23.11.08

towards the museum of street "weapons"












Please note: we do not support the use of weapons. Kindly do not misinterpret us. "Weapons" here is used as a rhetoric. The point of this is to figure out what kind of everyday objects make us feel safe or prepare us to defend ourselves.

We propose to build an online museum of street weapons with your response.

Weapons are objects of defense used by you to feel safe and protected. What are these objects and things that you carry which make you feel safe? And- how do you propose to use them?

Please send us a list of things you carry that prepare you to walk on the streets. If you like you could also send us photos of your defense weapons. If you cannot relate to it- think again- it could be in the way you hold your bag, books across chest etc. Or how many times have you pretended to talk on the mobile phone when out alone? or kept a clenched fist ready?

Think. Remember or simply look in your hand bag and send us your list.

Men are invited to participate as well- you can participate by speaking to women you know about their street weapons and add to this list. Don't just limit it to bloggers- in true Blank Noise spirit- speak with family members, friends, colleagues, domestic help, vegetable vendors- every woman you know! Share this poster on email lists, college and office walls, apartment buildings, neighbourhoods and markets- let's get this going!

You can also confirm/ join in on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2703755288#/event.php?eid=46016327805&ref=mf

Blank Noise Team

disclaimer: Blank Noise does not support "weapons and violent activity" unless absolutely required for defense. Blank Noise is interested in understanding fear , addressing fear and generating discourse around it.


Contributors:
Kismet Nakai, Mandy Van Deven, Ritambhara Mehta
, Anasuya Sengupta, Hemangini Gupta, Dimplicious, Maya Singh, Ratna Apnender, Lindsey Rieder , Sravanthi Dasari,Megha Joshi Bhagat, Sravanthi Dasari, Chitra Badrinarayan, Ritu A Kamath, Maya Hussein Kovskaya, Radha Pandey, Amrutha Bushan, Aastha Gupta, Alaphia Zoyab, Katheeja Talha,Kritika Sharma, Marjorie Barboza, Nabila Zaidi, Annie Zaidi, Arushi Singh, Shaheema Shaw...


supporting text from the blogathon(2006)

She cocoons herself and turns a blind eye to the truth that several men are gazing at her, with not-so-friendly eyes

. Being prepared for such situation does not only mean carrying pepper sprays and joining the weekend Kung Fu/Karate class. The preparation has to start from the mind

Some things, you get used to. Like rage.You will learn to laugh. Humour is a great self-defence tool.

When in public - don't sing, don't smile, don't swing your arms, or your hips. It is better to wear a frown on the streets, along with mouth that looks like it can chew your head off, spewing some rather choice invective, if bothered.

Learn filthy abuse; use it.

A training in martial arts is not every woman’s cup of tea. So, that leaves us with just one weapon - COURAGE!



Listen Audio:

Street Tales of Hyper Women between the age group of 11 to 80 years : Manchester. UK. Cornerhouse


28 comments:

  1. sanober7:27 pm

    yeah its a pity that women in this country have to carry weapons in thier bags for fear of the need to defend themselves...and the "enemy" maynot be hiding behind a bush...oh no. on the contrary, he's right there in front of you, gazing and chuckling and confident that the million spectaters standing by would look the other way.it is literally an everyday battle with these elements.what's worse is that instead of doing something about it, many of us have silently accepted it as a "norm." i'm a woman with a small frame and people think that they can get away for their disgusting lewd behaviour with me easily. hence i carry (and may i add unfortunately) a pepper spray with me and sometimes even a small kitchen knife. i usually return to my hostel by seven, but who says it needs to be dark to be unsafe?

