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Latest research report published in Times of India today, i.e., 22nd November 2013 shows some startling crime facts of the city of Mumbai. The most startling ones:
1. Undeniably violence against women (VAW) has tremendously increased as shown by a 57% rise from 2011-12 levels.
2. In addition, 43% rise in cases of molestation have been accounted for the 2012-13 period.
3. 24% people don’t feel secure commuting while 22% feel that Mumbai is not safe for women, children and senior citizens even in their own locations.
4. South Central Mumbai (Sion, Chembur, Shivaji Nagar) recorded the most rapes and was perceived the most unsafe by its people.
She was travelling in a rick – and it was in the middle of the afternoon, as you can tell. They followed her rickshaw, they were obvious about their interest and didn’t stop rash riding next to her for a very long time, just so they could stare and make remarks. When the rickshaw driver told them to back off and ride properly, they held on to her rickshaw.
We’ve had our bags stolen, we have had men stare and make nasty remarks too. This time last year – I wouldn’t have put this up.
But today, I feel like it’s important for everyone to see these faces. Important for people to acknowledge that this sort of behaviour is not okay. It’s not safe either. I’m glad she clicked this photograph – but it also scared the shit out of me because I was worried.
A lot of times, eve-teasing doesn’t stop right here. Every day, we get out of our homes, unsure of our safety as women, and the sad part is – we are all to be blamed for it. For all I know, these men have done much worse in the past & probably gotten away with it. That’s why they are still roaming around freely.
Their faces deserved to be exposed… It’s just not okay.
Re-blogged from absolutelynothingspecial
Dear Mr. Kashyap,
I wanted to write a sincere note of thanks commending you on your recent efforts to give the women of India a quick fix to eve teasing. I recently came across your short film, ‘The day after everyday’ that went viral all over the internet. It was a very enlightening experience, not only because self-defense lessons for women in India is a nearly unknown concept, but also because after your remarkable yet abstract sort of genre of films such as Dev D, The girl in yellow boots, Gulal, Last Train to Mahakali etc, you are now seen as a humanitarian philanthropist who really cares for other people, not just the commercial success of your films. So yes, you did a good thing. For that, I would pat your back. And of course, for your pure talent to cast brilliant actors such as Sandhya Mridul in your recent short film.
I hope I’ve said enough good things about you, your work and your talent to get to the next part of my letter. Let me tell you that I really appreciate your efforts in the form of this film. Having worked in the media industry myself, I am aware of the amount of work and energy that goes into putting together a powerful project like this one. And to allot your precious time for a cause like this one is really your greatness.
But I have some fairly simple issues to bring to your notice about this short film. Something that really bothers me about this short film is the some what half-thought out, ambiguous message that it sends out. I am not entirely sure what to make of the quick fix solution that you’ve so blatantly used in this film. Violence. Is it ever a solution?
In all of my twenty-five years in Mumbai, I’ve survived eve teasing, lewd comments, random strangers feeling me up on the roads and inside public transport, men whipping out their private parts and wagging them at me, men staring down my unmentionables and being filmed and photographed in public places. So I can assure you that I come from a place of experience and this issue is of utmost importance to me. Having said that, not at any point during these years did I feel like just walking away. At every moment in my life, when a man was doing these absolutely disgusting things to me, my first instinct was always to slap him across his face. But at that very moment, I would turn around and find myself alone among a crowd of lechers and other helpless women equally harassed by these soulless men. With not a single policeman or savior in sight, I would often think about my parents and the repercussions slapping a man in public would bring. Would I be followed every day till the day I was found alone and helpless and then the worst would happen? Would I ever be able to leave the house without expecting an acid attack? What would my parents have to go through if any of this happened to me?
This was all I kept thinking about when I watched your film. I am glad that the protagonist in your film had two other women friends to support her. But will she or any women in her position always have a friend to drop their bags, tie their dupattas by the side and start a Bruce Lee type fight in the middle of the road for a little more than ten minutes with no cop in sight?
