The Slut Walk Delhi happened on Sunday 31st July 2011 and even if the number of people present were much lesser than expected, it made a point. A number of articles were written for and against it in the newspapers and when it happened it got front page coverage.Wasn’t Awareness the goal?!?!

The articles written against the slut walk only strengthened my conviction that the Slut Walk is necessary because people (educated women and men) still think rape and sexual harassment are the victim’s fault. The slut walk is not only about victim blaming, it is about making the streets safer for women at any time of the day, dressed anyway they please.

I was talking to some younger friends –  guys who are students at the university, and when I told them the number of times I had been harassed they were like ‘What? Really! does that really happen? I have never seen it happen?’ That’s why movements like the SLUT WALK are necessary so men and women (who have miraculously never been harassed) are told about it. Thanks to the Slut walk and the conversations it led to, 4 young men around me are aware of street sexual harassment. That alone could be worth the Slut walk for me!

To read about the origin of the walk and some worthwhile opinions about the purpose of the walk read Indian Homemaker’s blog post on focusing on the real issue and Bohemian Rhapsody’s blog post Yes means Yes and No means No.
Read also Feminist Fatale’s experience at the slut walk LA and what it ‘taught her about her activism‘ for an interesting perspective.

For those who think the word slut is not appropriate for an Indian movement, I learned the word as a 13 yr old walking back home from school in my uniform, when a man called me a slut and I ran back home to check the dictionary. SLUT! left a mark on my body image and I wish I could have been at the Slut Walk to own it.

The Blank noise  survey indicates the highest number of votes for ‘attires eve-teased in’ as Jeans and school uniform and I think in my own life those two categories work too and Salwar Kameez. I was studying in a girl’s college with a Salwar Kameez dress code, the objective of the dress code must have been to protect me from street sexual harassment as they were no men in the college. Yet, I got abused, groped, ogled at, called names; men, young and old sang their perversion out loud, masturbated against my arm and showed me their precious privates, from cars, bikes, buses, bicycles and autos. So sexual harassment has no age nor socio-economic status and certainly no dress code!

The sense of guilt of being harassed perpetually, no recognition of my suffering from others but blaming of my attitude or clothes has made me ask myself before stepping out if I am asking for it (whatever that means!!). Though I repeat I was mostly dressed in Salwar, or jeans or my school uniform, when I was harassed, so I need not have necessarily questioned my dressing style, but strange are the ways of the mind and societal conditioning. I am trying to break the cage everyday and every time I get harassed (Yes it still happens!) the cage gets a little stronger. This is why I would have liked to be at the slut walk and claim my body back.

HURRAY to the SLUT WALK to its name and more to its objective and HURRAY to all the WOMEN and MEN who were there!

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