“Every day, I attract unwanted attention from Indian men — even if I am drenched in sweat and sporting a parachute’s worth of cloth (for modesty of course). Cars slow down to pass me, roadside workers stop, and groups of guys get the giggles when I traipse by. Sometimes they whisper. Sometimes they ask for a photo. Sometimes they touch me. Once a man in the market, after staring for some time, threw a grape at my roommate’s chest and winked.
At first I thought it was because of my fair skin. But sexual harassment is rampant throughout India for all young women, regardless of race or nationality.”
This excerpt is from Riane Menardi’s piece in Politics Daily about street harassment, or eve teasing, in India. In the article, she shares her own experiences, covers how men’s violence against women is the fastest-growing crime in India, and discusses the specific problem of eve teasing.
If you’re in India and want to do something about it, you can join Blank Noise to engage in on-the-ground activism. They hold street demonstrations, use art to challenge men’s domination of public spaces, and encourage action heroes to speak out against the harassment.
Also, today a Facebook fan of Stop Street Harassment alerted me to a Safe Delhi Campaign you can join if you’re in that region. They have a funny PSA about making public places safe for girls and women and lots of campaign components you can participate in.