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)

Advertisements

Research survey on Street Harassment

Sharing an email. Please do participate and support. The first step towards controlling a crime is understanding the crime and such surveys are a step in that direction. 
Dear IHM,
 
We are writing to you to help disseminate our research survey on Street Harassment. In collaboration with researchers at the Cornell University’s ILR School, we are collecting survey responses from across the world with support of local sites. 
 

The survey asks about demographics, experiences with harassment, reactions to it, and other questions. It is completely anonymous. Summary reports and press releases can be expected early in 2015.

If you have any questions you can ask your site leader, Arpita Bhagat (mumbai@ihollaback.org). If you want more info on the survey itself, contact Prof. Beth Livingston (BAL93@cornell.edu).​​For Mumbai, we have translated the survey in three languages – English, Hindi & Marathi. It would be absolutely wonderful, if you could share the details on your platform or/and give us a shout out on your social media.

Mumbai, English: http://goo.gl/suTX2u
Mumbai, Hindi: http://goo.gl/iDxs5r
Mumbai, Marathi: http://goo.gl/rbTbLF
 
 
Please do participate and share with your network widely.
Related Posts:

‘What Shri Yesudas said in public is what most of the parents are telling in private.’

I was away and did not see this positive news until Saturday afternoon. The times are changing and it’s good to hear long established lies being debunked.

Thanks for sharing Mr G. Vishwanathjee.

Yesudas strikes a sour note with comments on women’s attire

“What should be covered must be covered. Women should not trouble others by wearing jeans,” K.J. Yesudas, musician, said here on Friday, inviting protests from political leaders, women’s groups and the public.

“They [women] should not try to become like men but must behave modestly,” he continued. The attire, he said, is unbecoming of Indian culture and what lends beauty to a woman is her demureness.

Until recently comments like this were accepted as common sense and traditional wisdom.

So it’s a huge positive that no matter how obviously absurd Mr Yesudas’s comment might seem to some of us, it is still being challenged, discussed and responded to.

Unbelievable though this seems, there are many who still agree with him, and are going to quote him as the final word on what their women should be allowed to wear.

And those who quote him would not just be doing this because they hate women, but because they can’t see what options can their women be permitted.

Many of them sincerely believe that lewd comments or stares (i.e. women failing to avoid attention or disrespect from men) is amongst the worst things they can watch happening to their women, worse than their women being allowed to lose freedom, happiness, and worse than their women not being viewed as people with feelings of their own.

Everything must be sacrificed (by women) to ensure that lewd comments and stares don’t offend those who fail to see who should be outraged and by whom/what.

Because they believe that women should be held responsible for protecting the sensibilities of those respectable people who do not want to watch women being subjected to lewd comments.

This comment is a response to the article in the Hindu.

What Shri. Yesudas said in public is what most of the parents are telling in private. I would like to suggest these progressive people to just remember for a moment of the past as to whether they had ever noticed or felt embarrassed or scared when their daughter or close relatives wearing these dresses were stared upon by strangers or subjected to lewd comments.

I hope the outrage and protests bring to notice that:

1. What should be found objectionable and embarrassing, and should be controlled is the ‘lewd comments’.

Yes it’s difficult to understand after centuries of having heard otherwise.

So let me attempt to explain.

2. Making excuses for the lewd comments also means – that now, after centuries of doing this, we aren’t sure who is the victim:

i.)  the harasser – being troubled by women in jeans, or

ii.)  the women, or

iii.) those who believe they have to take decisions for ‘these women’.

3. All along, the person making ‘lewd comments’ knows he has well known figures commiserating with him. (Some of them are probably justifying their own past and future actions?)

4. Only now since more of us, including women, have a Voice do we learn that women have feelings too.

Suchithra krishnamoorthy, playback singer:
#Yesudas Men shouldn’t be allowed to talk so much and must learn to behave. Y provoke us women into wanting to slap u?

 

5. Though I think misogynists should be allowed to talk – Silence does not change any points of view, Dialogue does.

6. And dialogue also means that we know we aren’t the only ones who can see how absurd it is to defend an obvious wrong, and to blame the one who has been wronged.

Related Posts:

“People will say we encouraged these men to follow us, even though we are innocent”

Not Just a Pair of Jeans

The way a woman dresses…

Women and their unmentionables. Understanding Objectification.

