28.1.06

Let's talk


As part of my work, I look through news agency feeds all day. And every day, I find at least two reports of rape or molestation. The bad days have five or six. I haven't had a good day, yet.



And what amazes me is how people react to it. Rape has become so routine, we refer to incidents as 'Marine Drive rape' or the 'train rape' or the 'Delhi rape', which gets further categorised into 'moving car', 'university'...



How and when did something so heinous become something so, well, routine?



Some rape incidents get recorded, the majority don't. And what about incidents of eve teasing, of other forms of street harassment? We don't even know how often, why, when, where and who does this. And, often, we don't even talk about it amongst ourselves.



I never did, until Blank Noise came along. Did you feel as awful as I did? And did you also yell with rage or did you also walk away sometimes, because you were too shocked, too hurt to react?



The point is, that we need to react, discuss and record. This dullness needs to go. Because the victim is never at fault. And no-one has to stay a victim.



Testimonies, please. Mail them to blurtblanknoise@gmail.com.

19 comments:

  1. what is eve teasing?

    what I hate is when people just walk by or ignore when they see someone being raped.. I think the punishment for rape should be cutting their manly apparatus.

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  2. payal kamat5:34 pm

    I agree with nabeel that incidents of rape are ignored, but what is provided much 'normalcy' is incidents of eve teasing and other form of sexual harrasment..
    there should be proper sytem of networking to charge the culprit,
    Knowing our law, one needs to adress it seriously.

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  3. "Capital punishment" - is the right way to punish a rapist.

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  4. I came to know that BlankNoice is coming to delhi on wednesday 15th Feb. As much i'd like to join you there, being a working day, practically it's not possible to be there. It would have been great if the meeting was on Saturday etc.

    All the best anyways :)

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  5. hey amit...thanks for getting in touch with us

    we are meeting on wednesday...do try and make it


    get in touch with us at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com

    wednesday seemed like a day that was best for all...

    look forward to meeting you

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  6. ps: Blank Noise is in Delhi- taken on by Hemangini

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  7. its at seven amitken, it'll go on for a while!

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  8. gayathri from chennai11:16 pm

    am 21 yrs old doin my 1st yr, MSc in IT here at Chennai at the Womens Christian College.
    Since i am put up some 17 km away from the city, I have to use the local train and bus service to get to the city and back. And it is during these journeys have i had the worst ever experiences with sexual harsmnt... call it even sexual assault.
    Never had the heart to tell my parents about it. becasue my father himself belongs to the she-asked-for- it club !
    bak then in may 2004, a cousin of mine had an affair with a girl from (God forbid !!!) a different caste. and he was forced to marry her. from then on my father has been trying hard to prove that his daughters are "good girls". he laid new rules one of them being no western clothes, no t shirt, jeans. he awlays says "cover yourself properly then men would nt look at you" i have experienced enuf to knw its not true. every action is monitored and behaviour restricted to conditon me into a "proper famliy girl"so that he doesnt have a bed time finding a deal for me in the marriage market !!!
    After all ders nothing more imp in a girls life accordin to him ! am not allowed to go out a lot, even
    stayin out in the garden for a long time is frowned upon.
    everytime i leave home, my father scrutnises me from head to toe to check if i am "properly covered" as he calls it and repeats his long lecture on "how it is my fault to attract attention from men and it is not their fault "
    but nevr protested against the increasing talibanisation. beacuse mom says she wants peace at home, u trade it off for domestic peace... n so life goes on...
    I feel its the height of moral policing in this city these days. damn it ! i find it unfit to live. wit the dress codes and still the insecurity in public spaces- life is a constant nightmare. i hv always wanted to do something about it, after all for how long can you go on like this ?
    ... i will talk to other girls in the college and request them to contribute to the clothes that you are already collecting.
    We could arrange for an assembly in the college ( we have them once in a week or so ) and address the girls. A few months ago a lady from the censor board here had addressed us about the stereotyped depiction of women in the films- good girls were shown wearing saris only and bad girls wore western clothes in them and how she had protested against it.
    also, yes i would like to contribute to the blog... and also with other skills i have !!!
    This is something i found on the website of the BBC
    Actor Preity Zinta writes about how the media contributes to the already bad plight of women in our society
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3572553.stm
    nice one i found it very inspiring !!

