She was groped in a train when she was 11. A middle aged man pushed her aside while entering the toilet and squeezed her butt. She ran to her mother and never left her side for the rest of the journey. The pain vanished in a couple of minutes but the after-effects did not.
The bus was crowded, little could she do about it. She got in somehow, amidst the valiant touching and staring of the five men standing on the footsteps. A round of hi fives is heard. The old man couldn't keep his itchy hands in his pocket and made sure he pressed himself onto her whenever the driver applied the brakes. She got out at the very next stop. She bathed thrice and felt like she'll never feel clean again.
She was walking her way to the gym and two boys in their late teens brushed by her side on their bike. One of them even took the liberty of touching her breasts inappropriately and then smirked in the delight of the new found information about how 'cool' he is. Before she could understand what just happened, they were out of sight. She turned around and silently headed home, her body felt violated.
She was felt up her school skirt in lure of the conductor pretending to help her get down the bus. Not a word of this was ever spoken to anybody.
In the close confinements of the auto rickshaw, he manages to get a hold and starts masturbating while shamelessly staring at her skirt. Her whole being seethes with anger and she shouts at the driver to stop. She wants to yell 'my dress is not a yes', but follows the road that is always taken and walks away. He smiles and counts upon doing the same to the next passenger. He won. And she lost. Again.
Sometimes I am cruelly put to death as a foetus and when I do get to live, I am expected to tolerate such filth without uttering a word of it to anybody. I have the qualification to earn for myself, I am raped and I am burnt. I am a woman of independent India.
I am She.
No man ever marries her and she is served the bitter taste of brutal injustice.
Call me a feminist or a sexist if you must, but being a girl in her early twenties who is not allowed to go to the nearby chemist shop all by her self for the fear of getting marred or molested by a stranger, I don't have a better argument for you. A man once waved a 500Rs note and signaled me to get into his car when I was around sixteen, I felt utterly humiliated and started walking faster towards home. Even if I step out in a burqa covering every inch of my exposed skin, I would be humiliated if those perverts catch a glimpse. None of the incidents mentioned above have been created by my mind, they are well read and make me feel ashamed of being a citizen of such a country. Complaints are written, signed, investigated and then filed away to bite dust. In severe cases, the victim is blamed and boycotted off the society. Nothing that I write here would make a change, until we get out there and try to raise a voice against it. Their temptation exceeds their sanity, but we have to provide proof that ours doesn't. Eve teasing has become a frivolous term now, it is more of sexual harassment, filthy remarks, lewd comments and obscene gestures, be it verbal or physical. Any woman who steps out of her private sphere does not invite this upon herself, as it is quoted. It is not common anymore.
Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes are my heroes. Despite the apparent quiet of our youth, they fought against this evil act in Mumbai and were stabbed to death by the monsters. At least they had the heart to stand up and put up a fight. But it also plays with a lot of minds when they wonder will we also meet the same fate if we raise our voices ? After the recent twin rapes in Gurgaon, the police issued a notice telling women to stay indoors after 8pm if they don't want to get raped. It sure drew protests from across Delhi-NCR (or should I say National Capital of Rape ?) but to no avail.
If I could be the change I want to see in the world around me, it would be getting rid of this menace called eve teasing. As and how I'm growing up, I realize and understand why my father over-protects me. But I really wonder if that is the only solution ?
I very well know that a lot has been written and spoken about eve-teasing and sexual abuse, and a lot will still pop up on this contest as well, but since this contest came up at the eve of women's day, I wrote about the issue that is closest to my heart. I can never forget the humiliation that I felt when that note was waved at my face.
All the best to all those who are participating in this contest.