Let Us ‘Make A Scene’ Instead Of Suffering This Quietly!

How to handle sexual harassment when we face it in what should be our 'safe spaces'? Let us not keep silent.

So the story begins at when I got my backside pressed inappropriately at my best friend’s 40th birthday party.

Our families have been really close for over a decade, and his house feels like my house. We were there, my whole family – my husband and my child.

We all were dancing, drinking and then out of the blue, one of the men at the party pressed my butt cheek while dancing. I turned around, stared back, and then moved off the dance floor.

This was supposed to be my safe space!

As we all women do, my first thought was shock, and the second – did I in any way or fashion entice him? Did I give the wrong impressions somehow?

Yes I enjoy dancing, I enjoy my drink. Is it the fact that a little while back we all were talking about sex and I spoke casually about it?

Is it because I drink whiskey? Was it because I wore a back less dress ? Is it because I have tattoos… my mind raced in so many directions.

He was there with his wife and kids but then why am I feeling embarrassed. I went up to my husband , quietly grabbed our kid and went home. Upon leaving when the host asked why are we leaving, we made an excuse.

The question haunts me still… why did I leave? I had done no wrong! Why did I not say something there and then? Why did I not embarrass him and had him leave?

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

I also went back in my head and re created the scene so many times and know that I did not propagate the sexual advance.

Today when I think about it. I know why I left cause as women we are taught – not to make a scene, not make a situation awkward.

“How come these things happen to you only?”

This same situation happened again when my best friend’s husband tried to kiss me. At a party – believe it or not – his wife and kids in the other room.

I thought I had learnt from my past experience and if this ever happened to me again I would be prepared. But when this happened again, I first judged myself – am I doing something wrong that these things happen to me.

I had raised my voice after the fact on the first incident? I had after fact told my best friends about it. Now to say something again, I knew in my gut everyone would judge me.

“How come these things happen to you only?“

“Don’t say anything! Not worth having to create problems in his marriage!“

“Feel bad for the guys wife but let’s not say anything!“

I can hear all this and more in person and in my head.

Saving his marriage – how did the onus come on me ?

We are now preparing women for so many things. The Me TOO movement made so many women come out and talk but the one thing that isn’t happening is to train us to “make a scene.“

Speak not after the fact but when it happens.

Reduce the shock value of that moment and hold the man accountable and embarrassed instead of judging ourselves.

The truth is we aren’t prepared for ackward and sudden sexual advances in safe places. As women we are constantly taught to be the peace makers of the family. Our mothers taught us that by practice not just preach. The constitution of women is nurtured by the constant saying “it’s ok, let it go, forget about it.”

We are getting there about responding and reacting to unwanted sexual advances or harassment’s from strangers, at bars, public places. And women are getting stronger and out there .

But we are still not prepared to react at unwanted advances in our safe spaces from people that we least expect it from.

I wonder what would it take and how long would it take?

Instead of sending a women to finishing schools and if they do they should be a section of this finishing school teaching women to be brave in shocking situations.

There should be a class to teach us to “make a scene” – when there is an inappropriate advance, instead of holding the scene in silence in your own head. Be brave to hold the peeps accountable there and then .

If someone who has a family is not worried to lose it on his action, then why should a woman at the receiving end of the action feel responsible not to shake matters?

We need to learn to make a scene and not suffer in silence.

Liked this post?

Join the 100000 women at Women's Web who get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads - you can also start sharing your own ideas and experiences with thousands of other women here!


About the Author

Shikha Poddar

Shikha Poddar a mother & entrepreneur, born and brought up in India is a versatile feminist writer who writes in Hindi and English. She is also known for curating classical music evenings and promoting the read more...

9 Posts | 10,487 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories