Tag Archives: sexual harrassment

Hamari Pathri

After years of being harrowed by train travel, I have come to realise that in segregation lie a lot of answers to the problems of train travel in India for women.No lechering, unwarranted sexual attention and speculation on being a lone traveler. I think that my experiences will resound in those of a lot of women who travel by trains in India for work, or higher education or just for the sake of travel, be it hours of back breaking agony in having to bear excruciating sexual confrontation, or staring, or having to put up with advances again and again…

I set-up this facebook group in order to campaign for separate women’s bogies or compartments for long distance train travel in India.Join us to help see this through!

And Yet another (chap)ter.

A man tried to grab my …

Yesterday.

I was cycling home on a dark street after going to the market.

I screamed, I knew in an instant what was happening. I called him names. Chased him, but he was too fast. Stopped and shouted ‘idhar aa saale’.

Onlookers were silent. They knew what was happening. It was important to me to be seen here doing this. But it stopped at that. I should have followed him, thrown a stone or something.

I told my neighbour, then a friend.

Two attitudes, neighbor, slight smirk, we knew it would happen. Don’t go out in the night. But somehow after I spoke to her she was emboldened enough to unload her own experience, to get out of the house, go to the neighbour’s and speak to them quite audibly. Something I’ve rarely seen her do.

My much older educated woman friend, smirk, subtle contempt, what were you doing out? And don’t scream bloody rape, it was just…

Isn’t this bad enough? Isn’t it bad enough that someone considers it his birth right to look, touch me?

And if this is bad then how bad is rape? Isn’t it horrible that rape is a lived reality?

I had the comfort that he was just some bum who I hope never to see again (and I’ll show him if I do), but I could come home and heal. I could scream.

With sexual violence the agitation is instant. Because it’s your body that is the target. In a spark you realize that your body is being violated by an alien something. With sexual violence aggression is probably good. Again, with caution. But since it’s your body that is the target of the offender, you must guard it and protect it.

I’ve heard people say rapists should be castrated.

Then if that’s the judgment how can you stand the subtle sexualisation you go through everyday? How can you stand the overt sexualisation you go through sometimes?

I think that all women in our society are victims of sexual violence or every sort. How can we not be because in a male dominated society, sex is often just a power-play between man and woman?

We need mass healing rituals for women.

How can you stand it?

If there’s any reason I’m reason I’m blasé it’s because I’ve been too consumed. So consumed that I play into the internalized idea of objecthood. I see myself as an object.

That’s actually why I gave up wearing the hijaab when I first gave up wearing it. But this isn’t about what you wear.