Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Blank Noise Project

I was at first cynical about the blank noise project. I was wondering whether those 'road side Romeos ' anonymous hands’ will actually read these blogs and think ' Ah, maybe woman do have souls that might feel violated and I should get back to being a good man.' When I read the other posts , they echoed my feelings so much that it was disturbing.

It has achieved a lot. It's made me realise that this problem is as real to other women as it is to me.
That those invisible untraceable hands that grope your body in concerts, in buses don't only target me. There is nothing wrong with me as an individual except that like other woman I am a pair of breasts and ass in the eyes of these men.
Which is why when I use public transport, I wish I could somehow shroud my feminineness.
It's like when your growing up as a girl, the air around you turns oppressive so you hunch so your breasts don't show too much, you stiffen when you are walking alone on a road and you see some man pass by. Can I help it though? Just like I have a left toe and a right ovary, as a human female, I have breasts.
Chances are that the man is innocent and while seemingly he is staring at you, he is actually worrying about getting fired at work. Huge chances at that because there are a lot of wonderful wonderful men in the world.
But isn't that how prejudicing works. You don't want to risk trusting some strange man on the road by walking normally and singing aloud that song stuck in your head. Lest it makes you seem ‘available’ or some ugly connotation like that,
I am saving up all my writing money to backpack in the North. But as a woman alone I'll have to take 70 times more precaution; that is if I am allowed to go at all. Why why why why?
What is the use of all this liberation and independence if I can't walk alone on any road at any time I want.

I remember once (how can I forget ...duh! to me) On Brigade road, on New Year's eve two of my girl friends and I were thrown on the road and felt up by many men. Whoever came joined in! And the male friends who tried to help us were pushed away.

Another male friend , A , asked me after sometime whether I thought I was doing Satyagraha walking on Brigade road on New Years night.
Sadly , a similar echo floated around in my mind. Because , really, How can I expect a thousand men on a road not to treat the few women on a road in a stampede , as fruit baskets, soul- less objects to grab randomly?

How How How do you change things?


claytonia vices said...

The best thing we CAN do is educate the men (and sometimes even women!!) around us, that women too are humans.... it does help...

ratna said...

u think so? what kind of education are you talking about? if u mean the conventional kind its not asif only uneducated men feel women up.