Confessions of a ‘Slut’

by Aarushi Mahajan

 

(Note from author: The intent of writing this article was to share mine and some other women’s experiences and thereby get students to introspect. It would be naive to think that these instances of harassment are in anyway limited to National Law University, Delhi. The point of the article was to highlight that a culture of harassment is all pervasive, cutting across all kinds of student campuses.

Our university has developed a vibrant culture of debate and discussion owing to the several initiatives run by different students and faculty members. This has provided us with the opportunity to develop our own independent thinking which I believe is an essential part of university life. I am thankful to the university administration for generously supporting these initiatives both in terms of financial and infrastructural support. And I hope that other university campuses follow suit.

This was not explicitly stated earlier because the author thought it was obvious from the tone of the article. However, certain comments have made the author realize the need to state this explicitly as viewing it as a particular university’s issue is misguided and undermines the larger cause.

This clarification has also been added to the article on the University’s website.)

 

When I joined college, I fit perfectly into the stereotype of a girl from GK-2. I had lost 12 kg before coming to college – starved myself, puked constantly, and gone to the gym – was waxed from head to toe and wore branded clothes (from Sarojini). I decided my outfits a day before and scoffed at those who still used their NLUD bags. I barely spoke in public and was slowly given the label of a ‘bimbo’. I can still remember when we were called to the third floor to ‘interact’ with our seniors. They made us sing this cheer:

“Oh my god, I think I need a manicure,

The sun I swear is burning up my gorgeous hair.”

We did it multiple times and the seniors called me in front of the other girls, made me do it alone and asked them to follow me. I was shy at that time and slowly felt my heart sink. I was extremely upset, and even as we were returning to the first floor, I ran back upstairs to tell them that I wasn’t a bimbo. I felt the same when our VC saw me one day and said that I ‘looked like a flower girl’. Two boys from my batch used to curtsy when I crossed them and called me ‘Princess’. I cried multiple times that semester when I realised I wasn’t taken seriously.

In my second year, I had my sexual awakening and was keen on finding a boy to have fun with. I had spread this message through friends and this became a joke of sorts.

I was close friends with a boy from fifth year. We hung out a lot, and what fascinated me was everyone’s expectation that we would date. It struck me that a ‘slutty’ woman could never be expected to have anything but a sexual relationship with a man. (Here, I’d like to add that the feminist politics behind the word ‘slut’ are complex and I do not claim to fully understand their nuances. I am simply using this word here to emphasize on the label I received in college).

I remember how there was the possibility of a certain boy in class liking me, and how his friends arranged for the person sitting next to me in the library to get up and let me sit with this boy. There was another friend in my own batch who had sent me a message saying that “main tujhpe line maroonga, chaud main, and you’ll like it.” Their sense of entitlement hit me then. There were so many expectations that I’d give it a shot.

In my second year I dated a boy in college for two months on a sudden whim. He policed my body, mocked my body hair, my weight (I had started getting fatter then) and did not appreciate rumours regarding my promiscuity.

I had in my second year become more interested in campus politics, with a push from friends and a few seniors. I started talking more and discussing things I had taken for granted and started getting angrier at the apathy I was engulfed in. I started questioning my immense privilege, and realised that I could do so much more in this place. I had an amazing support group and they helped me gradually let go of my superficiality and engage in more meaningful pursuits. I developed the courage to reply on common id email threads and started feeling slightly more comfortable with my body. I make no claims to have been able to fully understand, let alone shed my privileges, and do understand that everyone has lived experiences shaped by unique circumstances. I acknowledge the burden of my privilege, and it is with this cognizance that I write this.

I was dumped in the winter holidays. It was disappointing and terrible. But nothing was worse than when I heard that certain boys valorised him and metaphorically patted him on the back for putting this girl in her place! Once when I was at the Amul shop, I heard two boys from the second year discussing how I had become a used commodity and no boy would want to touch me anymore. He was the stud, and I was the slut.

Third year came. I started gaining a little more confidence and had the courage to walk by myself, sit alone in the library etc. (things I was too conscious to do earlier). I still had not spoken in class yet and sat on the first bench because I was too conscious to give my attendance from the back. I started thinking of how I was reading up on feminism, and I was still so conscious of my body and kept wearing tummy tuckers. I also heard about horrible moral policing from the administration and I decided to protest about the dress code.

It started on an individual level. I started with see-through tops, deep tops, crop tops, tops with holes, skirts, a combination of the two, and then the dresses. Till now, I did not have the guts to wear anything unwaxed.

And what happened was amazing.

The first day, I began with a yellow top. Extremely deep. I could hear whispers as I entered class and people staring, but no one said anything to my face.

Then, I wore a transparent blue top, and that’s when things went downhill. One of my best friends in class sat me down in the canteen and tried to figure out the reason for this behaviour. He explained the boys concerns and their feeling of being uncomfortable. He asked me where the line was: Would I wear a bikini to class next? He told me that it perhaps seemed like I was just challenging people on campus and I wouldn’t wear these clothes outside, or at home in real life. Also, that I should lose weight if I planned on looking hot. This was all said in a ‘joking manner’, but broke my heart because it was so patronising.

One day, I took off my bra in class from inside my shirt while standing in the middle of both rows. I saw glances and giggles, but no one said anything. I do this quite often now, and I hear the occasional ‘Why can’t she put it in her bag?’, ‘Why can’t boys take out their vests?’, and ‘This is too much’. From what I gather, it was mainly boys who felt inconvenienced, uncomfortable or amused.

As I started wearing skirts more frequently, I was told in a joking manner that some boys think I’m doing this on purpose to incite them, so they do something with me, and I file a sexual harassment complaint. The boys conveying this information did not seem to see how problematic this was. I told them this went along the lines of ‘she’s asking for it’, how a girl dresses only for the male gaze, how such arguments are used to justify violence against promiscuous women and how they think that as a member of the Anti Sexual Harassment Committee, I go around hunting boys for harassment cases. This just adds on to the lying woman stereotype as one who hates men and her mission is to put them through misery. One senior actually said that girls like me would go to professional workplaces and if someone so much as looked at us, we would yell harassment. This only trivializes the personal experiences of women who have been harassed and mocks their decisions. It is demeaning and degrading and is blatant disrespect of what women have to endure on a daily basis.

Slowly though, I felt as if people were getting accustomed to my clothing, and I too, began letting my stomach and fat thighs full of undergrowths from waxing show. I could observe other girls experimenting with their clothing across batches. But I could also still hear things like ‘the boys are now okay with it ‘cause you look hot’. One boy discussed with one friend of mine how he loved a tight t-shirt I was wearing, how he wanted it for himself and how he had a new favourite colour. Of course, my dressing was subjected to their approval. There were a good 2-3 weeks when I just could not walk to the back of my class because I hated the way certain boys stared.

