1. When I was 6, I took part in some competition and the photographer for the same was asked to prepare a portfolio. While changing my clothes, he pressed my chest area and told me to call them booboos.
2. When I was 10, while playing in the park, a random man came and told me I look sexy and that he watches me every day there.
3. When I was 11, a friend’s elder brother wanted to play “rape games” as a part of the chor police regime. The idea was to have a woman grabbed and pushed till the good cop comes and saves her.
4. When I was 13, my “boyfriend” thought it was his right to shove his tongue down my throat so I can have my first “kiss”.
5. When I was 16, a man in the metro stood way too close and sang “tere masst masst do nain”. I freaked out and deboarded. He followed me till I reached home.
6. When I was 18, a date thought my opinions were a turn off and if I shut up and listen to him, my life would be better. To prove his point, he thought “choking” me while making out would be hot even when asked to stop.
7. When I was 19, a man in the very crowded blue line metro pressed his erect penis against my butt. When asked to move he apologized and moved a little. After five minutes, his hand slid up to my front and he groped me. Whatever happened after that, three people asked me why I was in the general coach and not the reserved one.
8. Same year, while in a new city, an auto wala took me to a random street and was masturbating while driving. Once I realised this, I asked him to stop, left the area but realized that he was following me.
9. Last week, while sitting in central park, a random man walked up and told me I look hot. And I was scared. Not flattered, scared.
All these incidents are real.
I haven’t even included the daily stares or the comment karna or whistling.
I haven’t included the horrific incidents I’ve heard from my friends and family.
I haven’t exaggerated anything.
I haven’t included the blatant sexism or the online harassment I’ve dealt with.
The point of listing all these is definitely not being the “victim”. I want you all to understand that when somebody is talking about harassment, it isn’t a joke. I remember all of these and so many other things VERY clearly. So when I say they scar people forever, they really do.
Since this justification was oh so important for most of the ignorant people who were shouting about “not all men”, here. I don’t care if all men aren’t rapists or sexists. I really don’t care. Because THAT IS NOT THE POINT. But you need to get out of your privilege bubble and LISTEN to people who are talking about these things.
Because as a woman, I AM SCARED TO DO SO MANY THINGS THAT I REALLY WANT TO.
The fear is real.
Just like most of the incidents.
WAKE THE FUCK UP, PEOPLE.
(P.S. I urge all women to talk about their experiences out loud because you deserve to be heard. I understand talking is not the only solution but it is a start. Also, anybody who wants to share or discuss this not online but with somebody, I am here to listen. 🙂
And please don’t ask me what I did to “save” myself later or what happened in most of these cases. Thank you.)