22.6.05

responses

The last month has been exciting. We've been out on the streets and trying to get things done!
There have been interventions and the news media has encouraged the project.
There have been several email responses to the project in the last couple of days, some of which I will be putting up on the Blank Noise blog.

On clothes and 'ASKING FOR IT'

hi,
how can u defend urself about the dresses the gals used 2 wearin mg roads & other roads whoch r very excotong for men & i thonk only a5 to15% of gals wear the full covered dresses!


Mr Nag Raj
what do you mean by the dresses are too exciting for men?are you implying that women should not be dressed in a way that theylike because men cannot control their sexual urge??looking forward to hearing from you .will open this topic for debate on the blog.

29 comments:

  1. the supreme kourt has already ruled that women kannot be held responsible as refered to by mr Nag Raj

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  2. Nag Raj is hilarious. I wonder if he wears full covered dresses (or is it drosses?) to keep women from getting excoted :)

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  3. women cannot be held totally responsible. though in some cases girls also provoke the men. like for eg: i had noticed during rides in buses that girls start commenting about a guy & resort to adam teasing. the incidents of adam teasing is miniscule while compared to eve teasing.
    if theres anyway in which i/we can contribute do let us know.

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  4. well as i mentioned earlier, this is perceived as a 'woman's issue' and not as something that men do face. street sexual violence occurs between all kinds of groups
    -male to female
    -female to male
    -male to male
    -female to female
    -adult to child

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  5. Anonymous4:42 am

    As they say, never argue with a fool - for he drags you down to his level and beats you wiuth experience.

    Good for you - I'd heard of this project a couple of months ago on a different blog (the livejournal bangalore community), and it seems like you are making mark.


    Arvindh

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  6. Anonymous4:43 am

    - And you can blame all the coffee I spilt on the keyboard for all those misspelt words.

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  7. I do agree that nobody can have a rule to say 'U shld dress like that ' ..But isn't a fact that we lock our doors to save ourselves from theives ?

    Atleast for you own protection from some male population who are not disciplined,girls have to dress a bit carefully .How much is something nobody can define! - It depends from one society to another .

    But to dress 'only' to attract men and expect all men to behave decently is just a case of contradiction.But the issue is totally subjective ,so i don't think Naga Raj has any point in that protest .

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  8. to attract- attraction- lends itself from being mutual.0

    when we are talking about street sexual harassment..we are dealing with violation of the self.

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  9. Anonymous5:49 am

    ************************************************************************************************
    Q. What role does a woman's clothing (and hence a woman's choice)play towards her being groped?
    ************************************************************************************************

    A. It is reasonable to assume that the "probability of being groped" does have some relation to the "clothing of the victim". Of course, clothing is not the sole or even, perhaps, a major determinant towards "being groped"; however, there is indeed a causual relationship between harassment and the type of clothing: i.e, wearing certain types of clothes does enhance the chances of being groped.

    Since a woman has the choice to wear or avoid certain types of clothing, she can indeed affect her chances of being groped. Indeed, the woman might have several reasons in favor of wearing these let's call high-risk-clothes, but it is irrelevant to the point here. The price for wearing these clothes is the increased likelihood of being groped. It is a question of cost/benefit. Every woman makes her choice.

    Let's try to account some of the major factors that affect your chances of being groped:

    70% - Whether you are in crowded places - crowded buses, streets, dance clubs etc.
    20% - Whether you are with any other males or not
    10% - Nature of clothes you wear

    Of course, I made up those numbers, and we will need some statistical data to make an assertion like the one above. My entire point is that: regardless of how important a factor clothing is, it does play a role, and gives you an oppurtinuity where you can affect your chances of being groped.

    So, women do indeed have a role in reducing (not eliminating) the chances of being groped.

