Street Harassment has never been an “issue” in India. It’s been there for so long that it doesn’t feel like an issue – it’s just a part of the wider context. Forgotten by the authorities, ignored by Mainstream Media – it’s just something you factor into your everyday life. Your clothes, timings, gestures, eyes, smell, plans and the space you occupy. From the age of about eight or nine, you learn to confine your body to a minimum space on the street – to somehow escape the “sight” of those who harass.
I’ve been following the posts at the Blank Noise Project for some time now. It’s incredible that a group of people have taken it on themselves to build testimonies on experiences of street harassment. From anecdotal to the obvious – it builds sufficient evidence of the occurence not as a one-off, but as an “issue”.
They announce a Blog-a-thon on the issue of street harassment. The post says
You can write about anything related to the topic: testimonies, opinions on harassment, comments about the Blank Noise project, would all be great. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, where you live, or whether you’re a man or a woman – we’d love to have you on board. If you’d like to participate, send an email to email@example.com before the coming Monday (6th March) and we’ll add your name and blogsite to the ‘running’ list of participants on the Blank Noise blogsite so that everyone can see what everyone else is writing about the topic.