By Lipi Mehta:
A man pinched a woman’s bottom on a street in Morocco and oh, she so did not take it lying down. She turned around and in one clean punch, knocked the harasser out for 2 hours. I saw this 38-second video a few times and each time I did, I realised with greater depth how symbolic this punch is. It wasn’t about this one harasser only; it was more about the rage that comes with how hundreds of women are harassed in various ways every day, something that is evident in how the woman reacts after the man is flat on the ground.
I live in Mumbai, I travel in the local trains, I walk across busy streets, I try and go running on some evenings, I like to sometimes travel across the city to meet a friend – but at all of these times, I am conscious of what my surroundings look like, who I’m with, what I’m wearing, who’s looking at me… because street sexual harassment is a reality that thousands of women in India deal with every day.
While violence is not the best or adequate response to harassment, this Moroccan’s woman instinctive response might ensure that the man doesn’t harass another woman again, just because he ‘can’.