18.1.08

Cars, number plates, harassers: UNWANTED


Weeks ago, I had written of a certain number plate and the man behind the wheel in that car. I posted the facts of the incident on my blog. In a few days, somebody had managed to trace the car registration number and location, and I wa given to understand that the police had paid the owner a friendly visit.

Today, I am doing so again.


Two men - probably in their twenties - in a car.
Number DL9 CP 1579.

On the night of January 9th, Wednesday, about 9.30 pm, this car slows down as these two men see a woman sitting in a blue cycle rickshaw. They follow, from Defence Colony market towards the Lajpat Nagar railway gate. They lean out of the window. The man driving asks the rickshaw-puller, 'Kyon, kya scene hai?' (So what's the scene?)

Awkward, the rickshaw-puller turns to look at his passenger. This is me, sitting stony-faced, and he guages the situation for what it is. He keeps pulling, casting sidelong, frightened glances at the car. I mull over the possibility of fighting back. There is plenty of traffic about and I am not alone. But this is a cycle-rickshaw and a car makes it vulnerable.

One man, middle-aged, in a car.
Number UP 16 Q 1298.

On the night of January 9th, Wednesday, about 9.30 pm, this car slows down a the man sees a woman sitting in a blue cycle rickhaw. He begins to follow, on the road leading to the Lajpat Nagar railway gate, and he peers out of his window, repeating 'come' and 'do you want to come?'

The rickshaw-puller kept turning to look at me. I sat, stony-faced, crossed every finger I had, and held my peace. Ordinarily, in this much traffic, when the going is slower than it would be if one walked, I would just get down and walk about hundred meters and would be home. This night, I didn't. Instead, I requested the rickshaw-puller to stay with me, stuck in this mini-jam for a good fifteen minutes. He agreed wordlessly, head bent, and dropped me to my very doorstep. Out of sheer gratitude and relief, I paid him twice the fare we'd decided on.

I had no camera or I'd have taken pictures and put them up in the 'UNWANTED' section. I did have a phone though, and eyes and a quick thumb. These are the car numbers. This is my personal FIR.

World, are you taking down my complaint?

[And since I am doing this now, here' another: Defence Colony again, near the market, another car had slowed down and followed, and despite my obvious disinterest and discomfort, had repeatedly asked me to get into his car. Number DL3C AP 4910. Date: November 15, 2007]


Blank Noise calls on all women who have been stalked in cars, harassed by drivers of cars (or bikes, or autos) to do the same. If you don't have a camera, use what you do have. Use your eyes, your memory, your phones, a pen and notebook. Put up the number plates here along with a brief description of what happened, where, what time and how you reacted. Treat this act as a personal First Information Report and share it with us so we can put it up in a new unwanted section.

44 comments:

  1. Dear Maam,

    If you know the number of the vehicles, you can call the police and they will be able to trace the vehicle owners and their addresses. I suggest you call the police at once, if you haven't already done so. And yes, I appreciate the rickshaw man. This incident shows that education doesn't necessarily make people civilized. Many a time, the uneducated can be more civilized than the educated. One more thing. You seem to be living in Delhi. The vehicle plates with DL and UP seem to suggest that. I have never been to Delhi, but I have heard that it is becoming very unsafe for women. Please take care of yourselves maam. I wish you all the best in your fight against eve-teasing.

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  2. The idea (of such a post) is phenomenal, if only it was more wide-spread. Something like a 'hall of shame' kind of tie-up with one of the leading dailies?

    Can they be coaxed into using their influence and giving back to the society?

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  3. How come both incident happened at the same time 9:30 of 9th january

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  4. how come both incident happened at the same time same place?

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  5. caffeine lover: have not heard of any place being safe, really. Delhi is what it is.
    pallavi: don't know about the papers... am ambivalent about it because it is not the job of newspapers to 'report' something unless it has been formally filed as a complaint, or been verified independently. as a journalist, I would not re-print something being claimed by someone on a blog, unless the women were also willing to file an FIR, which I have not done as yet....so... yes, we need to take it to the cops.
    flying death and smokers: I say 'about 9:30' because the two incidents happened within the space of five minutes, both on the same route more or less'. Since I was busy trying to note the numbers down, I didn't pay more attention to exact locations, such as which block etc, which is anyway futile when both of us were on the move at the time.