What do ‘Modest’ women have that their ‘Immodest’ sisters don’t…

“My dad tells me not to wear skimpy outfit when he is around”

“The male community, including myself, needs only 10 minutes, just ten minutes… to send what is called sperm, into the uterus of a female.”

 Gujarat Police urges girls to stop wearing jeans, shorts

This Shame belongs to Who?

“Sometimes it seems like every single thing I do has the potential to be something ‘provocative’.”

Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage, Deepika Padukone slams leading daily.

My skirt is not your license, pervert. – A splash of my life…

What is this big problem with Bra Strap Showing?

Did the posters threatening acid attacks on women wearing jeans surprise you?

 

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

My first thought was, “The other passengers should have helped!”

And then I realised if other passengers were helpful, there would be no Street Sexual Harassment. Sexual Harassment in public spaces thrives on Public Indifference and Victim Blaming. Often the only way to fight back is – alone. 

This story is positive because Megha also fought against the indifference of the public and the Police ignorance about sexual crimes.

If only all the fellow passengers could now be informed that the molester has been locked away, safe from all provocation. 

This inspiring story has been shared 13,128 times on facebook. Let’s share it further and hope it helps and inspires more of us. 

Thanks for sharing Kavya.

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

” …Suddenly I felt something touch me from behind. With half my mind on trying to get off at the next station I turned thinking it was someone’s bag or hand touching me repeatedly. I turned to see a man in a white kurta (long shirt) staring right at me and he had no baggage with him. In fact both his hands were clenching the railing next to him. But if both his hands were up there what was it that… I got my answer as soon as I lowered my sight. There beneath that long shirt I could clearly see that this man was UNZIPPED. I felt the blood rush to my head, boiling and fuming and fury ran through every nerve in my body.
Within that fraction of a second every single eve teasing incident, every darn face of those guys who had the guts to molest someone I know flashed in my mind. Before I knew my voice escaped my lungs and there I was screaming at the man who dared to mess with me.
‘KYA problem hai?’ (What is your problem?)
‘Kya samjh rakha hai saale?’ (What the hell do you think?)
‘Himmat kaise huyi teri?’ (How dare you?)”

Just, How Dare They?

Read more at – https://www.facebook.com/logical.indian/posts/565954860200904:0

Related Posts:

The night I was not an easy prey.

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

Allahabad girl Aarti Yadav beats harasser, sets bike on fire

“… people will say we encouraged these men to follow us… even though we are innocent”

Why should all acts of sexual harassment be taken seriously, even when there is no grievous physical injury?

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

How Indian women feel when they are being subjected to sexual crimes. How Patriarchy sees sexual crimes.

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

Those charged with our safety should have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise.

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

Ek Hindustani ladki ki Izzat.

More posts tagged Delhi Metro:

Men in Delhi Metro women’s coaches fined Rs 32 lakh

Reserved seats and coaches are not a special indulgence towards women, they are an indication of a serious social problem.

He said, “You’re a very beautiful girl, but don’t wear such clothes…”

She started a fight between two men?

“… people will say we encouraged these men to follow us… even though we are innocent”

When young women hear victims being shamed, blamed and silenced after each news of sexual crimes against women, is it surprising that they feared they would be blamed for the Street Sexual Harassment they faced everyday?

In their suicide notes — one runs into six pages, the other is four-page long —  the girls speak of fear and shame, of disrepute, of tongues wagging simply because young men had been following and harassing them.

“Everyday a new man would come and chase us. They would pass lewd remarks and offer us phone numbers.
The people around us would stare as if we had done something wrong. You know how bad our colony is… how people will say we encouraged these men to follow us… even though we are innocent,” Madhu wrote.

What could have lead to their fear of being blamed and shamed?

Take a look at just one example of what they feared,

Related Posts:

Is stalking of girls and women illegal in India?

Would women be in some ways empowered if they saw no shame in what they could risk being called?

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

Reserved seats and coaches are not a special indulgence towards women, they are an indication of a serious social problem.

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

Are we trying to threaten Indian women with rapes as punishment for modernity, independence and self reliance?

Did the posters threatening acid attacks on women wearing jeans surprise you?

Dad knifes girl for speaking to lover

“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”

Controlling crimes against women: What works, what doesn’t work.

This is what rapists do when there is no fear of punishment.

