Saturday, March 11, 2006

Comments on my blog post on "Street Harassment"

No, John, No chappals from me. I agree with your tongue-in-cheek analysis of street harassment. To survive, you need to be tough, blasé, and tell yourself, men are dogs. No, not you. And actually, not quite a few men I know. But like one negotiates potholes, shit, stray dogs, beggars, BEST buses, rickshaws, etc, etc on our big, bad roads, the same with eve teasers.
Batul Mukhtiar

Well, you do have a point, John, but let me tell you my perspective...

Women are harassed on the streets even if dresses are not so revealing, and despite sindoor. They have always been.

Sometimes ignoring works. But yes, knowing self defence is a good idea. I have used the good old safety pin quite often. And I hope the men who have been at the receiving end of my "weapon" have not dared to repeat their acts.

I remember once Bhopal police ran a unique anti-harassment drive near my all-girls' college. The head of any man found guilty was shaved!

I am raising my son to respect women. Hope his children will respect women even more. And gradually, change should happen.
Smita Rajan

Batul: "To survive, you need to be tough, blase, and tell yourself, men are dogs. "

Please do not take this extreme view. They are only misguided. As Smita says we have to work towards a change in attitude.

Smita: "Women are harassed on the streets even if dresses are not so revealing, and despite sindoor. They have always been."

I had forgotten one vital point. Kamayani has stated on her Ryze page that "portrayal of women in the media is one of the major causes of violence towards women," something to that effect. In the same vein I would say "portrayal of women in films and serials is one of the major reasons for eve teasing and street harassment."

In films women are shown to playfully enjoy being called "Chamak Challo," so men assume in real life too they love being called that. Wrong assumption. In films they are following the dream merchants' tricks to get more people to watch the movie and in real life it hurts to be called "Chamak Challo."

so the portrayal of women in the media also has to change with the change of attitude we are aiming towards.

Confession time: Even I used to have a "teaser's mentality" (no not an outright teaser, as I was shy of girls, but I still do "look" [the "that woman is stunningly beautiful" sort of look, and i have been amply rewarded by a smile for my efforts] if that amounts to harassment, please enlighten) at one time and I changed when I had enough wonderful women friends. If I can change then all men can, I am sure.
John

No, John. I don't really believe men are dogs. I meant it in the same tone as was your article. For that moment of time, when one is being teased, like a bit of a whiplash, actually, one just reacts. That's it. I don't believe in generalizations. Nor do I enjoy being a "Chammak Challo". But I do like being looked at appreciatevely as I am sure, do men
Batul

My reaction to a post on Anita's blog.

We, as a society aren't ready enough for our women to wear g-strings, as yet. If they do, it's at their own risk.

I hint at a feminine revolution, but the harbingers have to go by the status quo before changing attitudes and perception.

As I also said elsewhere, the provocation happens in a song video, but the rape happens in a lonely spot to an innocent girl who least expects it, by a man who hasn't learnt to be nonchalant (as it happened to a girl in a police chowky in Bombay).
John

Whatever made you think you'd have chappals thrown at you?

Naa...

I enjoyed every bit of this post. And I'm taking the advice about the martial art. :)
Ulrica

nice post. and no , am not aiming any of my footwear at you. Though I must say, just being a female is enough to get cat calls. I grew up being called ugly by my family so was really aghast when I still got lewd passes made at me. And, no I havent worn a mini in my life :P
Bilbo

What gave you the idea that salwar-kameez's and sari's can shield you from being groped?!! That's just a fantasy! And you don't think married women with sindoor and mangalsutra's get molested everyday?! Ask around. You'll be surprised. It's not about g-strings and revealing clothes. It rarely is.
Chryselle

John I dunno what to say! I personally don't like telling people what to do. I'd rather advise men to keep off. If its ain't your business then its ain't your business. Just keep off!

Why advise women as to how should they dress? Anyways, an engaging piece. :-)
Dan Hussein

"Dress in salwar-kameezes and saris and please do not show skin." even i thought that worked... but trust me it doesnt.
D

All of you are agreed that saris and salwar-kameezes aren't a deterrent to eve teasing. May be, I was wrong. But women friends who suggested this said this works. At least, the sindoor in hair parting bit as the man is aware that there is a man in her life and he doesn't stand a chance.

Dan, dost, I had to write something as I had already enlisted as a blogger. So why not offer a piece of advice? After all, it is my blog I am writing and my personal space.
John

"At least, the sindoor in hair parting bit as the man is aware that there is a man in her life and he doesn't stand a chance."

But John! The point here is that the eve-teaser does not care if the woman has a man in her life or not! All he needs to do is to grope and grope he will despite any marital status.
Smita Rajan

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