Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Weaker Sex

Since as long as I can remember there have been ladies seats in the buses and also there has been a strong opposition to them from the male gender. I remember travelling in buses to and from college and hoping, before every time I entered one, to find a place to sit… hoping that one of the ladies seats is empty. It was not because I was very tired or that I had a huge bag with me, but because I didn’t want to be touched or groped. I didn’t want the man sitting next to me to fall on me on the pretext of sleeping… I didn’t want the man standing alongside me to lean against me when the driver hits the brakes. I have lived in Delhi all my life and trust me, I have never felt safe travelling or being alone, outside of my home that is. And I know for a fact, I am not an isolated case. There are many like me and this is the sad case of our ‘Mother’land. If you are a woman living in India, the sooner you get to know that you would be molested, the better it is. By making this statement, I am not condoning these acts. But, I am just trying to say that the sooner you know about it, the earlier you can do something against it!

I know of many cases wherein a seemingly innocent bus / metro ride turned into a groping session. So, when I found out that the Metro had got a separate ladies compartment I was very sad. I was sad because I had left the city and would not get to use the benefit of travelling in the metro without a man falling all over me!

What surprises shocks me is the reaction of many men to ladies seats and ladies compartments. I have encountered men sitting stubbornly on a ladies seat even if they see an elderly lady standing next to them. I have met men faking sleep and not even getting up after being repeatedly poked at. There are some men who would ridicule the idea of a ladies compartment altogether. I want to ask all these men, how many times have you been molested? How many times had someone tried to touch you inappropriately?! Never, right? I thought so.

What bothers me more is the psychology behind all this? Many men who do it are not hooligans but college students and middle-aged men going to work. I can’t understand that why would a man, going to office on a normal day, want to do that? What does he get out of it? Cheap thrills?! What does he think while getting on the bus – who should I fall on today? What prompts a man, a father, a husband and a son to stoop so low?

Many times the finger of blame has been pointed at the women. How many times have I heard people blaming the woman who had been sexually assaulted by saying things like she doesn’t dress properly or she called it upon herself for wearing something like that. Why it is that it becomes a woman’s fault for dressing up in a certain way rather than a man’s who couldn’t keep his hormones or testosterone in check?!

I dare all the men who keep ridiculing the need of a ladies compartment to dress up as a woman and travel in the buses and metro for a day. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing a skirt, a salwar-kameez or a sari; it doesn’t matter if you are the most beautiful woman or some average Jill; it doesn’t matter if you are young, middle aged or old… rest assured you would be teased, taunted, made lewd comments at, groped, touched inappropriately, whistled at, leered at, jeered at and maybe even followed. After that one journey, I would want you to answer…who is the weaker sex? The one who is trying to live her life on her own terms or the one who can’t keep himself in check?

This Post was originally written and published as a guest column for The Viewpaper - The Voice of the Youth.


  1. I always gave seat to ladies. Though I agree with you, I would not like you to generalize. All five fingers are not the same.

    Simply Speaking "A" Simple

  2. great post...i never believed 'this' world could exist until i heard about it from my wife...it a scary world out there...Salute to all you girls for trying to live your life in your own terms despite all this...


  3. I agree with you as well as with the the above comment that still we cannot generalize. There are some good humans and bloggers still left.

    One observation I really like to appreciate is the fake sleep by the people sitting on ladies seat. This, i myself, have noted many times.

    If you have time, Please go through my blog at:
    Thanks in advance

  4. @A Blogger - True, some chivalrous men are still around... Thank God for that! :)
    Thank you SUB and Rachti :)

  5. and then there are men who stood up to give their seat to other in dire need. It happens not only in India but elsewhere around the world too and sadly nothing can be done concretely to curb this molestation except self introspection.

    Weakest link :)


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