26.4.17

Swear













Dear Whores, Sluts and Nachnay Waalis,
Dear Action Heroes,

What is an insult? 
When is an insulting 'word' what patriarchy considers insulting?
Do you respond to the word, or its intent?

ps: Is there a thing as a feminist swear word?

Love,
Blank Noise

past work thoughts on swearing here

19.4.17

In Solidarity With Action Hero, Neha Rastogi




This is domestic abuse.
To live in terror
In your home.
10 years.

I Never Ask For It




Abhishek Gattani, the co-founder and CEO of Cuberon, Silicon Valley threatened to murder his wife, Neha Rastogi. He verbally, physically and emotionally abused her, humiliated her.

Neha said she was always made to believe it was her fault. He would hit her while she was breastfeeding their child, because he felt she “wasn’t doing it right.” Or make her stand at the edge of the bed for hours, hit her if she did not do it.

Neha recorded an incident, the audio and video is disturbing to view. It was used as evidence in court. Assistant district attorney, Steve Fein gave Gattani 13 days in prison , reduced his charges from felony assault to felony accessory, prosecutors argued amounted to years of domestic abuse. The presiding judge of the case was absent that day. Pro-tem judge Rodney Stafford decided to delay the sentencing until May 18, after the presiding judge of the case, Danner had returned.

Full story reported at the Daily Beast here

*

Spaces of violence are interconnected. Violence and abuse has long been justified across spaces, from the public to the private, street, home, office, campus, web. I Never Ask For It is a world wide call to end violence.If domestic violence, intimate partner violence,  and blame speak to you too, reach out at actionhero@blanknoise.org

Action Hero Happily Unmarried, Freshly Divorced steps into shape the I Never Ask For It mission with her story.






24.3.17

Bangalore Action Heroes : I Never Ask For It (Post to be updated)





I Never Ask For It , Action Hero Shruti
I Never Ask For



It , Action Hero



Post to be updated

photo documentation from January 2017.
Action Heroes in Bangalore walked the city carrying, I Never Ask For It testimonials,
inviting citizens, individuals to step in and take collective responsibility instead of victim blame.
Bystanders took position as Action Heroes; carrying the garments, bringing in their own, adding to the testimonials and voice shaping I Never Ask For It. 

25.2.17

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) : Towards Building Safe Spaces

BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) initiates dialogues , leading to possible projects towards a safe commute for women and all persons. Managing Director, BMTC, Dr Ekroop Caur met with various organisations and community leaders working on safe and inclusive spaces on Thursday February 23rd.

The agenda was to listen in to BMTC's ideas and vision for safety through the gender and sexuality lens, while also bringing together a group of community leaders, organisations, concerned individuals, with a collective concern and varying ways of approaching the same issue.

Groups/ Representatives present at the meeting include: Amnesty International India , Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore Bus Prayanikara Vedike, Blank Noise, B Pac, Durga, Equations, Sadana Mahila Sangha, Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology, Vimochana. 

Persons present include ( Chitra Talwar, Dipti Ramesh, Durang, Jananie, Jasmeen Patheja, Lekha, Mamatha, Madhura Rodrigues, Morgan Campbell, Priya , Radha Gundali, Rustam Vania, Sowmya Reddy, Subroto, Suma, V Chandrashree)


Small step. Big change.

We look forward to working together , towards building safe , welcoming, inclusive bus rides, mobility and Bangalore.

Initiated by BMTC, Sowmya Reddy and Jasmeen Patheja.


8.2.17

I Never Ask For It, Montreal












Montreal Action Heroes. I Never Ask For It talk, conference and workshop at Mc Gill University, Concordia University, and a workshop at Studio XX


The opposite of blame is to step in. When we say #INeverAskForIt , we are walking towards building collective responsibility; co creating safe spaces.


