Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:
Have we? It’s good to read this in print at least. Every other day I see news about men reacting violently when a woman even as much as resists his advances. Did anybody miss this news from today’s papers?
Remember the time a college girl was shot dead in broad daylight just outside her college for similar reasons? ()
And if the parents come forward to protect their daughters, this happens –
After seeing stuff like this, will women have the courage to become ‘violent’ as such? I doubt it.
I have been advised by the elders in my family to behave dumb and deaf if ever I hear any lewd comments. “You can’t change them. Insulting them will irk them further. You never know what they will do to avenge their ‘insult’. Maybe they will make your life miserable. Who knows? Activists will say hundreds of things. The only ones who stand to lose are you and your family. If something goes wrong, some people will sympathize, some will say ‘there will not be smoke without fire’ and some people will judge our entire family based on it. But eventually everyone will go their own way. And you and we will be the ones who live with the hurt and pain for the rest of our lives. Be careful!“
I obey this advice. Better to be safe than sorry. At the end of the day, the ultimate losers are only the victims. I don’t claim to have been immune from eve-teasing idiots. Every girl, pretty or plain, would have been through it. It doesn’t matter what dress she is wearing or what lifestyle she leads. But body-language does go a long way. I don’t know how to explain this, but of this I am sure that these so-called eve-teasers would think twice before passing dirty comments at a woman they think of as a possible threat – what if she makes a scene? They wouldn’t deliberately want to get into a brawl with a woman with the possibility of the public arriving to her rescue. I know I put up a very tough face when I’m on my own. There have been instances of men cracking jokes with me expecting me to respond with a giggle or a smart answer. Ever heard of resting bitch face?
Ahem! I have become a pro at this! And this is more than enough to wipe off any unwanted smiles. No, I don’t want to be known as a sweet, pleasant angel to the rest of the world. If holding a face like this can save my dignity, so be it.
I am an Indian woman. People have made passes at me, some of which were extremely annoying, so much so that I actually wanted to throw a crow-bar or something at their faces. But I have better sense than to react violently at these. Ignore and move on. All these people want is attention. Deny it to them big time. Pretend to actually see through them. Like they aren’t even worth acknowledging. Like they’re nothing but an earthworm or something that deserves to remain underground all the time. Don’t even react in the mildest way. Works most of the time. Our lives are more precious than anything. I hope more girls realize this.