Do you believe that if this video was shot in Delhi, the girl would not reach home alive?

What do you make of this video? How do you think would the experience differ in Delhi? Or worse, Madhya Pradesh? Or Bihar, Haryana or UP?

IndieTube in Mumbai decided to mimic the ‘10 hours of walking in NYC as a woman‘ video. The model wears a top and a short skirt and walks around Mumbai city throughout the day, almost 10 hours of walking. To their surprise she did not get a single instance of street harassment. (But many women were not surprised.)

Many comments seem to believe, with absolute certainty, that if this video was shot in Delhi – the girl would not reach home alive. Many are sure she would have been sexually assaulted.

What do you think?

I think, 98% chances are that she would face Street Sexual Harassment from strangers. In some places it would be subtle.

Stares would be the most common intimidation and harassment.  Also, attempts at seemingly accidental physical contact (like almost pushing her while walking past her).

And in many some places there would be Nothing. These will be the areas where many women dress the way they choose to, and they drive, walk, ride on two wheelers, sit, stand, laugh or just loiter – in public spaces. It seems, presence of confident and empowered women on the streets makes streets safer for women. [Link][Link]

(unfortunately such places are not many). Also, some (not all) of these places might be seen as a bad influence on our culture. Can you think of some such places?

In some neighbourhoods where criminals have more freedom, and where women are more controlled [link], (directly related) there would be less fear of consequences for the criminals – here there is a possibility of the woman being followed for short distances, maybe singing or humming, and in some places, maybe attempts at touching her.

Do consider:

1. The video is shot in broad daylight and in crowded streets.

2. Only 2% of sexual crimes against women are committed by strangers (Stranger Rape Myth) 98% of such crimes are committed by someone known to the victim.

(Though ofcourse in India, perhaps a large percent of that 2% are committed in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, UP, Haryana, Kerala and Bihar?)

3. Also, I think, often, Public Transport seems to be a more unsafe Public Space for women, than the streets are. [Link1] [Link 2][Link 3]

Related Posts:

Research survey on Street Harassment

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

Study finds 98% of India rape victims knew their attacker.

Home most unsafe place for women : A unique court-ordered study by Delhi Police has revealed.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Indian women dancing in the streets? Photographs.

What’s the best way to fight for your rights and freedoms and to prevent Talibanization of India?

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

Can sexual harassment be compared to Terrorism against a whole community called women?

What did Sharad Yadav mean by, ‘Who amongst us has not followed girls?’

Is stalking of girls and women illegal in India?

‘“Why would this girl lie? After all she is taking the blame on herself”, said the police officer to the criminal infront of me.’

The fearlessness of the Indian ‘Eve teaser’ (sexual criminals)


29 thoughts on “Do you believe that if this video was shot in Delhi, the girl would not reach home alive?

  1. I am really shocked to see NYC video…And i am sure of Mumbai..Been to mumbai many times felt it was safer then hyderabad…if i get a chance to live in mumbai will go live there….Oh my god don’t say about bus rides…it was the most horrible experience i had during my school days….Not knowing why these guys fall on you,try to rub you,try to touch you…….never will get into the buses or nor will allow my girls to get into the bus in hyd….


      • Oh i wrote a long comment and looks like i lost it.

        A big no Ihm in Hyderabad. During my college days i used to get down a bus and walk in front of sec railway station hugging my bag to my chest and walk fast avoiding the hits..When i used to commute i never saw any stare or a glance by anyone in Mumbai trains then. Even you are not spared when you drive. I had many instances when i over took a guy and that guy followed me till my house.Many times i didn’t go to my house but to a petrol pump or some store so that they don’t follow me till my house.


        • This is totally true about Hyderabad, atleast that has been my experience too.
          I studied Engineering in a college which was located on the outskirts of the city and I traveled by college bus, but on the days when I used public transport, it was a nightmare. Also, the walk from and to the college bus stop was no different and mind you I used to wear loose fitting cotton salwar kameez with a duppatta wrapped around me like a blanket and my hair tied in a plait. I was by no means looking remotely attractive and in spite of all this there would be guys who would walk straight into me. In public buses and bus stops, there would be men the age of my grand father staring at me and I felt like I was being raped.
          Not once during my entire college life did I wear jeans to college as the kind of stares and comments that I was subjected to were horrible. I hated dressing up and just grew up like that.
          My parents or family never objected to me wearing anything, in fact my father taught me self defense mechanisms too, but I used to just get scared…It took a lot of time for my family to get me out of that trauma.
          Even educated boys, men and old men behave like this and I have decided that I am not going to settle down in Hyderabad.