    ReplyDelete
  2. apologies for cross posting a discussion from facebook but this was necessary:

    Ratna Appnender wrote
    at 7:03pm
    Apart from this, the comfort with which blank noise is talking about weapons/ self defense involving hurting the harasser seems to be based on the assumption that violence(and i consider violence done in defense to be violence) is an instinct and something everyone is capable of. For example like when a lot of people dismiss interventions saying "the only thing that'll teach these bastards a lesson is if you beat them up" etc
    i can never be comfortable with violence, not just because i think it's wrong, but also because i just cannot hit/hurt anyone. Which is when i realised how we take the ability to hit back for granted, as though each of us naturally posses it.
    Another assumption seems to be that violence is justified if committed in self defense. Is it? I'm not saying it is wrong to hit back, but can we ignore the fact that it still maybe wrong and treat it like a solution?
    Report - Delete

    Ratna Appnender wrote
    at 6:51pm
    Like the pictures show, i think "museum of weapons" is intended to redefine what a weapon is, and how we are forced to carry things that are not weapons and are in fact everyday objects in order to defend ourselves. It also draws the connection between harmless everyday objects and the everydayness of sexual harassment.
    However, i get what anasuya means, and i think what she is saying may be true if the museum of weapons is looked at out of context of blank noise,- it may seem like a radical call to women to carry weapons with them.
    Is that what blank noise intends to do?
    Maybe what is needed is a discussion on
    - Whether women feel the need to carry objects to protect themselves,
    -Whether carrying/using these objects makes them feel safer,
    -Whether it is a viable solution to harassment,
    -How wrong or right it is to use it, and hurt someone/a harasser
    Report - Delete

    Jasmeen Patheja wrote
    at 5:48pm
    thanks mandy.

    the only "weapon" I have actively used in the past was a camera- but I stopped doing that because I was interested in figuring out other strategies to deal with street sexual harassment.

    in terms of objects- I realized that I was often carrying a lot of things while walking- just things/ bags covering the body/ books against the chest. it was an armor.
    Delete

    Mandy Van Deven (CUNY Hunter) wrote
    at 5:39pm
    i think this is something that a lot of women think about. i know i've certainly had my keys out w/ the intention of using them to hurt someone who wanted to harm me. i also don't see a "weapon" as always being used as an offensive tool. sometimes it is used in defense. i know that this idea/language has been co-opted by the military, which is unfortunate, but i think that this poster offers validation for those of us who do carry things that we think may help us out of a dangerous situation and feel a little silly because of it. sure, some of the items i'd be less comfortable carrying with the intention of using them... like a safety pin, for example. and although i feel a little silly saying it, in this context, when i read the word 'weapon' i thought of the ani difranco lyric: "every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right." to me, what she's saying is that sometimes we hold the key to our own liberation and we don't even know it.
    Report - Delete

    Jasmeen Patheja wrote
    at 5:04pm
    Anasuya. Thanks for your views. I hear you and I understand what you mean.

    But:
    The word "weapon"- as a tool for defense is meant to be used as a rhetoric- most of us carry "weapons" such as pens, chopsticks or a deodrant spray-

    We turn everyday ordinary objects that into "weapons of defense".

    This is not to say that we are ready to attack but rather closely examine that nature of things that make us feel safe.

    This is not to say that we put ourselves in the position of aggressors but rather even re look at the 'things' that make us feel safe.

    "We" and I don't support the position of an aggressor either.
    Delete

    Anasuya Sengupta (India) wrote
    at 4:35pm
    Jasmeen, as you know, I've supported Blank Noise's work when it was still a spark in your heart, but I find this 'museum of weapons' vocabulary disturbing. Surely we need to be careful of our own terms of reference, so we don't fall into the same traps we accuse others of perpetrating against us? 'Street defence', to my mind, would be a much more appropriate phrase - we defend ourselves, for our own safety; we are never aggressors or perpetrators of violence ourselves, and should try not be, even in the words or images we use.
    Report - Delete

    Natasha Kaushal (India) wrote
    at 3:21pm
    i always carry my keys in my hand with the pointed edge outwards..
    Report - Delete

    Jasmeen Patheja wrote
    at 3:07pm
    thanks ritambhara. i love how kis added a photo. following which i added a photo of the camera. feel free to add a photo of chopstix to this album!
    Delete

    Ritambhara Mehta (India) wrote
    at 7:25am
    I had a pair of chopsticks. One used to double up as a hair pin and the other was used as a "bus weapon". It used to rest quietly at the opening of my bag. But I used it only a couple of times.
    Report - Delete

