling alone.

    http://oflifeandotherluxuries.blogspot.in/2013/08/the-night-i-wasnt-raped.html

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  35. to make the Indian patriots and patriarchs happy – the only place i face the same sexual harassment as in India , maybe a bit more was EGYPT … now do we really want to be compared to them🙂

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  36. IHM, I am replying here to your comment as I don’t know how to put it in the right place. I don’t understand. Is very Indian woman stalked and groped every day, are you ? If so, how can you possibly stand it and why do you ? Don’t you have pepper sprays and sharp hairpins ? Suppose, each time it happens you file a complaint with the police so as to flood the courts ?

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    • When I was in college and travelled in the DTC buses, I used to carry sharp hairpins and an umbrella, we all did. We also tried our best to wait until we got a comparatively less crowded bus. Why didn’t we go to the police??? If we felt safe and comfortable in reporting these crimes, and if we were sure of not being blamed (have you read the links I have shared?) for provoking these helpless men – why would we not report?

      If there was no risk that they would throw acid on our faces, stalk us (most likely, extremely common and very terrifying), molest us again (they know they can get away with it) or slap us (happened to a friend on a crowded Dhaulakuan bus stand, during my college years) – we would probably have felt safer in attacking back. What we did was poke with a pin and then say, “Oh, sorry, didn’t realise your hand/face/shoulder/arm was this close! Hope it didn’t hurt?!” This way we got rid of them without having to ‘prove’ that they had attempted to molest us. (We would have been blamed for ‘provoking the wrong kind of attentions’ by atleast some of the other commuters, the others didn’t care, ‘If it bothers you so much then kindly travel by personal transport.”)

      We spend more money, planned longer and with more time and energy – each time we stepped out and then simply were grateful that we were spared, because despite all the precautions, there was no way to be sure that we would remain safe.

      I have linked my experience in the train – I was grateful they didn’t throw my kids out of the train. There is no support system if we dare to fight back – there is only invalidation, pretence of disbelief and of course blame – questions like, How come it didn’t happen to someone else? What did we do for it to happen only to us? One friend (- I once cribbed about the stares while dropping my daughter to her school bus stop in Kochi, Kerala, South India) – and she said, “Try wearing salwar kurta.” (with sarcasm) I generally wore loose cotton trousers and kurtas, not too different from salwar kurtas, but not a traditional India outfit, and she (like most Indians) genuinely believed that some clothing makes women more conspicuous, more visible, detectable, discernible, seeable … being invisible she felt (like so many others) was ‘safer’. This is also why women don’t like to report, suddenly they become more clearly visible or noticeable. And blameable.

      Most women who can afford it try travelling by personal transport, cars are considered safer than two wheelers, having a male relative/friend/driver is considered still safer – maybe it makes women feel less visible and less within reach of street sexual harassers?

      Why don’t women do anything about it? They try to talk about it – that has to be the first step, so that they, and everybody else, see almost all the women are facing the same/similar experiences, no matter what their life style, clothing, time, location etc. But when they try they are seen as liars, attention grabbers, shameless, dishonourable – and so they are silenced. Most people feel/say/are convinced, that women who do speak up are exaggerating – or “How come it didn’t happen to other women?” Women are advised, by all including the police and the political and religious leaders and Women’s commissions and once by the women and child welfare minister, to wear full sleeves (I did), to avoid wearing salwar kurta, to stay at home after dark, to take a male relative along, or to wear sarees with blouses that have full sleeves. Everybody has ‘good advice’ to offer, even when they believe that ‘the situation can’t really be so bad’.

      And other women feel grateful it didn’t happen to them, or happened to them less often, or they handled it better, or they didn’t let it affect them as much – they fail to see why some other woman/women can’t do the same. Many people find the silence and denial easier to deal with, some women feel they are probably doing something right, and are hence better people.

      Since male attention of the positive, welcome and consensual kind is a flattering experience – imagine how it could confuse! Some women and men (specially those who have no idea of consent, and believe sex is rape) might wonder why some women can’t enjoy the attention – what can be more delightful than men you find repulsive staring, singing songs, trying to grope or stalk you? Will continue as a post.

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      • Thank you for the long answer, IHM. I had wondered about retalition if you filed a case. I just wish to tell you, for what it’s worth, that until a few years ago in my European country, women filing complaints for rape were blamed by the police, and still now you can hear the kind of comments you have mentioned. But nowadays the fight against gender violence is a top priority. I suppose it’s thanks to the work of activists.

