I am not all about lipstick, mascara and kajal. I am not all about going to the parlour and getting waxed. I am not all about cooking over and over. I am not all about toiling in the kitchen day and night. I am not all about attending kitty parties and gossiping around. I am not all about posting pda pictures on Facebook. I am not all about tweeting every moment of my life. I am not all about teddy bears and soft toys. I am not all about clothes and shopping. I am not all about glam-ups and high heels. I am not all about cleaning the house and handling your mess. I am not all about rash driving and accidents. I am not all about poor financial management. I am not all about being scared of cockroaches and lizards. I am not all about being a cleanliness freak. I am not all about crying to movies. I am not all about being a daily soap addict. I am not all about being an object of your sexual fantasies. I am not all about my hip and breasts. I am not all about docility and submission. I am not all about being used and dumped. I am not all about being my parent’s burden. I am not all about producing progeny. I am not all about being a mother. I am not all about chastity and devotion. I am not all about manhandling and subjection.
To know my story, you need to dig profoundly. Your descriptions are only a simplification of my uncanny existence for your convenience. I am a woman and my personality has a lot more substantiality to it than your prescribed bunch of definitions embedded in stereotypes, prejudices and hypocrisy. For once if you attempt to excavate, your humanity will meet a new peak. You will realize how since time immemorial I have been battling against your obscure comprehensions of my identity. You will realize how brutally you have handled me. Keep yourself in my place and you will recognize the sheer ignorance you have shown to me. My presence has been a puppet of your presumptions. Astonishingly, the truth will be a shocker to your finding. What i have, you have never seen. Come, explore my life, my struggle, my identity crisis from a closer, tranquil, real, unbiased level, you will picture the reality, the one you have never seen, heard, known or imagined.
There I was. A bright, young, hopeful thing, stepping into the grown-up world of having a career, living away from home, and other exciting things. I’d even bagged a job in the big city, where I’d always wanted to live. My friends were here, my boyfriend was here; and life was going to be a happy, chill, affair.
A few weeks into it, it happened. I found myself being bothered by it.
The eyes. The shameless, perverted, staring eyes.
I spend about two hours of every weekday travelling to and from work. Most of what I’ve learnt in the 5 months since having been in the city, I’ve learnt in those two hours.
I’ve learnt how to nimbly side-step, and walk swiftly away from someone who I know is trying to intentionally brush past me.
I’ve learnt how to walk while shielding my chest, so that it is not easy to stare at, and cannot be touched innocuously with the hand/elbow/shoulder.
I’ve learnt to always have an object in my hand, like a phone or an umbrella, which can be used as a weapon to administer blunt force.
I’m a young woman, so it is a given that my body is everybody’s to admire, and enjoy. I’m a busty girl, so I should not complain about being ogled at, and for having invited desperate squeezes. I wear T-shirts and jeans, and sometimes even cropped trousers, and tops with wide necks. So I must learn to shut up and take the cat calls, whistling, and singing of appropriately rowdy Hindi songs. I like to stay out late, have a few drinks with my boy-friends, and hug them hello and good bye. I must learn to accept the fact that sometimes, strange men want to touch me too, and it is their right to stand too close to me in buses, to rub up against me, to graze my arm, thigh, butt, boob while walking past.
I’m a young woman, fresh for the taking; and I must get used to it.
The two hours of commute every day are like a minefield. I always have my headphones on, to drown out the offensive muttering. I have my head bowed down, to avoid the piercing eyes. I make myself smaller, in an effort to not have my personal space be invaded.
I make myself do this twice a day, every day. I do not feel safe in my country, and I loathe to think about the time I will have to raise my baby in a land that is slowly descending into barbarism.
It’s getting to me, and I don’t know what to do about it.
By Dhruv Arora: A few days ago, Emma Watson delivered a game-changing speech at the UN #HeForShe launch event. Emma spoke about feminism and why it is impo
what. the. fuck.
did they actually think they will get away with this?
absolutely incredible. for those not familiar with the current Indian situation, see this for context.