The Blank Noise Project was started by Jasmeen Patheja, an artist from Bangalore, to examine the occurances of non-gender-specific street-harassment -harassed(physical/verbal), pushed around, felt up or assaulted .
I am showing my solidarity, thru this post.
We all have been thru it. I know, I have. I hope I could be as courgeous as the other women takin part in this blogathon and write about all my experiances... but , personally, I find it real difficult. The experiances I've had in my school days, are etched into my mind more than the grown-up years - primarily cos you dont know what that experiance can be called back then but you sense that something isnt right and you want to be home to tell Mom about this. When you've grown up you have learnt to deal with these situations in some way. Its another thing that I have been brave through most of these instances. No matter how difficult it was I have come home and told about it to my Mom and Dad. But no matter how iron gloved you may seem from the outside any kind of harassment you encounter while you least expect it, especially when you are doing somethin or wearin somethin that you would have thought in no way would provoke or call for unwanted attention- walk to your home, wear an old loose salwar - home wear perhaps, jeans and a loose T shirt, waiting for the bus, etc.
You go thru an emotional hurricane at the thought of those instances. They are common experiances that women around the world have had, all my friends have had. The last time I had been thru an experiance about 6 years ago when I had been to an exhibition with my mom. I will try to fight my inhibition and write about this lousy experiance. Some bastard in the crowd was pinching my arm and everytime I turned around I couldnt make out this S.O.B. What was I wearing?- a cotton shirt from fabIndia and a pair of old jeans .Then when I moved to another stall, I pretended to be paying attention to the sales guy, while my attention was all on my back and my eyes was looking thru its corners to corner the bastard. I did. I spotted the asshole, I gave him a face-to-face stare . Showed the scum-bag to my Mom. Thought that should be enough to discourage him. But no. He has all the guts in the world to come get another pinch, this time my Mom gave him a reading in full view of the public... even then you should have seen the nerve he had to say , "What did I do Madam?" but his eyes hung in shame while his filthy mouth did the blabber- watchin those eyes were enough for me. F***in Asshole! I am sorry that there has been a lot of swear words in this para- but I hope you can understand my feelings!
I am with the Blank Noise Prject but have a few differences. Agreed that for these sickos it doesnt mater if your wearing a two-piece bikini or clad in a burkha- they will still letch. But, I strongly support, responsible dressing. You have to dress appropriate for the occasion, for the crowd, for the time. Would you attend aboard meeting in a glamorous night gown? Would you prepare a presentation of the expert-level, while it was to be delivered to a crowd of newbies? Would you go clubbing in formal attire? Just like that we women just cant claim to be victims by leaving the onus on the letcher. There are some cases where the uncomforable situation could have been avoided- avoid DOES NOT MEAN LET THESE CREAPS DO THEIR THING AND LET US, THE VICTIMS, GO SILENTLY PUT UP WITH IT OR TAKE GUILT OF ANY KIND, FOR THE WRONG REASONS. I hope I am commin across very clear. Yes, this does reflect on the mental make up of the society we live in. If a guy has lost the ability to look at a woman as just another person, I believe then his parents and bringing up ,might have had a lapse. I am not supporting or finding reasons to justify such bastards, but I am trying to say that every mother has the responsibility of teaching her son the value of another woman.
Its very evidant with the changin times that people(man/women) dont feel safe around people(man/women). The picture of a woman is synonymous with the word 'vitim'. But how wrong an impression is that today cos victims of such harassment arent just women, there are men too. The same goes for the perpetrators.I would like to know if there are people (men/women) who would like to share their experiances? Is the effect of such an occurace just as damaging on the psych when the victim is a man? People, please speak up- u can chose to remain anonymous... but please do make your selves heard.
Here are some more experiances that I have read.
Megha Krishnan (Thanks to you Megha, I knew about this blogathon )
Find more on Blank Noise Project's site