Friday, February 27, 2009

Moral Policing?? Talibanism?? Hooliganism??

To start with and give you some reference to context here are some links not forgetting the Mangalore attack on women in a pub

The latest turn of events where women are straight out targeted in this city ... make me MAD. But what else it also makes me is nervous. I've lived in Bangalore permanently for a good 10 years now & on and off before than. I'm a woman, i perceive myself to be a very independent - no nonsense woman. I've never been one to be nervous of being alone or driving home at unearthly hours, taking autos even past 10 at night. I did all this without even thinking twice. Today i find myself thinking this over three.. four time before I do it and even then I'm thinking am i being stupid.

I hate it. Yes i know that statement sounds like a spoilt child, but i hate this new feeling, this new sense of insecurity, of not knowing if who I am is enough to handle this blatant outright attacks on women. One year ago tell me not to drive home at night alone and I'd have laughed in your face. Today I probably will consider what your saying. I've always believed i could take on a man who tried teasing me, or following me home, or doing anything that has happened to the women in the above articles. I always believed I could fight back, hit them if anything, use a can of pepper spray. Today I'm not sure and again i hate this weak in the knees feeling.

Don't get me wrong here am not saying the women are weaker am saying the women of today are on their guard even more for no wrong doing of their own. Even our men can't seem to protect us enough from these goons, these moral police through any of these incidents that have occurred. In fact today i not trusting easily at all. If i'm in a parking lot in a mall I'm constantly on my guard I look around, the first thing is find entrances, see if there is any other person in there that i could possibly count on .. and constantly looking over my shoulder to ensure am not vulnerable or get caught off guard for that single second. Do i like living like this ? NO!! of course no.

Small instances show me how today how while on the outside each one of us try and have an 'I can handle it' attitude on the inside we have each been developing these new senses. Every man we see in a parking lot, or on a bike when i'm driving home, an auto driver or a security guard i know we are looking at him saying could he suddenly hit me, say something nasty about what i am wearing, and try and provoke me to react ?? WHY WHY should i live in this constant over cautious mode and it bothers me that i can't find a concrete way to deal with this, to get rid of these so called moral police...

The other day my mum had to deal with a nasty auto driver in broad day light slinging obscenities at her for putting on her indicator, ordinarily i know my mum would react, yell back at him and tell him to get lost, surprisingly she was telling me you know i rolled up my windows and locked my doors and let him yell. He looked like a goon with his Big red tikka on his head and i was not taking chances as i had other people in my car. This in broad daylight from a woman who would not spare any man, who tried to cross her or take her on.

So how do we women protect ourselves from it? Is it learning a martial art? Do we decided not to react, let them yell and stay out of their way and if we do that, does that mean i'm weak now or that they are succeeding in silencing me... unfortunately i don't know the answer to that.

I have always irrespective followed certain caution whenever i am alone. But i mean thats it - i've been safe for the last 10 years in Bangalore. Do i think all of that will be enough today? I don't know ... I mean women who i perceived as strong women in our society - head's of ngo's, women in top positions in companies were still all targets of these abusive men and these men got away with every single attack.

Do i sound paranoid or am i just being over cautious for no reason??? Is this the exact reaction this so called moral police want?? Have they actually succeed is doing what they came out to do?? And more importantly .. What tangible action can i take to make a change to this horrific culture that is slowly and stealthy seeping in to our city & society...


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