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wel I had a gunji bag or pouck like think where I used to put all these 1 Re.,2 Re. and 5 Re. coins..One of its purpose is that the coins are collected up in a particular place neatly..Another was that I decided to use it if sumbody decidded to misbehave wid me..!!N of course chilli powder!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. some more from facebook:

    Hemangini Gupta wrote
    at 8:34am
    is humour a weapon
    is nonchalance a weapon
    is feigned disinterest a weapon
    i carry some of these with me everyday and never leave home without them
    Report - Delete

    Mandy Van Deven (CUNY Hunter) wrote
    at 5:43am
    Perhaps, given the fear of how the poster will be perceived outside of a BN context, the BN logo and website should appear on the bottom with a statement about street harassment being unacceptable. That would put it into the BN context.
    Report - Delete

    Mandy Van Deven (CUNY Hunter) wrote
    at 5:43am
    prepared to use it, and the attacker (who was capable of using it) took it from them. During Durga Puja, I had to push a guy off of me who grabbed my backside. The dense crowd protected his physical violation and the only way that I could a) make it stop and b) make it known that he was touching me was to push him back and yell at him to not touch me. This attracted the attention of everyone who was within ear shot and who he bumped into when I pushed him, and as soon as it happened, he removed his hands and run away. When this happens and I can't do something about it, I beat myself up over it. While I was still upset that I'd been fondled by this guy, I felt good about having done something about it. And it felt instinctual to me to physically get someone away from me who was violating my body. I pushed then yelled. I say this with the understanding that not everyone will have that same 'instinct'.
    Report - Delete

    Mandy Van Deven (CUNY Hunter) wrote
    at 5:35am
    Ratna: I agree that if one is able to figure a way out of a situation without using violence, that one should. I also know that sometimes there aren't other options. Sometimes reason and intellect doesn't keep someone from inflicting violence upon you. In those cases, I do believe that violence is, though unfortunate, justified. The degree to which physical violence is perpetuated against women in the world, and the psychological violence that comes with it, justifies its use as a strategy to stay physically safe, unharmed, when faced with that violence. In the US, research shows that simply resisting in any way to an attacker greatly increases ones chance of escaping an attack, in part, because male attackers don't expect women to fight back. I also agree with you that one should not carry something as a weapon unless they are capable of using it, as research also shows that many women in the US who carry weapons have that weapon used on them by their attacker because they weren't...
    Report - Delete

    Maya Singh wrote
    at 4:26am

    I think the mobile phone is probably my favourite / most comforting weapon - whether pretending I'm on it ( tone of voice, the nature of the conversation - "I'll see you in two minutes" etc.) or just keeping it very visible. Other things I use - books and packages held across my chest, bags slung over my shoulder rather than held in my hand.

    I often walked home when I was in college, and I always carried a sharp letter opener in the front pocket of my bag. That's the only time I can recall, when I intentionally carried something 'weapon-like' particularly as a 'weapon of self defence'. Just the knowledge that it was there, made me feel a lot freer, for lack of a better word, and I think this reflected in my entire attitude. In the sense that I wasn't as passive and focussed on trying to show that I was ok. I actually was.
    Report - Delete

    Anasuya Sengupta (India) wrote
    at 10:59pm yesterday
    ps: and I do love ani difranco myself. :-)
    Report - Delete

    Anasuya Sengupta (India) wrote
    at 10:57pm yesterday
    I understand the meaning behind what BN is trying to do with this intervention, Jasmeen, of course - and I support it - but 'rhetoric' is not without meaning or power. I'm just asking us to reflect on it, that's all; as Ratna says, very wisely, even when it is in self-defence (and thereby 'justified'), we are still committing violence. The critical point is around aggression or perpetration - and yes, unfortunately to me (and this is a clearly personal feminist view), 'weapons' as a rhetorical device is about agency of aggression, not liberation, and that continues to be problematic for me.