2017. I Never Ask For It talks and workshops begin.
Action Hero Ally > Step in if you are part of an organisation, community leader, and would like to co create I Never Ask For It from where you live
Volunteer/ Participate Action Hero > Step in if you would like to volunteer towards building or participating city specific events and activities( ie show up on the day of action)  



1.2.17

Action Hero Unrelenting Furiosa

Action Hero Unrelenting Furiosa

I have lived on this street all my life. He works as a car driver.
He’s about as old as my father, so he’s a good 20 years old or over.  And that morning I was walking to go get an auto, and go to work. So he turned around and started making kissing noises at me and I don’t know what spurred me on but something in me just tripped. I said I can’t be taking this kind of treatment from this man anymore because he’s also made comments about the size of my breasts several times when I have walked passed him in the past. So I walked up to him and asked him what his problem was. And I told him that don’t you know that irrespective of all the considerations, I am as old as your daughter or your grand daughter for that matter. And this is not the first time you have misbehaved and as usual he feigned innocence. He began telling people “ you’re so young why will I do something like that?”  and I think the worst part of that whole situation was that, of course lots of people stopped because there was commotion, but every single one turned around and asked me why I was making such a big deal about nothing. It didn’t help that this man was old, and looked vulnerable,  but even the women there said “you know what you shouldn’t  pay attention to these things, and you should just walk away, they’ll be like that only. You should know you shouldn’t make so much of noise about little things like these.” So it always starts with the smallest of these instances, they’re going to keep pushing you. They start with comments, then they’ll start with slight touches and they then will go all out. 
And only then will people start taking you seriously when they have evidence or proof of sexual abuse and violation. And what I was wearing that was actually a below the knee level length Kurta with leggings and a sweater also. It makes you feel dirty because somebody is talking about your body in a way that you don’t look at it yourself. And they may not realize it but it instills a sense of fear that if this person is noticing these things about me that he’s also thinking about , (the next thing my mind thinks) is that he’s probably thinking about violating it. So I’m constantly walking around in fear because he’s explicitly expressed his desire or his want to do something with my body without my permission. So you may dismiss it as small, people may dismiss it as little, but psychologically I’ve spent sleepless nights rerouting my paths and rerouting the route I take to work the next morning just to avoid this person, just to avoid that feeling of fear that he put in me every time he said something about my body.  That feeling of self consciousness, that feeling of just feeling dirty because that’s not how you see yourself. That’s not how you want other people to see you.
I was angry, there was so much anger and it actually made me realize that I’ve been harboring silently so much anger that I wasn’t even conscious of until that moment because I was shaking by the end of it.  And we shouldn’t have to suppress those feels of anger so much is what I realized that day. If something makes you angry you should be able to stand up for it , stand up for yourself without having to suppress and walk around quietly . just because there are people around you saying that its not a big deal. It is a big deal and I realized that from the time I was a child these instances and incidents that happen on a daily basis I just bottled up and just caused so much anger that was harming myself by not letting myself express it or not having people who would understand what it is that I was going through
Bangalore.


Step in to be Action Hero.
Co create  I Never Ask For It with your testimonial
Connect actionhero@blanknoise.org
 http://ineveraskforit-testimonials.tumblr.com

7.1.17

I Never Ask For It Action Heroes : Unite To End Blame



Action Hero Annie. An unknown man touched me. Andheri Station. Mumbai. 


Block 1 of I Never Ask For It Wall. Action Hero Vrushali


Saturday January 14th
Time: 4 pm - 9 pm
Location: MG Road Bus Stop (app Deccan Herald office + Brigade Road
Form: Public Participatory Action/ Performance
Media: Testimonial of garments and I Never Ask For It wall built by citizens/ individuals/ allies/ communities aka Action Heroes
Sign up here
Dear Co-Stranger,

When I was twelve, somebody leaned over and said - don't attract attention to yourself. That's what I have been doing all my life. When I leave my home, I clutch my belongings, adjust my clothes and will myself to be invisible. I occupy the tiniest strip of space. I am constantly moving sidewards to let men walk by, because I know they will most definitely "accidentally brush".

From some unknown age, a verbal survival guide becomes your holy book. "Don't take an auto when it's dark. Don't take a bus in the rush hour. Get into the crowded "Ladies" compartment even if the "General" compartment is half empty. When you sit in an auto, never sit close to the sides even if you want to feel the wind in your hair. Sit in the centre, so no passing hand can reach inside and grope. Don't smile at the auto driver. Don't smile at the shopkeeper. Don't smile."

