March 09, 2006

It has a name - sexual harassment.

Here's a post that should have appeared a few days back, am a bit late for the Blank Noise Project blogathon but somethings are better off taken off my system - call it a sort of emotional catharsis.

I am shocked by the number of blogs that have been published recently on this topic. While on the one hand, it is good that so many people are taking the initiative to create awareness, it is also depressing that so many of us have been affected by this disease, for lack of a better word.

I guess it's something that we feel awkward discussing, something that we assume will vanish if we sweep it under the carpet and try to forget. But we don't forget, do we? I have extremely protective parents and still have been a victim to these dastardly acts more than once - in a crowded bus in Madras, outside Delhi railway station, even outside my own house - statistics that I can reel off my head! And try as I might, each incident stands etched clearly in my head, perhaps they exist for a reason? Perhaps these are incidents that we ought not to forget, they need to remain so that the agitation and desperate need within us to destroy this horror stays alive within us, churning deep below, ready to ebb to the surface when the situation demands.

I can't even bring myself to give this base, vile, vulgar crime a name. I hide behind "it", "disease", "crime" - let me call it what it is - sexual harassment.

Blank Noise is a small initiative taken in the right step. Maybe the strength and craving within each one of us to fight will help sustain and make this attempt a worthwhile endeavour.


Kumari said...

Emotional catharsis indeed. Like u said, they remain etched down the minutest detail and soemtimes I get irritated i remember an asshole more vivdly than I remember my first crush. Sad state :(

But hey, most of us who didn't have courage to tell it to our loved ones all these years found the courage to speak out now, so i guess we r moving in the right direction. Soon(count in civilizations), hopefully things might turn out better :)


Subha said...

Yes, it is annoying what scars are left behind by the most mindless acts. The worst part is that the aggressor doesn't even KNOW or CARE that he has caused pain! Yes, I am late for the Blank Noise project also. Hopefully, next year..:)

IBH said...

hey RS, i guess we all women share this common disease irrespective of how we are brought up and where we are from!

as Kumari said rightly it is just that we didnt muster up the courage to talk abt till now! including me! and now that I have, am feeling a bit relieved!

sb said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sb said...

Being a member of the accused community, the male, I do feel infinitely ashamed for putting YOU through such a stress.
It is very disturbing to learn that a flippant, cruel, irresponsible act of lust could affect the generations to come.
It could make what is supposed to be a happy, joyous, don’t-think-too-much childhood of a girl, a ever-conscious, careful, do-not-have-trust-in-men kind of childhood. Very disturbing indeed.

Vekka padren, vedhana padren, thunba padren, thuyara padren. Honestly, I would to be a part of eradicating such a disease in our society if only I know the way to proceed.

Narayanan Venkitu said...

Parents - Can be of big help with this. I wrote this comment in Thennavan's blog a few days back.

In CA, I hear and see ADS requesting parents to talk to their boys about harassment and violence against girls.

Sad yet true.! Look at our stupid Indian movies.!! How does a typical hero..even the top ones act. They are the role models for Suits to Lungi's alike...I mean educated to the people in the streets.!!

Hellboy said...

i too am shocked beyond belief after reading the blanknoise blogs. i know there are morons that go over board and harass women, but i never knew it is this bad. I knew its out there but never knew it is this ugly. i am shocked and trying really hard to come to grips with it.

I may write all I want, say we need to do this and that to get rid of it and so on, but never could I feel the pain and suffering that a woman go through because of this :(

it is one of those times when you feel really skeptical about the whole world and wonder whether everything is messed up

now our women speak up through the blogs, I am amazed at their courage. the courage that helped them endure the blow to their psyche, the courage with which they overcame the trauma in their life. Take it from me, you girls are the bravest. At the same time I am worried about those that need help, some serious help.

Personally, writing a blog and moving on wouldn’t do me any good and I really don’t know what else to do on my part to ease the pain. I will try everything in my means to prevent this from happening under my watch.

Finally, all women out there - stay strong, the way you have always been

Diana said...

to begin with- a very nice blog!
and regarding eve-teasing -it happens everywhere. When i first came to Chennai, i carried a thought that this is a pretty safer place and no such things happen here.People told me that this is a pretty conservative place, so ur safe here. But No! U should travel in the crowded chennai buses once. U will find some real Ba****ds. i agree with kumari, the thought of that bloody asshole comes to my mind first rather than the memories of my first crush.
Keep blogging

RS said...

kumari - amen....*hugs* :)

subha - true... :(

ibh - Read your post...was touching :)

sb - It could make what is supposed to be a happy, joyous, don’t-think-too-much childhood of a girl, a ever-conscious, careful, do-not-have-trust-in-men kind of childhood.

The sad truth...aptly put.

venkitu sir - yes, we can be conscious parents and make a difference...

hellboy - ...heartfelt comment :)

Personally, writing a blog and moving on wouldn’t do me any good and I really don’t know what else to do on my part to ease the pain.

I wish I knew what to do too...I don't want to write and move on but am afraid I will do that too...

diana - thanks :) Like I said, am surprised, shocked at what all am reading related to the blank noise project...

dinesh said...

Agree with most of what's being said here (in your post and comments).

I have seen some people carry out some of these stupid acts. At that impressionable age, due to a big lack of awareness, it was considered brave to do these things. Some of my friends, who are pretty decent people now, also confessed to doing some stupid things when they were younger. What I don’t understand is that there never seemed to be any campaign against this. A few passing mentions here and there. Never bigger than that. Isn’t this an issue? Isn’t this something the government should act a little more seriously upon? Like somebody commented here, parents should talk to their kids about this. Tell them what to do and so on! It is a shame that we wait for a sarika shah to happen, before even a little is done about these things! This lack of awareness, gives people the impression, that it’s acceptable ! What a shame !

© Ramya Sethuraman, All Rights Reserved.