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  6. Well, I was wandering around the street of Hi-Tech city Hyd on my bike, (of course to catch a glimpse of cutie-pies) what else is left for we socially dead s/w professionals and suddenly this blog post appeared in my mind.
    Then suddenly it struck in my mind to analyze which kind of gals catches my gaze. And I'm sure what I found can be generalized to the most of the Guys of India.
    My eyes weren't considering all the girls in the street but it was stopping when they found something different from crowd. Someone in mini's, sparkling dress or to be more specific who had decorated themselves to be distinguished in a
    crowd, Or sometime its just the fame(notoriety) of the street where I wasn't feeling bad about staring at those walking around.

    So is that enough to crown me as a eve-teaser (I guess by the definition of this blog - BIG YES) but I don't think so. As a human being its something natural to get attracted to the person of opposite sex, specially to someone who is quite different from others. You can consider me a narrow minded, orthodox male but I still think it comes naturally to all the people just that Male are more victimized by the instinct.
    (On a lighter note I believe in the appreciation of beauty wherever deserved :) )

    Coming back to the blog post, I think it is quite unusual for Carwalas (that too multiple) to stop by a rickshaw for no reason and ask someone for a ride unless they assumed smthng else (I guess u understand what I mean). Perhaps you were at the wrong place at wrong time. Though it doesn't free those carwalas frm their guilt but that fact is worth consideration before convicting them.


    And in general - girls with provoking attires are more susceptible to eve-teasing. So I have a question - why do the girls wear such revealing clothes? Is that to seek some attention from onlookers, if yes so why is that a problem when they do what they(gals) wanted them to do.

    If the answer is a confident BIG NO then I accept we (male) are at fault, but still I dont think it can entirely be true.

    Now Please dont flame me, I'm just putting my 2 cents from a 3rd person perspective. I do respect females in general and I dont mean any disrespect when I look at the girls. Just that giving attention to a person worth it (same way I'll stare at Sharukh Khan if he ever comes in my way). :)

    Shit!!! this post went too long and I forgot what I originally meant to comment :D
    PS-Comments on grammatical mistakes will not be entertained.

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  7. Anonymous10:15 pm

    This is an incredible initiative.
    I think it will also help if the person could post a description of the vehicle (eg colour of the car, make of the car if possible). I think women should carry phones with camera and take pictures / videos wherever possible - and post those pictures along with their experiences !

    Also will help if there is an index of all such vehicle numbers right on top of the page - linking to the respective articles in lower sections of the page.

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  8. Hi.

    I came across your blog for the first time and am absolutely please with this project that you have undertaken.

    I think its a really good that thing that you are increasing awareness against eve teasing.

    I do wish you success and I promise to be a regular reader of your blog.

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  9. Dear Smoker who wrote a very long post -

    I am a male and me and most of my male friends are hardened homosexuals. We have a pathological attraction towards male smokers, software professionals and guys who ride on bikes and write long messages. For some reason we are attracted ONLY towards heterosexual males. You seem to be a perfect combination of all these and I confess you have turned on all of us here. The next time you ride a bike, please allow each one of us to take turns in being your pillion rider. We promise you it will be painless. Please don't blame us, because we think males who smoke or ride bikes are trying to attract the attention of homosexuals. You may find it difficult to believe, but homosexual attraction is as strong a desire to us as heterosexual attraction is to you.

    I deeply regret it if I offended you, but you are every homosexual's dream man. Hopefully I am not "adam-teasing" you. Thanks for your understanding.

    With kisses and lots of love
    C.L.

