Editing assistant- Jamie Finlay- Cornerhouse
Project assistant- Dale Copley

In conversation with women between the age group of 11-80 years, in Manchester, UK.
Groups spoken with include Chinese Women's Centre- Wai Yin Society, Bangladeshi Women's Centre- Ananna, Salford Women's Centre, staff of Cornerhouse and strangers!

Supported by Cornerhouse as a part of Asian Triennial '08, organized by Shisha.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. It has raised more questions in my mind.

1) Obviously the dark alleyways, unknown places etc would cause problems to men as well. I know my husband would avoid places like that fearing pickpocketers, racsist attact etc esp if the places are known for it.
2)Manchester has a lot of Asians. Are the sexual attacks by asian men?
Are the victims asian women?
3)The old woman who is afraid to walk in the dark because she could be knocked over. This can happen to an old man too.
4)The girl who was asked to wear a hijab...totally wrong for the man to have told her that but is it eve-teasing? Is it not religious assault?

Although I haven't experienced eve-teasing in UK, I am open to the fact that it may be taking place. In India it was difficult for me to take 10 steps outside my house without being eve-teased!!
So I have been happy living in UK and have told everyone that men in UK are very cultured! Its also one of the main reasons that I have decided to raise my daughter here.
I will try and speak to more people about it and see if it is more prevalent than I thought it is.


J said...

hi rekha. thanks for your questions.

1. dark alleyways and unknown places cause problems to men as well- but there is a difference in the fear of being mugged( men and women) and the sexual fear( mostly women) that is experienced.

2. sexual attacks not just by asian men- some women spoke of the fear of "hoodies"- gangs of boys. people who spoke of their experiences and fears include women from the chinese women's center, bangladeshi women's society, visitors at cornerhouse, salford women's centre

3. i agree it could happen to a little child or an old man more easily than an adult. also refer to point 1.

4. she was asked to wear the hijab- by a member of her family. she was introduced to the idea by being told she would go to heaven and GOD won't punish her- that is now her association with the hijaab- and in future being the 'modest' young woman which links to the notion that 'modest decent women do not experience sexual harassment'.

Clearly there is a difference of experience from India to UK but our thresholds are different- what may be severe to you may be light for someone else-
pain and fear are based on our past experiences with it- and so while it may seem a non issue if you have experienced street sexual harassment in india it still is an issue in a country where perhaps women are not physically groped as often as in India.

makes sense?

also you wont hear women talk of it that much- there is an underlying assumption of how things are- "eve teasing- deal with it"- rather than let's deal with our fear

Anonymous said...

Hello Jasmeen

Thanks for your reply.

It is an issue if a women is harrassed ..period . It really doesn't matter how often.

My comments arose from the fact that most of the issues seem to be something everyone experiences not just women(dark alleyways, hoodis etc) and also my personal happy experience of not being harrassed in any form by men in Uk.

I totally agree that the fear felt by women in the same situation is

Also I have no doubts now that it does take place having had discussions with you. I am just surprised that I wasn't aware of it for the past 7 years!!

we do amongst indian friends discuss eve-teasing here. Everyone's mentioned about the harrassment they experienced in india but no one spoke anything about being harrassed in UK. I will bring it up next time I meet them!

Thanks for the info.


J said...

hi rekha

more than experiences of street sexual harassment what might be insightful is to get people to talk about what time they would go out alone, whether they would ever go out without a phone- the experience is not as aggressive but the ever pervasive sense of fear remains. do let us know what conversations took place!