There was an incident where Pearlita’s phone buzzed in class. A teacher walked off because she didn’t own up, and the class went crazy. A boy came to the mic and put it beautifully: “You call yourself a feminist, but then don’t own up to things like this”. All the while glancing at me, Pawani and Pearlita. The entire class clapped.

In other incidents, when teachers have sometimes said sexist things, certain boys have said, “Where is your feminism now, why don’t you intervene?”

In another contrasting incident, I was trying to point out to a guy in my class how very few girls continuously ask teachers questions in comparison to guys (this has slowly started changing in my class), and how he was enraged and so angry for me bringing feminism everywhere. When we discussed how intention was irrelevant and it was the woman’s perception and reaction that mattered, he was perplexed and just began wondering out loud how hard it is for men to do things without being accused of harassment and how they would have to check everything they were doing and perhaps it would be safer for them to sit in their hostel. This same boy shouted at me while I was trying to tell him the bigger picture regarding girls’ participation in sports in college, and he conveniently started talking to the girl beside me. I had been dismissed as the angry hysterical woman who made no sense and was no longer worth engaging with.

Basically, men can selectively demand that we show our ‘feminist side’ and fight against injustice everywhere, but, on the other hand, we must be calm and subdue our emotions.

Another incident is that of Maria George’s (first year, second semester). She and another friend often said hi to a boy in our batch, even though they had never spoken to him before in their life. It is possible that he felt mocked, and as though they knew he was shy and were taking his case. The next day, in a five-minute break, about twenty boys stood up, screamed “Maria!!!!!!!” and made faces at her. She stood in front of the class. The entire incident was recorded. She left the class. None of us said anything. She talked to the boy concerned, and he said he hadn’t organised this, but her ‘HIs’ and ‘BYEs’ were insincere. This violent aggressive behaviour reeked of entitlement from the boys as to how dare she do this and she needed to be put in her place. I asked one boy friend of mine about it, he said, “Bahut ho gaya tha, kuch karna padha, apne aap ko kya samajthi hai“. I wonder how they can differentiate these actions from the rage a jilted lover feels as he throws acid on a woman rejecting him or men who hit women for speaking back to them. I still feel disgusted with myself when I realise how I was a passive bystander to her harassment and public humiliation and bullying.

Then, of course, I can’t talk about the last semester without addressing the infamous laser incident. I was semi-nude then, and the light fixated on my huge boobs for 10-15 minutes. We kept dancing. The perpetrator still sits in my class with me, and I’m certain many boys know his identity by now. But that incident has been forgotten, and as the male mediator from my batch had said when we were called back for the fake apology from the boys, “No cross questions, no interrupting, no formal complaint, and no talking about this incident from now.” The boys had said that enough was enough and we had to accept this apology.

Many boys apologised for being duped by the ‘Not All Men’ argument and the ‘your form of protest should have been better’ argument that the perpetrator used beautifully to his advantage. But none of them bothered going back to the hostel to find out the real perpetrator, The apology was made, elections happened, the girls shut up, individual boys said they’re against sexual harassment… why even dwell on it further? Everyone knew that the real perpetrator had not come forward. The boys would not challenge the silence that had fallen and wanted to forget that they were ever accused of something like this.

One boy told me that a particular boy would not have harassed me since he had a girlfriend at the time. Another one told me that they wouldn’t have intended it. And another told me that there was no fair hearing. We tried to address their arguments, but could not shake off the disgusting feeling we had when boys tried to come and individually teach us about our harassment.

Perhaps someday, I will have the guts to confront my perpetrator while his popular friends surround him.

The holidays came. I went to Australia and finally had the guts to wear a bikini in public. I felt so empowered and liberated that I made it my profile picture and Whatsapp dp and felt so happy for loving my fat body. My happiness shriveled up when a male friend of mine told me my class boys had discussed the picture and that it was sent across some random Whatsapp group. I instantly freaked out, I asked for screenshots, but there was no reply and it died down. Some boys denied the existence of such a group and till date I have no idea of what happened.

We came back for the sixth semester. I had realised that the ex-boyfriend kept staring at my body all the time and made me feel highly uncomfortable. I tried to send across messages through people to tell him to quit it. I was later apprised that he constantly referred to me as ‘randi‘ and said other things dehumanizing me and objectifying me to scary levels. Of course, there was immense fat-shaming and this was said in public, in front of people. But it still seemed to continue.

Here, I would like to mention that though I do fall on the fat side, I do have certain privileges and my shaming cannot be compared to other women on campus who may have different kinds, (some worse than mine, some not) of harassment and bullying for their body-size. This post is reflective of my individual lived experience and is not representative of the diverse kinds of body shaming women have faced in life, and on campus.

I was told by a senior that the people in college are people I’d probably work with in the future, how I should be cute but not sexy and how I shouldn’t be a ‘slut’ as it would impact employment prospects. I had also been active on Tinder and was told by many ‘well-wishers’ to not tell people about my sexual activity, because boys won’t like it and no one will want to do anything with you if you’ve slept around.

The ‘Abish Mathew incident’ happened. I wore tiny clothes throughout Kairos and was constantly asked where my bra was. On the first day, I wore a loose top and as we went to dance on stage, I had a boob slip. I didn’t pay much attention to it then, but later heard that people had seen it, talked about it and there was there was a rumour that some boy had been able to take a picture. I still do not know who it was.

On the last day, I had worn a tube dress with no bra. As we came out from the auditorium, everything was extremely heated and everyone was shouting. I was slightly buzzed and also had an adrenaline rush. As I was surrounded by fourth years screaming at me, I felt two boys’ hands touching me from behind and trying to pull my dress down. I shrugged them off, but was too overwhelmed to figure anything out. I did not draw much attention to this because of course, the drunk ‘slut’ would lie. I also recall a few girls discussing how I could claim to ever be sexually harassed, especially since I was wearing that dress. As I fought with them, the ‘well-meaning’ men pulled me aside and asked me to calm down.

Amidst the arguments on Facebook, a batchmate who has on multiple occasions made me feel uncomfortable, put up a spectacular Whatsapp status, saying “Rich fat girls will get what they deserve :)”.

It was his status that really shook me and made me feel incredibly unsafe. I did not want to go for the Advaita event that night, but somehow, my friends and I went. I wore a corset. I heard boys talking about me, my class boys and I had to sit in a corner for a while because I was scared that I would get harassed in the dark, and after that day, of course there would be no sympathizers. It was too risky.

