April 13, 2010

To live without fear of the stalking shadows...

Two of my recent posts talk about lingerie, breasts, thighs and a little more of the female body and how its dressed up and viewed by many. This is not more on it. Just happened to read a friend's blog where she wrote about 'molestation', an act which is almost always suffered by women. She mentioned a few instances where she had to experience the 'forbidden touch'. Not one to look around helplessly, and ignore the torture, she reacted...verbally and physically in almost all situations. How many of react?
Why it happens, what pleasure do men get by just rubbing on to a woman or giving a quick, rushed squeeze to her butt or chest (at times amidst the crowd he may not even be sure it's a woman he's felt...could be a fat-assed, pot-bellied man) or exposing themselves to a random woman on the street who definitely gives him the most disgusted of looks? I've asked many men the reason behind this absolutely pervert act. No answers have been satisfying. Age, caste, status, financial background...none of it matters when it comes to perversion. A mad man on the streets or a celebrated actor or a socialite...or a anybody stoops to the same bloody level when they start thinking below the belt.
Another friend who runs a portal focussing mainly on women/gender/environment and other issues that matter today put up a question on FB. She's asked us to cite the safest city for women  and the reasons. We live in a free country, a free world, we are entitled to live a life without fear, breathe fresh air, enjoy the seasons, the flowers, the colours. Here we are first trying to find a safe home where we can do all of this. It's a pity we live in fear. We are constantly on alert mode when we're walking down the road or riding a bus or entering a crowded theatre. Our eyes are always prying for hands that may creep up our chest or backside. We are advised to check for cameras when we enter hotel rooms or malls. We are never carefree.
We are denied the basic right to live, enjoy, experience, relish and rejoice wholeheartedly. Why? Because some lecherous pervert out there may reach out to us, scar our minds and snatch our freedom. Rape is not of the body alone, it strips us of our innocence, our freedom, our laughter, our emotions, our life. Rape is not just physical, a perverted look, word or thought too amounts to rape.
Pepper sprays, umbrellas, safety pins, hair clips, sandals...when can women not have to carry these for safety reasons? When can women walk freely without fearing that the shadow behind would pounce on her? It would be interesting to read through the responses to the 'which city is safest for women' discussion. Let's see if there is any one city that gets a majority vote. Maybe...women will have a choice then. For more on this read on and vote here.


The Restless Quill said...

Good post Sree. And some valid points. Can I ask you to link both my post and JF so that we get more responses? As I was told today, this is a story that needs to be told again and again and again.

Rohini said...

Nice read, sree.

Regarding 'The Safest City', I read the post n moved on cos my mind had already voted: None.

mathen said...

One late evening in Cochin, we were driving down a deserted road when Rohini asked me stop and pick up a girl being harassed by a man on a bike. When we took her into the car, the man was furious and I even thought he might stop the car!!

In the Amazon forests, i read the women are topless and have very little cover below. But the males don't even bother to look at them - forget about harassing.

Like you said, even a man wearing a burkaa wouldn't be safe anywhere in the 'civilized' world!!

K J Jacob said...

wailing doesnt work. period. think of solutions that individuals can practice. Resist it in whatever small forms. Like slapping the intruder. a good stare. pin prick.

seriously, I shall ask my daughter to join a karate class before a dance school.

Sree said...

@restless quill: Have added the links and yes hope to hear more strong voices from many more.

@Roh: It's sad that most of us wud have to agree to your answer..None. A lot is said, but not often at the right time. Wonder how many girls/women have it to catch the abuser by his collar or where ever it hurts most and drag him into the open!

@Mathen: Your talking abt topless women. Here in most cities you could be covered from top to toe and still men have a way of making you feel naked with their glares. And wonder how many of us would become reasons for them to jerk off at the next possible opportunity. The very thought is disgusting.

Jac: Bang on...wailing doesn't help. It only worsens and makes you easy prey. Karate classes get my vote.