      • As someone who has lived in Hyderabad and Delhi, IMO street molestation is worse in Hyderabad. Hyderabad has gender-segregated buses (women’s section towards the front, the men towards the rear) so that helps. Delhi’s DTC buses are a nightmare. I’ve also travelled in Bombay trains and once got into a general compartment by mistake. My male classmates had to literally form a ring around me, to thwart the gropers.


  2. I have faced harassment in Bombay on crowded train platforms, first class general train compartments, buses, once an auto-rickshaw (incredibly creepy driver), family-friendly new year parties, airport, shopping streets, bus stops (men flashing penises). Also random guys in school and college.. following me and threaten my friends, completely ignoring me saying no or telling them off. These were strangers to me too. Comments, staring and ‘accidental touching’ are more common than blatant touching.

    I don’t understand this video and what it’s trying to prove. They seem to be going ‘look NY is so bad but Mumbai is amazing’. Bombay is not a gender-neutral heaven. It’s certainly better than Delhi but then Delhi is probably better than Afghanistan. No one harassed me in NY so anecdotally, I could say NY is better than Bombay. What’s the point of this oppression competition?

    Bombay has it’s share of issues, thanks to the same type of patriarchal norms that exist elsewhere in India.. made worse by right wing ‘moral policing’. More women work in Bombay which makes crowded streets perhaps safer than Delhi. However there have been news reports about female foeticide/ infanticides, mobs molesting girls, gang rapes and I saw women beaten by their husbands. So again, what’s the point of this video?

    Ofcourse in all these years of being a woman, the worst kind of abuse I faced was from someone within my own family. So that’s indeed an excellent point. It didn’t quite make the roadside/ school/ college harassment sting less though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I personally feel that street harassment is higher on school / college students, and slightly tapers off in the mid-20s. When I was in school in Mumbai, street harassment was relentless, whether it was in the markets or whether it was in my own area. But now, I face absolutely no problem. Now, years later, my sister is facing street harassment in Chennai, but as she grows up, it’s not as horrible as it was when she was in school 3-4 years ago. The same thing happened to me in Chennai. It was horrible when I lived there in my early 20s but now no one looks twice at me. It’s not specifically a “north phenomenon” either. I was in UP a while back and no street harassment, at all whereas when I was in my 20s, it was really bad in the North.

    I think it is an age-related crime, because younger women are more vulnerable, and have not yet learned to fight back. At the same time, popular wisdom also tells these young girls / women to not fight back and be afraid. This attitude sort of fades away once you get out in the world, and street harassers realise it.


    • I’ve noticed this as well. It was much worse when I was younger, although there’s still the odd incident now. It’s a power play. They go for who they perceive as weaker or more vulnerable and less likely to be able to retaliate.


      • Same here….. During my college days, I travelled mostly through blue-line buses in Delhi and it was horrendous….everyday I used to reach college with lot of angst and frustration…..but now I have become more confident when I am in my late 20’s. Now I shout and screamed everytime someone tries to rub me in public plaes… I think your confidence and fearlessness creates an aura around you that scares the eve-teasers.


        • Agree with the commentators.The maximum street harassment I faced was a stick thin pinafore wearing school kid in Chennai in public transportation.As I grew older it became minimal.As an adult I almost always wear western clothes.There is an effect of intimidation that comes from that. I guess the harassers are looking for victims who look like they are not likely to fight back.


  4. Amazing! Can barely believe this. Was left wondering whether people left alone because they knew she was being filmed. Or are the people of Mumbai genuinely way ahead of the rest of the country? I would surely love to believe that. At least it is nice to have evidence for the fact that any street harassment or rapes in Mumbai cannot be attributed to what a woman chooses to wear or doesn’t. At least to that extent this myth has been busted.


  5. “And in many some places there would be Nothing. These will be the areas where many women dress the way they choose to, and they drive, walk, ride on two wheelers, sit, stand, laugh or just loiter – in public spaces. It seems, presence of confident and empowered women on the streets makes streets safer for women.”

    I totally agree with these statement made in post.If most of the women do it i.e dressing,driving or walking it becomes natural and usual thing. No eyes or special attention attracted. But when you start segregation then it become rare thing and its human tendency to go after any unusual thing which has never happened like women going out on their on, wearing skirt etc.

    I also agree that if this walk would have taken in Delhi then it would have been completed in 1hr as the girl would have been harassed a lot by then.

