Thursday, March 08, 2007

Blank Noise Project

Blank Noise Project is a blog for awareness about eve teasing in some of the major Indian cities and whats being done... I have added some stories below.

Here is a wish list of what many want to be able to do… One of them read...
I want to be able to walk down the street naked. I want everyone else to be naked too. Stark naked. There will be no room for an issue.
- anonymous
Reading it the first thought that came to my mind was,"I’m sure a guy wrote this… :-)". Ok I'm sure there were nobler intentions being thought but that one amused me. After the giggles settled down I thought about the person who felt that this is the only option. I was trying to think of why someone would even consider that everyone should move around naked and couldn’t come up with a reasonable thought flow… and then I just went yikes!!!! which only means that there needs to be a lot more awareness…

Whats the project all about ?
share. talk. inspire. understand. tell. speak. hear. be heard. narrate. voice. throw open.

When did you flip a situation so you could resist, when did you give back as hard as you got? When and how did you choose to confront? When did you become an Action Hero?

Being a 'HERO' is relative . We are interested in knowing how you challenged yourself or didn't feel victimised?

This is an attempt to understand how different women ( across age groups/ cultures/ communities) have dealt with street sexual harassment in their everyday lives. Male bloggers are encouraged to share stories of women in their lives and how they have dealt with street sexual harassment.

So I thought to myself why not. I'll tell you two stories from the few that I have.

Story 1: Walk the Night
This happened during my early engineering days, when I used to stay in a place with a lot of relatives around. We own this huge area with houses all around and a squarish ground in the centre. I have played on that ground since my childhood and at night we would sometimes have bonfires late into the night. Basically what I want to convey is that my sense of security was within that entire enclosure and not just within my home.

My mom would sometimes go for her walks even if it was late in the evening. Along the border of this enclosure there was some construction work going on and some workers were making merry and in high spirits. One of them threw a bottle from the top and it landed about 20-30 meters away from him, with the intention to startle or target my mother. My mother came home and told me about what had taken place; my dad was not at home at that moment. I then decided to confront them armed in a short pant, a baniyan, rubber chappals; with a baseball bat in hand. We climbed up to the second floor where the workers were and finally I stood face to face with them; about 7-8 lean, well-built men. The reality of the situation then hit us, with my mother standing behind me, and we froze. They didn't have weapons but there were rods/bricks lying around which could serve the purpose. They could have easily over powered us if the need arose and then through the fear in my throat, words started to flow, trying to make them realize their wrong doing and bring some sense to their actions. They listened while I spoke, the baseball bat ready for any eventuality.

But then things went out of hand. A third person who was living in that building came to the terrace and tried to get involved, having a previous history of friction with those workers. 'SPLAT!!!!' he slapped one of them across the face. Realizing that the situation was now out of hand I took my mom home and then people, relatives started to turn up from everywhere. In the minutes that followed three groups were formed; the other group on our side against those drunken workers and their friends. People phoned people and the crowd started to increase and after a bit of shouting and yelling, people decided to beat up a few people. We were arguing about the bottle, the workers were arguing about the 'SLAP' and the third party was also arguing for something. In the heat of the moment, things happened :-) as you didn't know some of the people who were on your side. Finally the contractor in charge of those workers arrived and we spoke to him and things were settled, our sense of security still stretched to the limits of that entire enclosure and not just our homes.

Story 2: Flash Light
I was out for a late night movie with friends at Symphony Theatre in Bangalore; three guys, including me and a girl. We were coming out of the movie and crossing the road heading towards our vehicle; myself and the girl behind the others. A car that was parked was heading home and he slowly moved towards the road as we passed in front of him. Then out of the blue that guy in the car increased the intensity of his headlights as the girl passed in front of him. I didn't realize what was happening... in fact I only thought about it when I saw her angrily stare at the guy in the car and the smirk he had on his face... she was wearing an ankle length skirt, made of cotton material. It took me sometime to figure out what had happened but by then we had already moved ahead. The incident took just 2-3 seconds, the others never noticed anything and the girl also chose not to mention anything to us.

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