    But to move on to the greater question, I consider my keys and my own body stance (ready to use elbows, strong centre of gravity etc etc) as really helpful for my own personal safety. And depending on its weight, the bag itself. But as I've said in stories I've shared on Action Heroes, I try and use mind games when I can...!
    Report - Delete

    Jasmeen Patheja wrote
    at 7:18pm yesterday
    exactly- ratna-
    what kind of objects make women feel safer.
    Report - Delete

    Ratna Appnender wrote
    at 7:03pm yesterday
    Apart from this, the comfort with which blank noise is talking about weapons/ self defense involving hurting the harasser seems to be based on the assumption that violence(and i consider violence done in defense to be violence) is an instinct and something everyone is capable of. For example like when a lot of people dismiss interventions saying "the only thing that'll teach these bastards a lesson is if you beat them up" etc
    i can never be comfortable with violence, not just because i think it's wrong, but also because i just cannot hit/hurt anyone. Which is when i realised how we take the ability to hit back for granted, as though each of us naturally posses it.
    Another assumption seems to be that violence is justified if committed in self defense. Is it? I'm not saying it is wrong to hit back, but can we ignore the fact that it still maybe wrong and treat it like a solution?
    Report - Delete

    Ratna Appnender wrote
    at 6:51pm yesterday
    Like the pictures show, i think "museum of weapons" is intended to redefine what a weapon is, and how we are forced to carry things that are not weapons and are in fact everyday objects in order to defend ourselves. It also draws the connection between harmless everyday objects and the everydayness of sexual harassment.
    However, i get what anasuya means, and i think what she is saying may be true if the museum of weapons is looked at out of context of blank noise,- it may seem like a radical call to women to carry weapons with them.
    Is that what blank noise intends to do?
    Maybe what is needed is a discussion on
    - Whether women feel the need to carry objects to protect themselves,
    -Whether carrying/using these objects makes them feel safer,
    -Whether it is a viable solution to harassment,
    -How wrong or right it is to use it, and hurt someone/a harasser
    Report - Delete

    ReplyDelete
  5. Megha Joshi Bhagat (National Law School of India University) wrote
    at 3:30pm
    walking with the books in front of my chest is something i do often.
    also talking on the cell phone feels really safe.
    its lot safer when am in a group and even if am alone it feels safe when there are people around.
    i guess the defense mechanism instinctively makes me walk faster when i am alone and walking.

    ReplyDelete
  6. best article!!! love it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. 1. big bags/shopping bags - useful on dogs too
    2. wrist watch - pretending to wait for someone
    3. dodging? as in knowing the exact moment when to dodge a person?
    4. elbows. i blv they are stronger than fists

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sonal6:26 pm

    I think the best weapon is your eyes....keep them open and dont look away when someone is staring at you..infact stare back at them with confidence so that finally they will look away...i have done this many atimes....and it is very effective

    ReplyDelete
  9. from facebook:

    Hemangini Gupta (SOAS) wrote
    at 3:30pm
    and finally
    another thing that strikes me about blank noise interventions/projects is that they always seem to exist on two layers (if not more); one very literal and oriented to street action and response and the other ... much more philosophical and maybe metaphysical :) the relationship between these two layers of dialogue is interesting to me; does one feed into the other? does one contradict the other? can they both co-exist meaningfully?
    Report - Delete

    Rituu A Kamath wrote
    at 3:30pm
    I am talking about the time when it was Ok for us to take the DTC bus to college.this was the year '88 to '92.I always prefered to grab a seat instead of being pushed, or sandwiched between people.
    I remember..once , there was too much of a crowd getting into the bus and this creep took advantage of the opportunity and touched my or rather grabbed at my chest..Unfortunately for him, i just turned around just iin time to see who it was.He knew that I had seen him..and ran and got on to the bus from the front door..I had already got in by the back door by then..
    I dont know what my expression was or what strength overtook me ...I shocked myself by walking in the bus to the front and the 100% crowd in the bus just parted before my very eyes to let me go....This guy was Shocked out of his wits to see me standing in front of him like Durga? i grabbed him by the collar and slapped him 3 to 4 times..verrrrrry hard ..and this guy jumped out ,never to be see be seen again!!
    Report - Delete