And say they beat these bad boys black and blue. Then what? Is that the end of the fight against eve teasing? This is not a Karan Johar movie, Mr. Kashyap, where everyone lives happily ever after at the end. Do you know the repercussions of beating and kicking a group of men in public? Haven’t you heard of revenge raping? Haven’t you heard of women being raped and murdered for a hurting a man’s ego? Get real, Sir.
And say that these men are taken in to custody by the police and they are put in jail for a few days. How much time does a man have to do for eve teasing anyway? A week? one month or two? What happens when they comes back? Because surely they don’t have to go to a rehab or do compulsory community service after serving time. It’s not like they are being watched over after their jail time. Sure enough, they are out on the same corner doubling up their strength to retaliate. What happens then? Who protects these brave women then? Most of us women don’t have parents with high-level bureaucratic contacts. Nobody to help us fight the society and the judicial system after an unforeseen event.
Think again about your film, Mr. Kashyap. Is a martial arts class the answer to the attitude that men have towards women? Even the cops in our country believe that it’s actually the woman’s fault if she gets raped. Either her clothes are too slutty or her upbringing is to be blamed. In a country where men believe that women shouldn’t have careers and that they should restrict themselves to the kitchens, is bashing up a few bad men going to help?
Repercussions, Mr. Kashyap. This way or the other, the woman is always the loser. Unless you bring up your boys right. Unless every parent in the nation makes it their own personal goal to teach their boys to respect women. To not only consider them as equals but to stop taking pictures of their breast and pass them along as cheap MMSes. Ingrain in them the idea of treating women as peers and not categorizing them based on their looks.
The onus is on everyone out there, educated and uneducated, to teach their boys not to commoditize women based on their backsides and upper body, but to see them as intelligent human beings not restricted to being a man’s nanny. Why do men need to be babied anyway?
Just like everything else, there is a real solution to this problem and it lies at the bottom of a chain of reforms. A change that needs to be made at the grass root level. Violence never is and will never be the solution to any problem, let alone eve teasing.
Hope this helps!
This short film portrays the unfortunate tolerance and acceptable that our society has developed against street harassment and abuse against women. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, this is a story of three women that decide to stand against their everyday harassment and call for change.
We often find sufferers of abuse and harassment survivors to share their stories but its rare for them to come out in the open in their true identities. Think of doing this as a survivor of incest! This is a brave account of a young woman sharing her story.
This might break your heart while at the same time, give you immense courage and strength.
Re-blogged from Elaan.
Hi, I am so glad I can share my story with you all.
As a kid, ours was not a happy home to begin with. As a kid, my father subjected my brother to physical abuse, and we lived in this constant fear at our house. Then as we grew, for as far as I can remember, the ‘touching’ was always there. It used to happen when we used to visit my grandma’s place for summer vacation. My brother had made me touch his private parts on many occasions. It continued happening till I was in 3rd standard. Then it stopped. Looking back to it, I realize it was just because he did not want me to know what he had been doing was wrong. Though my brother stopped his gruesome act, I came to know it was just not him who did things like this. Many members of my family just couldn’t keep their hands to themselves. Always touching here and there.
I was in 4th or 5th I guess, when the first molestation happened. It was one of my aunts’ drivers. He had been with the family for a long time. So they trust him very much. I was studying alone in another room. He was a very friendly guy; everyone knew he was good with kids. He took me on his lap and started reading my book. He started stroking my cheek with his. Then he hugged me really tight with one hand and started stroking his hand in between my legs whilst reading aloud so that people outside think he’s teaching. I remember being scared and feeling helpless. He then tried opening my zip, but somehow i stopped him from doing that. Thank god, it ended when he was called when my aunt had to leave.
