21.10.06

I REPEAT

I DID NOT ASK FOR IT. YOU HAVE NEVER 'ASKED FOR IT'. WE WANT 1000 TESTIMONIALS TO SAY IT LOUD ENOUGH SO THAT THE WORLD CAN HEAR IT.
THE BLANK NOISE PROJECT NEEDS YOU TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
I REPEAT. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ASKING FOR IT.

(To send in testimonials of clothing please email us at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com and we will get back to you. ) Come along! Participate and be our Action Hero!

About the project: Did you ask for it?
Blank Noise wants you to discard your clothes worn at the time you were eve teased (sexually harassed) on the streets. This collective building of an installation of clothes seeks, primarily, to erase the assumption that you 'asked for it' because of what you were wearing. That you are to blame and only 'provocatively dressed', and therefore 'immodest' women are eve-teased.
We hope to gather clothes across different cities as testimonials of eve teasing and install them on the streets. We hope women will stop blaming themselves, your body, your clothes. What Blank Noise hopes to do is bring together 1000 clothes, install them on the streets, in public spaces and collectively question the notion of 'modesty' and defy the assumption that we ' ask for it.'
Over the last couple of months our volunteers, both male and female, have been collecting garments from people they know, home, family, colleagues, friends. You could volunteer too and work towards making this happen. Thankyou


17 comments:

  1. i love the idea of an action hero (ine?!). taking agency.

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  2. Anonymous3:46 am

    Well.... I have come across this project when i read abt it in GULF NEWS on 10/10/2006 and again.... in Local TELEGHAPH Sunday edition i.e. on 22/10/2006.. seems like this project is trying to gain its popularity... this is really a good initiative but i hv really doubts abt it until it further extends in the villages where more than 70% of our population still lives and in a country like India where there are so much of social unawareness... this problem is in a country like America also. I guess until girls to some extent take their own precautions this is difficult... rather than these types of projects who can somehow give yu some kind of moral boost only and that too time being.... this is jst for a class of person who knows how to gain the popularity...

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  3. Dear Anonymous,
    You may be right about maximum of the Indian population living in rural India, but villages have their own and, believe me, stricter means of dealing with eve-teasing. In a village, every other person is a known face and eve-teasing is not an easy task. But in the cities of India, it's very easy for any man to eve-tease and escape, that makes it more prevalent in cities and towns than in villages.
    And as you said, eve-teasing exists across the globe, but in India it's more pronounced and a much bigger problem than in the West, blame it on our patriarchal families or our upbringing or whatever.
    And for every action, there is an approach. If you're suggesting that we have to change that male domination attitude and our upbringing by reaching out to the villages where maximum of our population lives, then your approach is very different from that of Blank Noise. Moreover, you should consider the resourses at hand and the maximum use it can be put to.
    I think Blank Noise's approach is top-down approach where it'll concentrate on cities where eve-teasing has assumed higher proportions than in villages and appears to have become a norm than an aberration. In the process, if the action gains popularity and has a trickle down effect to towns and villages, that'll be a very welcome development. One thing that will help this trickle down effect is popularity. So, I don't think striving for popularity is a bad thing, because the more popular one is the more people his/her voice reaches.

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  4. well then, is addressing street sexual harassment in urban india with an 'urban' approach/ language really top down?

    if we were addressing street sexual harassment in rural india, we would be addressing it in another way, through perhaps another approach.

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  5. Hey Gals! I'm writing from New York where lots of actions have been done against street harassment. I love your attitude! The streets are as much ours as anyone else's... in a tank top, in a winter coat, we deserve respect and privacy! Please take a look at the map/website I've created: www.nyc-safestreets.org and maybe you want to start linking up with businesses, to? Ones that are sympathetic and friendly to women, to join you? Let me know how I can help:
    fancynancynyc@gmail.com

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  6. i am having a heart-attack, you guys (girls to be politically and feministically correct) definitely think of the most ludicrous ideas ever.. keep the ideas flowing

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  7. shalini7:21 pm

    This is really a good venture. But the some males in the blogosphere seem to have limited intelligence (follow the link to the commenter jhantu's here and read his recent post. It's very much in line with sleazy Timesofindia reporting.)

