Would You Please Leave Us Alone? We Are Not Your ‘Issue’

Posted by Aanchal Bumb in Sexism And Patriarchy
April 14, 2017

“Bachelors not permitted as tenants.” This is what is written outside my society (Konark “happy” homes). Bachelors are criminals and therefore must not be permitted in the society. We, the bachelors are a threat to the peace and well being of everybody in the society and therefore, I sincerely believe we should not be given a place to stay anywhere as since we are unmarried, we can create a nuisance which a married couple obviously doesn’t. Bachelors, specially students, should never be allowed to rent a place to that extent that it should be made an offence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 (threat to the society, you see!).

It was the very second day in our newly rented house. Unaware of the so called “society rules” (which were never told to us), we invited a friend over to see the place. Aren’t all of us fascinated with house warming! This friend who was denied entry in my house, a house that I pay rent for (reminder, it is a flat and not a paying guest facility) was a boy with two legs, two hands and a face just like me. The guard created a scene on the spot.

Oh! C’mon, it is a big deal! After all, it was the society’s reputation at stake. A boy entering a girl’s house. No way! We students should have no right to invite friends over. My neighbor on arriving at the scene questioned me as to why a boy needs to enter my house. I somehow fail to understand who was she to question me about who is entering my house. I mean not that we were entering her house. Funny! Isn’t it? After the prolonged discussion and us trying to explain to them that the friend (male) will leave after lunch, they still denied him entry and she in fact remarked “go, take a hotel room!” No, it wasn’t embarrassing for us at all.

It has been a year now in this society and somehow because of my immaturity (I am a student, you see), I still fail to understand why, for the past one year, we have been denied our privacy. I fail to understand why this particular aunty asks the guard, “where are these girls coming from at 10 pm?”  And why would she tell some third person that, “these girls wear shorts in their house.” Simply, why?

I have never asked anybody in the society as to where they are going. I have never judged somebody over the clothes they wear. I have never questioned the 60 year old aunty staying opposite to my house as to why a man is entering her house or if she alone at home. I respect privacy, but why is it that my privacy has been exploited all this while.

It will be highly unfair if I don’t mention that the society’s “rules” were amended for us. After, we spoke to the secretary of the society she said they will allow boys to come in the house but only during the day time (you know what can be done during the night cannot be done during the day). At least we could work on our assignments together. She also mentioned that every guy who comes in has to make an entry with the guard.

Justified! But why only boys? Why not my girl friends? And why not everybody who enters the society (ours is a small society, so nobody is supposed to make entries)? Then one day suddenly my friend was denied entry again. The guard said it has been discussed in the society’s meeting. What! I did not know that my society has meetings as well. I wonder why is it that I was never invited for these meetings. Because what good will a bachelor’s opinion do!

Bachelors living alone are subjected to moral policing at the hands of the society and their neighbours. Their personal is assumed to be open for analysis.

Well, I think the entire problem of my society members is that we should not have sex in our own house. So, it is best if boys don’t enter. But I think they did not consider the other side of the coin. I am a lesbian. I need no guys to enter my house to have sex. I think they also worry about us having paid sex. I really want to tell them that prostitution is legal in India.

What I do behind the closed doors of my house should be none of your business. I am not your issue. I do not need that aunty coming to my house and telling me to put curtains because somebody might see me from outside. Sounds ridiculous to me!

Next argument that is mostly given to students is that they create noise. I just want to say I know what the aunty next door watches on TV and at what time. All the kids in my society play right outside my window. But no, all this is not noise. A married couple is not capable of creating noise because whatever they do is necessary, even if we are being disturbed by it. I know when the uncle next door has his birthday. Of course not because they sent us cake, but because they were singing a bday song which when we did was noise and everybody complained.

I forgot to mention this brilliant incident. One day we found out that the guard jumps into our backyard to do the cleaning (trust me, we have a door to our house). On complaining about the same, the secretary aunty thought of it as perfectly safe. But she, the same person, believes that my boy friends coming in my house is a threat to my safety and security. If something happens, what will she (whose name even I am unaware of) tell my parents?

Dear aunty, you do not have to tell my parents or anybody anything. I am an adult, I am capable of taking full responsibility of my actions and please stop faking your concern. Please, leave us alone.

To all those aunties who have denied us our privacy, I hope nobody treats your daughter like this. I hope nobody looks at your daughter the way you have looked at us. You have judged us all through. Please don’t forget, we may not be your daughters but we are somebody else’s daughters.

Housing rights is not a luxury but a necessity.

To all those who are interested in our (bachelors) lives, please grow up!

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