By the time you're 18 you have permanent frown lines on your forehead. All your life, you have been biting your teeth and not smiling. In all public spaces.

This has to stop.
I want to be free from fear.

Who we are, where we go, what we wear, how we sit, stand, talk, walk in our very own cities. When we demand the need to make our cities non threatening , I don't expect anyone to think of me as their sister or mother, but to really look at women as citizens who have every right to be out on the streets, without any explanation. Sometimes we just love to walk, stand around, hang around, without looking 'available.'

We will write a new story. A story that is not rooted in fear but in being Action Hero.

No woman of any age colour or character ever deserves to be violated or what some may lightly call ‘eve teased’. There is no excuse for sexual violence. We are done being questioned. Controlled. Told.

If you know what  I am talking about, meet me again on  January 14th at MG Road ( opp Deccan Herald) bus stop between 4 - 9 pm. Bring along the garment you wore when you experienced any kind of sexual violence, threat , intimidation, abuse. Your garment is your story, your witness, your truth. You are not alone.Your garment will stand together with another garment: connecting your experience with another Action Heroes. Together, we are strong. We are safe. We resonate.  I Never Ask For It.

In solidarity,
Action Hero
Blank Noise

9886840612 / actionhero@blanknoise.org

Testimonial in letter extracted from Blank Noise Blogathon 2006



5.1.17

List of Protests in Bangalore In Response To Molestation On New Years Eve

Hosted by a range of organisations, communities and citizen led initiatives


7th Jan, Saturday,  11 am - 1 pm
Human chain outside Vidhan Soudha/ Karnataka High Court
Touch Me Not
Led by Bangaloreans, citizens, groups


7th Jan, Saturday,  4 30 pm - 6 pm
Cubbon Park, Bandstand
#WomenInThePark : affirming our right to enjoy public spaces
Bring a books, music, games
Led by She Collective Hub


7th Jan, Saturday, 7 pm
M.G. Road and Brigade Road
Led by Citizens For Bengaluru ( organisation)


10th January Tuesday 5 p.m  
M.G. Road and Brigade Road Outside Cauvery Emporium
“Reclaim the space. Dress the way you wish! Let us be visible and stand united!” Join us on 10th January 2017 at 5 p.m in M.G. Road and Brigade Road to reclaim the space. Dress the way you wish! Let us be visible and stand united!
Contact : 080 25492783 Email: vimochana79@gmail.com; kavi.naturesmiles@gmail.com
Led by Vimochana, The Forum for Women's Rights, concerned students, citizens, working women from all sectors.


11th January Wednesday 8-9 pm
Led by a cohort of activists/ groups including Why Loiter , Safe City, Fem Positive,
Also on 8th January, Sunday meet at  Bandstand, Cubbon Park 4:30 PM onwards on Saturday


January 14th 11:30 am- 2:30 pm
Led by Bengalore citizens
Contact : Sangam Iyer: +919916285577


January 14th, Saturday 4 pm - 9 pm
M.G. Road / Brigade Road
Unite To End Blame. No Excuse
Together, we are strong.We are safe.
We resonate. I Never Ask For It.
Action built by public participation:
Bring along the garment you wore when you experienced any kind of sexual violence, threat , intimidation, abuse. Your garment is your story, your witness, your truth. You are not alone.
Led by Blank Noise, allies, and its Action Heroes/citizens ie you.
Contact : actionhero@blanknoise.org  +91.9886840612




Is this the time for #NotAllMen ?

This hashtag has been trending on twitter in light of the new years eve incident.

To whom so ever initiated this:
Of course not all men commit violence against women. 
Many women and girls are warned often by many men (brothers, father, husband, 'protectors') and society at large to fear another man, to "be careful" ie to be careful of another man. 
Before this goes into a man vs women reductionist view - 
In an environment of collective outrage and shock after the new years eve incident , #NotAllMen is defensive ,and this is not a time to be defensive, but to understand , but to empathise and step in. This is the time to take collective responsibility , express solidarity, and even go beyond solidarity to saying that violence against women affects you too in one way or another. Without empathy, and with this hashtag, you are becoming the opposite of the hashtag you suggest. 

shout out to Sachin Kalbag for expressing a similar sentiment, where he proposed a #WeWontTolerateIt