I have a 4 year old daughter. A sweetheart, growing up without inhibitions in the US of A. She likes to wear short skirts that billow out when she twirls like a ballerina. She likes to wear her swimsuit and cool off by running through sprinklers on our lawn. And then there's my 8 year old niece in B'lore, India. Growing up hearing her mother repeatedly tell her not to dance in their front yard (kid is an amazing dancer), not to look up at people while walking in the streets, always stay by an adult's side, on the side away from the road.... in short, teaching her all that she learnt as a kid. Everything she says brings back horrifying memories of the misery we endured growing up in B'lore. Don't you dare give me that 'You asked for it' shit. High school girls, in calf-length uniforms! Being groped at by passengers in the bus. That was when I learnt that men had an extremely sensitive area in their body, ideal for a quick punch or a knee! And boy! how I used that knowledge. I am sure there are several men out there who lost their 'family jewels' because of me!
And now, there's my sister. Meek little Manju, who has grown to be an amazing, confident, and brave woman, living in Mumbai. She works outside the house, and so has to travel by train and bus at all unearthly hours. One day, when she was returning home from work, a man groped her. For a moment, she was so shocked, that she stopped dead in her tracks. Then she turned around, ran behind that man (the platform wasn't very crowded, and so she was able to spot the 'Romeo') and when she reached him, she raised her hand, put all her anger and outrage behind the slap, and slapped him HARD! That took him totally by surprise, and he literally ran down the length of the platform, not daring to look over his shoulder even once.
Way to go, girl! I'm proud of you.
Action Hero Mangala