    ***************************************************************
    Q. Is it right that woman are groped because of their clothes?
    ***************************************************************

    A. Whether men should grope a woman just because she wearing certain kind of clothes, I will not answer. I will leave it to the moralists. What I will say is that, we all have a conception (a world free of gropers) of how the world ought to be, but our conception rarely matches the reality. You cannot directly control the actions of the men who grope you... perhaps you can reduce( not eliminate) the probability of it happening by doing the following:

    1. Doing your campaign to raise awarness, and affecting people's sensibilties
    2. Avoiding crowded places
    3. Avoiding clothes the might elict this response

    Of course, you would not like to do some actions (i.e., avoid certain types of clothes or crowded places) becasue the benefits might be high - your bus might be a cheapest mode of transport, even if travelling in it will increase your chances of being groped. You might enjoy wearing skin tight jeans (an an example), though you might enhance your chances of being groped. The choice is yours: And doing all the above are not going to eliminate being groped, they merely will reduce it... is the reduction enough for what you give up? Each women has her answer.

    Nag Raj Fan Club
    junk_alpha(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous5:53 am

    >> to attract- attraction- lends itself from being mutual.

    You are wrong. It does not. I can be attarcted to you, without you being attracted to me. It is a very valid point that if you dress to attarct a certain someone, you will also run the risk of attracting someone else who you have intended to attarct. Unfortunately, exposed cleavge does not only catch the eye of your romantic interest, it will catch the eye of 90% of males who look at you.

    Nag Raj Fan Club

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  11. Akhila2:09 pm

    What one wears is not for the sole purpose of attracting someone's interest... it is something i want to wear because i am cofortable in them, i feel good in them, i like myself in them... i find it strange that what one wears is attributed to someone else...

    And I also get the feeling reading some of the above postings that there is an implicit acceptance of things the way they are- "We condemn groping but just too bad if you wear something or you are in place that invites groping" kind of idea...

    And yes, don't forget that women are also sexual beings- we have our needs. While men can get away with groping and worse things we are not allowed even ligitimate expression of sexuality. And to Mr. Sathish i say, so what if a girl is acting provocative. Does it mean she has to be molested and raped? This is a Madonna- Whore syndrome... that a woman can either be "Ma" or she is a "maal"... a kind of sterotyping which does not allow men to view women as persons and the fastest way one can gauge a woman is by what she wears. if she is in low cut jeans/ trousers, she gets labels like "fast", chalu", "easy"......

    Everybody gets into a tizzy about what women do. And i hate the term "for your own good..." For God's sake it is NOT for women's good we are talking about here...

    Any woman irrespective of whether she is "respectable" or "disreputable" has a right to feel safe on the road, at home, at work and not have herself violated.

    akhila

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  12. "We condemn groping but just too bad if you wear something or you are in place that invites groping" kind of idea...

    Its NOT a self-contradicting idea. Is it? We codnem murder, but yes if you are going to mess with the local ruffian and provoke his ire, you are increasing your chances of being hurt. It would be prudent for you to acqueise to him, even if it is a minor inconvinenece.. again its a cost/benefit thing - you will risk your well being for being vociferous with the hoodlum, but what do you gain? If the gain is worth the pain, sure.. go on pick a fight with him. For most people gain < pain, and hence they choose to just live with it.

    Similarly, you can wear whatever you please for whatever reason. Yet, you run the risk of being harrassed more if you wear racier clothes. You have to understand your risk tolerance.. "ok, I would love to wear this mini-skirt today, but I might attarct undue attention and may risk being groped more, commented more... etc. But, I really would like to wear it." Is the gain worth the pain? It your own judgement call. But, a significant number of women, I think, would rather avoid that pain. Of course, in a perfect world, we would never even have to have this discussion!

    While men can get away with groping and worse things we are not allowed even ligitimate expression of sexuality. And to Mr. Sathish i say, so what if a girl is acting provocative. Does it mean she has to be molested and raped?

    Let me ask you another question... you witness a local gangster bashing the head of an old lady, and you intervene. Does that mean you have to get your ass kicked by him for doign that? I dont care what the answer is, but in all likelihood, you will if you intervene. Similarly, it does not mean you "have" to be harmed when you act provocatively. But, it is more likely that you will hassled more if you are provocative, than if you are not. The question again becomes - is tha pain worth the gain ? " I might gain something by acting provocatively, but I will also increase my chances of being put in an uncomfortable situation.. should I do it?"... its your call, but if you pick a course of action, beaware that you will be risking some consequences. Plain common sense. Nobody has the right to harm you if you walk through a dark alley alone at an ungoldly hour... but, would you take the risk? The analogy extends.

    that a woman can either be "Ma" or she is a "maal"... a kind of sterotyping which does not allow men to view women as persons and the fastest way one can gauge a woman is by what she wears. if she is in low cut jeans/ trousers, she gets labels like "fast", chalu", "easy"......