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  10. Ashamed11:00 am

    Hi
    I would like to narrate a story of eve-teasing that happened 5 years ago. In June 2003, a two men (aged 25) boarded a bus from Trichy in Tamil Nadu to Chennai. The bus started at around 12 midnight. Seated in front of these two men were a father and daughter. The girl was about 22 years old. As the lights were switched off, the one of the men started touch the girl's seat from behind. He started putting his hands between the back rest and the cushion of the seat and touching the gal's bottom. At first the girl thought it was accidental and left it. Then as the intensity of this guy's activities became more, she screamed and raised an alarm. The girl's dad was a heavy set man and presumably a cop. He got up and looked at this guy in the back seat. This guy pretended to act as though he was sleeping. Then he asked the gal to remain quiet and he also sat down. Petrified, this guy did not do anything after that. When the bus reached chennai, this guy was about to get down. But the gal's dad went to the exit and blocked him. For the next 10 minutes he thrashed the guy black and blue and humiliated him to the maximum. And he also said that he could have easily take the guy to the police station and reported him, but that would finish of the guy's career. He let off the guy with that warning. Ashamed and humiliated, that guy left the scene. That guy is none other than me. That incident changed my whole life. I lost my self confidence after that. I stopped doing such things after that. I started seeing girls with a lot more respect after that. Now I am married and settled, but I will never forget that incident and never do such things again. Whoever that gentle man was, he did the right thing by bashing me in public and humiliating me. I would like to thank him for doing that. I also request everyone who is a victim of eveteasing to deal with it like the man who thrashed me.

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  11. Anonymous12:38 pm

    Annie... Are you going to comment on what "Smokers - The Group of Intellectuals" said??
    I Guess all the girls in here would be more than happy to give their point of view to the Smokers' groups' comment, but would want Annie to be the 1st one..

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  12. Smoker5:42 pm

    @caffeine lover

    Kisses and asses to you to dude. Have a nice homosexual life. May you never get a gal...

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  13. @smoker:

    I am not a homosexual dear. My post was intended to show that certain arguments are like double-edged swords. Thanks for your kind blessings anyway. Even without them I have successfully managed to remain as a loser with no girl friend till now. I hope that gives you a sinister sense of satisfaction after the trouble that I put you through. :-)

    @ashamed:

    You sir are a very honest person! Hats off to you. It requires some courage to admit what you have done. I have my own set of confessions to make too. I used to eve-tease girls occasionally long long ago (till January 2002). Even now when I think about it, I feel really embarrassed. May be there needs to be a "confessions" section on this website for people like us. (Annie, are you listening?). I never got thrashed though. But I am happy to inform you that I have a clean record after January 2002.

    Here are my official confessions. Just to give you an idea, I am 27 now. So you can guess my age when I did these things. -

    =================================
    1. I used to brush against girls and if they noticed it, I used to pretend as if I was absent-minded or deeply involved in thinking about something. Thankfully, this happened only during a period of five days in every January from 1999 to 2002. (There is a reason for that but that is not really important here).

    2. Sometimes, I also used to make vulgar noises when a girl was walking in front of us (me and my friends). I still remember this dark phase of my life. It happened mainly between July and December of 1999.

    3. This incident happened in 2001. There was a girl whom I knew in my college. One day I led a group of my friends in verbally abusing her. We had a stupid idea that his girl was "arrogant" and we wanted to "put her in her place" by demeaning her. But come to think of it, she was a very forgiving person. If she had complained to the college authorities, I think we would have been in serious trouble. I never met this girl after college, but if ever I meet her again, I would sincerely apologize to her.
    =================================

    I will write more if I remember anything else.

    Yes, please spit on my face, because I think I deserve it.

    The reason for my transformation is too complex to narrate here. Just suffice to say that it was more a side-effect of other changes in my approach towards life. But side-effect or main-effect, the net result has been positive, so I am not complaining.

    I disagree with you on one thing though. Thrashing the eve-teaser is not always the best solution. I am not telling this because I was an eve-teaser in the past. In most cases thrashing is disproportionate punishment. May be humiliating the eve-teaser is better. But there are other ways to humiliate a person than physical thrashing. Of course, I think certain severe cases of eve-teasing deserve thrashing. I will not comment on your particular case. If you think thrashing helped you, who am I to suggest something else?

    I want to ask you one question. I am trying to understand the psychology of eve-teasers. I want to know why you indulged in eve-teasing? I did it because sometimes I wanted to "show off" in front of my friends and some times, as when the girl was known to me, I wanted to "punish her for being arrogant". Yes, this is beginning to sound pretty uncivilized, but eve-teasing is hardly a civilized way of interaction. Thank goodness I left it way back in the beginning of 2002. Please let me know your reasons too, if that is not too much of an embarrassment.