How Victim Blaming confuses rapists, police and the society about when exactly does non-consensual-sex becomes a crime.

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

It’s Your Fault

“She was warned several times and was used to unethical practices like friendship with boys.”

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?

Allahabad girl Aarti Yadav beats harasser, sets bike on fire

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

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

“I am safe because I’m very careful in the way I behave and dress in public, on the streets.”

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

The night I was not an easy prey.

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

“Sometimes it seems like every single thing I do has the potential to be something ‘provocative’.”

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

Those charged with our safety should have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise.

 

 

“How to react when you know somebody is staring at you? I am not sure if I should slap him…”

Sharing an email. 

Hey IHM,

I have one very basic doubt –
How to react when you know that somebody is staring at you? And now that person could be anybody (from some mawali on road to maybe your colleague). So if he is a colleague or somebody whom i know I am not sure if I should slap him or go and shout at him. Please advice.

Ya.. if you could share it that would be good.. As I will get to know what others do in these type of situation because I think almost every women must be going through this!!

And I am not sure if I want to ignore something like this in work place. There must be a way of handling a situation like this without being labeled as weird / without being ignored by everyone (as I am the only gal in my dept).
Related Posts:

Allahabad girl Aarti Yadav beats harasser, sets bike on fire

Martial Arts for women to fight back rapes?

If you were this woman would you want to know what your juniors thought of your personal life?

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Reserved seats and coaches are not a special indulgence towards women, they are an indication of a serious social problem.

Yet another rape that was not about lust but about aggression, revenge and putting the victim in her place.

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

How Indian women feel when they are being subjected to sexual crimes. How Patriarchy sees sexual crimes.

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

“The sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household”

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

“I am safe because I’m very careful in the way I behave and dress in public, on the streets.”

Everybody knows what women should do to not ‘get molested’ in India.

Here is some more advice for women in India. This is the sort of advice most Indian women – and men, grow up hearing.

“I’ve lived on my own in Mumbai and Delhi ever since I was 22 years old. It’s not that anything untoward has not happened to me because I’m blessed and born under the right stars or safe because I don’t have red hair, blue eyes and white skin. It’s because I’m very careful in the way I behave and dress in public, on the streets. This is the price you pay for living in India – especially as a single woman. You must be constantly vigilant.”

From: WHITE WOMAN’S BURDEN BY RAJYASREE SEN 

Is this popular advice based on facts? Does being ‘constantly vigilant’ (which most of us always are) keep Indian women safe? Why does this advice fail to work so often?

Maybe because the advice is almost impossible to follow. There is no specific description of what exactly does an Indian molester might consider ‘careless dressing’ or ‘careless behaviour’, but most women spend a lot of time worrying about it. This is what they go through, Sometimes it seems like every single thing I do has the potential to be something ‘provocative’.” [link]

I have seen women dance with abandon in religious festival, women also dance in wedding processions (baraat) – in the streets, with social sanction. But the rules are not clear, in fact Indian women (and men) spend their entire lives understanding what is appropriate for Indian women to do or not to do without risking their safety.

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

Women have been told to wear sari with full sleeved blouses in Karnataka, no Salwar Kurta in Andhra, no Jeans in Kanpur – but Blank Noise found women were harassed no matter what they wore, take a look:

SEND ONE GARMENT YOU WORE WHEN YOU WERE “EVE TEASED”

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 2.01.01 PM

An honest look at women’s experiences has shown, time and again, that women are harassed no matter how careful they are. Most Indian women, just like Rose Chasm, try to be ‘careful’. They too carry safety pins and scissors (or whatever they consider careful enough), they try not to offend the molesters’ sensibilities by being too visible (by laughing aloud, whistling or humming in public spaces, or by wearing clothes that make them seem like there are no in laws/parents/spouse/boyfriend/neighbours’ first cousins’ nephews/teachers advising them to ‘remain within their limits’ etc).

Rose Chasm made an effort too, but like most Indian women, she too managed to offend the sensibilities of Indian molesters (and those who support them [link]) by not understanding that she could dance on Indian streets, but only under some conditions –  in a wedding possession in North India, she could actually wear a backless choli too, and unless it’s her unlucky day, then in Ganpati celebrations too. I have seen and admired women do that, have envied and wished it was possible to dance with such abandon on Delhi streets too. How did I know it isn’t? Nobody told me, and yet I didn’t even attempt it – why?