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  9. Hi,
    Even though i m a boy i can understand what u feel. But don't u think that there must be some reason ur father behaves like that. Don't u feel that ur father feels helpless in protecting you and as such leans on any small detail that could help you from others. He doesnot know wat to do to ensure your safe return to home and as such tries everything in his control. It is his feeling of insecurity and helplessness that forces him to this "talibanisation" Yes, what he does not know and understand is that all these things don't help one way or the other. I belong to a very small town and i have seen worst things and believe me sometimes i feel so pessimistic. I feel that it wud never change. But since i have decided to fight it out, i wud not leave my struggle.

    Nikhil

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  10. i think u need to be remotely female and u 'ask for it'

    since ur gonna be in delhi, id like to tell u of a story that happened in aligarh muslim univ..a girl was being constantly harassed by male classmates cos apparently they did not approve of her dress code....the heights was when she was wlaking back to her hostel and sum guys pulled off her duppata saying she does not deserve to wear one, and i also heard thye said sum really sick offensive stuff to her.
    she tried to garner the support of ppl from jnu and other places...but has been finding it very hard to singlehandedly fight against this
    most of the men who do not want to support her, r so conscious of protecting thier 'jaat', their sense of reasoning has been blurred

    i dont know this girl, but i herd ths story came in the local papers..

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  11. yes i heard of that one too. hope to get in touch with her..

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  12. It may be over a week since she was allegedly harassed by two students for wearing Western clothes, but the ordeal is far from over for Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student Farah.

    With the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) extending support to her, Farah addressed a press conference for the first time on the JNU campus here on Thursday. Accusing the Administration of restraining her from taking necessary action, the post-graduate journalism student said the AMU Students' Union had been insisting on her giving up her demand for a gender sensitisation committee and warned her of "dire consequences" in case she continued with her campaign.

    She said she was abused and harassed in the campus area on February 2, when while walking to her department two boys on a black Pulsar snatched her shawl and passed lewd remarks.

    "I usually wear jeans and T-shirt to my classes and over the last one year a number of people had told me I should wear a dupatta, as it was unacceptable on the campus. I did not pay much attention to these remarks then, but on February 2 when these boys snatched my shawl they said `how come you are wearing a dupatta today?''' she said.

    But AMU officials say the allegations are nothing but an effort to malign the name of the University on the pretext of eve teasing. "When the matter was brought to the notice of the Vice-Chancellor, he immediately directed the Proctor to enquire into it and report the matter to the police. An FIR was lodged instantly. Since the culprits were not identified by the victim, immediate disciplinary action could not be taken. However, the Vice-Chancellor issued an appeal to all the students exhorting them to cooperate in curbing this evil," the AMU said in a statement issued on Thursday. But what made things worse for the student was her decision to mobilise students to demand appointment of a gender sensitisation committee against sexual harassment on the campus. The students alleges that when she took up her case with the University administration and asked for setting up of an active body, she was asked to focus on her own case. The University reportedly has a complaint mechanism, but one that students are still largely unaware of.

    "University officials said that is a secondary matter. You should concentrate on your problem. But then, the point is while the University says there is a complaint mechanism in place, no student knows about it. There is no information available on the issue. I don't want a short-term solution but a long time one that will prevent such things from taking place," said the student who is currently in Delhi.

    from the hindu

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  13. Anonymous9:57 am

    Hi Guys,

    Yeah I accept that "people just walk by or ignore when they see someone being raped.. "...

    But i want to say One thing is Women are More Powerful than Men...
    they got More strength...women always feel that they are week in front of men...which is not true...

    In India,still the Women are in 19th Century, if the Women start Feeling that they are more Powerfull and they gotMore Strength ...then Definetly this rape case rate will fall down......and Women can Feel More Strengther and powerfull....

    For this the Only Solution is Women should be Compitative with men in Each and Every Aspect... Either it may be in Sports or IT Sector or in business or in Politics...


    And one more thing i want to say...is that ...I Indian Constitutional Law also need to to be changed.....Because u can the case of Jassica lal.....my question on this is: why the case was ran upto 7 years?.....it was a open Murder....and Every one who was the person who killed Jassica....why that person is not been punished......is it because he is an Political leader Son or Business Son......Why.?

    if the Justice is not done for this kind of cases by the court Immeditely...then our Country will be Never been Developed Either it may Grown in IT sector...


    So, Please Change the Indian Constitution law in such a way that if the case as got all the vitcim then it should get resolved on the same day instead of postponding the case,

    and in the High and Supreme Court i saw that May Cases are in pending From Too many Year.....why it is Pending?.......when do innocent people get Justice.....