    Anyway, as many Indian guys have limited intelligence (even though they think thier work shows otherwise) and they would not understand what it means to be teased in the most decent clothes (aparently they don't know the experience of thier female relatives), I would suggest some alternative ideas:

    1. Parading in Sarees with ghunghat. or burqas with posters saying 'does india want us to go back to these' ?

    2. As Gandhigiri is hot, set up a gandhi theme, like dressing up as Kasturba or his nieces , and posters saying that 'even we wouldn't be spared today'...or some other gandhi theme...its good for good press.

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  8. naina8:38 pm

    While really applaud the message you are sending, I am really worried about the method. In this age short attention span, when the news-press publishes mini-skirt/spagghetti top wearing morcha, and do not publish appropriate message, their ignorant readers, by taking one look at the pic will just conclude that this is why (because of the attire) these people get eve-teased! They will not even read the message you are trying to pass.

    In my opinion, this should be kept as simple as possible in keeping with "we did not ask for it" with the sort of clothes that causes eve-teasing (like salwars, sarees,skirt, jeans). I think more girls will also join you in this march in that case, and people will empathize much more.

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  9. I am not for the kind of press that simplifies or reduces the entire project to spaghetti straps. They have not made an effort to understand this project.

    It was called a Night Action Plan- we were not protesting- like a morcha, but doing an activity that involved us to spray testimonials of street sexual harassment- see archives for details.


    the spirit of the night was not in wearing only one kind of garment or celebrating the spaghetti strap, but in really challenging one's level of comfort notions of 'safety'.

    Thanks for pointing this out. At Blank Noise we are saying that one could be sexually harassed in any kind of garment, sari, burkha, jeans...anything! Atleast the clothes that have come in are the best evidence.

    Your comment comes in due to the irresponsibilty of the press. Thanks for writing and do keep in touch

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  10. I like Sumita's idea of gandhigiri. How about a Dandi March in wearing all the salwars/sarees/'decent clothes' i.e daily clothes that 'induce' that eve-teasing.

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  11. thanks Shalini. Your ideas are great and our team will get back to you on them. In a sense, with all the clothes being sent in as testimonials, we will be doing precisely that.

    All kinds of clothes have come in- like i said, salwars, school uniforms, jeans, saris, skirts- you name it.

    All these clothes will be put together- as though a 1000 people/women without bodies but in clothes are asking people- 'did we really ask for it'?/ 'there is no such thing as asking for it'

    So hurry! :)

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  12. Thanks for getting back and clarifying that Jasmeen. But the fact remains that unfortunately most of the press in India nowadays concentrates on the sleaze, so one has to be very careful about activities. I was grossed out by the sleazy report of timesofindia, but I do not expect much from that paper. The problem is it still has a lot of readership. So, one has to be clever how to garner positive press.

    I really appreciate your efforts and am really happy that at least 'some action' is being taken. Unfortunately I am in US currently, so cannot participate in person. But I am telling as many friends as I can. Also, maybe I will be glad to donate some for the purpose.

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  13. Thanks Naina! We really appreciate you bringing this up.

    Do keep in touch- hope youre already on our mailing list!

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  14. I don't have most of my discarded clothes. Will it be ok if I send pictures of the ones I use and was harassed in?

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  15. Anonymous11:41 am

    what kinda sick feminist nazi blog is this ? what the fuck are you trying to achieve ?
    your "oh just because i dress slutty doesnt mean i am slut" idea is ridiculous. i just wish you you PMS-24/7 ridden bitches would grow up.

    man it feels good to flame :D

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  16. hi there. it would be great if you could re create the clothes? even those would work, as long as you specify its re created. photos are welcome anyways, but we would require 1000 clothes to make this exhibit happen. Looking forward!

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