    One more thing I don’t understand there are many women in NCR who still wear all kind of Western Dresses. I have even wore them inspite of all harassment. But why still it so unusual in Delhi which is so common in Mumbai. In fact I have lived in most of the Southern City like Hyderabad, Bangalore and they are far better than Mumbai. Crime happens everywhere but In southern City generally there is sense of security. I can board train in night, walk a empty road, take a auto and I have really done these things in Hyderabad.

    Not able to figure out why there is so much difference in attitude and behaviour.


  6. It looks like a tiny bit of failed effort to improve image of indian Metro Mumbai, since india has made its name as a country unsafe for tourists specially women.

    Anyhow in my city, thousands frowning n staring eyes of both men n women would had made her feel like an alien come to the stone age.


  7. Anecdotally, I feel street sexual harassment in India consists of more covert behaviour- staring/”accidental” touching and pinching/making those annoying kissing or clucking noises, whistling and singing.

    In the USA, where I currently live, it is more overt- direct (and loud, often quite sexual) comments or verbally trying to make a ‘pass’- which honestly I find more intimidating.

    My explanation for this is that in India I perhaps have a class advantage that makes me feel relatively empowered- to respond verbally or even physically to these harassers.

    In the USA I (paradoxically) feel more defenceless, because I feel more physically threatened (even if the harassment is verbal). So I mostly ignore it.


  8. I was left wondering if the video was faked – as in if the filming was obvious, thus the lack of attention. No arguments about certain areas/cities being “safer” for women to dress as they please and be out and about, but IME, Mumbai was no better than Delhi – being from Bangalore, that was my safest city since I knew it well.
    The NYC video has since been proved to be faked in many ways, from careful editing to choosing only certain areas to film in. That said, I’ve faced no harassment of any kind on the streets of NYC, or any other US city actually – I might fear being mugged for valuables in some of them, but not street sexual harassment.


    • I agree. I’ve walked about in NYC wearing khaki thigh-length shorts and a loose T.

      I think I was the more conservatively dressed women in Central Park during the summer.

      I won’t say I wasn’t stared at, because I was. I suppose it was because I looked different, exotic whatever you call it.

      Some American men have a preference for brown skin. They also think that all Indian women are docile, eager-to-please, and compliant. So there IS some weird fetishising happening with such men, I’ll confess.

      Barring this, I was invisible, unremarkable and left mostly alone.

      If the average Indian man ( stand in for eve-teaser) could visit NYC, LA or Miami, he’d die of shock, besides other things.

      What I don’t understand is that most Indian men behave perfectly well when overseas. I am talking about educated man’s preferred mode of sexual harassment — intrusive, unblinking staring.

      Yet, the moment they are placed in an environment where they might face consequences for their behaviour, like the workplace or when travelling abroad, they can suddenly control the “if I stare hard enough, I’ll see your boobs through your clothing” behaviour.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been to Nyc many times
      , felt really safe there- wandering alone even in the eveings. BUt I’d think many times before doing the same in India. And I grew up in India. The “accidental” touches, pinches, disgusting.


  9. One thing you’ll notice in the NYC video is that despite the verbal comments or lewd looks of the men doing the ‘street harassing’ – all the NYC men kept their hands (& other body parts) to themselves.
    I’ve lived in San Francisco, San Diego, & Seattle as well as many other smaller towns in the US for most of my life. Yes, in the I’ve gotten ‘looks’ from men & once in awhile lewd comments – but NEVER have I been grabbed, groped, or ‘rubbed’ on by men on the streets anywhere in the US.
    Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Delhi.
    And it isn’t just public transport or the ‘rough’ neighborhoods in Delhi (i.e. east Delhi shanties), I’ve been groped & ‘rubbed on’ in upscale malls like Saket.


  10. To tell you truth, you cannot wear a skirt, even long ones, in Haryana. Tank tops, even sleeve less tops or shirts are a big No. Few months back on vacation, I bought a black net sleeveless top. I love it and wore it there but after coming back home, it is hanging in the back of my closet. I have been waiting for an opportunity to wear it. 😦


  11. One of the problems anywhere in India is we are not sure if others will supoort us in our fight. And they might instead blame us or tell us to be silent. In local trains, sometimes there are men who purposely enter ladies compartment trying to show they are poor or disbaled. At this point I expect every single woman in the compartment to tell him to leave. But as per my couple of experiences it was only me who was speaking and others only told me to ignore. They can take advantage of this. Apart from stealing things they can go ahead and touch women claiming their innocence.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve never lived in NY but have lived in a few American cities and have visited several cities and towns. No where did I encounter this type of harassment. I find that either people admire you nicely (give a nice complement or smile admiringly if they find you pretty) or say a polite hi or just ignore you. Occasionally, a sales clerk in a coffee shop or grocery store may come on a bit and ask for your number but a polite rebuttal generally has them back off like good sports. At least this has been my experience. Sexism exists in the US but not in the form of street harassment, from my experience.