It takes growing up in India, or an entire life time, to get a general idea of what Indian street molesters would not be excused for, or not permitted to get away with.

And Indian women still manage to ‘get molested’. I have witnessed and intervened when women were being harassed in traditional attire, one with a child next to her. (The night I was not an easy prey [link]) I wore a skirt once and jeans the other time, the victims wore salwar kurta both the times, and they were not in Andhra Pradesh where salwar kurta is considered ‘fashionable’ (and sexual harassment of fashionably dressed women is seen as expected by most political leaders and the police and the family elders etc, although there is no law permitting such violent but indirect moral policing. How is a foreigner to understand this?)

It seems Indian molesters are wary of women who have a Voice. The ‘man on the street’ also avoids harassing women who appear to have a support system.

For example, what made it safe for so many women to be out, dancing, after dark, on the streets of Gurgaon? [Link]

No matter how carelessly or carefully women are dressed, if they have a Voice and a Support System, they are not harassed. Because sexual harassment in India thrives on, 1.)  The silencing of victims (often by other women too) and 2.) By absolute lack of a support system, including blaming and shaming of the women by the police and the political leaders.

Here is how Rajyasree Sen sees this:

…there is a skewed psychological and sexual dynamic between men and women in the country, and you cannot visit or live in India without keeping this in mind. And you would be a fool to think that you can just ignore it when you visit this country.

Would you say women who are harassed in public spaces in India do it because they fail to keep the risks in mind? Or because if they kept all the risks in mind, they would probably never step out of their homes (although they are not safe at home either [- Study finds 98% of India rape victims knew their attacker.]

And no, the normal man on the street is not used to seeing any woman gyrating or even doing graceful pirouettes next to them during religious festivals.

How did the Indian ‘man on the street’ come to be seen as so invincible and yet so helpless? Maybe because we don’t believe the harassment on the streets can be controlled and so we make no effort? Pubs in Andhra to be officially Reserved For Men?

Have a Good Time in India, Sister (Gounderbrownie)

Forget dancing, they still find it an oddity to see women walking around in market places or checking into hotels alone.

And how do many of us think, should we deal with this?

1. By ensuring that the ‘man on the street’ understands that not-understanding is not an excuse to molest? 2.Or by informing women of the risk they are taking (specially non-Indians) – (what all would you warn them against if they plan to travel?) 3. Or by asking women (and little girls) to anticipate/randomly guess at the man-on-the-street’s lack of understanding and to ‘be careful’?

Which option has been found to work? Why doesn’t ‘being careful’ work for millions of Indian women? Maybe because it’s not the women who can stop the crimes they do not commit.

In some parts of the country it is unacceptable for women to bare their faces in the presence of men they are not married to. This has nothing to do with whether a woman is white or not.
Which is why, you need to be careful in India as a woman. Which is why no sane woman would burst into dance in the middle of a group of men during Ganesh Chaturthi festivals. Whether you’re brown, black, white or blue – you will be stared at.

Blaming, shaming, silencing at work.

It’s normal for ‘sane’ women and men to understand that all fun and partying in India is for men, that if there are fewer or no women dancing that’s because that’s the ‘sane’ thing to do. Common sense!? Maybe for Indian women, who have grown up in India and have been taught this from the day they were born, from when their parents were consoled (at the birth of a girl child) but also reminded that ‘raising a daughter is a very challenging task’. [link]

I frankly find it odd that the University of Chicago gives no briefing to their female students or on the cultural intricacies of India. That this is a country where most men have a skewed psycho-sexual dynamic with women. That you must not stay in dingy hotels in Goa if you’re a bunch of women travelling alone. That you MUST be extra-careful in public places. And do college students of “Civilisations” do NO research on the cultural intricacies of places they visit?

And this is how we deal with it? Blame everybody except the perpetrators, and those who excuse their crimes. Discourage sharing of experiences, and attempt to silence/invalidate the voices that object to being harassed.

But while India is a place where women need to just be a little vigilant, it’s the same as any other city in any other country women visit.

India is not a country friendly to women. Neither is it one spilling over with lecherous potential rapists. But, much like other countries, this is also one in which white/black/brown women need to be careful while travelling through. It is RoseChasm’s shock, surprise and skewed perception of being a “sexual prize” because she’s a white woman which surprises me.