My class boys put up certain statuses during the entire Abish Mathew incident. One posted some video in which a male comedian claimed that rape was funny and worth joking about, and another put one on women driving, and claimed that the joke was about bad driving and not women. The support they received from class boys and actually, boys across all batches frightened me. I was literally surrounded by men who were laughing at these things, which they seemed to disassociate from ‘real life problems’ such as, I don’t know: sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, dowry deaths, female genital mutilation, acid attacks, chastity locks, child marriage and of course, discrimination by everyone everywhere, accompanied by the continuous feeling of unsafety and vulnerability.

But within the confines of our NLUD campus, these jokes can be made and defended, because as a man once said, sexism in humour can help create social consciousness. I’m sorry, no, not when sexism is glorified through the jokes and not condemned! It is not the depiction of violence or discrimination in art that is problematic, but the light in which it is done. You belittled our experiences. Period. It doesn’t matter why you thought you did it.

A few third year girls called girls from various batches to help portray the various labels they had been assigned by this college. These pictures are an attempt to show how our bodies are continuously policed and pushed into these 'perfect' moulds.

A few third year girls called girls from various batches to help portray the various labels they had been assigned by this college. These pictures are an attempt to show how our bodies are continuously policed and pushed into these ‘perfect’ moulds.

Even during the Heckler’s burden debate, I wore a tiny crop top and heard classmates discussing how they’ll give me their clothes if I have nothing to cover myself up with. The day before that I had been pushed by a huge senior boy while entering the academic block. But of course, unless I have an alibi or confront him face to face, what is one expected to do about it.

I was sitting in an INSAAF meeting one night and received a Facebook message from a second year boy. It said:

“Hi

Sexy

mera lund tarap rha ha logi mera lund apni chut or muh me”.

He instantly told me that the account was hacked and 11 days later he sent me a message saying “You are a gorgeously attractive girl and i’m sorry u had to face that and i find you to be really pretty”.

Later this semester, a first year boy randomly liked a picture of me in a bikini. This made me uncomfortable because this picture was something no one had liked yet, it was months old lost in other pictures, it focused on my body parts much more than my profile picture did, I was half naked and he was a man. I had never talked to him before.

I realised that we had such classist notions of sexual harassment. Once an electrician in our hostel had made my Facebook picture as his own profile picture, and I felt uncomfortable when I came to know of this and I complained to the warden. Everyone said it was disgusting and condemned it.

Had I received any of the above mentioned behaviour from one of the multiple men who come in our “Other” inbox on Facebook, people would have found it creepy, and I would be allowed to feel weird.  But if something similar came from a fancy South Delhi boy, who would stand by me?! Because of course, only men of a particular class and caste, who are ‘backward’ and ‘uneducated’ are capable of vile acts (I hope the sarcasm is being duly noted). These conceptions are completely devoid of any insight into sexual harassment.

After this, I heard that one boy happened to find my voice cute and liked the way I said a certain phrase in class. I was questioned multiple times when I said I felt uncomfortable, because another guy had said something similar and I was fine then.

I had to justify why I found it creepy and why I was allowed to decide when and whom I felt uncomfortable around. They seemed unconvinced.

Farewell happened. I wore a tiny top. A male graduate of this college (legend in spurt-out-as-much-bullshit-as-you-can-in-7minutes (read: debating) circles and infamous for making people feel uncomfortable) decided to try to take my case about how I’m stupid and act feminist and made a joke on my body. It backfired horribly for him. He somehow apologised, but what ensued was amazing. So much public support for him, condemning me, liking his comments, randomly feeling the need to discuss Abish Mathew and of course, men fighting fervently for the right to write stuff on a post in which I was harassed. I kept screaming at people, telling them to leave me alone and not get sick validation and enjoyment. But it didn’t stop. A boy in class has still liked comments against me, despite my calling him out on it. Of course, what is my harassment and demand to be left alone in front of his freedom of speech and expression.

Two men (both of whom have coincidentally been in the debating circuit at some point of time or the other) made observations on my language, selective screaming at boys who didn’t support me and how I wasn’t angry at those who did, how I was blinded with rage, and how I couldn’t verbally abuse men commenting on a thread in which I was harassed. I was questioned on how I was okay with certain men and how only certain boys were ‘random’. Because, of course, it is my burden to justify why a certain boy makes me feel uncomfortable and of course, they are entitled to a response.

I was told how I have a responsibility to be mature and responsible and how I ‘should abandon anger for cool rationality’. Of course, not one person called out the man on his actions. People intervened by the end, but arguments such as ‘generalisations are distressing’ (the fancier version of Not All Men) were given and engaging on that becomes difficult beyond a point. It also came to my knowledge that certain boys in my own class found this ‘drama’ entertaining and were discussing the same in public. The people who felt entitled to get kicks out of the Facebook post left no stone unturned, and made another cheeky comment on another random post referring to me screaming at people telling them to fuck off and leave me alone. (I call these comments ‘cheeky’ because for the people making them, they were simply about having fun for the two minutes that they get the pleasure out of writing it and it remains on most people’s Facebook news feed. However, it was completely different for me since it was about me and my reactions to my harassment). It seemed as though my rage on being harassed was nothing but fodder for numerous jokes to come.

(If anyone wants to see screenshots of the entire disgusting debacle, please contact me; everyone has deleted comments on the Facebook post)

In my first year, our class was taught rape law by Dr. Mrinal Satish. He mentioned the notion of the ‘perfect victim’, and how the judiciary, administration, police force, teachers, parents and friends have this certain conception in mind and will only consider her version of events when she fits into this stereotype. She must dress modestly, mustn’t have flirted with the man, must be studious, can’t socialise and of course, can’t challenge social norms. She must be passive, calm and could not have done anything that could have provoked or incited the harasser. She can’t drink, smoke, have sex or be stupid.

I do not fit this picture. It is hard to find one that does. The male graduate said that my midriff was already in the picture, he didn’t sexualise it and it was nothing but victim blaming and is something so common in sexual harassment jurisprudence.

Even if you don’t say it out loud, but stand by as someone sexualises a woman and passes derogatory comments about her, you are contributing to perpetuation of rape culture and are adding to the dominant narrative that somehow places more burden on the victim to say why she was harassed, instead of questioning the perpetrator. Many boys have come to me and told me how they don’t appreciate how boys say things and that they are feminists. But very few will go the extra mile and challenge this dominant narrative.

When the boys in the hostel dissect female bodies, rank them, objectify them and discuss them, very few will even object, much less think of ways of stopping it.

Many have told me that my feminism is too ‘radical’, without even engaging with what it really entails, without reading up on it. I was once told putting posters is too radical. Many of us have been told that it is up to us to accommodate other ‘moderate’ forms of feminism and not to be exclusionary. But what must be asked is, how far does your commitment to feminism go? Is it only invoked as a defense mechanism when someone calls you out on something?

