I am a woman
“no ur not…ur justa girl”
“ur a girl..behave like one”
“gosh u look like a boy”
I have a face
“ur so cute”
“u have a funny nose”
“your skull has a weird shape”
“nice thick hair”
“madam your hair needs to be smoothened. You could also try L’Oreal’s latest hair colour”
I have a body
“hey miss matchstick”
“did he say ‘nice ass’ to you…hahaha…where is it..show me!!!”
“he grabbed your ass???? On the streets! Wtf!”
“girl…men wont give a damn unless you have big boobs!”
“snigger snigger..so are u anorexic?..snigger snigger”
“wow..you look like a french model!”
I wear clothes
“ur skinny, u can pull anything off.”
“please don’t ever wear a sari till you put on some weight!”
“oh my god..that cb bitch…what kinda clothes does she wear?”
“if u wear t-shirts like that..you will attract unwanted attention. So stop making a big deal about harassment in the workplace”
“u look so sweet in shorts..wish I had the guts to wear them!”
“what, you left your dupatta at home?”
I hate dupattas…they are potential killers
“yeah u say that cos u aint graceful enuff to carry it off”
“they are lajja vastras..don’t you know??”
I hate duppattas even more….
I believe in God
“U cannot go to the temple if you have your periods”
“Navarathri is a celebration of shakti…of the ardhanareshwari”
“how can they emulate Krishna..such a flirt!”
“that they made Sita do an agneepareeksha..”
“Sita needed the lakshman Rekha to stay within her limits”
God has created me – a beautiful wonderful woman
“she called you ugly? Don’t feel bad…have u not heard the story of the ugly duckling?”
“you are beautiful…and I love you”
“I used to think ur pretty, now I only see you as someone really smart.”
I am….what I am…
As for what you say, I really don’t give a damn!
I am me, constant self
I am me, ever changing self.
This article was composed for the blank noise blogathon, but please note that only certain parts of it deal with harassment. It’s more about being a woman, reflecting on womanhood, the good times, the bad times, the uncomfortable times, the soft, the sweet, the rough…. but more importantly, it’s a celebration of womanhood, to take in the smirks and the smiles, the punches and the caresses, the colours and contrasts, and continue to love every single moment of being a woman.
Happy Women’s Day!
This is about a blogathon being organised by the Blank Noise Project, an initiative I am currently involved in. The Blank Noise Project is a campaign (active in Bangalore, mobilizing slowly in Mumbai and Delhi) that is trying to fight against eve-teasing. For more information, please click on the blog link ‘What Women Want’.
To recognize Women’s Day, we’re organizing a blogathon for Tuesday, the 7th of March. Blank Noise is asking other bloggers to post about their experiences of sexual harassment – as a victim, perpetrator or bystander – at work, at home or in the public sphere. On International Women’s Day, which is March 8th, it would be exciting to see the theme of harassment become audible on the Indian blogosphere. If just you guys got on board, I think it would spread like wildfire.
If you want to participate, email email@example.com to let us know – then on March 7th, we’ll link to all the participating bloggers from the Blank Noise homepage, and hopefully it will be an archive that will help us understand and stay angry about harassment. For the time being, it would be great if participants posted on their blogs in anticipation, to spread the word. Spread the word in other ways, too.
BNP’s target audience isn’t really the blogging community, but the Mumbai and Delhi arm of the campaign is a young one and this will be a encouraging step, whether effective or just symbolic, towards interventions closer to the street.
Do participate…whether you’re a guy or a girl