Couple of months ago, I had to attend a conference call at around 7 p.m. I stayed back and by the time I was done, it had started raining. I reached home at around 10. My mother had gotten worried and to be honest I was quite shaken myself. Living in a city that goes to sleep at 8, doesn’t always make your life easier. Anyway, the next day I told the Project Manager that henceforth I’ll take all late calls from home because well, India is not a safe place for women. That she is a Dane and well informed about the rape cases here helped.
As a single woman having lived all my life in this country, I have come to ignore petty incidents that might surprise or even shock women in the western world. Drunken men leaning to make their dicks rub against my body on buses, middle aged guys using verbal profanities in crowded places or scary looking guys stalking me for days. Ya kind of like been there, done that thing.
So are all Indian men perverts? Well no, but some of them are most definitely are. But my issue is not their sexually perverse behavior. My deal is something that I feel is more serious.
You see, most of these rape cases involved attackers who belonged to the low strata of the society – bus drivers, cleaners, etc. Most people tend to think that it’s the illiterate men who pose the greatest threat to us. I kind of disagree. My biggest problem is with the so-called progressive Indian men who do all sorts of sexist things without batting an eyelid.
I remember in one of my jobs, my manager was this stern but nice lady who was bullied by a bunch of team members. Much later, I discovered that one of the guys had hoped for a promotion before this lady came in. To say that he didn’t like that would be an understatement. He ganged up with some team members and started humiliating her right in front of everybody.
I remember having a chat with the lady several months later. After hearing what all they did to take her down, I told her, “You and I both probably know that female authority doesn’t go down well with Indian men.” She just smiled. Every now and then, I hear men making random comments about women using too much make-up or not getting married. Funnily, they all claim to have some insights into the female psyche. Sigh, they have no idea!
So you see, it’s not just perverted men that we have to encounter and deal with on almost an everyday basis. English speaking men earning high salaries are not so different, are they? Just goes onto prove what I believe in very strongly that being an Indian woman is no cakewalk.