I am pretty sure everyone is sick and tired of listening to how women are molested and sexually assaulted on the Delhi metro, because it happens to almost everyone. However, if it sickens you, if it irritates you, you are part of the problem. That is because you don’t listen and therefore, you don’t stop it. You think women should either get used to it or do something about it like complain to the police (yeah right, like they are going to listen). The very first thing that I hear when I talk about these issues on social media is, “You are merely a social media activist. You cannot do anything in real life” or “If it actually happened to you, why didn’t you report to the police?” Today, I am going to shut down all these irritating and futile questions.
Day before yesterday, I was travelling in the Delhi Metro with three other people. Two of us were sitting in the ladies’ seats. Two men came, thumping their chests and showing off their muscles and sat down beside my sister. They sat so close to her, pressing against her body, that she had to tell our male friend to move that side so that she’d be next to our other female friend. After some time, I noticed those two men rubbing their dicks while looking at me. I was sitting opposite them. Another guy boarded at the next station, and while trying to take the seat next to me, sat on me (even when there was at least the space of a hand in between)! When I objected, those two men (who aren’t even involved in this matter) replied, “Oh baap re baap!” They were extremely big and huge, and I didn’t dare say anything there.
Today, while my sister and I were changing from the pink line to the blue line, two guys, instead of asking her to move, started pushing her from behind and making lewd faces. I turned and I saw it and instantly shouted at them. They started telling us how we were blocking the path and how they had a right to do it. Instead of asking my sister to move, they were pressing against her and not saying ANYTHING, and when I objected, this is what they replied with. Obviously, people around us actually thought they were right. When we explained to an elder man what had happened, he asked us if we wanted to go beat them up. But by that time, they had disappeared, and they had been laughing all this while. My soft-spoken sister also grew extremely angry today.
These are the cases of sexual harassment that almost every woman has faced while commuting in the Delhi Metro. But there is absolutely no stop to it. We cannot report to the police because they start victim blaming (this has happened twice with me in the past), and they refuse to take any FIR without us providing proof. Where do we get the proof from? Where do we get the proof that a man standing behind me touched my butt repeatedly in public because there were too many people and he could get away with it in a crowd? How do I explain that I know he did it deliberately because it happened for as long as the crowd was there? How do I explain that I know a lewd expression on a man’s face when I see it? This is something which we cannot explain to the police. We don’t expect these patriarchal cops to understand what problems we are going through.
Secondly, on being a social media activist, if this piece irritates you, sickens you, kindly be a part of that change that you want to see. You are part of this problem because you don’t care enough. When we complain, you tell us that we file false complaints; when we don’t complain, you tell us that we are being ‘social media activists’. One way or the other, we cannot just win, right? So, I am very happy being a ‘social media activist’ because this way, at least, someone is reading and getting sensitised.
And to the men harassing people in the Delhi Metro, one of these days, you’re going to get it really badly. You’re going to get caught and then there will be no way out. I hope that it happens soon, and I hope that your female family members also find out what exactly you think of them. Because if our bodies are for merely for your fun, so are theirs.