Action Heroes include:
Soumya Chandra Shekhar
Anushree M Jois
An Action Hero wore the arrow and stood by the railing. The other Action Heroes went about dispersing testimonials in the form of letters. The receivers of letters were asked to identify the girl with an arrow and join her..
It was always a feeling of shame. Shame that when 14, a passing cyclist grabbed me. Shame that in the school bus, the driver always fiddled with the rearview mirror so he could look at my chest. Shame that men leered with smug smiles when I walked past. Or tried to brush up against me. Shame because I felt it happened only to me and only because there was something wrong with the way I looked or dressed or walked or talked or was. Something wrong - terribly, terribly so - with me.
And the only reaction seemed to be silence. Because confrontation might lead to attention being drawn to a dirty experience I wanted to keep secret. Because speaking out meant acknowledging that something was wrong when I could cloak it.
You will see me. I am the girl by the railings wearing a red arrow. If you know what it means take an arrow from me, wear it and stand with me. I will be around until 7 this evening.
The arrow symbol definitely got the team some attention. Some responded but not too many actually joined us...moreNitesh( boy in mustard shirt) joined Kunal Ashok and began to distribute pamphlets. It was a mixed reaction from women passersby- while most ignored, the others chose to say, ' we are in a hurry'. A woman is unlikely to stand on the road, look back at people in the eye and draw attention to herself, that's precisely why 'eve teasing' is ignored.
Our first time Action Hero Kripa writes:
when i started out giving letters to people a lot of times i felt i have to be assertive but so may people shy away or wave their hands saying" no thanks, we dont need it".. making eye contact is easy.. but persisting at it.. not in a confrontational or retaliating manner but as a way to make that "connection".. thats really tough... that something i need to work on....
standing by the railings.... that got me a plethora of reactions... eye contact here is not tough.. having a blank look.. like i dont really have anything to do.. know what?.. i realized at this point.. i started to like what i was doing. i dont want to perform anymore. i want to be... like how i was at the railings.. i faced mockery, genuine interest, active participation, negativity, in difference,curiosity, intimidation created because of the "performance",humour,and some times just plain idiocy of some people and most importantly questions in my mind.. to which im still finding answers...
Soumya C Shekhar writes:
I loved wearing the arrow. It was a pleasant change to be looked in the face (eventually). I really enjoyed this intervention and somehow wearing the arrow really helped me be in the "performance" mode and use my body as a statement better. I thought claiming space in front of mota arcade with a "follow the leader" plan rocked! Really wish we do more of those. Maybe next time I'll be at the pamphlet/letter distributing end and see what insights I can gather from that perspective. It was also nice to see a decent number of girls turning up at events and encouraging people to join us and be part of BNP even if it was just for a minute was again a great idea which I hope to see repeated very often. All in all very very enjoyable.
Next Bangalore event is on Jan 7th 2007!
Posted by J at 12.12.06