Forward a few years, the already hostile environment at home and then the added trauma took its toll on me. I indulged in self-mutilating behaviors like slitting my wrists, eating glass bulbs, drinking Dettol and such stuff. I don’t think I wanted to die, but I wanted the pain and hurt to go away. My grades were as good as zero, had frequent arguments with teachers, no friends and the usual disputes at home. I was referred to counseling, but the counselor instead of listening to me, just kept preaching about how I am supposed to listen and respect my parents and elders because they are elders, hence ALWAYS right. Yea, right. So there I was living my life with nil emotional support. This was the time when I developed a deep passion for psychology. I started reading books and different articles related to the subject. Psychology not only helped me survive but also helped me recover and be more comfortable with myself. It made me stronger in so many ways, on so many levels. I was still dealing with my issues, but self-mutilating and outbursts in the form of mood swings decreased drastically. So I was the happiest, till then…’
Forward a few years, i passed out from my school years, all excited we went to visit my grandma’s the usual routine for summers. Days passed and I was enjoying to the fullest. Then one day he came to take me to his house for lunch. He was my mom’s cousin. Everyone knew I was his favorite niece and he, my favorite uncle. So everyone was okay with it. Once lunch was over he said we could go to his room. I was okay with it. He also brought his brother’s daughters who were hardly toddlers. He started rubbing his hands all over me and then the molestation took place. I will let the details just be. On the way back, he made me drive his Activa scooter, and the whole way he shagged me from my back. On reaching home, I immediately changed my clothes and went straight up to the terrace. I called up my best friends who gave the needed emotional support as much as she could over the phone. I did also call my sister and told her everything, but her mother wanted her to run some errands and called her away. So I was sitting there in on the roof, weeping, then it struck me, that, I just CANNOT be quiet about it.
I called his wife told her everything. I don’t know how that turned out for them. Then when my sister was free, I told her let’s tell everyone about him. One by one, we told every female elder in our family about it. Especially the one’s who had daughters. At the end of summer vacation, ended that episode.
Moved on from it, somewhere the midst of my college studies the worst attack on my trust took place. My own brother sexually abused me. But this time I was more prepared. I did go numb, but a few minutes into it I gathered the courage and said, “GO”. There was no physical damage. But the shattering of my trust was irreversible. Days and months passed, things settled down… then a few days ago I noticed his hands going here and there too much.
So here I am again, I keep all sorts of things near me that I could use as weapons including an iron rod under my pillow. I know it is not an ideal situation but refuse to stop living my life.
I know I am strong. So are you people. I know the first no is very difficult. But that is the answer to all tragedies. Friends, say no to all negativities, you are far beyond your perpetrators, and far stronger than them. Hang in there. Fight it out. You WILL get it out of it. You WILL make yourself proud. Others who cannot understand you don’t matter. Forget about them. Concentrate on yourself; don’t let anything deteriorate your health.
We have much to thank this suave lady for!
Annette Marie Sarah Kellerman (6 July 1886 – 6 November 1975) was one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing costume, instead of the then-accepted pantaloons, and inspired others to follow her example. Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville star, film actress and writer. She
On 24 August 1905, aged 18, Annette Kellerman was the first woman to attempt to swim the English Channel. After three unsuccessful swims she declared, “I had the endurance but not the brute strength.”
Kellerman was famous for advocating the right of women to wear a one-piece bathing suit, which was controversial at the time. According to an Australian magazine, “In the early 1900s, women were expected to wear cumbersome dress and pantaloon combinations when swimming. In 1907, at the height of her popularity, Kellerman was arrested on Revere Beach, Massachusetts, for indecency – she was wearing one of her fitted one-piece costumes.”
In 4 minutes, this video-story by Akshara clearly presents both sides of street harassment. While one one hand, women express their discomfort and humiliation at the hands of men. Men, on the other side, openly show how ‘casual’ and ‘enjoyable’ they find eve-teasing (street harassment). It’s difficult to watch but easily showcases how permeated a social problem street harassment is, in Mumbai.