Some say that sexism in humour is acceptable; others think it’s okay to question a victim’s form of expressing anguish. I was mocked for using CAPSLOCK, using ‘profanity’ and not sitting my harasser down and engaging. Of course, it was completely ignored that men had jumped on the thread trying to prove a point and give me their point of view (Since it is a public platform and how dare I tell them to leave). I ran out of the class yesterday crying on reading a fifth year boy’s stupid comment, and I didn’t want to sit in a class full of men who were not my allies. It was called an overreaction by many, but it’s funny that if I had not done it, I would have been called a ‘cold hearted woman’ who isn’t affected that much and is only trying to make a point.

All of these incidents have stuck with me because they are symbolic of the overbearing and undeniable male entitlement boys can possess and how they don’t realise or do realise and anyway do things to make women squirm and feel uncomfortable. A friend of mine also told me how two senior boys while discussing her, aggressively stated that one boy had a ‘birth right’ over her. I had put up a new picture in the same pose and similar clothing as the one for which I was harassed. This very same fifth year boy commented on a picture I had put to try and reclaim my body on a public platform and said, “Hit me baby one more time!”. It was obviously to make me uncomfortable and he succeeded. I began crying again, felt guilty about crying and then felt angry for feeling guilty.

I no longer want to dance on a stage in front of an audience full of drunk men, because I know what they’ll say. I once played volleyball with Shweta in front of the girls hostel cause I didn’t have the guts to go to the court. That didn’t stop men from coming and mocking me and I haven’t had it in me to ever play anything ever again. Even during the Abish Mathew incident, the boy who had kept the horrid Whatsapp status sent me a condescending message asking me to play football because the guys wanted me, Pearlita and Pawani to represent the girls. It was obviously mocking us and it furthered my fear of being surrounded in an aggressive game by boys who have fun passing vitriolic comments and seeing me squirm. I don’t like walking alone at night, especially in dully-lit areas, because once a man ran behind me and I was scared that he’d harass me and no one would believe it. I am pretty sure I don’t want to speak up in class.

This college has time and again questioned the victim’s story, her form of protest, her lack of protest, her anger, her silence, her social behaviour or lack thereof, her being ‘prudish’ or her being ‘slutty’. This college has made it incredibly unsafe for a victim to even talk about what her experience was without butting in with their loaded comments.

I was once told that what happened in Jindal could never happen here. But I’m not the only person who has been harassed here. There are many incidents that are so shocking and frightening; incidents that may or may not be even imagined possible. This college is fostering a disgusting, nasty, horrible environment, which silences girls unless they’re the perfect victim. The onus does not lie on the victims to come up and notify us of their harassment, but on us, as students to not do anything that could in some way encourage or protect harassment, even if it means standing up to our friends and definitely, acknowledging that acts done in private are as problematic as those done in public.

There is so much going on in this tiny campus that we don’t even know about. The very people, who would condemn a judiciary or government for being backward for not repealing section 377 or giving shoddy judgements commenting on a woman’s character, are the same people who would probably question a victim’s account for the sake of debates and arguments.

We feel entitled to know what happened, who the victim feels, why she isn’t speaking up, if she did speak up: why did she speak up like that, why did she file a complaint, why did she not, and of course… why hasn’t she let it go? We have no idea of what is going on in anyone’s mind or life, and have no right to go around inquiring or commenting about the same. We as a campus not only have been insensitive and have openly condemned victims; we have created a culture of harassment wherein girls are being shut up and policed.

Perhaps we have created a hierarchy in our mind wherein certain forms of harassment merit a response from the victim and other forms (such as the laser incident) need a toned down response.

There is need for serious introspection to provide a safer campus and face the fact that we are no island of excellence, are no better than the teachers, the government and “the men on the road” we criticise. That perhaps this college is just as scary and terrifying as the road outside.

That we have as a collective, contributed to sustaining an environment encouraging perpetrators and shunning victims of harassment.

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91 thoughts on “Confessions of a ‘Slut’

  1. Hats off to you! I came to college with no perception of me dressing in an indecent manner, people commented and I was asked to submerge into the crowd rather than try and stand out. I was asked to change the way i dress, and to an extent I did. You are the change!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hats off to you! When I joined college I never perceived myself as being someone who dresses “indecently”. I was told repeatedly to change the way I dress and submerge into the crowd rather than stand out. I was told ” nlud isn’t ready for girls to wear such clothes” and maybe it will be one day! You are the change that’s empowering women in our college!!

    Like

  3. Thank you for sharing your story, Aarushi. It takes immense courage to do something like this, and to share your story no matter how traumatic it might be, for the greater good.
    Thank you for making us realize that this place might just be as unsafe for women as the road outside it. It was high time we did.

    Like

    • Mini, Aarushi expressly mentions at one point that her privilege is different, and her harassment is not comparable to that of other women (which isn’t to say it’s better or worse).

      Your reference to “making us realize that this place might just be as unsafe for women as the road outside it. It was high time we did.” not only misinterprets the purpose of the open letter, but also indicates that you didn’t even bother to read the deeply personal experiences this young woman had the courage to share.

      Kindly refrain from pushing your own agenda whilst hopping aboard the bandwagon for attention.

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      • Hi Piccolo, thank you for your comment. I did, in fact, read the letter. I was referring to the part where Aarushi mentions that we might want to think about whether we are better than “the men on the road” we criticise, and that perhaps this campus is just as unsafe for women as the road outside, especially given that it creates an atmosphere that shuns and silences victims of harassment (toward the last bit of her post). It was certainly not my intention to belittle or cast aspersions on the lived experiences of other women.

        As Aarushi mentions herself, we might do well to think about the different kinds of feminisms that exist on this campus while of course speaking out for our own. So I’m not sure what you mean by pushing my ‘own agenda’, and I have certainly never sought attention, nor do I desire it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m a graduate of another “NLU” and I can relate to many of the incidents that you have narrated. Sadly, I didn’t have much courage to stand up a strongly as you did, and my “banters” remained within my small and limited female social circle. (I couldn’t possibly be friends with the men of my class, because it most often than not implied that I had to give something in return for their “friendship)

    Now that it’s been two years since I have graduated, I’m so glad to be far away from this toxic environment. I have worked in non-traditional (read non-law firm), which values the voice and opinion of women. Over time, I have built up the courage to speak out against this sort of violence that you have spoken about.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The supreme confidence and elan with which you have pulled off different types of outfits has inspired girls across batches not only to experiment with different types of clothing, but more importantly, to interrogate the notion of the ‘ideal body type’, pruned and heavily photoshopped to pander to the (now corporatized) male gaze.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s sad to see that the root of the problem exists even amongst educated men. Even though we strive for a better future, unfortunately these type of men prevent us. Loved your story and your point of view. The social disparity between men and women must stop. I know it’s a long shot but it needs to start somewhere. Thank you for being courageous enough to tell your story.

