19.4.06

that one night stand







thanking participants:

Ratna, Arpita, Chitra, Soumya, Yamini, Tanusree, Maithilli, Molly, Pooja, Pritesh, Pramada Abhishek, Joshua and Balaji!

Some statements we heard that one evening:

“ Why else would you come to brigade road?”

“ I can stare because Im a man. Ofcourse I will stare.”

“ You were staring at me, so I thought maybe you are interested.”

“ He came upto me and asked me if I was waiting for someone, then offered me a ciggarete.”

“ He has been smiling at me, I feel like I look available to him.”

“ The collective staring worked best for me, I cant belivee that he actually moved away!”

“ Taking a photograph without permission is illegal! “

“ Street sexual harassment is also illegal.”

“ If I want I can break this camera of yours in 5 seconds!”

“ It was hard for me to stand straight, walk straight without moving my shoulders and giving way. Im so conditioned to it.”

“It was the first time i walked on brigade road without feeling violated.”

“I am a man , I’m not a hermaphrodite, I will stare”

12 comments:

  1. I am a new reader but from now on i'll be a regular for sure i'll add the badge on my blog as well; that curb your instinct pic is really something.

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  2. What? Just pics?

    I am sure you had hundreds of readers just a month back, and now it has pretty much dwindled down to a tenth of that.

    Unless you update your site, with a little more than pics, explain exactly what is happening, who did what, who thought what - you will have a few volunteers in the end.

    And those few volunteers can do little. You need numbers.

    Update the blog regularly - and hand it over to someone who understands online campaigning better - and the blogosphere will keep it alive, and you suddenly have hundreds of active particpants who are going to spread the issue into newspapers, magazines etc.

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  3. What did you girls actually do? you stood on the streets with a bag and guys started approaching you? i don't know how much you know about this,but one method of identifying a commercial sex worker(CSW) around MG Road is to look out for a single girl standing/lingering with a bag,who's seemingly waiting for someone,and doesn't hesitate to make an eye contact. it doesn't mean that all the girls waiting for someone are CSWs;but those who aren't,don't behave suspiciously or in a way that gives an impression to the onlooker that she's expecting a prospective customer. i wonder if guys approaching such girls,in certain known locales,during certain hours of the day,like generally in the evenings,whom they mistake for CSWs,could be categorised as eve-teasers;at the most they could be categorised as immoral/unethical/ unlawful(because commercial sex is still not legalised). Commercial sex in India is a multi billion dollar market and it provides a living to lakhs of women and it happens by consensus between the participating members. But it is still not legalised in India. since it is not legalised,CSWs use various methods to woo customers. in the process,if some guys accost a lady mistaking her to be a CSW,that is a very different mistake from eve-teasing. perhaps legalising commercial sex in India,which has been a long standing demand of women's groups like All India Democratic Women's Association(AIDWA) and also National Commission for Women(NCW),and streamlining the ways in which CSWs can meet their customers,and vice versa,will prevent men from committing such embarrassing mistakes. please note that i'm not supporting eve-teasers,but i also do not support going overboard to trap a guy to find out if he eve-teases. to draw parallels,journalists conducting sting operations and trapping corrupt officials by inducing them with women and wine are not appreciated,they're actually faulted because every human is an animal inside;various countries have guidelines as to what constitutes a proper sting operation.

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  4. chitra11:50 pm

    blinkdreamza has a very valid point, and sumthing that was discussed among us post the performance. but none of us made eye contact with any of the passer by's. all we did was hang around, like the ay of bunch of guys would probably hang around on a crowded street like brigade road.

    and blv me, it was not easy, cos women r too used to behaving in a conditioned manner when they r on the streets, n it was truly enlightening to be a part of this movement

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  5. hey blink dream

    thanks for bringing this up.

    yes we agree with you, but we emphasize that there is a way of looking. an invite versus a ward off.

    you can keep yourself OPEN by the way you look at someone. you can also enwrap yourself, ward off people by the way you look at them

    i believe we were trying the latter.

    its highly subjective though and all we have is a common experience.

    why didnt u come on saturday? or were u therewws??