We have come to the dawn of 21st century, in a globalized world but its also a fact, that we still face a lot of patriarchal misogynist coercion. Today was Karva Chauth which even though doesn’t mean anything to me personally but a chance (unfortunate) encounter with a blog post got me enraged and righteously so.
This is taken from the original piece published, at The Unknown Pen.
Here’s my full reaction. -
Before reading this, please read through Ajit Vadakayil’s original post to which this is a response.
I address you as Sir, since you are much older than me and before everything else, the first unprejudiced principle as children of the great Indian heritage, we are taught to respect elders before even God.
Now, to elaborate “the why” behind my almost unruly urge to write to you.
Today is Karva Chauth and while I still remain happily unmarried, all my life I have observed my mother, then my sister and my sister-in-law take the fast. I have seen them starve to the point of fainting while happily carrying on with their routines and work even. Now, I can almost imagine you (and many like yourself) nodding in affirmative agreeable smile. Of course, your wife who served you bed tea within three minutes of your waking up for three decades, wouldn’t deny it either.
I dearly sympathize with your exasperation on the deviling effect the “foreign funded Indian media” on the permeable minds on Indian wives asking their husbands to take the fast along with them. It is absolutely deplorable to expect men to bother about the longevity of their female counterparts. After all, isn’t the centuries-old ritual worth something? In any case, women last longer than men; except when they are terminated in the womb, just around ten million in the last two decades. Expectedly, men need all the prayers and fasting they can get. In any case, sex ratio has only recently plummeted to 914 per 1000 males but who’s complaining?
Moreover, as you wrote, our predecessors never thought of a word for divorce in Sanskrit, the primary language in Hinduism. May be, they couldn’t fathom the adverse effects of foreign-funded Indian media on our culture and moralities.
Let’s not forget, “a Hindu woman derives immense pleasure in sacrifice for her husband” [sic], so who is this media to impose their modern ideas into our women?
But let’s face it! We live in India, that is dichotomized into two – the people of traditional ideology (such as yourself) that many would call patriarchal and innately misogynistic and the other extreme end, the modernists who unwittingly developed the outlook (may be due to their higher standards of education) that women deserve equal place in society. You know, women, who fought for their rights, beginning with suffrage and now, to our horror, they are after banishing traditional Hindu rituals?
Kudos to the husbands for turning up home, on time, as their obedient wives wait with resolute faith, dressed like brides, to finally have that well-deserved sip of water. This scene of traditional Hindu family, where “husband is the earner and the protector of the family whereas the various duties of a wife involves care, nurturing, education and continuity of cultural heritage of the family for future generations” [sic] might seem extremely patriarchal to some but then, how would our values persist without this great heritage? Isn’t this the path to eternalhappiness?
You go ahead and enunciate how Sati, symbolizes the love between a husband and his wife. “The white man goes HOO HAA about Sati, where the widow incinerated herself in her husband’s funeral pyre. It has never been forced on her. When her husband was alive she knows deep in her heart, that he would sacrifice his life to protect her.” [sic] Now some might ask you, if you have a daughter but then, who am I to question?
One question – in your opinion, do the women down South, who don’t observe karva Chauth, not love their husbands? Perhaps, they don’t watch Bollywood movies closely. May be, the wonderful examples of some such miracles of cinema that you present are suggestive enough for the women to follow.
And what do I even say, about the co-relation you draw between a woman’s menstrual cycleand moon. How remarkably you prove the biological benefit of fasting with that of a woman’s healthy periods - minus the PMS and the unnecessary pain. Perhaps, you should send your work to Journal of Women’s Health and the world’s women might take up Karva Chauth. In addition, I earnestly think you should write a book on “how to be a good devoted Indian wife” for all of us to ceremoniously follow.
While I can go on rambling about your enlightening posts around the subject for hours, alas, we live in a world of confined spaces and I’m sure you’d agree.
All in good faith.