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A Woman Who Goes Out At Night Is Assumed To Be A Sex Worker

Posted: November 24, 2019

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In a recent incident, a woman says she was assumed to be a sex worker simply because she booked a cab late at night to meet a male friend! When will the mentality of our society towards women change ?

She has many guy friends, she is a slut.

She travels late at night, she is a slut.

She drinks, she is a slut.

She wears short clothes, she is a slut.

She has a ‘lifestyle’ – SLUT!

No matter how we try to spin it, in our society it’s very easy to tag women as ‘Badchalan’ – characterless sluts, just because some people are not comfortable with their lifestyle. A recent incident shared by a user on Facebook is no different. 

A user named Prashansa J recently shared on Facebook, a horrifying encounter she had with an Ola cab driver in Delhi. She says that the incident dates back to 17th November when she booked an OLA cab at 12:54 am from Hauz Khas to Malviya Nagar to meet a friend. According to Prashansa, the driver was very polite and helpful but what followed makes us really question the mentality of our society.

She writes, “The ola cab driver was very polite and helped me find the right location because it had many confusing gallis. No creepy vibes.

Then since monday i got calls from an unknown number which i didnt pick up thinking he must be a delivery boy. Yesterday i picked up and this guy named jitender said “****, kya aap moti bagh mein 12 oclock raat ko aa sakte ho, charges kya hai?” I immediately kept the phone thinking it was wrong number then 5 mins into it i realised he addressed me by my name. I called him back and saw truecaller just to realise he is the ola driver from sunday who called me now on thursday and assumed i am a hooker cz i was alone that night and went to meet a male friend”

When she complained about this to Ola, they replied by saying that they are sorry and would refund her money. 

It’s not new for online cab agencies to take the security of passengers for granted. We have seen cab services not responding on emergency buttons, not cross checking driver profiles and what not. Such attitudes by online cab services makes us wonder when will passenger safety become the priority?

Beyond this incident, there is also the question of how women’s access to public spaces is seen as conditional – they should be out on the streets only at particular times or for reasons that society approves of. This is why the cab driver assumed that a woman out at night could be there for only one reason – because she was a sex worker. (This is besides the fact that sex workers are as deserving of dignity and respect as any one else).

Women who travel late at night, whether for fun or work or anything else, are often tagged as sex workers and their choices questioned. It’s high time we question why a women need society’s approval for her personal choices. 

Any human of any gender should have personal liberty in the truest sense of the term. A woman need not be answerable for her choices to anyone, whether it is about the clothes she wears, what time she is out, who she hangs out with or her sexual preferences. 

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