A woman does not publicly embarrass herself for fun. However, many people in our country sure think so.
Dangal actor Zaira Wasim shared a video on Instagram on Saturday where she was seen crying and sharing how uncomfortable she felt because of a fellow passenger on-board Delhi-Mumbai flight. The man, she said in the video continued to harass her despite being told to stop.
She finally had to share what happened through a social media platform. This was not met well by many chauvinists out there who think it was all for publicity.
Why didn't she react on the flight?
Why did she not complain to the crew?
Why didn't she do this… why didn't she do that?
Enough with the advice you trolls.
Because the problem lies not with her or any girl who is harassed, but with you and your mindset.
The sad part is that despite hearing and reading about a harassment case in newspapers every day, you fail to accept that this is really happening.
Two weeks back Mark Zuckerberg's sister, Randi wrote on Facebook how a co-passenger was making explicit comments about her, "Feeling furious, disgusted and degraded after an Alaska Airlines flight during which the passenger next to me made lewd, inappropriate, and offensive sexual remarks to me."
You don't believe it even now?
The general mindset is that only educated and decent people travel by air. For starters, education doesn't guarantee a person's mindset.
If I were in Zaira's position, I don't think I would have had the guts even to call out what transpired in that two-hour long flight.
I started travelling alone in trains and flights very late in my life. However, now that I am used to it, I still feel uncomfortable. Not because I think I can't take care of myself but because I know I am alone and unfortunately our countrymen are not ready to accept the reality.
And so when the attendant asks me my seat preference at the airport, I ask for the one next to a woman.
I avoid travelling in first AC because then no one will ever get to know what happens behind closed doors.
In the metro, I choose to travel in ladies coach because I have been groped numerous times in a crowded coach and no nudging or hitting has ever helped me travel safely.
I haven't taken a bus in years because I still remember that one time when a man, taking advantage of lack of space, groped me not once but thrice.
Did I start shouting and ask the bus driver to stop the bus?
I didn't. I know I should have yelled and even slapped that man, but I couldn't. Not because I was scared, I was shocked, and I didn't know how to handle the situation.
What these trolls fail to realise is that harassment cannot be proved. How is a woman supposed to prove she was groped or a man touched her private parts?
What is even more unfortunate is that our public transport system is not prepared to handle cases of harassment. The staff is not trained to respond to such incidents.
While Zaira and Randi had the guts to speak up, share their ordeal on social media platforms, many girls out there don't. They get so scared that they shut themselves up and not even share what happened. Like me.
Instead of facing the situation, they avoid it. Like many girls who do not travel late in the night because they are not sure if they would return home safely.
A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt
WAKE UP! WAKE UP to the crime called harassment!