Are you too surprised that RoseChasm saw herself at a greater risk because her white skin and red hair made her more ‘visible’ in a country where being invisible is seen as being careful?

Here’s a response I agree with:

anan 

The whole point of Rose Chasm’s article was that despite being a South Asian Studies student and preparing for her visit, she was still shocked by how bad it could get. This is not surprising or unique. It is unfair to dismiss lived experience as “not being prepared enough.”

Related Posts:

“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 kind of men are likely to sexually assault women?

Is stalking of girls and women illegal in India?

Would women be in some ways empowered if they saw no shame in what they could risk being called?

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

Love Marriages spoil the family system of the nation

I do not like reservation.

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

I don’t care for freedom

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

Yet another rape that was not about lust but about aggression, revenge and putting the victim in her place.

Who will benefit from criminalising sexual assaults within marriages?

Here’s how Indian universities deal with sexual harassment, generally, women’s safety is not the issue, their future marriages are.

1. Love Marriages spoil the family system of the nation,

2. “Wonder how I survived for 4 years in this college!!”

3. Male escorts and whistles: IIT-Madras’s new safety plan.

4. It is neither correct nor wise to judge one generation with the values of another.

5. “She was warned several times and was used to unethical practices like friendship with boys.”

And some wishful thinking…

6. When a college principal refused to be a Taliban ally 😉

“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

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

Do they really not see what can help control sexual crimes against women and children is not a ban on mannequins or sexuality, but a ban on challenging misconceptions about sexual crimes and misogyny, specially amongst those who are expected to help control such crimes?

What would help is ensuring that the Police, and and the people they serve are aware that it’s not against Indian culture to report sexual crimes.

Letting men and women know that everybody, including wives, prostitutes and provocatively dressed own their bodies and have a right to say No and Yes.

Educating men and women that Only Yes means Yes.  And that a lack of No is not Yes.

They should also know that not-following (any definition of) ‘Indian culture’ is perfectly legal and is not an invitation to be raped. That no matter what kind of social or personal lives women lead – no rapists should be told directly or indirectly that it’s okay to rape them.

Sounds obvious? Not to everybody 😦

Link shared by Mr GVjee

To fight sex crimes, BMC clears proposal to ban lingerie on mannequins

In a move to prevent “wrong acts” by men and to provide for women safety, the  Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has cleared a proposal banning the display of lingerie on mannequins in Mumbai, reported CNN-IBN.

This is the extension of the same mindset that believes that watching porn, or watching attractive looking women makes men commit sexual crimes. That rapes are committed by helpless men who lost control when they were provoked.

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

First in the cinema halls, and later in Chitrahaar on the national television, generations of Indians have grown up watching Shammi Kapoor harassing Rajshri T and asking her to say Yes. While some of us were puzzled and irritated by the way romance was shown in Indian movies, many young Indians including some who won elections genuinely seem to believe that the way to a woman’s heart is through sexual harassment (eve teasing), stalking (singing songs and following her from her home to college, school, tuition classes etc) and threats of suicide. A willingness to die (or kill?) for a Yes from someone was seen as the ultimate way of proving the ‘love’ was worthy of being reciprocated.

No one cared that if the girl does not admit to the obvious Yes, or if the ‘love’ doesn’t work out, young Indians had (have) no idea how to deal with the disappointment. We still don’t talk about it because we don’t believe in ‘love’ before marriage.

Also, since these movies glorified pehla aur akhiri pyaar i.e ‘first love is last love’, many Indians grew up believing that real love happened only  once – (specially for women) and break ups, disappointments or ‘rejection’ sometimes lead to stigma and suicide (mainly for women); and acid attacks, stalking, harassment and blackmail (generally by men).

Nobody talks about these things to young people because we fear ‘Love Marriages spoil the family system of the nation. So many young Indians never learn that there is life after a heart break, that disappointments in relationships are a part of growing up, that it’s perfectly fine to have found a girl friend/boy friend incompatible after they got to know that person, and that moving on is a sensible thing is to do.

Many Indian men and women have no idea that having made place in their hearts for someone (or two or three or more) other than the person they eventually married, does not make women impure, corrupt, characterless, shameless etc.

Men and women who had interacted with each other (in coeducational institutions or in liberal homes) understood that women were not some weird species who needed codes to convey their love. Codes like ‘No when they mean Yes’ or ‘Look angry/harassed/afraid/complain/run etc when they mean Yes’ or ‘Smile when they mean Yes’.