    In India, I find street sexual harassment to be the biggest problem in a woman’s daily life. You can fight oppression in your personal life but how to fight it out with hundreds of strangers everyday on the street, bent upon making you feel miserable? Although I felt ‘safer’ (as in won’t be actually harmed) in the Southern and Western cities and towns and felt fearful of actually being harmed in the Northern cities/towns, I must say that the harassment is ubiquitous.

    There is a lot of rude commenting about dress and looks, lewd remarks about body parts, uncomfortable staring, shoving, touching, grabbing, rubbing. And I mean everywhere. North, South, West, and East. Streets, movies, malls, buses, trains. I really really hate that I fear wearing what I want and going out alone. As Fem says, it gets easier as you get older, but not much. But there is another problem in smaller towns for older women – they’re expected to dress a certain way. You have to parade a distinct class advantage to get away with jeans, sleeveless tops, etc. (as in step out of an expensive car, etc.)

    When I’m in India, I try to go for a run early in the morning. My mom always advises me to not wear shorts – for my own safety. (This is conservative town where women in their 40s would never wear even jeans or dresses). One day, I ignored her advice and wore shorts anyway and noticed that everyone had stepped up their harassment a notch – ignorers started staring, starers started commenting, commenters started grinning and making lewd remarks. Came home with a sick feeling in my stomach. What the heck is wrong with these harassers? Shirtless and folded up lungi and walking almost fully naked is okay? Peeing on street is okay? Someone minding their own business and getting some exercise is not okay?


    • I don’t think there is any advantage of belonging to a higher class, because I come from a very high class family i.e. by all standards because my family is basically from a high caste, very rich and both my parents are in very senior positions in their respective fields and basically the typical Indian rich household is what I belong too, but then since my parents wanted me and my brother to have a normal upbringing, I always traveled by bus and was like any normal teenager/young college going girl with the same dreams/issues as any normal young healthy person would have.
      But one day all hell broke loose, when my dad’s interview came in the local newspaper and that is when everyone came to know about my background.
      So, then life became even more horrible, because if I wore sleeveless salwar kameez then the comments would be that “oh she is from a high class family, they don’t care”, if I wore a normal cotton dress “then I am not living upto my family image” , if I spoke to guys, then “I don’t have character as I am from a high class family and so all this is common for them” , though I still don’t understand the meaning of “this” here…
      So you see, every move of mine was scrutinized, every dress that I wore was commented upon and things were horrible.
      And I always tried to be a part of the group but still this was my condition…So I guess in India either way you are screwed, if you are poor there is one kind of harrasment, if you are rich there is another kind…Either way it takes years to understand and a healthy family atmosphere and right kind of social circle and friends to know that “IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT”.


  13. I’m a foreigner living in Mumbai, after years of living in Bangalore, a total of 11 years in India and seriously. Mumbai is the city I feel the safest, I rarely even get a stare anywhere, wearing shorts or wearing ethnic wear. In Bangalore I would get stared at regularly, whistled at regularly, and saw auto drivers not only inflate the rate due to my skin colour but also adjust their rear view mirror toward my breast…constantly during a ride.
    Nearly 4 years in Mumbai, nothing. At the most a genuine stare of curiosity if in an area where foreigners are less often seen and that is it.
    My Husband is from Lucknow, each time we visit Delhi and Lucknow, I feel extremely uneasy, the stares are nearly constant, and it doesn’t matter what I wear. I don’t get bumped into, or touched though, I stay close to DH when we are out, but yes I feel far less safe in the North than I did in Bangalore and of course Mumbai.


  14. i completely agree with you. Its been three years i am staying in delhi NCR, you have to think twice before moving out in terms of what you’re wearing. In these three years i could never develop any sort of liking for this city. The sour truth is Delhi is the most dangerous place for women in India. Whenever i get free much of excape delhi is in motion , either i am spending time at my home ie jaipur or weekend gateways which is another option.


  15. Pingback: So how will banning cabs make public transport safer for women? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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