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It was a warm summer afternoon and I was walking home after class, which was in a supposedly decent residential area. The streets were relatively quiet with few people around when I was approached by a middle-aged man on a bicycle. Naming a school located nearby he asked me for directions. I was looking at his face while explaining and so obviously did not notice that his fly was undone, until he suddenly interrupted me saying, “So will I find anyone there to suck this?” Shocked into silence I fled the scene while he continued shouting after me. For a long time afterwards I never took that road again.
Another time, I was sitting in the aisle seat of a crowded local bus when I happened to have another open fly thrust into my field of vision. This time the man was having a field day blissfully stroking himself while leaning onto the mass of bodies surrounding him. There have been countless instances when phantom fingers have crept up slyly and pinched me or some idiot has “accidently” bumped into me on the bus. But this was the final straw. I very rarely take the local bus anymore.
What did I do to handle the above two instances? Nothing. Have you ever been tongue-tied in an argument, but after the person has left you think about all the smart things that you could have possibly said? I feel much the same way. I wish I had learnt some kind of martial arts, so that I could have given the bicycle guy a kick right where he chose to expose himself. I wish I had had the mind to atleast scream obscenities at him. I wish I had had the guts to pull up the lecherous man on the bus. But I did nothing. Because I am supposedly the docile and polite good Indian girl who is conditioned not to cause trouble, not to create a scene, not to attract attention, not to stand up for herself or to speak aloud about such “embarrassing” situations. I am ashamed to admit it but I accept that I simply escaped and ran away trying in vain hope to avoid or atleast reduce the possibility of such incidents occurring again. But there are numerous women out there who don’t have that choice. Even in the face of continuous harassment they need to go out there and do what they have to do.
You may well ask, what is the point of me writing about something which happened quite some time back and which is probably just a miniscule part of all the more horrible atrocities that happen every day? Nothing really. It’s just a rant. I’ve had it within me for a while and I’ve often fantasized about shouting it out to every flasher that one might have the misfortune to come across. I need it out of my system. I’ve simply decided that enough is enough. I can afford to take a taxi or an auto instead of the bus. But, as a woman I can no longer afford to keep quiet anymore. And that is why I am writing this.
What’s up with you flashers? (No pun intended here) Seriously, do you think that irregular piece of flesh that you choose to whip out so proudly is going to charm anyone out there, making them go weak in their knees and into total submission?! Honestly, what on earth do you expect when you go around flaunting it to the next woman who walks by? Do you really think that it is so exquisitely beautiful and that everyone is simply dying to catch a glimpse of it? If so, here is the plain truth. No it is not. So just stuff it right back in, zip up and get the hell out of my life!
Anne John loves to play with words and calls herself a reader, writer, explorer & dreamer.
A Few Torn Pages From My Street Harassment Diary
Harassed On The Streets: It’s Not My Shame
Why Are Indian Women Afraid Of The Streets?
If THIS Is Sanskaar, I’d Rather Remain A Non-Sanskaari Woman!
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