I read about the BlankNoiseProject a few days ago, and it got me thinking; not only is this a great medium of expression, it also will help women know that they weren’t alone when incidents of eve-teasing or harassment or lewd comments being passed occurred.
I’ve been told of various incidents so far by female friends, and I don’t want to go through the details because it’s just too aggravating; the more I think about them the more I get angry and despair that I wasn’t around and didn’t kick that guy’s ass. Also, I assume everybody else on the blog-a-thon must be writing about similar incidents. So, to make a little interesting reading for you, I thought I’d highlight a few triumphs of my friends who’ve dealt with such incidents and looking back even laugh a bit at them.
Maneesha Singh, in Mumbai: She was walking down a crowded railway station when a man pinched her. Not the one to be intimidated, she grabbed the guy and this is what happened next:
Maneesha: [One HARD slap!]
Maneesha: Kar kya rahe hai aap?
Guy: [quiet, completely taken aback, shaking a bit]
Maneesha: Samajthe kya apne aap ko, huh?
Guy: [quiet, cringes, pretend to be drunk, wants to get out of there immediately]
Maneesha’s hand is now hurting a bit because of the force she put into the slap and (as she tells me) she’s run out of dialogues - so she just leaves him there and walks away.
Maneesha Singh (again), in Mumbai: She’s at this disc with some of her friends, slightly tipsy and she sees someone who looks like her ex-boyfriend standing a little far away. So she goes up to say Hi, but the guy isn't her ex and is someone she doens't know. He says something... stupid. Well, Maneesha doesn’t remember what exactly happened next, but it involved a very hard punch and the guy bleeding from his nose.
Neeta Shenoy and friends, in Bangalore: A big band concert is happening, large crowds walking on MG road and some idiots are trying to take advantage of the crowds by touching and groping women they pass by. But, Neeta and her friends came armed: They carried safety pins in their fists, and went about poking every person who attempted to grope! After a lot of ouches, I hope those morons learnt a lesson.
Neeta Shenoy, in Bangalore: 17 years old, On a bus with her dad, Neeta's trying to get some sleep and a shady character next to her tries to get fresh. She catches him, slaps him hard and shouts at both him and the conductor. Loser gets unceremoniusly thrown out of the bus.
Neeta Shenoy, in Goa: She went to the market to pick up some fruit and a couple of village idiots started cat calling and whistling. Not to be bothered, she went up to the morons and asked them what their problem was. Then after a sound tongue lashing and public humiliation, walked away and got on her bike.
When she came back and told me I wanted to go back to the market to ..umm.. ‘talk’ to those guys too, but she said it wasn’t worth the effort, and that there are better things to do with our time. And I really admire that attitude – the ability to shrug off something as demeaning as this and put it down to the attitudes of a bunch of stupid men.
There are a few more I’ve heard from friends but don’t remember the details, will check with them and write more. Till then, ladies, remember there are simple ways to get back – from sharp retorts and rousing people around you to physical assault and pins. Better still, if you have a camera phone, take a picture and hand it over to the nearest police station. And talk to the men in your life – not only will they be there for you, they’ll also help you understand that all men aren’t the same, and the good ones usually outnumber the stupid.