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  6. i wasn't there on saturday. i'll see you after May 15th.
    and i'm sure everyone of you has seen the new coca cola ad in which aishwarya rai is eve-teased and she responds to that in a very novel way. but the ad doesn't censure eve-teasers,instead it encourages eve-teasing because the guy who eve-teases gets to talk to the girl and also she doesn't hate him but responds to him as if he were a very innocent juvenile. i think one of you should file a public interest litigation against that ad. i don't mind doing it,but if a girl does it,it'd be better. i don't know if you feel i'm making a big issue out of nothing,but i feel these are the things which really matter,these are among those things which shape a society's outlook. i see that the ad is taking eve-teasing very lightly. if you agree,you should be filing a case against that ad and see that it's off the air!

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  7. Hey Jasmeen, it was one useful exercise! I feel really really empowered after that! Life's easier! Trust me, it worked for ME!

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  8. hi pritesh

    we just got to do this again!

    looking forward!

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  9. Anonymous12:15 am

    blinkdreamz i reckon the ad makers believed that casting a fair complexioned curly haired stereotypical college brat in the role of the 'eve teaser' would take the 'bite' out of the nevertheless lecherous comments.would miss Rai give her unbiased 'thande ka tadka' to a bunch of labourers sitting by the roadside, giving an obscenely graphic description of her intimate anatomy in vernacular,too?apparently miss ice princess has been so busy sitting high up on her "untouchable" pedestal that she hasn't ever experienced street harassment for the loathesome experience it is for real. If she had, she wouldn't have agreed to lend her histrionic skills to such a frivolous ad campaign.
    P.S: I don't see Sushmita Sen ever conceding to something like that!

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  10. I understand what you're saying,but let's not get into Aishwarya bashing and Sushmita praising here,I guess that's not really the issue here :) I just think that if somebody fought to take that ad off the air,it'll really bring the issue of eve-teasing under the limelight and make it a serious issue,and the message will go to a larger section of the population.

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  11. Anonymous6:41 am

    I somehow stumbled upon this blog. Since then, I’ve read quite a few of the archived blogs as well as applicable links, including a lot of the comments generated. As this is likely to be a long post, I’ll get straight to the point:

    - to those who wonder what use this blog has:
    > providing a network in which to communicate with others
    > opening up those eyes who’ve not had the misfortune to either experience street sexual harassment (SSS) or know someone who has
    > reminding others (men and women) that they are not alone
    > shaking the complacency off those of us who have become so accustomed to the constant barrage that it no longer surprise us the way the first, fifth, and even fiftieth encounter did
    > servicing as a vehicle where people can share their experiences and vent their frustrations
    > challenging us to develop further as individuals and as a society by taking note of these issues
    > supporting a disenfranchised people
    > sensitizing future generations (hopefully!)
    > mobilizing people to action by recognizing that we do not have to maintain the status quo

    I’m sure I could come up with more, but I am actually trying to make this a brief comment

    - to those who wonder what the cause of street sexual harassment is:

    > I agree whole-heartedly there are many factors that contribute to SSS, including
    ... Public constructs (patriarchy)
    ... Societal pressure (oppressive attitude toward integration of men and women)
    ... Lack of consistent enforcement of laws, etc

    > What does not _cause_ SSS
    ... What a victim wears
    ... How educated a victim is
    ... How educated a perpetrator is
    ... How affluent or not the area is
    ... What is being portrayed on the media (consider number of such incidences in other countries in correlation to the media there)

    > Now, while I stated the above factors do not _cause_ SSS, I have no doubt that they contribute to how often it occurs and to what extent
    ... However, a victim ought not be blamed
    ... Again, while some factors may increase the likelihood of being victimized, we need to concentrate on the issue at hand: _this should not happen_.
    ... Let me reiterate: _this should not happen_ – full stop.

    - It does not matter what the victim wore because the perpetrator has no right in harming another individual – none whatsoever

    - To be brutally honest, when I read some of the SSS incidents or even the comments, I see red and want to shake some sense into that person (okay, maybe do more than just shake!)… but just because I disagree, just because I might be right and the other person wrong, just because I have the backing of society, religion, others, etc does not give me the right to inflict harm on another.

    - Stating otherwise excuses perpetrators and allowing that individual to blame it on anyone and anything else rather than taking responsibility for that individual’s actions

    Having said all that, I would like to extend my appreciation to the founder, the contributors, and the volunteers for getting the ball rolling in what will be an uphill struggle.

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