Confessions of an anonymous woman Society

Keep calm and grit teeth

This goes back to my school days in Nagpur. It’s not an uncommon sight on the streets where men comment about women and girls as they walk near them, especially when the lights are dim. But it is an uncommon experience, being groped by men in the daytime. In the streets of Nagpur, where girls are supposedly seen as the weaker sex, older men take everything out on little girls.

It was around 6 p.m., I was walking back home from my math tuition. This was near my house where the streets were often empty. I was alone except for a man walking towards me. I could see that he was taking a good look at me. As I steadily kept walking, he murmured something and tried to pull my dupatta. I pulled it back and started walking faster, but not wanting to run to my home to give it away. He quickly groped my chest and ran away.

Yet again, on another day, as I was coming back from school, wearing my pinafore uniform which was long enough to cover my knee-length socks, it was lifted up in a second’s notice by a guy who came in a bicycle behind me. Before I could realise what was happening, he grabbed my bag and ran away. I was speechless.

Ask these chaps why they do this, and their response might just be, “We’re only doing what we see in the movies; we just want to have some ‘fun’”. What they don’t realise, however, is that the same might happen to their siblings as well. Will that still be fun? Or if this happened to them, will they still enjoy it? My mother’s advice to me on these incidents is to ignore their comments, as they get more involved when we women respond. Even at 55 years, my mother still faces some worrying incidents.

I foolishly thought that men were weirdly attracted to women who walk and so I got myself a two-wheeler. For some time, there were no bad incidents. After a few months, I was driving to a friend’s place via a highway that was filled with traffic and yet two guys would never leave my side. I tried to drive as fast as possible, to avoid them, but to no avail. When I started going slower than usual, one of them asked, “You free tonight?”

I guess, for them, things never change because all they want is to have fun. Us women, for our part, can only try and stay calm.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 4:19:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/confessions-of-an-anonymous-woman-street-harassment/article7615754.ece

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