November 21, 2011

Alright don't touch me..

Posted by maithili at 9:49 AM
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My parents are working and from a very young age I was made independent and equipped to face the world. It was the way they brought me up that I never felt at loss. I knew what was happening due to their frank and correct knowledge which they gave me.
My Mummy never left me alone in the care of neighbors. She would carry me along or leave me with my grandparents. Papa never used to allow me to go to neighbors house to play.I used to feel it was unfair that I never got to play when all friends went to others houses to play.
 Mummy would also tell  me, "It is not that we have a problem with your friends or their houses, but we never know who else is there in their house. When we are not at home and you go to their house to play, they might tell you that your friend is home and invite you in. They could harm  you." I was irritated with this argument and felt they were being overprotective. I used to throw a fit and say, "Everyone goes to play at each others house, they come to ours and my friends also go to other houses. Nothing happens to them." Mummy wouldn't say anything but she wouldn't budge from her stand.. Years later I realised how wrong I was.. Things did happen to my friends..
   When I was about 9 years old, Mummy told me all about maturing and what a bad touch was. It was due to her timely teaching I can say that I grew up more mature about my surroundings than others my age. I could scrutinize situations for myself.
The important question after you know what a bad touch is, "Whether it was intentional or unintentional"

Incident 1
I was 10 years old and I had those chubby cheeks. I was used to people pulling my cheeks. 
One day a man from cylinder company had come to our house. My Papa went inside the kitchen to check if the connection was okay. This man was sitting close to me. He pulled my cheeks and while he was taking his hands away it sort of slipped and touched the soft bulge on my chest.. I could have told my Papa who returned in just 2 minutes but I didn't know if it was accidental or purposely done act.. Now when I think back I know for sure what it was..

Incident 2
I was returning home from my classes. There was small path and suddenly a lot of people were walking from the opposite side. A man came rushing and just dashed into me. I was shocked when I realised he managed to grope me. He clearly took advantage but I couldn't do a thing about it because he had rushed and I hadn't even seen his face.. 

Incident 3
This happened when I was in second year of Junior college. We were all giving our prelim exams and most of us were girls in that exam room. A senior professor had exam duty in the class. While most senior teachers signed the answer sheets before giving them to us, this man would first distribute the sheets and then come on a round to sign the paper. He was not from Science faculty and we were not acquainted with him or his reputation.
When he came to my desk I was busy writing my paper. In a hurry I gave him my answer sheet. He signed it and came more closer than required to return it back. He brushed his hand against me while returning it back. I was aghast and confused. Was this really an accident? In the top college of Mumbai? Was this person a pervert? How dare he take advantage of students busy writing exam? I was angry and didn't know what to do. I wasn't even sure if this had happened only to me. 
After a few more days, he again came as the supervisor in my room. This time I was prepared. While he started his rounds I saw all the girls ahead of me shifting a little away and I knew it! This man was doing it purposely to all girls. 
When he came at my desk I gave him my paper and shifted inside. I looked straight into his eyes and he dared not move any closer to me. He knew that I knew and I gave him a dirty look. 
After the paper ended I asked the other girls and each one of them thought it was a MISTAKE until they got to know that it happened with all of us. 
It was a difficult thing to prove and I knew that in a such a high profile college this things will be stashed under the carpet. To be true I was helpless because it was a college of students who were scoring above 90% and most of them wouldn't want to get into a controversy at such a time of their career. I was weak too. I accept that I too didn't feel like getting involved in such a mess. 
The least I could do was inform my juniors about this pervert and tell them to spread it to their juniors as well. Atleast they will be better informed and not be confused like our batch was.

Incident 4
I and Mummy were in a market. It was getting dark and we were going to the bus stop. A short man was walking towards us. He started getting a little closer as he was about to get past me. I had observed his change in direction. I was proved right when he was about to touch me. I grabbed his hand before he could touch me and pushed it away with a force that made him stumble. I knew the tactics too well..

Incident 5
I had gone to my school regarding some work of my younger brother who studies there. I met some of my teachers and I was on my way to the ground when I met our Physical education sir. When I was in school I never noticed or thought of him as someone who could misbehave. He was casually talking and suddenly he put his hand on my shoulder and was putting pressure. I was momentarily shocked and there were few other students there. He asked me something when I replied, "Alright, don't touch me" and took his hand away. He looked embarrassed and well, he deserved that. I didn't think if he was just being casual or was actually having mean intentions. But I was proud that I never gave him the chance to misbehave if he intended to.

I don't have any story that will talk of strength. It might be because of the timely guidance of my parents that I have the ability to sense tharkis. 
I would sound a little old fashioned if I say that one must always keep a little distance. Precaution is what we must take from such situations. I m not very bold and I know that. Its not necessary that you fight back always. It is okay if you don't have the courage to fight. But be strong to get over it, be caring enough to see that no one else suffers, be wise to educate your siblings and children about it at the right age. 

