Dear Indian Men,
I am the woman on the streets – the handbag-carrying office goer. I’m the student who fiddles with her smartphone; the housewife with a bag of groceries. I am a woman who minds her own business on the streets.
I avoid eye contact with you. Not because you’re all lecherous beasts. In fact, you’re mostly courteous. You knowingly put your hands in ‘safe’ positions in a bus, or offer your seat. Most of you wouldn’t even think of hurting a woman. On behalf of all of us, I applaud you.
But not all of you are the same. Some of you have wink, whistle and rub against me in crowded areas. I’ve been abused, for absolutely no fault of mine. Seemingly innocent ‘uncles’ have stared at me like I was a piece of cheesecake.
At times, I’ve altered my clothing, time, routes – fearing wild stares and abusive words that I might invite. I have cried my eyes out, and been through psychological trauma owing to my existence as a woman.
My heart pounds when a bike passes by me. I avoid conversations with strangers, no matter how good their intentions. My mind is clouded by doubts of an impending attack or a verbal slur.
I am a woman who minds her own business. If you are not at fault, I will never point my fingers at you. Please do not be insecure. Most of us will never defame an innocent soul. We already have countless challenges to deal with, and do not wish to hog the limelight by playing the ‘Abla Nari.’
We are independent, we think rationally and yet, we vow to protect our dignity and modesty. If you are cordial to us, we will hold you in high regard – no questions asked. But if you get lecherous, we will remind you that we belong to a land where the female form is worshiped as the primal force against evil.
The choice is yours.
– An Indian Woman