    Hemangini Gupta (SOAS) wrote
    at 3:30pm
    sorry
    i meant to say more on my comment; it seemed to come out of nowhere...
    i guess when i am asking about emotional/non-object related responses to street harassment, i am also asking if the discomfort (to some always, to others sometimes, maybe never to most) that comes from the suggestion of all of these weapons which hurt and harm (however justified their motive) leads to another kind of enquiry which throws up a different kind of 'arsenal', one that operates in a domain that is entirely non-violent and may even be non-verbal/not physical. is there a debate or discourse possible that uses other terms of reference when talking about street responses i.e. other than a response-retaliation-weapon-reaction? can we create a discourse that doesn't appropriate violent imagery but instead that subverts it?
    Report - Delete

    Maya Hussein Kovskaya (China) wrote
    at 11:27am
    I would love to curate this into an exhibition here in China sometime...Way to go! I love this project!
    Report - Delete

    Ritambhara Mehta (India) wrote
    at 5:42pm yesterday
    "is humour a weapon"
    - Hemangini
    Interesting.
    Report - Delete

    Annie Zaidi wrote
    at 5:16pm yesterday
    Used to carry safety pins at one point.
    Now I carry more keys on my key chain than I need to, because a bigger bunch might serve as a weapon. I also carry one of those long, pointy decorative sticks which are used to hold your hair in a bun. I don't tie up my hair but carry that object (what is it called?) because it might be useful.
    I carry a letter/pamphlet from blank noise (talking about street sexual harassment and the relevant IPC laws) around in my bag, and have used one such testimonial letter as a weapon in th last.
    Report - Delete

    Lindsey Rieder (Syracuse) wrote
    at 3:45pm yesterday
    dupatta
    crossed arms
    staring at the ground
    scowling
    not making eye contact
    holding keys in hand (especially in my dark stairwell)
    pepperspray
    talking on cell phone

    ReplyDelete
  10. used to carry a small knife & scissors

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shaheema Shaw (Orange County, CA) wrote
    at 8:52am
    if there are people or a person walking ahead of me, i pretend that i'm walking with them, or ask them what the time is, etc. but anyway, i always keep my keys with me at all times (and not just because i'm afraid of getting locked out!). pens, pins, sewing pins (very decorative, use it as a brooch sometimes), breath spray! i walk VERY briskly, and purposely, like the place i'm going to is just up ahead. i wave at imaginary people in the distance, if i'm really terrified. the i've-got-a-call cell-phone trick never gets old: "i'm on my way... i'm right next to blahblahblah, can you see me i'll be there in two seconds!". lol. or else i keep a book in front of me... seems to help, though i don't know why.
    Report - Delete

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello from Dr. Ruthless in the USA. I must be the odd girl out, but what's the big FUSS with wielding weapons in self defense? Why all the resistance and hesitation, even adamant disavowal, around this term?

    Here's where I'm coming from. I'm a veteran award winning women's self defense expert (www.dr-ruthless.com) I am known for my no-nonsense attitude and primal full force methods. I teach women to be down right aggressive even violent IF they need to be in order to effectively resist and escape attack, to fend off rape. This entails explosive counterattack methods-- the stuff that works, especially for women who are typically smaller - and also using weapons of opportunity. Like sticks and rocks and your handy brass candlestick or metal junk on the street. (I could show you how to kill a man with a pen; you have to know how to hold it, how to generate driving power and where to stick it. Sorry for sounding gross.

    Sure weapons are a last resort - but why not encourage women to be prepared without all the rationalization? (I'm also a former trauma psychotherapist and I know all too well the damage and destruction that violence and rape leaves in its wake.)

    Having said all this, let me tell you that I don't even kill bugs! I escort them out of my house prayefully cupped in hand, then place them onto rich dirt with food and water drops nearby, and utter a heartfelt prayer, a benediction of good wishes under my breath before skipping back into my home.

    I feel deeply connected to all life force. But I ALSO - not instead of, but ALSO - know my killer instinct and I'm fully possesed of the will (and skill) to do what it takes, to bring this to bear if all else fails, and I encourage every woman to embrace - not shun - this facet of herself. Instead of shunning aggression we need to view it as a resource and learn to also wield its tools.