    That is the nature of the world you live in. You can whine about how the perfect world ought to be, but for now you have to make do with the world you are in. And you are not going to change those stereotypes anytime soon... so, the question still stands... do you wanna run the risk of being labelled "chalu" for what you wear. May be there are instance where the answer is yes. Every woman must answer that question herself..but, I bet the hassle is too much for a significant chunk... and that is what is meant by "for your own good"

    Any woman irrespective of whether she is "respectable" or "disreputable" has a right to feel safe on the road, at home, at work and not have herself violated.

    Yes, may be in a perfect world... may be in a world we are trying to create, but we never will reach... yes, we can get better and better, but we will never reach the world where no ever will ever be raped, no child will ever be unloved, no old man will ever have regrets. That world exists in your imagination and in election speeches, but it is the critical step in "growin up" to be able to distinguish between reality and delusion... both can co-exist, but you you cannot blame one because its not like the other.

    I am tired of some women barking up the wrong tree; their skulls impervious to commonsense even if it poured into them in wet scalding state.. and so they keep making comments liek Alka's!

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  13. oops! Akhila I mean.

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  14. This is off the topic, but addressed to Jasmine.

    I think your project, though provocative and creative, is utterly useless. What I mean by that is:

    Design a survey the measure the attitudes of the general populace towards harassment of women? Quantify it.. say, on average a woman get harrassed once every 2 days or something like that. Do your project - fancy art work, advertisign stunts and all. Now, repeat the survey and measure the attirudes.. Take as much time as you need between the two surveys.

    Your result: There is no change in the attitudes. Harsh, but true. Your project will remain a Blank Noise Project!

    If I dare suggest an alternative course of action - go join IPS, come back to Banglore as the Commisner, and effect change... tangible change. Half measures are as good as no measures. But, again may be one of the girls would get inspired to do just that from your propoganda.. but then, wouldnt your efforts be better directed to motivating women to put the effort to effect measurable change, and congragulating yourself over the clever lay out design. By the way, your "own night stand" poster is excellent, but alas, it wont achieve what you intend it too. Well, atleast you have the satisfaction of an artist, though not one of a social activist. Any ways, good luck - you will need lot of it.

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  15. Ganesh4:28 am

    I must say that if we didn't have junk_alpha, we'd have to invent him. Rarely does something so shallow overflow so much. What I wonder is -

    a. Has he any morals
    b. If he does, what are they? Or is he merely a contrarian who's exercising a man's god-given right to show women their place?
    c. Has HE ever done anything "useful", no matter how insignificant or useless, to further something he believes in?

    It's easy to dispense with "provocative", "creative" and "utterly useless" advice, it becomes the upper middle-class Indian male well. How often the mirror is turned inwards though?

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  16. i find it odd, that you refuse to see the realisticness of what junk a says. he isn't supportive or unsupportive.it seems that he just observes and critisizes accordingly. why the mud slinging? doesn't he[<-i'm assuming] have the right to choose whether or not to make this his fight.

    i applaud jasmeen's attempt at creating awareness. the law does accord women protection. i imagine that if the police came down harder on offenders, if women and men knew that they would, we would probably be one step closer to this ludicrously ideal world that j a goes on about.

    Mr. Nagraj is an ass. what if Mr Nagraj your chest hair [yuck] got me all excited and my idea of expressing my excitement was to throw something at your privates. i have no right to violate you that way... even though you were in fact asking for it. showing your chest hair or stomache or nor arms or what ever it is that got me excited, like that. don't tell me that men cannot control themselves. our brothers, fathers, friends all do. it isn't impossible.

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  17. Citrus, Thanks for understanding.

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  18. Anonymous1:18 pm

    i disagree with Citrus. I think it was junk a that was mudslinging by calling this action "useless"... that's harsh! Whatever outcome the blank noise project brings, at least someone has shaken off passivity and done something!!! What gives you the right as a man (junk a) to be condescending towards a project created by women to take a stand and defend themselves??? If you care enough to comment on their activity, put that effort into constructive criticism and helping improve the project rather than being negative and pulling it down!

