Men can try to be kind, subtle, and reserve. I have met some, but they are the minority. The garbage, the rotten smells, the polluted water/air are part of the abrasive nature in India, but the big one for women is man. We are prisoners night and day, day and night.. Prisoners by glance, by stare, by touch, by attitude, by action, and more. Covered, uncovered, traditional, modern, foreign, or native the aggressive male mentality pervades all. Men will scoff at the notion, but the women feel and nod knowingly to the depth of their physical being.
I went for a quiet walk with a female friend and it was startling the number and type of disturbances by men. I battle it everyday while exposed in the outer world, but the clarity of women as prisoners was stark. During the past week, I have tried a new technique of carrying rocks. When they are staring, acting inappropriate, or otherwise, I throw stones. I never have to throw stones at the street dogs.
A beautiful walk, the first I have thoroughly enjoyed in India, bizarrely it was also the first time in India I have felt actually threatened by the men here.
That in itself is telling since I have clearly become used to living with shield up. The constant staring, undressing with eyes has become so much the norm that it took a physical touch to remind me that women are in danger, from a huge percentage of the male population.
The dowry system, the slavery of the wife/daughter, the infanticide of girl babies. Incredible India, yes, incredible.Wednesday, November 21, 2012 Susan said...
Beautifully stated--thank you. To think that India is only an entry point for the Middle East and more. We need to remind our friends, sisters, mothers, aunts, and more that there is still a lot of work to be done.Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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