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Blank Noise | Friday, June 15, 2007

Bangalore, 13th June '07 : Three teenagers — two girls and a boy — were left traumatized after one of the girls was molested by a middle-aged man on Tuesday night near Cauvery Emporium on MG Road. When they called for help, auto rickshaw drivers, who were parked nearby, turned a blind eye and later asked them to "forget it and just carry on".
That is the news that totally ruined my appetite last night. Even MG Road is not safe now...!! And how can people be so insensitive n ignorant....?? Just during the office hours yesterday, I had come across a blog that gripped my attention like nothing else. It's named "Blank Noise". It is a public and participatory art project working both online and on the streets of Metros of India and seeks to recognize eve teasing as street sexual harassment and establish it as an issue.

Now, I'm no social activist or something. And in true sense, not even a good citizen. I'm among those Indians who just crib about their surrounding and India as a whole - "इस देश का कुछ नही होगा". As far as attitude toward opposite sex is concerned, I'm not a Ram, the ideal man, either. I, just as other guys of my age, do look at pretty gals - streets, cafe', workplace. But it is never in an indecent way. I've seen guys who flaunt their 'manhood' by abusing gals on the streets or public transport. That's something really irritates me to the bits. They presume that there will be no opposition or protest. This is reason why such perverts don't hesitate even in crowded places. Other people don't retaliate 'coz "It's not my problem / business". The thing that they don't understand or turn a blind eye to is - tomorrow it can be their sister or friend or girl-friend.

[ Continued in Full Post ]

What makes one violate another humans space is yet another mystery but all I can say it leaves quite a distaste for life. Perverts can be found in all aspects of life and we often tend to ignore. Some of us stand up to them but it has not made a tremendous difference so far.

In such a hostile society and bad times, it feels nice to c a forum like 'Blank Noice' taking stance for the cause of women and humanity as a whole. It is addressing various issues involved in countering this menace. And, on top of everything, it's not any other usual "Women's right activists" group who look down upon every man as hounds. They know the good n the bad, the victims n the abusers. They r not just helping victims recover, they r encouraging everyone to fight back and bring an end to it. And who r 'they'? 'THEY' are not just the moderators of the site 'Blank Noise' but every single person who comes forward to support the cause, guy or gal. No gender war is raging here. 'Aam Janta' is fighting the filthy mud-bloods to make the world a better place to live.

Do give this a visit. You can get involved in this cause in your city, be part of the campaign, share ideas & experiences and many many more ways. I've been going through it relentlessly for the past 6 - 7 hrs. I feel so much shocked n shaken by all the stories. Two observations there that are worth a great deal of thought are -

Varsha says - I always ask myself, why do we have to go through this? Its not possible that so many men could be sexually deprived. Subconsciously, men are fighting for the place that they consider theirs. When they see women on streets, they feel that public place is rightfully theirs and they all are trying to intimidate us. it sounds dramatic, but i think its true."
Amit ken says - If you are a guy and reading this, please keep in mind that your behavior towards women which you consider ‘normal’ or ‘fun’, like whistling, winking, singing, touching or trying to be friends is something which harasses them to a great deal. If you need a proof go ask your sister, mother, wife or girl friend, they go through this harassment every single day.

Some other moving n encouraging experiences that I came across are -
CheekayLonely CrusaderJyothi Iyer
Suvi DograSwarKeshav
AGMelanieReema Banerjee
RedCee KayAshish Gorde

More experience stories can be read at Blank Noise - Action Hero
Warning : Some of the above experience description might seem offending to some people. Reader maturity is expected.

One quick tip (from some writer in 'Action Hero', can't recall her name) for protecting yourself on streets -
On several occasions when walking down lonely roads in the day or at dusk, there have been two and four wheelers with men at the wheel who have stopped their vehicles and waited for me to catch up. At times like this, I make an exaggerated gesture of opening my purse, taking out pen and paper and then very deliberately writing down the registration number of the parked vehicle. The moment the owner realizes what I am up to, he revs up his engine and is off like a shot! I owe this method of "tackling" to my spouse who gave me this brilliant idea. I have shared it with many.

To wrap it all up, all I'd like to say is - Don't keep mum and bear it lying down. It's high time that we fight back. Take a stance.

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