What do you want?
Some want to walk across the moon. Some just want to walk in the rain.
Some want to touch a stranger. Some want not to be touched by strangers.
Some want to stretch their arms, high, over their heads. Some want not to shave.
Some months ago, the women spoke up about what they wanted from their cities. Their dreams, their fantasies about public spaces. Their responses were documented as ' I wish, I want, I believe.'
Now, it is the men's turn. We want to know what you want from the city, and we especially want to hear what you want from women in public spaces. What do you wish, want, dream, desire? Tell us by leaving a comment here, or sending an email to email@example.com
You can be anonymous, if you choose.
Posted by Annie Zaidi at 19.5.07
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1. I want safety to be a given for all- men, women, children in public places.
2. I want Indian women to be more comfortable with being looked at.
I recently noticed that "no looking" up there on the banner, helpfully separated from "no leching" to make sure we get the message that its just plain looking that is not permissible.
I would look forward to seeing that go away. or at least be considerably clarified/ constrained.
Ive actually thought of whether I could work for & against BNP, with you on other issues and when you line up with
"KYA DEKH RAHE HO?"
get some ppl to line up with me opposite with
"TUMHE DEKH RAHA HOON"
the dekh disagreement done, we could rejoin you for other actions.
It feels wierd to be part of the problem, but the issue IMHO is with the statement of the problem.
What I want from my city, Mumbai: I simply want to breath normally. I am allergic to air pollution. And many a time I just want to breath normally without my lungs cringing everytime I step out.
What I want from women in public spaces: I want them to understand that not every man is trying to hit on you. So if I accidently touch you, considering how crowded all public spaces in the cities are, then that is just that - an accident.
And that if you ever accuse me of offending you, then I have this to tell you: "I have better taste than try to hit on you." And if I am in my element, I might add, "At least I have a better taste in choosing a place..." ;)
Please add the following to my earlier comment:
One of the most exciting things happend just now. I bumped in to a young woman in a crowded store, and before I could turn around and apologize, she said: "I am sorry".
Woman taking equal responsbility, not playing the blame game or feeling victimized all the time, now that's a definite turn on for a guy like me.
Few things that I want in my city- Safety and the feeling of it. (both during the day and nigh), people who are gender sensitized, cosmopoliton, secular, public gaze that is unobtrusive ( though of course there are times when one seeks attention), roads that not jammed, traffic that is smooth, with an added emphasis on pedestrian friendliness, development work that does not impede on lives and livelihoods, smiles on faces and finally, of course, that feeling of home.
my first comment in not shown here... my second comment is added, however, which says "please add this to my earlier comment"
however the earlier comment is missing. request you to please add the same.
What do I want? Better infrastructure (better mass transit, fewer cars, lesser pollution, ...), fairer taxation (the farmers needs to pay taxes too), fewer slums (and that does not imply rehousing the slum-dwellers in the same locality), and people who don't demand special treatment, for any reason whatsoever.
Oh, and sanity. I don't care to be frowned at when I am forced to bump into you in the bus because the standees are in three rows and someone else needs to pass by to get out of the bus.
Remember that not all of us men are like those who sexually abuse women, but if we are going to be tarred with the same brush ...
Like someone has already mentioned, I hope women don't go out there thinking that every man is an eve teaser.
I would want the city to be less crowded - less jostling in public places and shorter queues. Lesser vehicles on the road and better roads. Clean surroundings, no pollution and some greenery. And I would really like to see people adhere to rules of the city, especially the traffic rules.
Nice page I think I will blogroll it.
I went to India last year without knowing about this movement.I was shocked and angry when I underwent constant stares, leers and humiliation. I was only 16.
I'm going to India this year feeling stronger because I know that many women feel the same way I did. It is empowering to know that there is an actual movement where women are retaliating even in a country where men have the more powerful role.
Thank you so much
what do I want? I want India to be a truly free country...free from the crappy bigotry and the political bullshitting...a place where merit holds true...people equal without any caste, creed, sex , region bias...
Utopian thought? Yeah...I know...
I would be glad if women don't falsely frame innocent men, by using laws against sexual harassment (rape/dowry/others). These laws are heavily in favour of the women. Hope they don't exploit them. The more they exploit, the more women as a whole lose men's sympathies, and the more they are likely to face a severe backlash. Also, I will be glad if feminism is used to address genuine problems, rather than silly issues like "freedom to dress as one wants in a public place", etc.
