Sunday, September 09, 2007

Unarmed and Dangerous

Yet another incident I saw today, of a woman being harassed by a few assholes, simply because she was pretty and alone. Its depressing and infuriating. Numerous incidents of harassment on the roads, buses, trains, lately the internet.

I once went into a chat room with a feminine nickname… Funny to see the number of jackals prowling… One guy simply got real hot and heavy without stopping to ask me any questions…

I told him I was a guy…I was already married… I was also secretly gay…I had herpes… I may even have gonorrhea… My last HIV test was 2 years back and I’d been doing ass since then… NONE of this stopped him … The guy was one giant ruling dickhead… An address… phone number … Had to block him out…

My point is there are REALLY desperate guys out there….and dangerous ones… I am writing this for women out there to hopefully read and try and defend themselves…

Am I an authority…Hardly… I am 120 pounds, mostly flab, and 5’3’’ and what I know about any martial art would fit a medium sized bus ticket. All I am putting down is stuff I have learned the hard way. I have been out by myself since I was eleven;

No, I didn’t stay with groups like mommy told me, cause I was a dysfunctional loner, so I have been harassed by males a fair few times. Any woman who says she never has is lying. ALL women of all ages are harassed in India…Its part of a twisted rite of passage. I used to be a trusting kid who grew up mean to handle all the bullshit.

Some things I learned, by doing, reading, etc.

1. Its NOT the provocative outfit that first attracts dangerous attention. It’s the easy game…Later come the outfit and the face, in that order.

2. Most rapes are crimes of opportunity. If a woman looks easy to overpower she is in danger, no matter how conservative her outfit. Be sensible, no stilettos and skimpy outfits in bad neighborhoods or lonely walks. No loose hair, long ponytails, plaits or dupattas either.

3. Stilettos are decent weapons in crowded areas like buses. If a guy gets too cosy step on his feet and screw him good. Also long nails. Go for the eyes. Remember the Miss Congeniality rule – SING – Stomach, Instep, Nose, Groin. In reverse order. In crowded places, make a scene without compunction.

4. Remember, most guys to a greater or lesser extent are lazy pricks. LOOK mean. Look like you will fight tooth and nail. Like with dogs, NEVER show fear. Look the predator in the eye and keep looking. Most people are afraid of people who are not afraid. Fear is not rational. Exploit that. The strongest meanest guy is afraid of the unknown. Be the unknown.

5. If you think you are being followed, go to a crowded place and park yourself there for 5 minutes. If you are followed again when you leave, go BACK to the safe place and call for help. Mobile phone or PCO or whatever.

6. If you think you are being followed and there is no help at hand, stop dead. Wait for the guy(s) to overtake you, then you follow them. They stop; you stop, they go slow; you go slow. Its hard to imagine what one single defenseless woman can do to violent guy(s), but trust me, this freaks them out. Again, fear, fear of the unknown. I have done this a few times, it works, its funny how afraid stalkers get of being stalked themselves.

7. If there is a vehicle following, take down the license plate. Its very little but its passive aggressive. Remember, assholes always fear retribution and you are rarely their first attempt at harassment.

8. Know when to run. An important time to run (this tip from a friend of mine) is when you are in a dangerous fix with a drunk. Run for it. His orientation is impaired, so he may not be able chase very fast.

9. No shame. Let go of clothing slowing you down or burning. I heard the disturbing story of a 14 year old who burned to death because her clothes caught fire and there was a man in the house. She just curled up and died, shielding her body, not even trying to save herself. No shame. Not of your face. Not of your body. Of scars. Of fat. Of being afraid. Of feeling defenseless. Nothing. Fight for survival.

10. Especially for Indian women - Never fear video cameras and pictures. The MMS scandal. How much of a loser does a guy have to be to get his kicks from watching a schoolgirl’s inexperienced blowjob? And how desperate? Mucho. The world is filled with billions of losers. You should not have to live or die by their judgement. Your worth as a person is NOT decided by how much or how little you get laid. You are priceless.

11. Carry a weapon if you can (Pepper spray, half a razor blade, even deo). And learn at least one form of self defense. Be agile and alert. If you are out alone, it is rarely safe.

12. For amorous dates – The danger words are – “If you really loved me, you would do it”. RUN from a guy who makes this argument. It sure as hell ain’t love. Never go alone to meet a stranger. Never drink on a first date. Open a bottle of water yourself and stick to it like glue.

13. After meeting a lot of losers, you automatically develop radar. But still, be afraid. Be VERY afraid. In the words of a feminist – “Don’t speak to strange men. And believe me honey, all men are strange as hell.”

14. Women have a soft spot for the bad guys and this rapidly develops into a blind spot. Its sad but true. Have your own internal code very straight before you plunge into any relationship. What is acceptable and what is not. If something unacceptable happens, protest. If the relationship were true, you would get past it. If not, better a broken heart than a broken hip. Always love yourself more than any guy, unless you gave birth to him.

15. Women ARE physically weaker than men of comparable size. Accept it and learn to work around it. Our strength is not in our biceps, its in our head. Fight dirty. The ego and the groin are the weakest parts of a guy. If he attacks you, go for one or both. Show no mercy.

I do not think guys are all assholes, there are many (okay a few) decent men in this world. But right now, the balance of power is with men. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I do agree, men too can be sexually harassed by women. But I would LOVE to know how a guy gets it up without his brain being in the know. Are these some very “special” men? My point is, there may be emotional damage for these guys, but I have seen pictures of a little girl 7 years old with her nipples torn off after being gang raped. No, I don’t see a remotely compatible comparison.

It is impossible to explain to somebody who has never been sexually harassed how much guilt, pain and humiliation a woman feels. I read someplace about a guy writing his experiences of being sodomized, that he finally understood why a woman never willingly made a police complaint of such a thing.

These are scars we carry for a lifetime. I have the dubious good luck of never being raped till now, but after one experience in a public place, no less, I was badly enough hurt to have to see a doctor. Its absolutely true, how horrific the emotional scars of sexual violence can be.

All said and done, there is no such thing as total security. Somedays, the monster wins. But it doesn’t have to be today and it doesn’t have to be you.

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