    PS: Smoker dear. I wrote a long post. I will be true to my previous message and start loving myself. :-)

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  14. You have an extremely interesting blog.

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  15. ashamed2:45 pm

    I did it because of the kick it gave me....It stopped when her dad kicked me.

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  16. That was funny. It reminds me of this -

    maine dekha ladki ko angle badal badal ke

    uske baap ne maara mujhe sandal badal badal ke

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  17. 1) I am extremely impressed by the honest confessions made by caffeine lover and Mr. ashamed. Caffeine's question as to Why did they do it? Also helps in knowing what goes into the male psyche when they 'eve tease', irrespective of the class they belong to.

    2) I loved caffeine's 'homosexual' reply to smoker. Maybe its time 'smoker' you know what 'attracts' attention. But then, you speak for most of the male population, when you say "women PROVOCATIVELY dressed call it upon themselves". Sadly, that is not the truth. My breasts were grabbed outside my school when I was in my uniform (which was a shalwar kameez and my duppatta covered my bosoms). I wonder, how was I inviting "attention" in a group of five to six girls, all uniformly dressed. I wont say I was prettier. I am fat! Got an answer to my question Smoke?

    3) I agree with anonymous that including the make of the car and color, if possible, would be a good idea.

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  18. (Thank goodness a girl has spoken at last. I accidentally came across this site a few days back and was expecting to hear the point of view of girls. May be its time for more girls to speak up).

    @ nabila

    Don't you know? By being a female you provoked all those males to harass you.

    Meanwhile here is a list of people that I am busy provoking -

    By being a child I am provoking all pedophiles.

    By having money I am provoking robbers.

    By carrying cash in my pocket, I am provoking pick pockets.

    By having the ability to feel pain I am provoking torturers.

    By having an e-mail account I am provoking spammers.

    By my very existence I am provoking murderers!

    On a more serious note, I am skeptical of the convincing potential of negative arguments. I will try to post a more positive response to smoker's message later, though it is difficult to completely avoid negativities in such matters. But I think girls should take the lead in responding to people like smoker. After all, empathy is not the same as identity. A man can only empathize with a woman. He can't become a woman.

    @ anonymous

    I don't see a reason why you should wait for Annie before giving your point of view. But it is up to you anyway.

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  19. annie is temporarily unavailable for comment but will be back online in just a couple of days...

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  20. to the :Smokers - The Group of Intellectuals-

    glad that annie's post haunts you as you wade through the streets of hyderabad. truly- thankyou for sharing.

    can you elaborate on 'how you were looking'/ staring. How aware do you think were the people you were looking at of your gaze? if not this ime, then another time, how does one usually respond to your gaze? can you describe? that would be great. thanks :)

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  21. international cross dresser1:48 am

    In India it does not matter how you dress. If you are a female, you will get sexually harrassed.

    This has been my experience in all kinds of dress.

    Conversely there are some countries where no matter how you are dreassed (even nude sun-bathing) you WILL NOT get harrassed.

    Come on Smoker, something is wrong in India, just admit it. Denial will never help to solve problems. First I have to be diagnoses with cancer before I can cure it.

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  22. Dear Cross dresser,

    I will answer your point because the poor guy smoker seems to be beleaguered. May be it is a bit unfair for many people to corner a single person.

    The problem with India is that there is very little interaction between the Indian male and the Indian female during adolescence and young adulthood. In countries where nude sun-bathing is safe, most people had "highly intimate" interaction with the opposite sex at a very young age. And they do have this "interaction" on a regular basis, right from adolescence. (Have you heard of the Law of diminishing marginal utilities?) On the other hand, the typical Indian male is only fed rumors and/or nonsense from peers or movies because Indian society looks suspiciously at even innocent forms of interaction.

    Talking about movies, have you watched any Indian movies? If not, please try to do so. You will find that the vulgarity level is very high, especially in the songs. (Or may be, you may not find it vulgar. I don't know, because vulgarity is subjective). It's been a while since I left my home, but even if I were staying at home I don't think I can watch any of these movies with my parents because it would simply embarrass the hell out of me.