    I'm a little surprised by some of what I'm hearing because your ACTION HERO blog was full of stories about women striking back when manhandled (and feeling fine about it.) On a personal note, it was in India where I had one of my greatest epiphanies, learned that my body was a tool, an instrument of power and that I too could be a DANDEROUS creature. When a man on a train wouldn't take NO for an answer and tried to maul me again, I went off-- busted him HARD about the head and face, then cracked that violating hand. To this day, I swear KALI played a hand in my uprising!

    My point is that the all-inclusive (versus dualistic) wisdom of "Mother INDIA" of understanding that we are all possessed of infinite human potentials (versus the denial of certain human potentials), and the entwining of spiritual and primal, of Genesis and Rot, life and death, dark and light etc... is precisely what awakened this seed in me. It was potential I hadn't known in myself before. Lost to modern life. This is common to women; it's a primal disconnect that poses real threats.

    Frankly I think Mother India's wisdom is as good as it gets: "Girl, you are already many. Not one note on a flute."

    Of course YOU could harm another human if you had to. (Or were enraged enough at having the sovereignty of your body violated or worse: invaded.) This is part of our survival instinct, it's hard-wired - as old as the womb and the brain itself. The denial and disconnect around this base part of ourselves is dangerous: leaves women and girls more vulnerable to violence or intrusion or attack. Easier prey. I say this having trained thousands here and overseas.

    I don't have it in me are famous last words!

    I'm not comparing cultures or types of violence women face in different parts of the world, but regardless of external realities-- what we're fighting against and fighting FOR -- we need to be in touch with this potential and violent capacity, repugnant as that is, or women will NEVER be safe or whole. Women will remain relegated to lesser-than-status, too fearful or too powerless to resist brutalities, limited in how we express our ferocities and fighting spirit.

    Men who will.... prey on women's fears. And knowing how to strike back, and feeling that in your body, IS a powerful antidote to the ills of fear- not to mention that it can save your life.

    I agree: This is NOT the ultimate solution to harrassment or violence -- and in the bigger picture compassion and education such as what you are BRILLIANTLY doing, is vital. And effective. But let's not minimize this crucial piece either.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was thinking of doing something on a small scale with your help. Maybe distribute wallet cards to friends and maybe their friends with a list of dos and donts while taking public transport or even while walking alone...something as a reminder to be alert. What do u guys at BNP think?

    PS: I aint asking for you guys to sponsor these or nething but just need some matter, something which is short & to the point.


    Best,
    Mohnish

    ReplyDelete
  14. I posted a pic of a knife without even thinking twice because that IS what I carry for my self defence. Then I read what people had said about "weapons" being rhetoric and thought,hmmmm maybe I did something wrong and acted too quick (instinctively)by posting the pic.
    Sitting over it, I don't regret it because it is the truth and I don't think of a key as a weapon or talcum powder as a weapon. I use a weapon as a weapon.
    So, I can agree with people when they say the vocabulary is confusing and disturbing. Same with what I felt with Unapologetic Walking. There are so many people out there who won't understand its dualistic meaning and implications. We need to be extra extra careful about how we say what!
    @Dr.Ruthless- when are you coming to India next? I'd love to learn some techniques from you!! I think self defense is absolutely necessary and crucial.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wonderwall you are right!

    Talcum powder as a weapon will only annoy or irritate a man (AT BEST) but not stop him. Not even long enough to escape if you need to. And now you've pissed him off. Not good.

    Chopsticks and similar items are also ineffective as defensive weapons - not sharp enough.

    To be brutally honest, many of the devices displayed as "street weapons" will not, in a real world sense, stop a man.(Chilli powder could work to repel or buy you an escape if thrown into the face and eyes. A book could too, because it it has mass and edges-- that is, if you know how to drive into a face or other vulnerable body part backed up by ALL your might.)

    The other thing is this: in a physical, real world sense, once you wield any 'defenisve weapon," be it actual or improvised, you better be prepared to then follow up -- to either flee or fight, because NO BODY is going to stand there and let you stick them or smash them with an item and not counterattack. Trust me! (Unless you unleash the kind of blows and such that will disable, or instantly repel a person. Or maybe, publicly embarrass the crap out of them.)