    Also if you’re happy and confident in your body, no one has to the right to harass you over it. Even if they do, it’s only because they are insecure themselves. Do what you want but since we can’t trust the people out there, be safe :)

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  7. Aarushi, I really appreciate your protest against dress code and body shaming on campus. You have inspired a lot of girls to not hate their body and to love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tu kare toh stud

    Mein karun toh slut?

    Tu kare toh Not All Men

    Mein karun toh arbitrary negative stereotypes about women?

    Like

  9. I’m fairly certain Dr. Satish never said the ideal rape victim had to be “studious”. Projecting, much?

    Also, stop defaming our campus. NLUD is not JGLS. Our culture is far less sexist, and rapes have not happened here till date. I’m not saying our campus culture is OK, but not all of us experience the same level of sexism, or consider the same things to be sexist. Definitely, it needs improvement, and all of us need to contribute to making it better. You need to be more responsible with your words, you can’t say NLUD campus is so bad with handful of incidents, because you have nothing to compare.

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    • Dear ‘A Classmate’ – are you trying to say – Our sexist is better than their sexist? (and hence, our campus is worthy of defending and not theirs?)

      Liked by 1 person

    • A handful of incidents is still a handful of women who are shamed for having an opinion. Don’t dismiss it because you’re not one of them.

      Like

    • Hi. I’m a student. I do not think the institution one studies in defines anyone. And with that in mind, you need to understand the issue of sexual harassment as an issue that transcends the confines of any university or institution. It is not a JGLS problem in isolation. Nor is it an NLUD problem solely. There are hundreds of thousands of students across the country and the world who have played a role in such an issue, either as active participants in the form of offenders, passive spectators, or victims.
      Honestly, ranking Universities according to their degree of sexism is an unfair and ignorant criterion. Your attempt at defining different degrees of sexism, classifying some kinds of sexism as not worth publication and some as, and finally, attributing such rigidly defined degrees to some universities and not to others, is ignorant of how often incidents of sexism occur across the world. The reason why I assert that institutions have little role to play in a ‘rape’ problem is because the administration thereof, against the context of a liberal environment, can do little to prevent the occurrences of such events. The students of a University need to be able to cohesively unite and create an inclusive campus life for every student, of any size, shape, race, religion or sex, to feel comfortable and safe. Students who may or may not commit rape or have tendencies to sexually harass someone cannot be gauged at the time of admissions since we have noticed absolutely no correlation between economic standing, educational background and the likelihood to commit such an offence. I felt the need to clarify this because I’ve heard ‘better screening processes’ as a solution to this problem.
      Secondly, your factual backing of having far less degrees of sexism than JGLS seems self-defeating in its own sense, not only inherently because of the problematic manner of rating acceptable and unacceptable levels of sexism, but also, as you quote, “rapes have not happened here till date” may or may not be true, since all you know is that “rapes have not been reported here till date”. The number of unreported rapes and incidents of sexual harassment is drastically high due to social pressures, fears of being tagged as the “raped”, “harassed”, “spoilt good” etc and detrimentally allows the “rapist” and “harasser” to have claimed his territory, won a treasure, occupied a girl.
      Thirdly, the intention of a post such as this, and I say this at the cost of repetition, is to reflect on a universal problem of sexism and discrimination against women, not singularly targeted at your University. Not only does it display courage, but a woman’s frustration with a system not restricted to your campus. When you claim that everyone may not face the same incidents of sexism, you fall within the category of either those callous enough to not acknowledge others’ personal experiences beyond your self, those ignorant enough to not observe similar instances happening around you, or those observing it (by the latter half of your comment, I feel you fall in this category, so you might want to read carefully) and passively accepting it with a “chalta hai” attitude.
      The reason why I especially have a problem with the last category, reiterated by your comment on how a handful of incidents is an implicitly unjustified number to talk about, is that you successfully legitimise the same “handful of incidents” as socially acceptable. The only lesson to take from this is that hundred creepy messages on Facebook is not acceptable. But even a single comment is not acceptable. Your argument along the lines of subjective interpretations of sexism is quite useless because at one level it is so personal that when you feel uncomfortable, you voice your discomfort, and at another, there are a lot of instances that already prevail in society, and a good institutionalised anti-sexual harassment committee with training workshops can increase awareness on such noticeable instances which everyone needs to watch out for.
      Lastly, you dont need an incident or number thereof to compare sexism to. No one comes to a conclusion of the presence or absence of sexism by way of comparison to other institutions. Having a far less sexist culture than JGLS is not really an accomplishment, dear. :)

      Like

    • Hi “A Classmate”,

      While defending your college is great, you mentioned something about not generalising the behaviour of the entire student body based on a handful of incidents. I can’t help but notice that you have done the exact same thing with another University in the your comment. I’m not a law student myself, but I am a keen observer and I do have a few friends in JGLS. You are basing your judgment of the “sexist culture” of the University based on one ALLEGED incident that you have heard of. To use your words, it isn’t fair to “defame” another University to try and make yours sound better. Kindly refrain from further hypocrisy, and choose your words wisely after you have learnt all the facts. You are a to-be lawyer after all. :)

      In addition, sexual harassment is a problem world-wide. Don’t make yourself feel better by thinking your campus is better than your ignorant idea of another one. Try and fight it instead.

      Like

  10. I’m sorry to hear about your terrible experiences. The following line is something that made me pretty curious. Of course, clarifications would be welcomed if I’m missing the point. Also, you don’t have to clarify because I’m expecting you to seek my validation, but someone who wants to engage on this point.

    There are many different ideas discussed in the article, and many are quite legitimately (in my opinion, of course) understood. I do however have a few curious observations.

    “Later this semester, a first year boy randomly liked a picture of me in a bikini. This made me uncomfortable because this picture was something no one had liked yet, it was months old lost in other pictures, it focused on my body parts much more than my profile picture did, I was half naked and he was a man. I had never talked to him before.”

    How’s this supposed to be any form of harassment (which you’re implicitly alleging by talking of your discomfort due to his liking that picture). Given he was a Facebook friend of yours, you clearly had no objections to his accessing photos you had willingly put up on Facebook. Further, how does changing any of the factors you mentioned alleviate your discomfort. What if some people had liked it before and then the first year boy liked your photo? Would you have preferred it — and why? Or lets say, you were not half naked in that photo — would it have been better? But I thought nakedness quotient of clothing shouldn’t matter according you (and that’s something I legitimately agree with).

