Baggy Jeans and an old smelly sweatshirt, my toe sticking out of a hole in my pink panther socks, I reluctantly ventured out at 7pm to pick up a friend from the main road across the residential compound where I lived. Laughing to myself ridiculously as I put the pepper spray into my pocket, ‘why do I even need to carry it?’ I thought, there were guards at every corner of this compound.
Just having given Nemo a shower, I smelled and looked like a dog. My hair ruffled and my clothes covered in fur, I was basically as attractive as a homeless man with missing front teeth. The path I usually take was currently in chaos with strays chasing people. With dog perfume on myself and not in the mood to run, I took a diversion through the clubhouse, onto a 20 metre road with very little lighting.
Little did I know that that would be enough. From the darkness, two men appeared. One immobilized me by pushing me into a wall, while the other held me firmly by my wrists. Man number 1 had his hands up my sweatshirt, letting his hands roughly explore my chest as if looking for hidden treasure. I blanked out; it was actually like I was watching myself from afar, out of body, if you will, while the other man began to lick my neck. The wet stickiness brought me back to my senses; I kicked, screamed and punched as much as my restricted body would allow me. What I felt next was indescribable as they sunk their teeth into my flesh, piercing it and making me wince. I kicked again, this time I got man number one right in the nuts, and he fell to the ground. Man number two holding my wrists slapped me really hard, twice. I found the strength in me to escape as he loosened his grasp, yanking my pepper spray out of my pocket I aimed it in their direction and ran the opposite way.
I did not ask for it. NO ONE ASKS FOR IT.
If you think women ask for it because of the way they’re dressed, tell that to a woman clad in a burqa or a 9 year old child who doesn’t even know what intimacy is.
I want to be able to walk on the road without an apology. As unbelievable as it may sound to some of you, no woman on this planet, dresses for the occasion of rape. So when Slut Walk decided to; or rather a young 19 year old felt that India too needed a Slut Walk, she was supported by the millions. She was also opposed by the millions.
What I don’t understand is this nation, so rich in heritage and culture is the 4th most dangerous country for a woman, that’s nothing to be proud of. Our history, our scenic landscapes and our attractions of today are shrouded with foreigners afraid to visit because of how unsafe it is.
This movement isn’t just for women, it is for the men too, who are harassed and abused and physically manhandled against their will. No means No.
When did ‘NO’ ever mean anything else?
It angered me to read comments, posts and tweets from individuals who thought that this was a sham, publicity stunt etc. Yes, it is a publicity stunt, our government needs to wake up and protect its women and men from people who think power in sexuality is good.
*Edit: The screenshots above are used to raise awareness and not meant to be an attack against them or anything. If any of you think I have wrongly added or posted it here, show / tell me differently prior to posting this and I’ll make the required changes. Also these are just examples, there are a million more with similar views.
There are a few whom I respected and thought were educated enough to at least hold their thoughts to a cause essential for the women in their lives. For their mothers, their sisters, their wives, their children, their friends.
Somehow we need to educate ourselves more than we need to pick the flaws in this cause. We need to move beyond the name and support its message. Nothing will change overnight, nothing will bring miracles the next morning, but slow and steady wins the race.
Don’t be ignorant, this is as much your country as it is everybody else’s. Educate yourself, read more and then draw conclusions. More importantly, this ISN’T about woman calling themselves sluts, this isnt about an opportunity to go out there and flaunt, this is about equality. If i don’t look at you (no matter how you’re dressed) with impure thoughts, what gives you the right to do the same?
As Phyrodite puts it so eloquently:
“Ever since I marched in a Slut Walk, I have tried to steel myself against some of the criticism thrown its way. It’s hard. Especially when some of the arguments trivialise and ridicule a movement that a number of women and men – both battered by sexual assault and untouched by it have come to believe in.
Slut Walk may be a relevant cause with a misguided name, it may be a cause that resonates with a lot of women, it may be a cause that digs up painful memories for a startling number of men or it may be a cause the ‘elite women and men’ can afford to fight, but it is a cause that has sprung from a fear that is old and crimes that are as old.
Nobody deserves to be raped, nobody deserves to spend their life fearing for their body’s safety and nobody deserves to be shamed for expressing their sexuality or even enjoying it. I didn’t march for the right to be called a slut – god knows, nobody is marching for that. It’s more than the name. “
Here are a few more thoughts you can read to know more:
Also hear it directly from the mouth of a man: Male Perspective
Therefore, before you make a fool of yourself and blame our ‘culture’ know that we have the power to change it, even if it is just one day at a time.
No one has the right to rape or abuse anybody, including sluts.