    Anyway, the point is that movies influence young minds profoundly. When I was a kid, movies often were filled with stereotypes like the "beautiful, rich and arrogant girl" whom the hero of the movie "conquers" after stripping (pun intended) her of her "arrogance". (I can't believe I was foolish enough to take such movies seriously when I was a kid, but then, kids can be easily brain-washed). Eve-teasing is openly glorified in many movies, especially movies that are made in the Southern parts of India. Meanwhile, movies made in the Northern (actually Western) parts of India would qualify to be classified under soft porn.

    You might say this is no big deal because there is hard porn in developed nations. Yeah, but there is also a good level of male-female interaction there. But in India, that is not the case. This creates a recipe for disaster. Add alcohol to this combination and all hell breaks loose. I don't think many Indian males really need the "help" of alcohol to indulge in eve-teasing, but alcohol certainly adds fuel to the fire, as we can see in the recent incident in Mumbai. (By the way, even in the United States, alcohol is often a factor in many crimes against women).

    I agree with smoker that attraction for the opposite sex is natural. How can I disagree with truth? But I don't think instinct should justify uncivilized behavior, because humans consider themselves to be civilized. (This is probably my first positive response to smoker's point). Self-control is an important component of civilization. A western male "appears" to be more self-controlled because his desires are quenched. (Compare this to a situation, where you don't need to have junk food outside if you already ate a lot at home). This is not real self-control but it is an illusion that still works well in the context of civilization. The Indian male, due to reasons already specified, cannot take refuge in this illusion. Added to that, he is constantly prone to nonsense. I hope this answers your point.

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  23. I havent gone through all the comments but will do reply to sm of 'em in a very lil space.

    @Jasmine - They jus dont care as I really dont make that kindda expression that can be called as eve-teasing, but someones do notice and return a smile back :)

    @Internationl cross - Please dont tell me this happens only in India and not in another countries. Yes due to the large population of India it could be more in numbers but not in % terms. There are more sane people in India than the total population of many countries and if you try the see the things otherwise you will find total number of descent ppl in INDIA
    more than anywhere else.

    Again I'm not trying to save the ass of offenders just that blaming a country as whole is not right.

    I'll comeback with a longer reply later right now I'm busy with more serious stuff :)

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  24. By being a child I am provoking all pedophiles.

    By having money I am provoking robbers.

    By carrying cash in my pocket, I am provoking pick pockets.

    By having the ability to feel pain I am provoking torturers.

    By having an e-mail account I am provoking spammers.

    By my very existence I am provoking murderers!

    This happenes with males also. I'm sure I'm getting more spam than many of the females do [:D] and same with sm of the other points....

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  25. Added to that, he is constantly prone to nonsense. I hope this answers your point.
    I totally agree to it. This is nonsense but inevitable for some of the ppl who never had any interaction with women, with an uncontrollable desire and fear (from their inner self or society).

    But the physical abuse is not acceptable no matter what.

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  26. @ smoker

    I have been in the US for quite a while now and from my personal observation I can say that the % of eve-teasing is much lesser in US compared to India.

    Not to introduce politics into this discussion, but if you are trying to compare India with Pakistan, then may be we have a chance of being better. Even then I wouldn't bet my life on it. :)

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  27. This happenes with males also

    Precisely the reason why I gave those examples. So that males stop justifying eve-teasing by saying that females are provoking them.

    But the physical abuse is not acceptable no matter what.

    Just to clarify, I was merely trying to give reasons as to why things happen. Not trying to justify things.

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  28. thanks caffeine lover- it is to be seen as an assertion of power. who is vulnerable and why is another question to ask.


    "But the physical abuse is not acceptable no matter what."- this blog has archived testimonials that clearly reveal and state how complex and intangible street sexual violence is- it is not in the obvious groping etc but in how a stranger's desire to assert power manifests itself. the nature of this power assertion could be in the form of groping, a certain way of looking/staring. Something as simple as walking down the road and a bunch of male strangers coming from the opposite direction- more often than not, who is the one that moves to avoid 'the bumping into'?

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  29. ashamed: thanks for sharing. was it that one incident that changed things for you or your thoughts after that? can you please share what led you to doing what you did back then? thanks so much...

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  30. @ Jasmeen

    Sorry maam, I agree with you only partially. Yes, eve-teasing is sometimes an assertion of power. But not always. By treating eve-teasing as an assertion of power, you might be dumping the "relatively harmless" forms of eve-teasing and the "more deadly forms" into the same basket.

