I went out with my father and we stopped to get some groceries. Due to lack of parking space, he stayed back in the car. After buying the things I needed, while at the billing line, an old man came and stood behind me. The first time I felt it, I moved a step ahead believing it to be a mistake. The second time, I had my doubts and the third time, I felt disgusted.
I assume there are a minimum of 100 women that are groped on public transport everyday, just in my city. With almost every complaint, there comes a statement
“What did you do that provoked the man to touch you inappropriately?”
Every time I hear that question, I want to scream “Yeah, she walked up to him, smiled and told him she wants to get a room and so he touched her and she’s an idiot for standing here and complaining !” Am I the only person that finds that question so insanely ridiculous?
There was a recent article I read about rapes and a woman had commented “Women shouldn’t be told how to dress. Men should be taught to keep their pants zipped up.” I cannot quite agree with her. It is so easy to argue with that statement and talk about how groping doesn’t mean he has his pants down. Does that make it ok? And also, you’ll be surprised at just how many male rape victims there are in this world. Just because it’s not flashing on the news or being printed in big, bold letters in the front page of the paper, does not make it non-existent.
That old man’s hand brushing against my back made me question myself because for a minute I wondered whether my dress was too tight in the back or something was too flashy. Then I stopped and told myself that it wasn’t my fault that he didn’t have the basic decency or common knowledge that he shouldn’t be touching what belongs to someone else without their permission. Because here’s the thing :
I CAN CHOOSE TO WEAR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BUT MY UNDERWEAR AND WALK AROUND TOWN AND YOU STILL CANNOT TOUCH ME BECAUSE IT IS MY BODY. HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR WHEN I SAY, MY BODY ! NO MATTER HOW APPEALING OR UNAPPEALING IT LOOKS, IT BELONGS TO ME AND THERE IS NO EXCUSE YOU CAN GIVE FOR TOUCHING IT WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.
No man or woman would like for me to walk into their house and randomly throw their stuff and break their valuable things and say “Oh well” and walk out. My body is valuable to me. You cannot touch it, feel it or use it without my permission and when you do that and the world finds a reason to blame me for it, I find it ridiculous, absurd and unacceptable !
I keep thinking, what if instead of the old man trying to feel up a girl who is young enough to be his great granddaughter, we both stood in line and I just turned around and slapped him and said ‘Well, your face was annoying me. I needed to hurt it.’ ?!
I’m pretty sure the store would have thrown me out, the general public would have cursed me, cooed to the old man and told him I was a bitch. A gentleman in the corner might even call the cops. “How could you hurt someone for no reason?” But when he did what he did, the woman in the next counter just looked and turned her head away like nothing was happening. Here’s the thing. Even if I’d hit him till he bled, the physical scar would have faded but when someone violates you in a very personal way, the mental scar they leave stays with you.
We have gotten to a point where, when you read “Rape” on the newspaper, you say “Oh again” and turn to the next page. It is so common because the abusers and rapists are never fully blamed. There’s always that small part that questions what the victim did to deserve it. The victims hide their faces in shame and some of them never tell anyone about it in fear of the humiliation they might face through all the nonsense questions.
There are still places in this world where the people around the rape victim say “How will you ever show your face to the world again? You must be so ashamed.” To those people I’d like to say, FUCK YOU ! Not just for being so stupid but for killing any courage that poor human being might have when it wasn’t her or his fault and the one who should be ashamed is walking around like nothing ever happened because of people like you.
To the idiots that say “Yeah, a lot of people get groped on public transport. You have to live with it,” you are empowering the criminals and letting them get away with crimes such as stealing (a person’s feeling of safety), trespassing (a person’s private, personal space), hurting (a person’s emotions) and killing (a person’s self-respect). I think, you, dear asshole, are more to blame than the rapists and gropers.
Once we got home from the store, I told my dad what happened and he looked at me and said, “The next time someone does that, turn around and scream. Don’t let him get away with something like this. These are the people that slowly grow confident that the person on the receiving end isn’t reacting and will someday end up raping some innocent girl that goes his way.”
I couldn’t agree more. Stop their behavior when you still can. Teach the douchebags a lesson they won’t forget. One doesn’t have to be raped to feel violated. Even a brushing hand in a crowded bus feels like a blow to one’s emotions and feeling of security. Scream, shout and drag him to the cops. If someone questions you about how you provoked the groper/rapist, shove their name in there too. Let them all sit together and learn how to respect an individual.
Because the world might find a million reasons to blame you for it or tell you you’ll get over it, but at the end of the day, it’s YOUR BODY, YOUR RULES.
21 thoughts on “My Body, My Rules”
Amen! I’d like to point out that I LOVE your response to this absurity of this question: “How will you ever show your face to the world again? You must be so ashamed.” It’s like, the rape victim has been raped, it’s a MIRACLE if he/she has the courage and the self-motivation to continue going to work/school, etc. Whoever asks the rape victim that question completely just destroyed all that courage. I can’t believe some people have the audacity to do that. Rape victims need support, not rude, inconsiderate douchebags.
(PS sorry I commented here twice–I thought the first comment didn’t get published.)
I’m really sorry that happened to you. Stuff like this gets me really angry. I wish your dad would have been there!!! A feeling of violation is one that someone doesn’t easily forget. I’ll pray for you.
