Blank Noise is hosting a Blog-a-thon on street harassment and I have decided to contribute. However, for me to narrate all the stories, I would have to start another blog. Hence, I am going to stick to those incidents that have made wish I lived in a country such as Saudi Arabia where these street bastards would have their hands and other parts of their anatomy chopped off for their atrocities.
- First incident that I recollect every time I think of harassment is the one that occurred when I was probably eleven. While I tried to climb into a train, a hand shot in from no where and grabbed my still-flat chest. I was old enough to understand that what had happened was very wrong – but I was very young to disclose this to my parents. It was not until I was 14-15 years old that I could actually talk about such incidents with my friends and parents.
-We were a group of 6-7 kids in the neighborhood all below the age of twelve. We would go out to the play ground to play cops and robbers. A fat-old-dark guy in a grey safari suit and sunglasses that were gold rimmed would ride into the playground on his pistachio colored scooter and gratify himself in front of all of us. This happened more than a dozen times and it was only after we grew up that my sister and I realized what he used to do.
- My sister and I had gone to watch a movie and right when we were pushing into the crowd to enter the hall, I feel a sharp piercing pain in my thigh. A needle had been pierced into my thigh and taken out just as I screamed. We had no idea who did it and what could be a possible reason for such inhuman behavior.
- While I sleep happily in the middle tier of a train compartment, I am woken up by a sensation on my chest. When I open my eyes, I see a hand from the lowest berth groping me. Sad thing – the guy looked decent and educated – looks are VERY often deceptive.
- My cousin and I were watching a movie. In the middle of the movie I feel something grope me. It’s a hand that finds way between the tiny gap of two seats.
- My cousin and were walking down the street after a haircut. A cyclist decides to grope me from behind and we are unable to do anything.
- My friend and I are walking down a street that is considered “safe” and a motorist drives by whacking my back and causing me to fall – just for the fun of it.
- I was riding my scooter to my college and another scooter comes at me from ahead. As I try to move out of his way, he makes sure he comes head on and pushes my scooter with his foot. I fall off the scooter - badly bruising myself and my ankle and my new shoes.
My friends and I were returning from our music class and all of a sudden two hands clutch my neck from behind and let go within a few seconds – for NO REASON.
These incidents do not cover even 10 percent of what I have experienced on the horrible streets of this city. Since the time I started driving a car with my tinted windows rolled up all the time, I have not experienced any physical distress. However, the cat calls and the whistles and verbal obscenities still continue to occur. On the one hand, these incidents have made me alert and strong. I am always careful now and I am ready for a fight. On the other hand, they have made me feel shameful and embarrassed. These incidents have marred my otherwise beautiful childhood. It is extremely heartbreaking that these incidents will probably make me an over protective, obsessive parent.
[Please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to participate.]
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