    So, really, it comes back to your will to engage. Your fighting heart.

    Here's the real question I pose to all women: What is worth fighting for? What is non-negotiable? Where do YOU draw the line?

    And this: What if instead of being fearful, or striving to be fearless, you learned how to be fearSOME? What if you TOO could be a dangerous creature -- and not just feel like the potentially endangered one?

    This is the spirit of reversal.

    PS. Wonderwall, I would love to come back to INDIA. Those incidents were many years ago. Get a gaggle of feisty women together and I'll come!

    ReplyDelete
  16. the point of this is to say that this is what women carry- not to say that we should carry this. this list is not a recommendation but rather a sharing and analysis of objects that make us feel safe.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Parmeet11:08 pm

    " I just bought this very very fat psychology book and I was waiting for an auto and I felt someone's hand ...and he was an old man. I just hit him hard with my book. It felt good to make use of it"

    ReplyDelete
  18. Pavan Soni11:09 pm

    When I walk I swing my plastic water bottle and I have noticed that no one comes near me. There's a slim chance that I will miss them if I need to fling it

    ReplyDelete
  19. nails work... but within my stationary kit there's one thing that does make me secure too... its out all ready to be whipped out whenever the need may arise... since i carry an open jhola... its a paper cutter... cruel as it may seem it may help at least scare off the assailant..

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous9:18 am

    I used to carry a small screw driver..generally nails,fists,elbows work better..wenever i feel insecure,i try to catch the sight of any stone,brick etc lying in the vicinity and prepare myself mentally taht if something happens i'll take no time in grabbing watever object is there to help myself out.

    -Deepshikha.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Cell phone. That's my weapon.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Kathrin Beßen2:12 pm

    Fortunately since years I was not in the need to think about what is in my pocket when walking lonely at night in the streets of Duesseldorf or Cologne (Germany) for example. But for the case I know that there are always some keys which carried as thorn in one hand assure myself to be able to defend myself. At the same time I am aware that the defensive power of keys in my hand could not be enough in a case of emergency. But I really hope their power lets me look stronger and more self-confident when walking around.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great stories about everyday weapons at the ready! Just read this article from a fabuulous web site, WIP (Women's International Perspective) by Indian journalist, Lesley D. Biswas. It's all about this harrassment issue, and how women in India are fighting back. Check it out!

    http://thewip.net/contributors/2008/12/martial_arts_training_helps_in.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. 1. My cellphone. I talk over it when im walking in a hostile street. i even ask my friend, after she gets into an auto, to give me a call when she gets home, just loud enough for the auto driver to hear and visibly note down the auto number.
    2. my keys
    3. my shoes. especially as a school girl who traveled by the local bus.

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  25. I've never actually carried a weapon out in my life , nothing tangible atleast.
    But I've always done the calling up someone and pretending they are going to be there anytime to pick me up on a dark empty road.
    Another thing I've begun to do is keep my press card handy and have ready a voice to scream ''I am a journalist I can screw you over '' thing..because it really works..
    And nowadays, ever since I've started thinking more about walking unapologetically, thanks to blank noise, I don't even do the hiding my breasts with books thing i used to do earlier.Even if I am wearing really skimpy clothes, I tend to just walk normally, confidently, occupying SPACE, making my presence felt,at times making eye contact, it does kind of intimidate men.

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  26. I get around the city with my loyal two wheeler.
    Therefore a helmet is something im not allowed to do without,legally speaking. I have deliberately not bought a helmet lock, which you install on your bike to leave behind your helmet, just so i can carry my helmet around to defend my physical space. (walking with a helmet in your hand takes up more space than normal)

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  27. I think we as a society have turned anti-male and projects all men and demons and all women as saints. Its the media hype and propaganda that is doing the damage. Can you guys who have spilled venom out here tell me what is the solution when a woman sexually harasses a man? What should the man do? It is not a surprise. Its happening and a reality today. Should these same weapons be used by the men in trouble?

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