Last post of the day

Well, the fifth post of the day - the end of my blog-a-thon (Yeah, I know one post was all that was expected, but what to do, I always talk too much). And I thought I'd post about some things I saw - comments, even posts. But one keeps coming back to me. Harassing me, if you will. It's at


He thinks the point of Blank Noise is that even looking at girls is an offence. Well, as far as I know, the point of Blank Noise is to create awareness about street harassment. But semantic quibbling aside, I think his problem of 'What's the difference between just looking appreciatively and harassment' is something a lot of people share. So here's my attempt to clear the confusion.


What's the difference between chaudvin ka chand ho, ya aftaab ho, jo bhi ho tum khuda ki kasam, lajawab ho and tu cheez badi hai mast mast?


Between a woman in a bra in an undergarment ad and a woman in a bikini in an alcohol ad?


Between a classical dancer portraying sringara and Baby Doll gyrating to the latest remix?


The difference is that there is no cruelty (I use the word as opposed to violence, because we are so conditioned to thinking of violence as physical) in the first, but cruelty is all there is in the second. It is the cruelty that says, "you are a thing; you are worth nothing; I can use you, possess you, and you can do nothing" (with apologies to Andrea Dworkin).


And that is the difference between a look of appreciation and a letch. Appreciation is when you glance at me, look into my eyes, pay me the compliment, and move on. Letching is when you look me up and down, and if I catch your eye, either look away furtively or stare a challenge at me; where it is not about beauty, or even sex, but about the power to define who I am, how I react.


- Action Hero Erimentha