It's interesting to see the alternatives and opposing points of view posted in the comment boxes of entries. The suggestions to do something more concrete than demonstrating, to stop hoping for miracles, to stop expecting that men will not grope in a year or two, to 'understand' that leching is not an offense, that a man can mentally undress a woman.
What surprises me is the complete lack of sensitivity in these comments. Because what is not being recognised is that eve teasing or street harassment or leching or groping - call it what you want - is not seen as an offence. That's the bottom line here. It's also the starting post. As young girls in school uniforms, awkward teenagers in shorts or grown women in salwar-kameezes, we are made to think that it 'happens' and you can do nothing about it.
We've all had terrible experiences. How many of us have had our breasts grabbed? How many of us have had men in crowded buses jerking off against our backs? Do we talk about it? No. Are we made to feel like it's not our fault? No. Why? Because it happens. Men, ruled by libidos, do things like this. As junk_alpha pointed out, demeaning thoughts may not be an offense under the law. But what about the scars left on a woman when it happens? The feeling that your body is dirty and unworthy, that's a playground only for lust and not tenderness? Is legality the only space for this? What about humane sensitivity?
What Jasmeen is doing with Blank Noise is trying to first get recognition that eve teasing is not okay. That just because thousands of men do it and thousands of women are victims every minute of every day, it's not bloody okay. No-one has a right to lech at my body and imagine what I look like naked. First you need to have the issue recognised and out there, in your face, before you can do anything else.
Going to the police is an option open to us. Whether or not you choose to is entirely personal. For many of us, it ceases to be a choice because of the insensitive manner in which the complaint is treated. A friend of mine was taking her morning walk when a grown man flashed himself to her. When she complained to the police, they just told her to walk elsewhere. Another was told to wear a dupatta. Another was told that men are "like that only". I was once told not to walk on Cubbon Road. Simple. Just don't walk because, again, raging libidos cannot be protected against.
The public demonstrations, banners, the pictures on the blog are not "scare tactics" or pointless. Because ultimately, unless something is taken into the public space screaming for attention, nothing can be done. The legal alternatives, educating young girls, dialogues, platforms, everything else can only begin when people open their eyes to the issue.
Instead of constantly posing a smart answer and a legal loophole to every initiative of Blank Noise, why don't people join in? It may be very interesting and intellectually stimulating to argue for and against, to analyse and discard, to banter, to offer alternatives, to point out mistakes, to threaten and criticise...very interesting, indeed.
But, on the 15th, how many of you are going to be there at Majestic with Jasmeen to take one step into the public space? Because eventually that's what counts.