I spent the last weekend shopping with a girlfriend. We took an auto through one of the hipper suburbs of Mumbai at 8 in the evening. Till that time I hadn’t been conscious of the spaghetti strap-top I was wearing. I couldn’t keep my mind on what my friend was saying because the driver kept staring in the rear-view mirror (why do they have those inside the rick anyway?) Not for the first time in my life I was conscious of feeling violated, being cheapened just by a stare but for the first time I just stared back. My friend noticed and told me to just put on one of the shirts I had brought. I silenced her and continued staring back. He did too, all the while driving down a crowded road. Then I just told him to stop the auto and let us off. He had the gal to ask “Why?” and then “If you had told me you only wanted to come down the road, I wouldn’t have taken you.” My friend said I should forget it and not make an issue. Then she must have seen the look on my face and she started making excuses to the driver, that we had some urgent work. I felt let down. It was horrible.
I wish I had the guts to do what this lady did.
I can intellectualise and educate and have a voice. But one ordinary man can rip my dignity apart in a moment. What’s more, if I take a stand, even my fellow victims will not stand by me.
This is why I hate being a woman.