    For example, in my opinion, you should not view "staring" and "dashing with vehicles purposefully" in the same terms. I say this because of the poll that you had in this website. I find it difficult to believe that mere staring is "necessarily" an assertion of power. And "dashing with vehicles purposely" should more appropriately be called as "attempted murder". I think that men who dash women with vehicles purposely should be convicted of attempted murder, apart from aggravated sexual assault. On the other hand, I don't think men who merely stare at women should be convicted of anything, even though I agree that staring and making a women uncomfortable are uncivilized.

    PS: I am open to changing my views if I come across convincing replies.

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  31. hello again.
    am not sure how you categorize the 'relatively harmless' forms of 'eve teasing'/ street sexual violence without being at the receiving end of it- because its harmlessness lies in its impact- and the impact depends on the each individual who has experienced it.

    however- there are different kinds of men knowingly or unknowingly violating people- there are ofcourse the wooers- who approached in an inappropriate manner- their intention being not to harm the person approached but to get acquainted with the person.
    therefore I cannot and will not classify all men as one body of people being addressed or spoken about. there are different men, different intentions, different women, different set boundaries- and that differs in each case.

    i repeat for the millionth time- it is not in word 'staring'- but in the way one stares. there are all kinds of stares- curious stares, angry stares, lustful stares, fearful stares- can we not distinguish these? if yes, then why is it so difficult to understand the nature of a 'certain stare' in the case of street sexual harassment? -the intent being to make someone uncomfortable...staring with the knowledge that the receiver will be intimidated/ made to feel sexually vulnerable.

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  32. @ Jasmeen

    You are only confirming my suspicions that you actually treat all forms of eve-teasing in the same manner.

    am not sure how you categorize the 'relatively harmless' forms of 'eve teasing'/ street sexual violence without being at the receiving end of it

    I used the word "relatively harmless" in the sense of things that do not endanger a person's life. Does mere staring endanger a person's life? Even if the staring is really intimidating. Isn't it true that "dashing with vehicles" endangers lives of people? Does one really need to be at the receiving end of eve-teasing to realize this?

    i repeat for the millionth time- it is not in word 'staring'..,

    I DO understand the nature of different kind of stares. But you simply can't throw a staring man into jail. Nor can you treat it on the same level as endangering a woman's life.

    For that matter, parents and teachers stare at kids in a threatening manner. They actually try to assert their power over kids by doing so. Would you classify this as child abuse?

    Wives and husbands also stare at each other in a threatening manner. You can get so many examples. If we throw all "starers who stare at others in an intimidating manner" into jail, then only those people who wear sun glasses 24 X 7 will remain free.

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  33. @ Jasmeen

    I am sorry for my previous post. With hindsight I feel it was an uncharitable reply to your points. I hope I did not frustrate you too much with my lack of understanding of the sensitivities involved here. I thought about your post again over a strong cup of coffee :) and my friend Lady Caffeine told me that I have not been able to understand your point of view properly. She asked me to display a bit more sensitivity to the concerns of women (she is after all a lady herself :) ), so here goes my caffeine inspired post -

    I think there is a flaw with my argument when I talked about parents' stares at children. It is the responsibility of parents to teach discipline to their children. Therefore sometimes it becomes necessary for parents to intimidate their children. On the other hand, it is downright chauvinistic to suggest that women need to be disciplined by men. So there lies the flaw with my hastily concocted analogy. Hence I take back this argument, because I think it is flawed.

    I also pondered over your point about how I was able to classify certain forms of eve-teasing as "relatively harmless". In retrospect, I think I was concentrating too much on the physical harm and did not pay much attention to the mental harm that results from the so-called harmless forms of eve-teasing. Come to think of it, there were cases in India where girls committed suicide because of regular mental harassment on the streets. So even these forms of eve-teasing may not be as harmless as what we men might think. Science is discovering more and more about the human brain and it is certainly possible that these forms of eve-teasing might also have a negative long-term impact on a woman's brain. May be this is an area that Science should start concentrating on, so that laws related to eve-teasing can be made more effective.

