Saturday, December 17, 2011

That thing they call modesty Pt2

First off, I want to group hug everyone at Chennai Hollaback! I just do. I don’t know how they got a hold of my previous post on this subject, but they did and they’ve passed the word around on Twitter and I’ve been getting a lot of positive shoutouts. My sincere gratitude. This blog’s sole intent is entirely and completely selfish. If it finds a resonance with people, then I’m all the happier to share my stories with the world. 

Let’s get to part 2 of this dialogue shall we?

The main reason for this faceless violation of my body was because some random man thought I had either “asked for it” by the way I dressed or by the fact that I had big boobs and a round ass. I honestly cannot attribute any other reason to this form of sexual violence except one’s physical appearance. There’s no other logical reasoning for something this pathetic. What else do you think could be their motivation? Sex-depravation? Uncontrollable impulse just like that suspicious twitch in the left eye some people have? A woman’s body is the only reason.

As a teenager, my breasts were the bane of my existence. They still are, but I like them better now and do a lot less to wish they’d disappear forever and leave me gloriously flat-chested…

 [If some shit-resembling man mentally thinks that women are never happy with what they have, I will find him and burn him alive in Anna Square bus stop.]

…The fact that my 14-year-old body ached from the weight of my breasts didn’t help my daily travels to school. I was in a pinafore, awkward as hell, and carried a school bag that was doing everything in its power to snap my neck. On that 17D to school, there was barely any room to stand, and yet, there were men who had the wherewithal to snake their arms around the throng and grab a boob, because, you know, boobs are the equivalent of a bus ticket and they need boobs like they need bus tickets.

I mean, the fact that I was wearing a school uniform had no bearing on the hand-snaking. Absolutely no bearing. It’s pathetic.

I’m not sure if this contributed in any way to my issues with my appearance or in my opinion of men. I have a feeling it has. I don’t see one single word in this blog post or the previous that in any way redeems men. And I will not take away this umbrella hatred because the How to Judge a Person handbook excludes the “nice, non-harassing guys”; you might not grab my boob, but you sure as hell have spent time wondering what they look/feel like and that puts you in the category too my nice, non-harassing friend.

Ever since I started working, I stopped taking the bus to where I had to go. This auto-taking has left me with zero savings, but having zero savings has never felt this liberating!


  1. One of the reasons why I am not willing to return to India. I know, some people might think this is a chickening out. But I have travelled in the Public Transit in Mumbai till I got married and then in Bangalore after I got married - one thing I learnt was, men don't change.

    I have had enough comments about how my body was looking hot in no matter what jute sack cloth I was wearing - loud enough for half the men on the streets to hear. Done with it.

    Glad that you posted and you are definitely not alone, sista!

  2. This just made me think of all the times that I have been in similar situations. It's depressing. And ya know what, I don't think it has got anything to do with how beautiful you are. I have seen the not so well-endowed ones among us getting harassed too. There's this TED video by Sunitha Krishnan.. the first few minutes will make you numb.

    I guess the saddest thing is that a majority of women defend such bastards. So I deplore them both. I hate men who think having a thing dangling between their legs make them divine and I loathe women who glorify such men, who raise such men, women who degrade themselves to be second-class citizens day after day after day.. Women who say it's ok or even necessary that some loose women are raped.

  3. Shruti, I would like to say a few things, just thoughts. You are a well-endowed woman honestly, something I never thought while at work cause there was one instance where you snubbed me and I kind of felt you are a rude person [wrong I know, been wrong way too many times] - Now, the fact that you are well-endowed, I know many women who complain of not being so, so you gotta be happy for yourself.

    Now for the gropers, you gotta do something about such, inflict some harm after all if their intent is to just grab, you might as well switch to violence as well - my sister used a pin and ensured the guy got an inch of steel in his flesh. He could not scream cause people would beat him up. This was in Kerala and the guy was a middle-aged shitbag. As she got up to get down, the guy was in tears, tears of pain, agony and the shame. Some men, I daresay deserve punishment. For the record, there is no shit-resembling fellows, guys with such intent are shitbags, period. His looks whether good or bad are immaterial.

    If all women were to strike back at such offenders, I think there could be a change. I am sorry to hear that you went thru such a horrible phase. But you have survived, I hope more women read this n fight back. Show the punishing nature of MOTHER NATURE ladies. A Few Good Men exist please .. ennae kollale :P

  4. Is sexual frustration one of the major reason for these sort of behavior. They can have their own way as people both men and women hardly responds against such atrocities...

  5. It's not sexual frustration,never,it's just blatant disregard for others and a serious lack of manners.In my part of the world, that sort of thing never happens and for that I should be grateful, but I'm not so long as it happens anywhere else.IF it did happen here the sicko would be arrested and charged with physical assault. This problem is a cultural issue and it needs women like you to constantly beat the drum, loud and clear, until society hears the message. Keep up the good work and the excellent writing.
    Never give up fighting for your rights to be left alone free from harrassment.

  6. @Brahmin - I've been dealing with it since I was 12/13 on public transport. And I do completely see why...
    @Vrinda - Harassment is not about looks, I know that. I think it happens to me, specifically, because of certain reasons.
    @Kenny - 1) I don't remember what it was, and late apologies are accepted? 2) kudos to your sister! 3) some turns of phrase and descriptions are used solely to make a point, not to literally mean anything, so please okay? 4) Yes, the key word here being "a few", I wish there were more of them...
    @Joe - I have every intention of making a noise about it! Thanks for your words!

  7. hehe :) no problemo :D, point made wokais agreed..

  8. Kindly read my post on this too:

  9. As you are aware of the hassles a women has to go through in a bus esp. the kind of buss in Chennai where, the there is no clear separation of gents and ladies space. I would like to propose a petition to our Transport ministry to keep the separation as first half as ladies and second half as men.[Like in Bangalore] That way, when one boards the bus, they don’t get smacked all over by gents standing on their way. And once aboard they really don’t have to keep their attention on their surroundings for tiny movements of the claws of men – given the kind of roads in Chennai, it’s a definite pain in the ***. I request you to recommend Hollaback to this proposal. It would help any women commuter so much.
    Having said that, it might not be able to stop the harassment that happens in public buses but, it sure can reduce the number of such events. And if that happens, I and many other women can live with a promise of hope that one day we could be free!
    I would like to help you in every way I can, if you are ready to initiate this idea.

  10. This is sad and I'm sorry this happened to you and many others. I pray the world becomes a better place and i hope this doesn't happen to any other girl in India.

  11. This is my first time commenting on a blog - Can very much relate to everything that has been said.