We women have really progressed a lot but nature hasn't given us the same physical strength as men. It isn't always safe to confront people who tease you. You never know if the road side romeo is a criminal.. 
Speak out, complain if you must. But unless you are trained in self defense, do not get into altercations with people you don't know. 


meoww on November 21, 2011 at 3:58 PM said...

no have been brave enough to realise when the danger was close..
and when you took the guts to stop that man from touching you..
its so true you know..
we need to be more precacious..
sooo glad you were fortunate enogh to stay away from such horrid experiences..
god bless you sweetie..:)

cheers !!

meoww on November 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
meoww on November 21, 2011 at 4:00 PM said...

Precautious* :P:P

Viya ;) on November 21, 2011 at 4:14 PM said...

omg! these are the kind of things which lead to more major abuse and rape and what-not... i'm glad you stood up for yourself..
Pepper spray and the swiz knife and and the slide-out cutters are my few defense things..

Dr Roshan R on November 21, 2011 at 4:15 PM said...

sad as it is to say, every woman I know personally has a similar experience to recount... I wish there were stricter laws or atleast better public participation in thrashing these kinda a**holes.

Smita on November 21, 2011 at 6:42 PM said...

The first para has happened with me even, I too used to get angry when denied to visit my friends like that, but now I know the reason of their denial. And You surely have been a brave girl maithili, The 4 incident says it all. That was indeed a very bold and courageous step of yours to do. I salute thy for that :)

Mystical Skeptical Me on November 21, 2011 at 8:36 PM said...

Maithili, this is so good...and absolutely true...being cautious..and you had guts to stand up to those jerks! And you are right, unless you really can handle them, you should call it upon yourself...Loved it! :D You are such a brilliant person! :D

Red Handed on November 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM said...

Hey u really r brave little girl! The incident 4, u could sense the tharki afterall and u pushed him which made him stumble..That was goooood!

Sunitha on November 22, 2011 at 11:22 AM said...

Definitely know what you are talking about. Admire your quick reflexes and brave mentality to deal with these scum at the right time. :). You Rock..

The Updater on November 22, 2011 at 2:01 PM said...

You are awesome Maithili :)
And this happening in a top college, made me raise my eyebrows! But I guess there are despos all around. And you lady, have been brave to handle it :)

The life-a-holic on November 22, 2011 at 2:24 PM said...

I am sure it was the timely advice that helped you because most of these issues are things that happen to a large number of girls. The problem is we don't really understand if it was intentional or by mistake!! And definitely Prevention is a lot better than regretting later

Vinati on November 22, 2011 at 5:15 PM said...

All I can say is that your parents did a right thing in making you independent from a young age.

And the thing about making others or siblings aware about such happenings is really thoughtful.

There is a dark story in almost every woman's heart and I am glad that many are opening up to this platform.
All thanks to you dear. :)

maithili on November 23, 2011 at 10:31 AM said...

@meoww: Thank you girl.. I know being informed is the only way out.. That is why I thought of this topic for that what happened to few of us can be a warning for others..

@viya: sadly every girl has to deal with such perverts.. Spray and cutters all can be useful when you know you will be alone or coming late but in situations like incident 3 it cant help na.. More than weapons, quick thinking is needed in such situations.

maithili on November 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM said...

@Roshan : It is sad that every woman has such a story to tell.. The problem lies in upbringing I feel. If only all men were brought up to respect women and not treat them like sex toys!!! It is not just the road side types na, if a senior faculty member can do it then I feel there is something wrong with the larger psychology of men..

@Smita: yes if not for our parents protection we too would have faced horrid experiences at a age we dint know what was what.. Thank you darling. I wish I was more brave though..

maithili on November 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM said...

@MSM : Thank you sis.. I just hope this month's discussion spreads the message across to more and more girls..

@Red : That's the only time I felt proud of doing something to protect myself.. :)

@Sunitha: thank you so much. It is easy to identify when such people try coming closer, but the threat is not just is the decent looking class of men who turn out to be wilder wolves..

maithili on November 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM said...

@ The updater: Yes it goes only to show that a girl should trust no one and specially in today's scenario where teachers have stooped to levels of molesting young students.. If this was in top Mumbai college, I dread to think what must be happening to lesser aware girls in smaller grades and smaller towns.. Despos are everywhere..

@The life-a-holic: Awareness is the key..there is a very thin line between a mistake and purposeful touching.. Better to be precautious then be a victim..

@Vinati: I m thankful to my parents who taught me early about these things.. I think in today's times girls and even boys should be taught these things the moment they enter schools and face life without their parents watching over them.. No age is too immature to not know danger..
I m proud of the darlings who came up with their true stories and helped each other face their fears.. It is all of you who are courages to talk about it.

Confused Soul on November 25, 2011 at 10:27 PM said...

Maithili, the way you tackled one fellow was brave. And you're right.. To fight back isn't always safe, we need to be absolutely sure about things man!

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