Newsandmore...

Team journal

Home Politics Religion Media Biz Society Tech Travel Books Intl. Autos Automobiles
                        Movies   Aviation   Pharma   About Us   Feedback

 
 
 
 
 
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
What can we do about the gropers?
.....

Everyone knows what happens to women of all ages - even little girls - in India if they end up in crowded places such as buses, or trains. It happens to them in alleyways, on crowded streets, in bazaars and bus stops. They get groped, rubbed against, grabbed, fondled.

I knew this. Everyone knows this. Maybe not all know the extent of the problem, maybe some of us guys have always hung around in nice circles and had decent, polite boys as friends. I am grateful to Blank Noise Project for the massive blog-a-thon they organised to create awareness of the incessant harassment of women in India in public places. As a guy, this is not stuff you always think about - except when you are worried about the women close to you. Someone had to make a noise about it, and Blank Noise did that. Thank you, girls. I write this piece because tonight is one night when thinking about it has really ruined my sleep, and I have got up from bed to tap this out.

And, Blank Noise, you have been the source of deep frustration too for me. Because, considering everything, I think you guys are taking a path well-trodden. Similar projects across the Web do similar things. They haven't been succesful abroad, and its unlikely the same methods will be succesful in the rougher metros of India.

I know, I feel quilty that I haven't managed to drag myself for an appearance at any of your meetings in Bombay. That was a bit laziness, but more the feeling that nothing of any significance is going to come of it. And it was your blog itself that made me feel so.

For, the blog-a-thon was a big success in creating awareness. The next step was to sustain it. I am sure that during your most active week, your blog was visited by hundreds (perhaps thousands) of readers every day. And both men and women. Both active feminists and people who have nothing to do with it. Both lefties who blame it all on the ills of capitalism, and righties who blame it all on the Muslim invasion in India. But the blog became practically a slowcoach after those intial days of heady activism. Updates would come once in a few days, and details of actitivies planned were secrets meant only for those who turned up at the meetings. Perhaps you have your reasons, but keeping the activism alive on the blog - and not just using it as a pamphlet once distributed and looked at occasionally - is probably not the right way to do something online. Perhaps you don't think an online campaign has much more to do. Perhaps you know better, perhaps you don't. The blog as the fulcrum of your movement is dead if information is not updated daily, and if possible, hourly. Maybe that was never your intention anyway. In the end what can a few bloggers do?

What worries me even more is - where do you go from here? For those of you who don't know about what Blank Noise does apart from the blog, they have meetings, discussions and street interventions. By the last, what they mean is that they try and attempt to change the character of a place or street by some kind of demonstration. An example was what happened in Bombay recently, when a few women and some men took to the streets, each wearing a flourescent letter of the alphabet, and standing side by side, they formed the words - Y R U LOOKING AT ME. They also stood around, individually, wearing 'clothes they would normally wear', on the footpaths and street corners, were leered at by men, got into minor verbal confrontations, and posted on the blog about it.

I am sorry to say this, but if I know anything about men and potential harassers, you have failed miserably.

The character of a place or street wouldn't change with an artistic protest such as that. The would-be harassers would look at you, look away as if they had nothing to do with it, and do what they felt like the next day. My top-of-the-mind suggestion on what could change the character of a place will never work - a 10 story tall, illuminated illustration of a man groping a struggling woman in a train, in full public view for a year. It could work in theory - the Balbir pasha Aids campaign did. But I would probably go to jail for offending public sensibilities if I tried anything of the sort.

So your artistic protests will be ignored, and my shock-and-awe won't even get off the ground. So where do we go?

My frsutration arises out of two things: One, street harassment is alive and well across the world, in spite of large variations in race, economics, culture and geography. The Indian man who is sexually repressed feels he can grope anyone; the men in permissive societies grope less, but make up for it with crude sexual remarks. So is it ever going to end? If someone could point out a place where it barely exists, I have some hope. Maybe, then perhaps we can learn a few lessons from them. Two, it is possible to sensitivise kids to it at an early age so they don't grow up to be gropers in the future. But in a country like India with its innumerable layers of classes and priorities, such a thing would take half a century to bring it down to the level of verbal street harassment.

