Disclaimer: Please excuse my language. Usually I try not to bring controversial topics up with my blog, but some things just need to be said. I didn’t say it in 2010 and now I just have to. This post is definitely a textbook “rant,” and I would typically wait to reread and edit my rants before posting but again, this needs to be said and perhaps the ranting will reveal just how upset, angry, and frustrated I am with this.
I am done being diplomatic. Ever since I first visited Rajasthan in 2010, I’ve been making excuses for the behavior of the men here, trying to find fault in myself for their inappropriate actions and attitudes. No more. There are no excuses. What they’re doing is disgusting and just plain WRONG!
The first time I came to Jaipur on an overnight bus, I suffered silently and uncomplaining because I didn’t want to “rock the boat” about the old geezer sitting behind me who had very active hands in “his sleep.” Or the time when I was walking down the street with my boyfriend and a group of men tried to accost me and in order to avoid the fight that was about to ensue, I had to literally drag my very angry boyfriend away from the growing mob. And I can’t even remember how many times I was “casually” groped walking down a crowded street almost anywhere in India.
And now it’s happening again. And can I just say, I’m SICK OF IT! I’m sick of the smooching noises the men make at me and the salacious looks they give me and most of all, I’m sick of them touching my ass in the streets. Just because you keep walking, doesn’t make it okay.
I was wrong. This is NOT an issue of being sensitive and understanding to a different “culture.” No. For me to have chalked the terrible experiences I’ve had in India with Indian men as part of Indian culture is a gross disservice to Indian culture and to the many decent, honorable Indian men I have met along the way. For that, I am truly sorry.
But seriously, what the fuck, men of Rajasthan?
The sorry excuse of “sexual repression” is just a coverup for sexual AGGRESSION and I’m sick of the lot who are sexist, ignorant, and sexual predators because if you’re following me and hiding every time I stop to try to lose you and yet there you are still behind me a couple of streets down, REPEATEDLY, you are stalking me! And if you touch my ass one more time, I’m going to get all American on somebody and give you a nice, swift kick in the balls.
Yes, I’m pretty sure I’ll get a ton of hate mail and comments about the things I’ve said here in this blog. But you know what? This isn’t me hating on India or the people of India, or even the men of India. I LOVE India in a way that is so intense, it’s hard to articulate even to myself. There’s a reason I keep coming back, and still want to come back again and again. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and I’m pretty sure I’ll keep saying it: I have met some really wonderful, friendly people, male and female, in India. I find this country amazing and full of surprises. Just sometimes, it’s “challenging” and “frustrating” (this is me reverting back to my nice, diplomatic ways).
My only question left is “What the fuck, men of Rajasthan?” What makes you think it’s perfectly acceptable to assault women in the streets? I really want to know because it’s not a culture thing. It can’t be. And I’m not using that as your excuse anymore. If you harass a woman or touch a woman inappropriately or follow them around making stupid sex noises, that’s not culture. That’s you being an asshole.
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME TRY TO UNDERSTAND THIS because I don’t know what I should do when this keeps happening to me and I’m really not the type to get angry and yell, and certainly not to get violent, but when push comes to shove and well, let’s just say I’m getting pushed to the limits of my patience with this behavior.
The Guardian also just wrote a piece on this issue which is just TERRIFYING. I suggest you also read the article to find out more about some of these disturbing attitudes.
And PS. I do NOT flirt (ask any of my friends about it, I totally suck at it) AND I dress like a covered up hippie grandmother so don’t EVEN ask me what I was doing/wearing or I will hunt YOU down and give YOU a swift kick where the sun don’t shine.