        One of the thing I have found remarkable about India, is that it was almost impossible for me to have a serious conversation with Indian women. They were either not on the streets when I was, not speaking English, or not wishing to talk. I sign many petitions, support charities, but I have never been able to find an Indian Women’s organization that I could support. But at the same time India is known for the high number of women politicians and businesswomen. This is what is mind boggling to me.

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      • IHM,
        Thanks for this elaborate account. I have to agree this blog is therapeutic.
        To add to this discussion, another reason why women don’t respond to it is because they have been experiencing it all their lives starting from their childhood.
        I remember all this starting at a tender age where I did not even know what sexual harassment meant. Around 12 or so. Everyday in the buses I took to the school.
        The challenge was to find a place far away from men (that’s among some women).
        It is traumatic for every woman I think, they just deal with it differently. I have a crowd-phobia even in mid 30s ( in other parts of the world where i dont have to be on guard). So yeah, these small girls absorb it as fear and some totally hate their bodies.
        I always blamed my body to have grown breasts. Just could not understand why I had to go through this trauma.

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  37. I was stalked for four years from age 13 to age 17. Every single day. This person even turned up at my hostel when I went away to do my undergrad degree. I still break into a sweat when I remember the terror I felt when I spotted him, which was all the time. Took me years to get over it after I met my husband.

    Thankfully my immediate family totally stood by me. I have to use the word ‘thankfully’ here, sadly. Most others including my extended family thought I must be doing something to give the chap a ‘lift’.

    From which angle was the stalking a bleddy ‘compliment’??

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      • His folks got fed up of the constant complaints from my family, and finally the threat (unknown to me) by an uncle of mine that he would get the chap beaten up if he continued the stalking was taken seriously by them – and they forced him to get married.

        I was lucky (see how much we have to resort to ‘luck’ all the time) – he didn’t really do anything to me except take pictures of me when I was out on the road on my way to school. But the point I am making is – the few people who knew about it laughed and said I should be pleased I had an ‘admirer’. Let me tell you it was first a mere annoyance, and eventually when I began to spot him near my house even when I occasionally went out for a late night walk with my parents (as late as 11 pm) then it got seriously scary.

        Being truly admired and therefore happy versus ‘eve-teasing’ – the difference is simple. It’s the same as wanting to and therefore being physically intimate with someone you love versus being raped.

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        • Yes, I agree
          You were lucky, but also you had support from your family, and I think this was a good part of your luck.

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  38. Samar Halarnkar added: “Men abuse women in every society, but few males do it with as much impunity, violence and regularity as the Indian men … Enough said! And true down to the last full stop!:-/

    Of all the rich G20 nations, India has been labelled the worst place to be a woman. But how is this possible in a country that prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy?

    Here is the article, a gist of the Indian brand of harassment

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jul/23/why-india-bad-for-women

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    • I quote an excerpt of the article : “Sure, India might not be the worst place to be a woman on the planet – its rape record isn’t nearly as bad as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for instance, where more than 400,000 women are raped each year, and female genital mutilation is not widespread, as it is in Somalia.”

      India is branded the worst place to be a woman not only because of sexual abuse, but because of forced prostitution, dowry crimes, female foeticide and infanticide…. and unfortunately women have a responsability in this. Just like in Africa, women have a reponsability in genital mutilation.

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      • Ofcourse women have a responsibility in patriarchy because both men and women can be patriarchal. But the victims that undergo the effects of this patriarchy sometimes have no responsibility in it. The girls that are killed at birth or fed less than their brothers or married off without education or burnt for dowry by a family that seemed ‘nice’ are not suffering because they did something wrong. They are not to blame.

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        • Sure, Carvaka. But I’m not going to glorify the women who let their daughters starve, sell their virginity, encourage them to stay in abusive marriages and so on.

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  39. Pingback: Everybody knows what women should do to not ‘get molested’ in India. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  40. Pingback: The Problem with Post-Modernists | Indian Male Feminist

  41. Pingback: “As long as the men do not understand that they CANNOT and WILL NOT get away with such behavior and criminal acts, the rape culture will not go away” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  43. Pingback: ‘Madam so many rapes don’t happen in Germany coz girls don’t refuse to have sex.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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