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  19. Please Don't Mistake me.

    People avoid wearing jwellary while travelling in trains, but will not talk about the freedom ?

    Some times its better to be cautious because you are not always surrounded by Ramu is a Good boy kinds.

    Now about the freedom of choosing what you wear.

    First of all I strongly condemn the very act of #$@$%#%$#$$ what ever you fill in here.
    But, with a Question .. which I dont think is objectionalble. till now (May be till I hear any response from U)

    I feel ashamed to walk by such a woman, is it really the freedom they think of when they wear such dresses ?
    Please ...

    I started supporting people because I have friends who dress well(I mean Indian and completely covered) yet being groped at.
    So I am here to support you.

    But I am not for those ... who wear 'economy', too less to cover any thing.
    We in India, are not used to that Baywatch culture, and subminimal dressing.

    Wear any thing but wear sufficient.

    Dont give those idiots a chance to talk of you,
    I will come and rescue you.

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  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  21. >> I think it was junk a that was mudslinging by calling this action "useless"... that's harsh!

    I might have been harsh, but I used the world in a very objective way. It is "useless" for reducing sexual harassement towards women. If you read Jasmine's first post, she is doing this as research into the methodolgies of her art. The purpose of this project is NOT to reduce sexual harassment, but to build a collection of testimonaials, just provoke reactions with her antics, and observe (I am paraphrasing here).

    And, I have been repeatedly told (in response to my previous posts) that the motive of the project was not to reduce sexual harassment, but just to have dialog about it; more like it is the canvass upon which she works... that's all. My reaction, your reaction, and those people helping her are merely pawns in her grand scheme things, which she eloquently captures in the words:

    "What happens when the nature of the work is in your face? What reaction does it yield?"

    So, if you adhere to principle of something is always better than nothing; I cant help you there. But for all we know, her project could be doing a disservice towards the "cause of reducing sexual harassment towards women" by making people angry, and help objectify their anger against an entire group, and who knows, may be some lunatic will attack the volunteers of the project merely because he is angry at the project. For example, she says,

    "When I think of forms like performance- costumes on the streets- getting people to interact with me/ as I am dressed in different costumes that – ‘deny access’/ a garment made of lights that allows me to walk on the street at night- a garment that reveals testimonies of the body – I am not configuring an end result, but the entire process of exchange and reaction. "

    So, I still stand by that statment, and I will presume that you also misled yourself, like I did, by thinking that this project will do something by reducing the harassment towards woman.

    >> If you care enough to comment on their activity, put that effort into constructive criticism and helping improve the project rather than being negative and pulling it down!

    I care enough about "reducing sexual harrasment towards women". I have no like/dislike towards some artist using a certain cause to practice her art, per se. However, I worry if her methods have consequences that might actually hurt the cause I care about. Of course, she is an artist - she can always defend herself behind the eternal question of "how far is an artist responsible for the consequences of her art" spawing the whole "freedom of expression debate". I dont have that luxury - some dumbwit will follow my sister or my girlfriend after one of these public demonstration because she participated in this and wants to see how tough she is. I dont want naive volunteers to be duped into thinking that they are spending time towards "reducing sexual harassment", while indeed they are merely manifestations of an artist's narcissism towards her art. That is why is important that this criticism be recorded, however negative.

    Of course, I have offered several alternative ways (so have others) to achieve do something about "reducing sexual harrassment" but of course, we have been told that that is not the purpose of the project. And, I am going to say again that:

    If your objective is to reduce sexual harassment towards women, to actually affect the behavioral norm of the society, there are effective ways of doing that, e.g., Social Marketing. Sadly, that is not objective here, and so worry about the consequences of her experiment.

    >> What gives you the right as a man (junk a) to be condescending towards a project created by women to take a stand and defend themselves???

    Let me bust the bubble, and repeat that this is not intended as a reform movement for a cause, its an artist's exploration. Stop for a second, read the previous line a couple of times before it sinks in. And, what is with the suddent shift into paranoia mode - the us and them - why, merely because I happen to be a man, I lose the right to negatively critcizie a project that happens to be started by a woman? Perhaps, you have already assigned me half a dozen negative attributes in your mind, assumed they were true, and reacted as if I was a misogynst monster.. how ironic if you did do that: you objectify me with your assumptions in your protest against objectifying women! Ha.. go figure.