    Another point which I missed is that since historically some groups are oppressed, their concerns and sensitivities have to be taken more seriously. For example, since the black race has been historically oppressed, calling a black person as a "monkey" is considered very offensive. Yes, I am talking about the recent racism allegations in Australia. Whether or not Harbhajan actually called Symonds a monkey is a different matter. But if he really called him "monkey", it is a serious racist insult even though "monkey" is quite a harmless word in India. This is because of the special circumstances involved here. I think the situation of women is analogous. Since women are historically oppressed, their sensitivities need to be given greater weightage. Thus, an eve-teaser's stare should be treated as a more serious issue when compared to normal intimidating stares. In this matter, I think my attempts to introduce general forms of staring into the discussion were missing the point.

    Well, we both agree now that staring in particularly offensive ways at women deserves to be taken more seriously. In my opinion, one long term solution for this problem is the introduction of ethics at the school level, where boys are taught to respect the opposite sex. At school level, we learn so much about people who kicked buckets long long ago (I am talking about history :) ) but very less about issues that are presently relevant. So education on ethics might be a good idea. And what is taught at a young age will stay in the minds of boys. (I actually got this ethics education idea from an ad of a woman's organization in America). Also, I think there should be a redefinition of what it means to be a male. (In this context Amul's *mard ya namard* ad is good, except that it can be interpreted in the opposite way). But still, all these are just long term solutions. And notwithstanding the strength of my coffee, I am not able to see an immediate solution to this "staring" problem. May be it takes a lady to come up with an answer for this. So I am asking you. What do you think is the solution for this "staring" problem? How should eve-teasers who stare lustily or intimidatingly at women be dealt with?

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  34. ashamed: alternatively- you could even just email your thoughts about hte questions asked. blurtblanknoise AT gmail.com. Thanks!

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  35. dear caffiene. bless the lady caffiene. thankyou for your thoughts after the initial reaction. can you email me so that we can keep your email add? it is blurtblanknoise AT gmail.com

    thanks so much!

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  36. Ashamed1:46 pm

    Jasmeen,
    It was my thoughts after that incident that brought about a change in me. I felt so ashamed and humiliated after that incident that I initially even contemplated suicide. But due to family commitments, that was not an option. Then as time went by, I got rid of the humiliation mindset and began to reflect on what I had been doing. I thought how it would have turned out for me had all my victims reacted like that girl's dad. Then I reflected on the poor girl's plight. I thought about how long it would take for that girl's mental scars to heal. It might not heal at all. It might come back when she gets married and when her husband touches her. She may never lead a happy married life because of me. All these thoughts made me quit such activities. I would be happy to answer any other questions related to this. Please feel free to ask me.

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  37. Anonymous1:51 am

    What did this guy in Question do?

    http://blanknoiseproject.blogspot.com/2005/03/stalker-no.html

    How is a guy suppose to propose a gal if he isnt given a chance ever and sent behind bars for doing that?

    I keep on getting calls from females trying to offer credit cards. AM I being eve-teased too?

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  38. Anonymous1:41 pm

    According to the Domestic Violence Act, if you call your wife a donkey, you can go to jail for verbal abuse.

    According to IPC 498 A, your young underage nephew or niece can be thrown into jail for dowry harassment if your wife complains about him or her. This will be the case whether or not you have actually taken any dowry.

    Compared to the above two, posting a picture of an innocent guy on a website is very mild. Try to look at the positive side of things and cheer up.

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  39. Hello Blank Noise,

    Have you ever considered Pepper Spray? I am not sure if it is legal in India, but if it is legal, the idea that you might have pepper spray would dissuade the more physically aggressive eve-teasers. But it needs to be used wisely and not abused. Don't use it against a guy just because he asked you out for coffee. :) The down side is that even men can use it against you. :(

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  40. Pardesi trying to figure this all out1:51 am

    When it comes to staring, India has a very big problem. Sit on a bus, train, whatever, people stay at us (foreigners, men and women) all the time.

    I thought it was a national pastime.

    The concept that "staring is rude" is not known in India, in general.

    I will grant that Indian men staring lustily at Indian women is a very specific kind of stare.

    However, the other kind of staring, the innocent curiosity of commonfolk upon tourists can also be very, very annoying and psychologically stressful. Somedays I did not even go out because I grew so sick of it.

    What to do?