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  14. Abha Appasamy1:36 pm

    Hi,
    I have lived in Delhi during my growing up years and I have experienced a great deal of Eve teasing from my early teens till into my twenties. Coming to Bombay was a great relief in that aspect, as I felt so much safer walking on the roads. Once in Delhi I had to walk a few kilometers to some place and I was in my school uniform. During that ONE WALK, which lasted about an hour or more, I encountered TWENTY TWO incidences of eve teasing - people passing lewd comments, swerving towards me on a bicycle, trying to touch me, wink, leer, blow kisses, etc. The ages of the men varied between 10 to 60 plus!
    Once as I was going to work by bus in the evening (I was on night duty and used to report on duty two hours early, since I was too scared to go by public transport after dark), I was sitting in the ladies' seat, when five men converged towards me and two occupied the seats in front, one sat next to me and two behind. They looked straight into my face and leered horribly. As I looked around for support, I my heart sank as I saw the smirk on the conductor's face and the unconcerned faces of the others. Though my heart was hammering within me, as I thought about the lonely, treelined road, in which was my bus stop, I decided to exhibit no fear on my face or in my voice. As my bus stop drew nearer, I turned around determined to find some way out, when I saw a familiar face of a co-worker sitting at the back of the bus. I called out a loud "Hi", turned to the guy sitting next to me, said "excuse me" and purposefully stood up. I think he was so stunned that he moved aside and let me get out, whereupon I walked up and sat next to my 'friend' and chatted animatedly with him. We got off at our stop and I had an escort upto the gate and got in safely. I still shudder when I think of that evening and what would have been my fate if I had found no support.
    On other occasions when I have been waylaid by groups of boys, who tried to block my way, I found the same approach to be effective. Without flinching or breaking my stride (never mind how I felt inside), I have walked right up to them, looked them in the eye and said, "excuse me" and they have moved aside and let me go. I don't think dress has much to do with all this - just being female is enough and there is nothing we can do about it. I would reccommend that all you girls out there be bold and no show fear. Fear probably makes them morebold and eggs them on. Yelling and screaming and name calling doesn't do anything either except give them a great kick. If there is anything you can do, like call a policeman or get support from a likely passer by, by all means do so. If not, say the minimum except what you need to to get them to get out of your way and move on - and ACT CONFIDENT! Most men are scared of capable and confident women!

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  15. Anonymous5:08 pm

    The pain almost every female has felt many many times, is finaly put in words. Thanks. I got an opportunity to express my anguish. But the question remain how exactly are we going to full stop to it?

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  16. Anonymous5:08 pm

    The pain almost every female has felt many many times, is finaly put in words. Thanks. I got an opportunity to express my anguish. But the question remain how exactly are we going to full stop to it?

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  17. Nupur2:55 pm

    What an excellent image!
    and an even better point, "rape" has become such a household word. I was once trying to explain to a male freind how it feels to be raped everyday on the streets. He was pressing how men in India are particulalry frustrated because of the backlog of our culture.
    But my point remained that nothing can ever justify the physical and emotional violation a woman has to go through, especially on the streets. What is even more warped is that so many men and women have accepted it as a way of life.

    One incident I remember:
    While waling down Lee Road in Kolkata, an old man who was walking by stuck his hand out and touched my thigh. I turned right around and asked him why he couldn't walk with his hands to himself. I thought he would be embarrassed and evasive, instead he started shouting at me, that i don't look before walking. I stood transfixed, a little taken aback, not knowing when the table turned.

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  18. and there have also been times when i have been looked at as mad, drunk, insane for 'causing a scene' because I reacted.

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  19. YY4Me (Bette)9:22 pm

    I cannot tell you how glad I am to have found this site. I'm a 57-year-old woman who has lived in America for my entire life. Women have come a long way here, but there is much more work to be done. Here, as in your stories, women are blamed for what men do to them. If a woman is raped, some say that she "shouldn't have dressed that way," or she "shouldn't have been out so late," etc. What excuse do men give when they rape elderly women, or babies? They looked so sexy that the men just couldn't control themselves?

    As long as men are allowed to not take responsibility for their actions, women (and even children) will have no peace. If men cannot control themselves, perhaps they should be locked up where they won't be a menace to others.

    My love and support goes out to the courageous women on this blog, and to all of the women, and children, of the world. Singly we are vulnerable. Together we can change the world!

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