I have been a Bangalorean all my life and have faced several groping incidents as a child, teenager and adult – it’s a given in Bangalore at any crowded street/bus on any given day. It is sad that women in turn are asked to dress ‘modestly’, not step out alone or late, not make eye contact, look down and keep walking, be careful or resort to these ‘weapons’ to safeguard their bodies in public.
I have even been warned by so called ‘well-wishers’ not to retaliate because these perverts are capable of doing anything – from buying easily available cheap bottles of acid to throw on your face to slashing you with a knife, to even murdering you in broad daylight – we all hear about these crimes against Indian women every single day – all this for just for one moment of ‘indiscretion’ (read retaliation) on your part.
Pervy Auto drivers in Bangalore are known to elbow boobs as you get in to an auto.The tailors tend to graze a little too close to your boob while taking measurements. The guy behind you in the bus will press his crotch against your back every time the bus brakes. Some stranger will inadvertently brush his hand against your butt while walking on a busy street. That 60 something waiter will put his elbow out as you try to manouvere your way in a Darshini – Gropers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, religions, professions and regions of India.
One thing they all have in common though – is that they are men. Just not enough of a man to treat a woman with respect! They just can’t take no for an answer. Hell, a woman’s no even means ‘yes’ to these psychos.
The repressive sexual environment, lack of education, no sex education, misinformation from media, lack of parenting, sexual perversion, porn addiction, lack of law enforcement, the idea that groping is not really a crime, that a woman is asking for it by wearing something or behaving a certain way – The Indian mindset needs a change of pants. Bollywood propagates and glorifies stalking. Eve teasing ‘heroes’ forcibly kissing their so called love interests while singing praises of her eyes and other body parts is de rigeur. It’s all ok and according to Bollywood and popular opinion, the woman supposedly enjoys the attention. I sincerely hope all this changes in my lifetime. Till such time, women need to be alert, fight back, report and the authorities need to be taught to be sensitive, make it easy and safe for women to report incidents, to punish the perverts, to take instant action – and not pooh pooh it. ‘It’s not a big deal, he just groped you, it’s not like he raped you’ – Nice Attitude India.