Sexual harassment is the worst of it’s kind. No, I’m not trying to categorise or tag pitiable plights that have made a joke out of law and order in the country but I intend to uproot these social evils, only if I knew how. And then it clicked, by talking about it.
Not by lending sympathy but by bringing empathy onto the table of exchange. Only if the other person didn’t judge, only if we weren’t met with victimisation and treated with the stigma attached. In an attempt to achieve the same, a well-meaning website that goes by the name, ‘How Revealing‘ is encouraging men and women, to speak of the abuses they’ve gone through and it’ll make you furious for a change.
Here are a few snippets from the dairies of the brave.
1. ‘I was 7’
“I was about 7 years old. He was a stranger, who had been walking behind me. He took me to an isolated area, made me sit next to him, and when I asked him what it was that he was planning to show me, he proceeded to rub my private parts. He threatened to kill me and my parents. So I let him remove my pants and underwear and perform oral sex on me. My father found out and he blamed my mom, my mom never spoke of it again. No one spoke of it again. Every time I am eve teased or groped on the street, it comes back to me in every excruciating detail. I am 26 now, I have never been in a relationship.”
2. ‘My GF was raped by her two friends.’
“I am writing this on behalf of my wife. We were dating when she was raped. She had gone to visit one of her friend at his home, his two roommates were drinking and asked her to wait until her friend came back. She did but they locked the door, put the music in full volume and raped her. When she came back, she was unable to even stand, bleeding between her legs as they shoved a flower vase up her private parts. In the weeks that followed, she would throw up the food she ate as she had constant reminders about how they had forced their sperm down her throat. A few years have passed now, we are now happily married. But how do tell her that there are nights when she still screams without having any recollection of the screaming episode in the morning? All I can do I hold her close and cry without waking her up.”
3. ‘I was just an 11-year-old’
I was just 11 year old. It was too hot and my mama (uncle) removed my clothes and I was left in undergarments. He gave me the mobile to play game and told me to lie down and sleep with him. Eventually, I felt that he was slowly sliding his hands in my panties and removing it too. I got awkward and nervous because I did not know what exactly was happening and suddenly he inserted his finger in my vagina. I screamed in pain all of a sudden and he kept his hand over my mouth and kept doing that. He forcefully stopped me and kissed my entire body. He kissed my lips for hours and I was continuously crying. After a while he took my hand to his genitals and told me to touch them when I denying to do so he made me do that and I kept crying.”
4. ’28 years ago…’
I was 13 years old. I was an insufficiently masculine child, in a boy’s boarding school. I was bullied by my classmates and seniors, my towel snatched away, to check if I actually had a penis. One of our teachers took a special interest in me. According to him, I walked like a girl, talked like a girl, sat like a girl, carried my books like a girl (although, to this day, I have no idea what any of that means, especially for a 13-year old child). The teacher said this would happen unless I “pulled up my socks.” He drew two lines on the ground, about two inches apart, and told me I should walk with my feet on either side of the line. He didn’t like the progress I was making, and he punished me, by sexually assaulting me in various ways. He said this is what the world would doto me unless I shaped up. This went on for one whole term. I googled him recently, 28 years after the fact. He’s doing fine. So am I, FINALLY.
While this is just the beginning, there is a long way before us, before we shun the evil in its face. Before the survivor walks without any stigma!