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  41. Hello Pardesi,

    I am sorry that you had to go through all this in my country.

    Let me suggest you something. PLEASE don't let your psychological stress interfere with your daily routine. In particular, please don't confine yourself to your home just because you find the stares annoying or stressful. I apologize if this sounds as insensitive, but I am not trying to belittle your problem. I know that what I suggested is easier said than done. But often, when you don't confront your problems, their magnitude might only increase with time. I believe that a good way to confront your cause of anxiety or fear is to expose yourself gradually to it and try to desensitize yourself. In psychology this is called Systematic Desensitization (check it out in the net, btw I am not a psychologist, so my information may not be 100 % accurate). Since you think that the stares are innocent, I believe SD might work for you. Initially you can try roaming in public places which are not too overcrowded for a short duration of time.You might want to take a few *trusted* friends along with you, to increase your comfort level. if you become too uncomfortable, you can engage in an intellectual conversation with your friend to distract yourself from the stares. Try to roam in locations which are relatively posh first. I am guessing that in such areas you will get lesser stares. (I could be wrong though). Once you become comfortable in the initial phase, you can gradually expose yourself to more crowded places. This method worked at least partially in my case. I had a great fear of speaking in public. I adopted a similar strategy and now my fear is partly gone (part of it still remains, but that is manageable). If you have a psychologist friend, you might consider talking to him or her about this.

    Also, talk to your *trusted* friends about this problem. If you have friends from your country in India, they too might have faced this problem. Ask them how they are coping with this. Even if they don't have any ready made solutions for you, talking openly about your anxiety with your *trusted* friends or family members makes you feel better because it provides an outlet for your feelings. Having repressed feelings is not good for the mind.

    If you are alone and don't have friends, try distracting yourself from the stares of the people. This is easier if you are sitting in a train or a bus. You can distract yourself by reading a book or a newspaper etc. But BEWARE. In India, if you are a foreigner, especially a woman, you should remain alert and be aware of your surroundings. Many foreign women in India have been sexually assaulted, so if you are a woman traveling alone, distracting yourself too much from the surroundings might not be a good idea. Yes, this is a sad state of affairs. :-( As an Indian, I dream of the day when every man, woman and child can walk on the roads in any place in India without fear or stress or anxiety. May be I am being too idealistic but I have a right to dream.

    On a lighter note, since cats are curious, when you roam on the roads, imagine that all the people staring at you are cats. :-) You might even want to get a cat as a pet and take it along with you when you go out. :-)

    PS: I repeat this because this is very important (in my opinion) - PLEASE don't let your stress confine you to your home. It is very tempting to escape the problem completely. But escaping is not going to help. It might even make the problem worse.

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  42. hey pardesi- glad that you brought up the nature of staring- in a society where largely 'staring' is ok/ the done thing can we learn to articulate our discomfort between an unwanted lustful stare to a 'curious one'.

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  43. anon- he simply asked a stranger out for coffee. technically nothing 'hurtful' in doing so- its seemingly harmless- but in a situation where strangers do not randomly strike a conversation with someone walking on the road- this behaviour can be seen as threatening- because:

    1. it is unusual- can take you aback.

    2. it is unwanted- not always- ofcourse- people can randomly meet on the street and date- there are different versions to this story.

    another time : this was a few years ago..,much before Blank Noise happened... when a bike followed me over 12 kilometers. I was on a bus and he would stop at every bus stop. when I reached m destination I yelled at him for following me at the end of which he said " im just asking you out for coffee/ not touching you" ( he laughed out loud on the road)

    there are different versions - there will always be

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  44. I think "Smokers-the group of itellectuals" (whatever thats supposed to mean) missed and probably lost the point/plot. I know I m late for this discussion, but oh well.
    The entire point of this blog is to educate people not to be passive and instead be active in action against letchers and harrasers. Some people are not agressive or vocal enough to voice their resistance, some are simply shy or worse still feel dominated under the pressure of keeping shut !!!
    Now harassing/eve teasing etc may all be subjective. What may offend me, might not even bother the other. But the one who actually determines the act as an offence, is the one who has been subjected to it.

    This is not a male bashing feminist blog. It is a general awareness medium, and if you cannot help in any which way DO NOT even waste the space.

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