Just some things you should think about:
You say that you should be able to walk around in your underwear and people should respect you because it’s your body. You got that right! Unfortunately, that’s not what happens in our world. Even though you SHOULD be able to be respected by guys if you only wear underwear, you should be conscious of the fact that they most likely WON’T. What you wear does influence the way a guy treats you. For instance…
You say that your body is valuable to you. Good 🙂 It should be! But if I can ask a question, if something is really valuable to someone, do they expose it for people to see and treat however they want? Of course not. In the same way, a person that dresses modestly is saying, “My body is valuable; treat it like it is.” And the members of the opposite sex will approach that person with the respect that they deserve. This comes from the fact that modesty teaches members of the opposite sex to look at someone as a PERSON, not just a body. Covering yourself, while still looking attractive, will be able to convey to guys, “I’m valuable. I’m beautiful. And most importantly, I’ve got an amazing personality.” They’ll be able to see your amazing worth in ALL respects.
I’M NOT SAYING YOU WERE IMMODEST!!!! It sounded like you started getting scruples, but the old man was totally in the wrong.
Please reply for further debate or any questions.
P.S. Sorry for the long comment!
Well, to be brutally honest, if I walked around in my underwear, my parents would throw me out.
But the reason I commented on the outfit was because, just like every other country, my country has the “typical Indian wear” and when a woman instead chooses to wear a pair of skinny jeans and a tank top, the general public goes “oh she’s asking for it!” In reality, she’s not. She’s just dressed for the summer. And to make that point is why I said, even if one waltzes around in nothing, it still isn’t reason enough to be violating them in such a way. I hope that explains it.
Haha yeah your parents probably would 🙂
Well, skinny jeans and a tank-top isn’t enough for society to go “she’s asking for it!”, but dressing scantily can be tempting for guys, which is something that a woman can help them overcome by being modest. Skinny jeans and tank-top wouldn’t count as immodest tho 😉
You’re explanations were fine!!! But I’m not sure if I agree with yo. If someone waltzes around in nothing, the reason a person might use to violate them, at least with a lustful stare, is “Well, knowingly or not, she’s tempting me to use her.” Obviously, no one has to give in to temptation, but walking around without any clothes on won’t be helping members of the opposite sex to respect you.
I didn’t actually mean anybody walking around naked. It was like a metaphor. 🙂 In today’s world, forget walking around naked, you could be wearing a bikini at a beach (not the ones in my city) and people will still say “It was too vulgar. She should have known better. She should have worn a one piece.” It’s definitely not just a better, but a safer option to cover up seeing how no matter what the other person was provoked by, part of the blame is always on the victim.
LoL i knew what you meant 🙂
A bikini is a perfect example. I’ve heard a quote–although it was in reference to porn–that I think would some all of this up: “The problem with [immodesty] is not that it shows too much; it shows too little”. Wearing a bikini would urge someone to focus too much on a woman’s body and not on her as a person.
I agree with you! This is a hard topic to discuss though…”blame” is a tough word to work with.
E X A C T L Y.
I completely agree with this entire post, thank you so much for voicing your thoughts. People seriously need to realize that it’s NOT the rape victim’s fault to get raped.
I especially loved your response to this question: “How will you ever show your face to the world again? You must be so ashamed.” Here’s mine. Rape victims have so much courage and so much self-motivation to continue with his/her lives after being raped. It’s just so hard to forget about it and “move on.” Being raped not only violates your physical body, and violates your mental health, your mind. Rape victims will be stuck with that horrible memory forever. And now, the courage and self-movitation is DESTROYED because of a dumb question asked by a dumb asshole.
Rape victims need to be support, and not be shamed by rude, inconsiderate douchebags.
P.S. Sorry for the long-ass comment. I just have strong feelings about rape culture too.
That’s ok. I actually enjoy reading long comments. 🙂
Thank you for the kind words 🙂 I’ve been holding off on this topic for a long time now and I just had to get it out.
Brilliant…what you wrote is 100 percent true…its our body our rule…and the more we remain silent the more confidence these assholes gain…so why not screw their heads…
would you mind if I reblog it 🙂
Thank you. Please go ahead. 🙂
Well written. Hope you and the others who suffer could teach them a lesson. I’m sure you’d find some support from the crowd.
That is an incredibly articulate and true response to something that shouldn’t have happened. Well done using your voice to speak out, where others may have stayed silent.
Oh my gosh that is horrible. I totally agree with your Dad, scream! He probably started out just standing close to somebody and has grown bolder as time went on. I have deliberately smack a man with my bag for standing right up against me, I kept shuffling forward and he did the same so I swung my bag over my shoulder hitting him on the shoulder and chest then said, “Oops, geez you were really close to me weren’t you”. Not much I know, but it made me feel better, plus my bag was more like a work tote that had a laptop and all in it so it packed a pretty good punch 🙂
HA ! I’m going to keep that in mind.. I aways have a tote bag with me.. That’s actually a really good tip.. Thanks 🙂
I figure it is the modern woman’s weapon of choice hahaha 🙂
This is such a sad situation..alas we have no control over classless mentality and sexual perverts. ‘Woman are meant to be loved’ and there is nothing more simple than this. You can respect her, love her, praise her and ever worship her but disgracing her is a sheer shame. Thank you for slapping that rascal, I am happy that you din’t accepted any shit. RIP social conscience..people are fucking uncertain these days
It happened to me once in a bus. This guy sat next to me and at first we had a little conversation. After that he tried to touch me but I slapped his hand. Still, I felt intimidated and couldn’t figure clearly what to do.
By the way, I couldn’t agree more with, “…. the physical scar would have faded but when someone violates you in a very personal way, the mental scar they leave stays with you.” When I remember that situation I’m always like, “Why didn’t I scream?” and so on. It somehow haunts me.
It really does begin to haunt you. What I shared here is one of many incidents that have happened over all these years and in a lot of ways, I feel intimidated and small when I think about it. Though it really isn’t our fault. Sorry you had to go through that.
Ugh… what a pig! If someone doesn’t call him out, he will continue to do it. Gross.