    This brings me to a larger point of disagreement: “intention was irrelevant and it was the woman’s perception and reaction that mattered.” This is something you are consistent with throughout the post, when describing your experiences. I think it’s a little hypocritical to say that only your perception matters in the sense that you’re uncomfortable when guys give you weird looks upon your unorthodox dressing sense, but if the guys feel uncomfortable because of that very dressing (of course, your intention here is irrelevant) then their perceptions don’t count for anything. I think your dealing of perception is all that matter idea is quite simplistic and obfuscates an important issue at hand.

    Regardless, kudos for putting your views out; they are important. Good luck. It’s a hostile environment you live in: that with self-entitled douchebags who have IQs hardly touching the summer temperatures in Delhi (in Celsius).

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This story shows us how uncivilised we are. NLU D is one of the best law college in India and the people who study here are one of the best minds who will work in justice system and how can we accept justice from people who behave in this way. Patriarchy still exist in thoughts and we cannot remove it from our society as its deep rooted but we can change ourselves a lil but with time.. I am from Tata Institute of Social Sciences a student of Social Work and out campus is one of the most libral campuse in India still people suffer from this but the person who indulge in commenting face serious consequences as our committee against sexual harassment ( CASH) is active and girls do get justice here… NLU D is law college I wish people would sensitise with this issue more and respect women and give them equal right what is their fundament right..

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  12. Gut-wrenching narrative indeed. However there is still hope for a better world both inside and outside of our campuses as people like you are bold enough to speak up. I’ve shared this with my sister who is about to join a premier institution in Delhi, hopefully this would act as an inspiring narrative for holding her head high and facing the challenges heads on.
    Thanks for the article.

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  13. The kind of opinions the so called enlightened and educated youth has about things India almost sent me into depression so much so that I gave up the the ghost and moved out. I am a world citizen and I am happy.

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    • Boss, criticizing any class by referring to them as ‘so called’ only indicates that you lack the faculties to be a member of that class.

      #MarxSeNoMarks

      Like

  14. Sticking to your guns for five years takes immense courage. I’m glad you wrote this open letter describing each instance, the sum of incidents convey so much about disregarding and harrassing a woman when she doesn’t fit their perceived bill of the “perfect victim.”

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  15. Overall, I agree with most of what you have said. I’m a guy who prides himself on being a feminist, but there’s something I must take issue with. That’s your ‘protest’ against dress codes in class.

    Look, I understand that you wanted to protest against the ‘moral policing’, but wearing transparent blue dresses in class? Taking of your bra under your shirt? Why would you do that? How is it justified to do that in class?

    In this case, I don’t even blame the guys for noticing this and commenting about it. Let me put it this way, If I take off my underwear under my trouser during class, will girls not notice and comment about it amongst themselves? I then wouldn’t go ahead and cry about the feminist society, I’ll just kick myself for being stupid.

    PS- I’m not from NLUD, though I was briefly a part of the debating circuit. I don’t think we’ve ever met, and I’m going to keep my identity a secret because I don’t wanted to be unfairly branded as a ‘Male Chauvinist’ all over facebook.

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    • Just out of curiosity, how exactly would you remove your underwear under your trousers? Now if you were able to pull off this Houdinistic task, then i do believe you should be applauded and made to repeat the said performance on the stage and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fame and fortune!

      Most of the time people in Law School would turn up in Bermuda’s hardly longer than Boxer shorts..All a matter of comfort. Cricketers drop their trousers in the middle of the pitch to fix the family jewels protector. What’s so scandalous about a Bra being unhooked under a shirt?

      Since we need to clarify allegiances not part of the NLUD or a feminist or any other ist. Just curious.

      Like

      • I’m glad NLUs are so progressive Dhananjay. Or wait a second, are they? Well, if they were, then this article wouldn’t be written, would it.

        I’m not for a second saying the responses from the guys were justified. They weren’t.

        But I still have trouble comprehending why would you do something that is so out of context from the situation. The cricket example is from a completely different context.

        If I were to burped loudly in the midst of a silent class, people would look around. Many would laugh. I would be made fun off. That’s an inevitable consequence of doing something out of context. And after that, if I begin protesting how society is not sensitive to Belchers, well, that would be silly.
        (Of course, I already made this point clear in my previous example about the underwear)

        Of course, linking it to ‘slut-like’ behaviour is, as I said above, is wrong, and deeply intrenched in our culture. Nobody denies that.

        Seriously, if you’re complain that ‘Indian Society is so patriarchal that I can’t even take of my bra in class’, then you’re debasing the whole idea of feminism. ‘A Silly mistake on my part led to me being unfairly labelled, as a slut’ is a better description of your predicament.

        PS- I would like to re-iterate that I agree with almost everything else that you have said. I have a feeling that you probably over-reacted with the ‘Abish Matthews’ incident, but I wasn’t there, and I don’t know the whole story, so I’m going to reserve my judgement on that one.

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      • I’m glad NLUs are so progressive Dhananjay. Or wait a second, are they? Well, if they were, then this article wouldn’t be written, would it.
        https://glasnostnludelhi.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/confessions-of-a-slut/#comment-form-load-service:WordPress.com
        I’m not for a second saying the responses from the guys were justified. They weren’t.

        But I still have trouble comprehending why would you do something that is so out of context from the situation. The cricket example is from a completely different context.

        If I were to burped loudly in the midst of a silent class, people would look around. Many would laugh. I would be made fun off. That’s an inevitable consequence of doing something out of context. And after that, if I begin protesting how society is not sensitive to Belchers, well, that would be silly.
        (Of course, I already made this point clear in my previous example about the underwear)

        Of course, linking it to ‘slut-like’ behaviour is, as I said above, is wrong, and deeply intrenched in our culture. Nobody denies that.

        Seriously, if you’re complain that ‘Indian Society is so patriarchal that I can’t even take of my bra in class’, then you’re debasing the whole idea of feminism. ‘A Silly mistake on my part led to me being unfairly labelled, as a slut’ is a better description of your predicament.

        Also, ‘This was a form of protest against the confines I have been brought up in.’
        So you seriously think that a girl cannot take of her bra in class because society is patriarchal, and that it’s something worth fighting for?

        This is a critique of a feminist movement in general- Stop linking everything to feminism.

        PS- I would like to re-iterate that I agree with almost everything else that you have said. I have a feeling that you probably over-reacted with the ‘Abish Matthews’ incident, but I wasn’t there, and I don’t know the whole story, so I’m going to reserve my judgement on that one.

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  16. @R: Power to you :)

    @ A classmate:
    I was referring to how if girls concentrate on academics, they are deemed to fall within the stereotype. If he may not have said it, I connected what he said to it, and what is so wrong about that?

