Dear Men.

With the rape and crime rates still on the rise in the country, here is something which I’m sure every girl or woman would like to tell each of the Y-chromosome bearing creatures. And no you haven’t heard this before. It was like an unwritten rule. We felt it but we didn’t speak it aloud. And if I don’t speak now, then I think I will be a victim of your chauvinism always in all ways.
You don’t know what it is like when you walk down the street and they stare straight at your cleavage. You don’t know how it feels when you’re addressed as ‘maal’, ‘phaadu’ or ‘patakha’ on a crowded road. When people touch you inappropriately and make it look like they did it by accident. When you’re in a traffic jam and the man in the car diagonal to yours adjusts his mirror so that he can see your face. When a male teacher tries his best to touch or hold your hand somehow. When they pass by you on bikes, yelling and telling you what they want to do with you. When you are commented upon by completely random men even when you are walking with your mother. No, you have no idea how embarrassing it is when “dadajis” and “uncles” stare at you in an unpleasant manner or when a roadside Romeo follows you to your house. Or when you are frowned upon for being a female driver. Or when somebody calls you “madam…..” and smirks.
Yes I am a girl. I have to think a hundred times before I walk out of my house wearing shorts. I see my mother’s worried face every time I go somewhere alone. I am told not to be outside after the sun sets. I get married at an early age. I have to abort my own baby. I tolerate scrutinizing looks all the time. I am asked to dress in an “appropriate” manner so that I don’t get raped. I can’t talk back or raise my voice against mistreatment. You know why? Because I am a girl, a frustrated citizen of a morally dead nation. And because you, males, see me as the weaker sex and because you forget that if I am not your sister, then I am someone else’s.

-Saanica Wahal