Let us not say - such things take time. Things which take decades to work on don't happen. Everyone gives up on it a few years down the line. It is embarassing and outrageous that something that affects fifty per cent of the population of our metros is not on television or newspapers on a daily basis. So any ideas, anyone, on some carpet bombing on street harassment?
posted by a correspondent @ 2:56 PM    
16 Comments:
  • At 9:10 AM, April 27, 2006, sashay said…

    "I think you guys are taking a path well-trodden. Similar projects across the Web do similar things. They haven't been successful abroad, and it’s unlikely the same methods will be successful in the rougher metros of India.” I think you guys are taking a path well-trodden. Similar projects across the Web do similar things. They haven't been successful abroad, and its unlikely the same methods will be successful in the rougher metros of India."

    I don't get it-you could'nt get your ass off to do something about it-yet you sit here and write about how it won't succeed????The question of whether something like this will succeed or not succeed is irrelevant but what is amazing is that with people like you who DO NOTHING ABOUT IT will sit and write(not so eloquently, I may add)about how it won't succeed?what're you trying to prove???you think because a bunch of women stood on the streets and spelt "Y R U LOOKING AT ME"-all the men are going to suddenly have a change of heart and say"oh wow look at these women with reflective stickers on them...we've been harassing them for ages.”. and then burst into tears and have a change of heart.? do you think these women have no common sense??...they are not trying to change the world they are just trying to bring awareness and if they did bring awareness to someone pathetic like you, who is indifferent, apathetic ("I haven't managed to drag myself for an appearance at any of your meetings in Bombay" WOW you must be really busy watching television) and strangely proud of it then I think they've admirably succeeded


    P.S:if this was some kind of cheap trick to generate traffic to your site by rubbing off on an issue that HAS GENERATED AWARNESS while your blog has postings about important issues that matter like miss Kentucky and the Indian idol then you've succeeded congratulations.

     
  • At 12:35 AM, April 29, 2006, Matt said…

    To make myself clear once again:

    1. There are a lot of issues which are important - and one cannot take up all issues. So some amount of analysis on which needs one's moral support, which needs financial support, which needs physical presence is required for me. In my judgement (which could be wrong) I disagreed with the effectiveness of the means Blank Noise employed - not with their intentions or motives. Which calls for an article. If tomorrow I agree with their means, I will be there to take part.

    2. The story has four points. a) That the issue is serious, b) that Blank Noise is trying to do something about it, c) I don't agree that their means are effective 4) Trying to find a better solution, failing, and looking harder. I see you have latched on to point C.

    3. For some people, doing something is better than doing nothing. Fine. For some others, looking harder till the right solution comes along is important. That's fine too. What is not fine is not being able to distinguish between someone who does nothing, and someone who's looking for something better.

    4. Blank Noise has defintely created awareness. We just ask for better results, and not from just them but anyone who can do something about it. haven't you ever been asked to get better marks in school?

    5. We get more traffic than the sites of some of the average newspapers in India. We hope some of that traffic will try to read and understand complete sentences.

    6. The issue will remain after the deaths of you, me, and Blank Noise. Let's say we agree 50 % to what Blank Noise does. Let's say we agree 100 % to the need to do something about it. I don't see the crime here. It takes a little bit of a cool head to see the big picture and see who your enemy is, and and who your friend.

     
  • At 2:55 AM, May 08, 2006, Anonymous said…

    grabbing of women is a very classless act. It shows that you the grabber have no game what so ever. The other day a man tried to grab my wife. He thought that sience I was an american with a Paki wife, that he had the right to speak and touch my wife in a distasteful way. Well I kicked his ass up and down some fort in hydrabad. Maybe he will think twice before trying to call her reputation into play.

     
  • At 12:51 PM, May 29, 2006, obc voice said…

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 12:56 PM, May 29, 2006, obc voice said…

    thanks for the good wishes.

     
  • At 2:06 AM, June 01, 2006, Laura said…

    To Down with Shadows-

    Why does groping still happen? Because you won't believe there's hope this will end. Because you won't stand up to do ANYTHING about it.

    "Fine," you'll say, "let the men grope and harass the women.. There's nothing that can be done about it anyway..."

    That passive indifference is absolutely sickening for me to hear.