    Don’t ask me not to defame the campus. This simply isn’t about that. Its about something much more important than institutional pride and is something that women in all colleges shall be able to relate to. The article wasn’t about how our college isn’t as good as another college, it was to portray how no college is ever free of these issues.

    It is my dire request to that you not make statements such as “rapes have not happened here till date”. Putting rapes at another threshold as compared to sexual harassment simply builds upon all the problematic notions like ‘rape is a fate worse than death’, ‘it strips a woman of her dingily etc.’.

    Statements such as these are uninformed and misleading. Neither you nor I are completely aware of what happened to every single girl on campus. Statements like these could perhaps make women feel like we are belittling their experiences without no knowledge or inkling of their struggles.

    @Ezra: The mere fact that a picture is out in public does not imply that I am not allowed to feel uncomfortable, just like if I walk out on the road in shorts, I am allowed to feel harassed.
    Of course I would have felt less discomfort had other people liked the picture, simply because I wouldn’t have the feeling that the picture was somehow singled out, observed and he felt the need to validate me by going ahead and liking it. To me, my clothing did affect how I felt about his like,s imply because I imagined the male gaze to be different in this case. I don’t need to justify how and why I felt uncomfortable. These things can’t be measured by a given set of factors, if they’re satisfied, you’re allowed to feel discomfort. No. This is completely intuitive and based on personal feelings and experiences.

    It is not hypocritical for me to feel uncomfortable. My sense of discomfort arises from being sexualised and the constant threat of harassment. For certain boys, its bringing them out of their comfort zone and challenging their perceptions of being able to police woman.
    My discomfort arises from doing what I want to and facing repercussions (which are far more graver for girls than for boys); for certain boys the discomfort simply arises from a girl acting in a manner contrary to social norms.
    My liberation should not be subject to how men feel.

    @ Anonymous: Why wouldn’t I do that? Why wouldn’t I wear what I wanted to? The moment I do that does not mean that men are given a license to comment. Are we assuming that men are not capable of rational thoughts? They are not capable for considering the implications of their actions? We’re assuming that their comments stem from sexual desire/disgust/ shock and that is simply not how harassment works. Assuming that men must be given a free chit simply because I may wear something ‘revealing’ is nothing short of victim blaming.

    You taking off your underwear and me taking off my bra are completely different. For me, as a woman, it is doing something so against existing social norms, to defy confines I have been brought up in and to liberate myself and find my own way. What may arise is discomfort, but that cannot simply be enough for me to change my behaviour accordingly.
    If a man were to take off his underwear in public, it is definitely different because of the context and privilege he has possessed. He is not reclaiming public space,rather, he is asserting his dominance. Also, the consequence would not merely be discomfort, it would be the reasonable fear of sexual harassment. (I am commenting with the strong belief that women are far more vulnerable than men to sexual harassment and there situations in no way can be compared).

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    • “Putting rapes at another threshold as compared to sexual harassment simply builds upon all the problematic notions like ‘rape is a fate worse than death’, ‘it strips a woman of her dingily etc.’.”

      I believe most women are stripped of their dingiles in the womb, not when they’re raped////harassed. If they hadn’t been, they would have been born transgendered and turned into women later on in life by patriarchy.

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    • And that was feminism at its best! Who are you to decide what people would think! Taking off the underwear would be as ridiculed as the bra! I really admire your guts, but maybe, just maybe, feminism is what your problem is!

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    • Hi Arushi,

      Your write up is a true account of what many girls go through everyday, I invite you to share you experience with a larger audience. Pls have a look on my message on your facebook account.

      Regards

      Like

  17. I’m glad NLUs are so progressive Dhananjay. Or wait a second, are they? Well, if they were, then this article wouldn’t be written, would it.

    I’m not for a second saying the responses from the guys were justified. They weren’t.

    But I still have trouble comprehending why would you do something that is so out of context from the situation. The cricket example is from a completely different context.

    If I were to burped loudly in the midst of a silent class, people would look around. Many would laugh. I would be made fun off. That’s an inevitable consequence of doing something out of context. And after that, if I begin protesting how society is not sensitive to Belchers, well, that would be silly.
    (Of course, I already made this point clear in my previous example about the underwear)

    Of course, linking it to ‘slut-like’ behaviour is, as I said above, is wrong, and deeply intrenched in our culture. Nobody denies that.

    Seriously, if you’re complain that ‘Indian Society is so patriarchal that I can’t even take of my bra in class’, then you’re debasing the whole idea of feminism. ‘A Silly mistake on my part led to me being unfairly labelled, as a slut’ is a better description of your predicament.

    PS- I would like to re-iterate that I agree with almost everything else that you have said. I have a feeling that you probably over-reacted with the ‘Abish Matthews’ incident, but I wasn’t there, and I don’t know the whole story, so I’m going to reserve my judgement on that one.

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    • I don’t think that I need to be told what about what my predicament is. The taking off of the bra was not a silly mistake, but a conscious decision, one that I still stand by. The very act of me taking it off, and defying that one social norm was directly linked to promiscuity and perhaps ‘loose’ character. If you see this in the context of everything else, it definitely does relate to slut shaming. Perhaps you could reserve your judgement here as well, if the facts provided are not enough for you to judge the situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aarushi, the social norm that you were trying to defy is one that doesn’t allow you to take of your bra during class. I don’t think that is too restrictive or oppressive a norm.

        Seriously, I hate the constraints society imposes on us- I roam around everywhere in bermudas and boxers, much to the irritation of my Army Officer Father. I know the situation is much worse for girls, and I respect and applaud your courage for doing all that you did despite the consequences that you knew would follow.

        But really, you live in social situations. Society is unfair a lot of times, and guys like me will stand behind you when yoou’re protesting genuinely oppressive stuff.

        But when you start protesting against things like “I’m not allowed to take off my bra in class”, you divert attention from the stuff that really matters. People will begin thinking “They don’t just want their freedom, they want to shove their freedom down our throats. It doesn’t matter if what they want to do affects us, they’re going to do it anyway.”

        Believe it or not, I’m actually on your side. But not when you’re going to go and tell a teacher- you know what? Im going to take of my bra in your class, and I don’t care what you have to say about it.

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    • “believe me, aarushi, I’m on your side. I am all for feminism, but let me define what oppression and liberation should mean for you. I am all for feminism, but can you please restrict it to the ways in which it is palatable to our sexist society? I am all for feminism, but I reserve the right to sexualise and comment on your body. I am all for feminism, but I think those who question the status quo too much are bad feminists. I am all for feminism, but I think women should accept societal control – after all, men are just as oppressed.”
      Actually Anonymous, you are not on anyone’s side but the sexist norm. You sound just like white ‘liberals’ in civil rights movement era US, telling black people that they deserve their freedoms as long as they behave respectably and don’t anger the oppressor. You are ignorant of the ways in which everyday life is shaped by sexism in every possible way.