    That is how dehumanizing begins - you group people, you give attributes to them, hate the imaginary group, and the people that you somehow adjudge to be memebers the group have to pay the price of supposed indiscretions of the imaginary group! Its just amazing how you can percive a unremarkable action of proffering criticism as gignatic battle between to two groups! Yes, let's mark the territory and shoot the first male who offers criticism. unbelivable.

    Perhaps, you can imagine for a moment that I am girl, and may be that will give a chance to read my comments more honestly and unencumbered by being in the "defense" mode.

    Also, is any of my comments made you angry then you must realize that whatever one thinks as being objective/right (e.g., me writing my comments) could be precieved as an attack by others (e.g., someone reading those comments). Same goes for this project - what you think as an interesting method to raise awarness/have dialog could be percieved as offensive by the bystander, just like people reading my comments are offended though they are very objective to me. That should say something about the effectiveness of being confronatational about reducing sexual harassment towards women.

    Cheers.

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  22. "what do you mean by the dresses are too exciting for men?are you implying that women should not be dressed in a way that theylike because men cannot control their sexual urge??"

    Question well asked, debate is good with both sides raising good points. Wud like to add my word. There is something called liberty, something absolute liberty.

    If you feel its your absolute right to dress however you feel like, I feel the same way, I have an absolute right to look anyway I feel like, and think in anyway I like.

    You say you dont hurt me, I say I dont hurt you . I dont invade your personal space. All is at a distance - Ok thats fine as long I am not physically touching you. Is that fine?

    Rest is all imagination - he is mentally stripping me like in Shool - 'man hi man hans raha tha.' how can you prove it. If you feel like it, the grow out of the feeling. You can feel any way you like but cant blame others for it.

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  27. gayathri2:14 am

    well this is for all those we-cant- help- it- men
    who feel that if the woman has a right to wear whatever she feels like they have a right to do whatever they feel like.
    few questions men-
    there are certain tribal people all around the world, like the jarava tribes in the Andaman Nicobar Islands, the significance of these tribes is that... they do not wear any clothes at all i said NONE. i am not talking about sleevless or short blouses or tight or whatever garbage men here have claimed provokes them- the absence of few inches of clothing which they claim makes them commit heinous crimes like rape and murder.
    you see the average height of a woman lets assume is about 5 feet. these women on their 5 feet frames wear nothing at all !! ok ??? get the pictr ???
    and DO NOT find any evidence of any kind of crime committed against them by men of their tribe, (forget the indecent men- the proud product of our culture, they are hopeless )i do not think clothes or the absence of it conrtibutes to sexual haraasmnt there is more to it than "oh its her fault lets move on", - every victim knows this is not true !!!!

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  28. gayathri2:15 am

    well this is for all those we-cant- help- it- men
    who feel that if the woman has a right to wear whatever she feels like they have a right to do whatever they feel like.
    few questions men-
    there are certain tribal people all around the world, like the jarava tribes in the Andaman Nicobar Islands, the significance of these tribes is that... they do not wear any clothes at all i said NONE. i am not talking about sleevless or short blouses or tight or whatever garbage men here have claimed provokes them- the absence of few inches of clothing which they claim makes them commit heinous crimes like rape and murder.
    you see the average height of a woman lets assume is about 5 feet. these women on their 5 feet frames wear nothing at all !! ok ??? get the pictr ???
    and DO NOT find any evidence of any kind of crime committed against them by men of their tribe, (forget the indecent men- the proud product of our culture, they are hopeless )i do not think clothes or the absence of it conrtibutes to sexual haraasmnt there is more to it than "oh its her fault lets move on", - every victim knows this is not true !!!!

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  29. Prashanth9:05 am

    mr.nagraj is obviously still living in the stone age......jus answer me one q mr.nagraj....according to u a provocatively dressed girl is "asking for it"....going by ur argument....do women stand around and letch at a man who is cleaning the sewers??....last i remember those poor guys wear sumn even smaller than a regular underwear....or for tat matter of fact a cart pusher....hes bare bodied too....so y are'nt the women whistling at them or trying to grope them??

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