Um, freedom to dress as one wants in a public space *is* an important issue.
1. Re: "... Um, freedom to dress as one wants in a public space *is* an important issue. ..."
I kind of agree. But it is important to be comfortable and carry off the clothes you are wearing.
Just today at a store, I had to ask a saleslady for help to search for something. She was wearing a lowneck and tight T-shirt. She bent for the lower shelves in a self-conscious manner, covering her neckline; even though I was looking at the articles on the shelf she was searching thru.
This kind of thing used to bother me very much in the past; "she thinks I'm looking there" and I would turn and try to have my back to her. Irritated and defensive, I wouldnt be able to hold a normal conversation with this person as I would with a guy.
It also didnt help that I (like most guys?) trust the lady's instincts more than my own in this dept.
Years have passed and I see it a little differently now.
She *chose* to wear to her *workplace*, clothes that she *isnt* comfortable in, to perform *normal workday actions* like reaching for shelves at different levels.
As long as I am being OK, its *her problem* and she better deal with it.
And my intuition abt my behavior is at least as good as a woman's.
I am 23 male. I like to keep a harmonious interaction between men and women everywhere. This is my approach, and they reacting in the same way to me. There is no fear. It is peaceful. We are not enemies. We must root out all physically and mentally hurting behavior from our society. I feel that, the members of BNP have experiencing a great anarchy. This is happening in the case of most of the women especially in cities. We must save them. BNP has a imprudence look. This may due to their rough experience. We have the duty of keeping a caution but keep it doesn’t lead us to fear and anxiety. React in appropriate time and manner. It is very important.
First of all, I have been reading up on the Blank Noise Project and I think its a great idea. Both as something that is sorely needed in Indian society-in our public spaces as well as an art project.
As an art project, i believe it can draw attention to what is a topical issue, question established attitudes which on the surfae are seen to be harmless and also get us to think along different lines. Of course, I haven't seen much of the art part but the subject is promising.
Also, it's totally needed, specially in Delhi where I am from. Because most people are complacent and don't react till it involves them, it is important to draw people's attntion to this.
Anyway, if you ask me what I would want in a city I would say the following:
a) I want more parks and grounds and open spaces so that kids and older peole are encouraged to go out and play or excercise etc.
b) I would really like our cities to be cleaner, or, in other words for people to have more civic sense about the city they live in
c) I would like to have eating and hanging out options that are open all night.
Oh yes, just remembered, I would also like to have every politician, mullah, bajrang dal and shiv sainik's hanging from the lamp posts as decorations in my city. I hate those hypocrites.....
Some of the responses here need serious attention. I mean def. in a postive way.
A friend just came back from Kerala. She had some bad experiences (even I did when I was there 3 years back). The society in Kerala is so sexually segregated, they have diff entry points for men and women in buses and women can't laugh in loudly in public places and what not. Men winking at them. In short, it was a terrible experience for them on the streets.
About every man not being the same, well, that's true but what happens is sometime a person is so vulnerable and fed up of the situation that s\he can't imagine a better situation.
Dont' know if this particular argument can be used in this case...
I wish I would not worry about my wife coming home late from work... even if she is driving. I wish I don't have to tell her to lock her doors and roll up the windows. I wish I don't have to call her every now and then to see where she has reached. I wish that for all women. I wish there were women police at night -- at every road crossing, in mobile patrols, among the street guards, as bus conductors, as auto drivers.
Normally people are not looking on other body parts except face, if facial expression is good. Never wear any provocative dress if you have the habit of feeling disgust or fear in public. It will reflect in your face. It can’t feel affection or sympathy to a person who have a repulsive facial expression. Then the attention may turn to other body parts. Wear ornaments exclusively because attention may stuck in the ornaments without turning to body parts. Try to avoid gold and its imitations.
I wish i didn't have to watch what i say in front of women, for fear of offending them.
Especially with close friends. typically we guys can laugh when the women say something crude, but we have to think twice before we say anything, coz its not always recieved well.
Theres always this fear that it might permanently damage one's image/rep in their eyes.
of course somethings will probably never be humourous to women coming from a guy. :(
It is ok to grope when you have the girl drunk
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