Since there was no interaction, many Indian men and women believed that women were supposed to say ‘No’, no matter what they felt. No, to offers of ‘frandship’. No, for consensual sex. Infact women were not to admit to wanting consensual sex, ever.  Many Indians believe that good women can have sex only as a duty, never for pleasure. Many still believe that if a woman did not say No then she was not a good woman, she deserved to be raped.

Saying No here includes a consistent No to boyfriends. What kind of men did such a mindset create? Were they confused? How were they to respect their girl friends then? They could if she did not consent to any sexual activity, or atleast not too readily. Sometimes just being any one boy’s girl friend was an indication of being a bad girl. Often boys seem to know these twisted rules better. Girls, even if they are confused, generally sense the untruths and the contradictions. Like in Jolly LLB,

Arshad Warsi tells her (Not exact words),”Ye Meerut hai, mujhe bhi pata hai yahan ke lounde kaisi boyfriendee karte hain bus thonko, peeto aur chor do”

Translation: This is Meerut I know the kind of ‘Boyfriend-ee’ (boyfriend-ship) Meerut boys understand, just use, abuse and throw.

So she was fortunate that he was a decent man, because she could not love another man. Because women not just had to say No, but ensure that the one who read the obvious Yes in their No was the man they married. What if he turned out to be an abuser? That’s what happens to bad girls who choose their own partners.

Mr. Sharad Yadav said, ‘Who amongst us has not followed girls?’: Sharad Yadav’s shocker during anti-rape bill debate. [Link and videos shared by Sharmi]

His exact words:

“Kaun hai hum mein se jo peecha naheen kiya? Aur mahilayen jo hai, wo mahila ko jab… wo usko baat karna padti hai to pahle mahila naheen lift deti hai, use koshish karna padti hai, prem se batana padti hai. Ye pure desh ka kissa hai. Samaaj ko chaitanya karne ke liye lambi bahas chalwao. Lambi bahas chalao aur ye tatkalik kadam zaroori hota hai lekin door ka bhi kadam bhi iske saath saath chalna chahiye.”

Roughly translated:

“Who amongst us has not followed women? And women… women don’t agree to talk to us at first, we have to try, we have to convince them.This is the story of the entire nation. To make the society aware, start long debates. Immediate action is necessary, but at the same time steps should be taken for long term too.”

Many cases of rape, acid attacks and murder begin with stalking, but perhaps those who see stalking as a normal and wholesome way for men to approach women see a ban on stalking as gender segregation. It’s possible that they see this kind of defense of stalking as cool, liberal, modern and bold, because they believe they are talking about a taboo topic – because conservative Indians will not talk in support of anything that might lead to love or love marriage.

Many who boldly support men’s right to stalk and harass women, would probably balk at the idea of sex education.

So what was Sharad Yadav trying to say when he seemed to justify stalking?

Here are two more occasions when his stance seemed sexist.

1.

When the  journalist asked him whether he prefers Madhya Pradesh or Bihar – he has represented both in Parliament. Yadav hemmed and hawed and finally said, “The whole country is good… even you are very beautiful.” …. [You are very beautiful, says Sharad Yadav to woman reporter]

Many felt this wasn’t offensive, after all it was just a compliment. What more could a woman want to hear from any random man, specially when she is asking him a serious question? In the complex misogynistic system we follow, ‘giving a creep a chance to pass a comment’ is something women regularly get blamed for. Putting a woman in her place by talking about her attractiveness is a common put down.

2.

A long-standing critic of the women’s reservation bill, he is on record saying if it were to be implemented, only “par-kati” or women who get their hair cut would benefit. [Link]

Here’s another video shared by Sharmi.

Related Posts:

Indian movies Heroes and Heroines
Even you are very beautiful: Nikitha Suryadevara
My Tehelka blog post: The difference between wooing and stalking
Mera Tharki India : Can we have more such music please!
Losers and Stalkers: ‘Tum kisi aur ko chahogee to mushkil hogi’
Love Marriages spoil the family system of the nation
An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.
Where is the opportunity for Indian men to learn the most natural thing in the world – finding a mate??
An email: An Old fashioned boy friend and a Liberal girl friend.
“Wonder how I survived for 4 years in this college!!”