    As a western woman living in Bangalore, who's been grabbed, stared at, sexually harassed, for the past year.... its not the typical "causes" that infuriate me most in India-- such as devastating levels of pollution or poverty-- but people like you who are entirely apathetic.

    You've identified that public groping is a problem. Congratulations. Now get with the program.

    Your excuses "what good can come of demonstrations" "Blank Noise is not effective" and "I'm waiting for something better" are the callous, insensitive mantras that several millions people- your countrymen- collectively whine to avoid responsibility. Its disgusting.

    If you want a solution, BE a solution. Do something about it.

    I'm positive that any ideas for improvement you can give to groups like Blank Noise and others would be gladly received. Movements like Blank Noise will only be successful if people join together and share ideas to create a better society-- and safer streets for women to walk on.

    But please... please save us from another miserable, cowardly, apathetic post until you've gone out and tried to make a change.

    No one wants to hear you whine. Especially not those who are part of the solution.

     
  • At 12:48 AM, June 02, 2006, Laura said…

    To Down with Shadows-

    Why does groping still happen? Because you won't believe there's hope this will end. Because you won't stand up to do ANYTHING about it.

    "Fine," you'll say, "let the men grope and harass the women.. There's nothing that can be done about it anyway..."

    That passive indifference is absolutely sickening for me to hear.

    As a western woman living in Bangalore, who's been grabbed, stared at, sexually harassed, for the past year.... its not the typical "causes" that infuriate me most in India-- such as devastating levels of pollution or poverty-- but people like you who are entirely apathetic.

    You've identified that public groping is a problem. Congratulations. Now get with the program.

    Your excuses "what good can come of demonstrations" "Blank Noise is not effective" and "I'm waiting for something better" are the callous, insensitive mantras that several millions people- your countrymen- collectively whine to avoid responsibility. Its disgusting.

    If you want a solution, BE a solution. Do something about it.

    I'm positive that any ideas for improvement you can give to groups like Blank Noise and others would be gladly received. Movements like Blank Noise will only be successful if people join together and share ideas to create a better society-- and safer streets for women to walk on.

    But please... please save us from another miserable, cowardly, apathetic post until you've gone out and tried to make a change.

    No one wants to hear you whine. Especially not those who are part of the solution.

     
  • At 3:37 PM, July 29, 2006, Jack said…

    What a funny thread ? I would suggest all of you to just have a look at this duscussion board:

    http://64.33.59.128/cgi/chikan/index.php

    Have a Nice Day !!

     
  • At 1:21 PM, November 24, 2006, Anonymous said…

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 9:07 AM, November 30, 2006, Anonymous said…

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 7:26 PM, December 02, 2006, Anonymous said…

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 9:39 AM, December 04, 2006, Anonymous said…

    You're all against me!
    [URL=http://addiction-alcohol-drug-program-treatment.uefhv.com/cocaine-alcohol.html ] cocaine alcohol [/URL]
    [URL=http://celebrex-heart.xffkv.com/vioxx-celebrex-heart-attack-risk-fda--.html ] vioxx celebrex heart attack risk fda [/URL]
    [URL=http://uab-dental-school.uefhv.com/ ] uab dental school [/URL]
    [URL=http://celebrex-order.xffkv.com/order-celebrex-online--.html ] order celebrex online [/URL]
    [URL=http://drug-and-alcohol-awareness.xffkv.com/drug-alcohol-awareness-training.html ] drug alcohol awareness training [/URL]
    [URL=http://opportunity-in-veterinary-medicine-career.uefhv.com/career-in-medicine-opportunity-veterinary.html ] career in medicine opportunity veterinary [/URL]
    [URL=http://dental-insurance-plan-san-franc

     
  • At 12:29 PM, December 04, 2006, Anonymous said…

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 7:40 AM, December 08, 2006, Anonymous said…

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 5:58 PM, December 11, 2006, Anonymous said…

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 3:51 PM, December 13, 2006, Anonymous said…

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
Post a Comment
<< Home
 
 

PREVIOUS STORIES

CATEGORIES

ARCHIVES

 
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • May 2005
  • August 2005
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • July 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • May 2007
  • September 2007
  •  

     

       

     

    Atom Feed