As I was reading this post by Amit Varma, I could not resist going back to the recent conversations with friends about their sexual harassment experiences back in India. It was funny that it was one of the topics in discussion during our ladies night out and most importantly all of us ladies had more than a couple instances to share. Most of these instances had a common venue –buses, trains and auto rickshaws and also a common outcome – the girls were too shy to voice their disdain.
Back then all it needed was a ‘dada, ki hocche ta ki?’ (dude, what the hell are you doing?) to solve the problem. All eyes would then be on the guy and in most cases they would dissolve into the crowd or voice a protest like nothing was the matter. In both cases the problem would be solved. Even that was too bold of a move by many girls. So they shut their mouth and discussed it later with friends while some guys kept this ridiculous practice alive.
A lot of this had to do with how we were brought up. Topics on sex were always hush hush. I don’t think many parents even discussed it with their children. Sex was something that happened only between married couples. Hence some guys grew more curious and frustrated while the girls were crushed under the burden of upholding their “family names”. Or else why would someone want to poke and prod a random breast in a crowded public bus and why could the owner of the breast not stop the action immediately? I still wonder…
Some of these girls grew up and laughed about such incidents when they looked back, some learnt a lesson and were finally able to stand up for themselves and some remained the same – still unable to speak up. To all my friends in the last category – its high time you changed that!