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      • Lol. So let’s assume I’m a teacher. I have a daughter who I give all my love too, whose education (whatever she wants to study) I’m bankrolling, who has been given complete independence, without any pressure of marriage. I give my seat to ladies, refrain from using the word ‘whore’, and that sort of stuff.

        If such a teacher threw Aarushi out of the class for the afore-mentioned-act, which he is absolutely allowed (he would do the same if a guy did something similar)- all of you would start screaming misogynist misogynist, without trying to understand his reasons for doing the same and understanding the kind of person he is.

        You bring sexism into everything, and in the process, debase the whole point.

        “Oh look at me..I’m so oppressed, I can’t take of my bra during class…I have such a tough Life’

        Like

    • @ Anonymous part 2:

      Lol. So let’s assume I’m a teacher. I have a daughter who I give all my love too, whose education (whatever she wants to study) I’m bankrolling, who has been given complete independence, without any pressure of marriage. I give my seat to ladies, refrain from using the word ‘whore’, and that sort of stuff.:
      Do you think dishing this out makes you seem cool? A feminist father? Do you know why you’re giving up your seat, why the word ‘whore’ is problematic, and ‘that sort of stuff’: really?
      You expect to be taken seriously?

      If such a teacher threw Aarushi out of the class for the afore-mentioned-act, which he is absolutely allowed (he would do the same if a guy did something similar)- all of you would start screaming misogynist misogynist, without trying to understand his reasons for doing the same and understanding the kind of person he is.:

      “Such a teacher” “The kind of person he is”: Should our expectations from a male teacher with a daughter be higher? Should he be given the benefit of doubt? Should all parents and relatives be given levy? Please don’t be ridiculous.

      You doing this to a female student cannot be equated to it being done to a boy. Simply because societal expectations are very different. Is the bra ‘normal’? Is it necessary? Does society decide it or the individual? Is it inappropriate? If so, why? Because you’ve sexualised a piece of clothing belonging to a female student without her consent, and that is wrong. You’ve taken away her agency, her dignity, branded her bra as something that must be hidden and have commented on her character in front of her entire class. And no, you’re not absolutely allowed to do so. Please read up on power structures in the student-teacher relationship and how this would have been a disgusting display of power.

      You bring sexism into everything, and in the process, debase the whole point.

      Really? If sexism is in everything, what should we do? Pretend it doesn’t exist? Point it out to you politely? Expect you to be the agent of change?

      If women were able to scream misogyny misogyny so easily, why does harassment still exist? Why is there sexual violence? If were just so empowered to take the men head on, why does it still happen? Thats because the empowerment you’re imagining doesn’t exist. Because calling out harassment and complaining isn’t as easy and simplistic as you make it out to be.

      “Oh look at me..I’m so oppressed, I can’t take of my bra during class…I have such a tough Life’:

      Perhaps it should be read as :Im a man, I wanted the girl to behave according to society’s norms, she didn’t, she’s out of of bounds, she’s pointing out that I’m sexist, Im hurt, I’m feeling bad, lets write an anonymous comment to give it back to her and look immensely ignorant while doing it and then ill pat myself on the back for putting down a wannabe feminist.

      Grow up. Accept responsibility for being a part of a patriarchal structure that doesn’t let girls wear what they want to, let alone anything else. Instead of concentrating your energy on how justifying female oppression, think about why sexualising women is problematic.

      Like

  18. Hi Aarushi

    I don’t know you but reading this I’m suddenly transported seven years back to my engineering college 2nd year. The judgment, the condescending stares, the fake sympathy, the completely uncalled for comments from professors who not-so-subtly called me a slut because I dared to bunk a few periods and play UNO with my male friends in the canteen, people who cannot handle the fact that I drink, smoke a joint and talk back.

    The boy who tried to police you, is the replica of my 2nd year boyfriend. The boy who fat-shamed you was my 3rd year 2nd semester boyfriend. One boy who I thought would be different from the rest told me he’d never marry a non-virgin. The boy you considered a good friend, was my good friend who told me 3 years back how they used to laugh at the fact that I have aloor dosh (Bengali for a loose woman). My ‘fault’? I had dated 5 people in college. My grades were bad because I hated the college. I smoked up during fests. I hated professors and showed it. And worse, my own mother called me a prostitute. (But what’s wrong in being a prostitute anyway?)

    What happened in Jindal was beyond nightmarish. I have heard, my roommate is from NLS. But so is this everyday sexism we’re subjected to. As my younger cousins enter college, I know they will be told, subtly or not, that their bodies and desires are shameful and the purpose of their existence is to find a suitable boy. I hope to teach them how to stand up and call out on this bullshit. To stop apologizing and conforming. To stop sacrificing their happiness for the sake of a society that will judge you no matter what.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  19. Here I am, an aspiring school student, wanting to get into a Law college, preferably in my own state, Delhi. Reading all this makes me cringe. I am more scared than excited now.

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    • Hi Ameya,
      Thank you for responding to me :)
      In this article I did not mean to concentrate on my experiences within the confines of this campus. I wrote it as a woman who faced backlash when she tried to defy social norms. Ever since this article has been published, I have received an overwhelming and heartening response from girls all across the country, from medical, engineering and law schools including my own college and they shared their stories and experiences. These experiences are not unique to NLUD, they may happen anywhere at anytime.
      What matters is how our college community responds to such narratives.
      Our college has a GenderCircle which has begun sensitisation and awareness on campus and many students have responded. More importantly, the gender circle and other groups on campus generating debate have received immense support from the administration also. A distinct change in our overall outlook is clearly visible, and this has only been re-enforced by this article. Such experiences make us question our actions and my campus has shown incredible support and solidarity now.
      I just hope that my article does not make you scared of joining a law college, because it is a truly amazing and enriching experience which can make you challenge everything and grow as a person.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Dear Aarushi, I’m sorry you had to go through all this. It’s unfortunate. I had no idea the mindset of some/many would-be law graduates at the prestigious NLU-D could be this grotesque. Backbiting, bitching, gossiping etc happen in almost every college, but what you’ve described is downright savage. College students tugging at your tube dress! Someone pointing laser on your breasts! This is such intense harassment! Does jungle raj prevail in this college?
    I’m a feminist myself, and I totally get your thought process behind wanting to wear the so-called provocative dresses. I understand your rationale behind undoing your bra in the class, to assert yourself. I might not condone it, but I totally get you. Unfortunately, it seems, even our youth are not ready for no-punches-pulled feminism. Let’s hope things change.
    I hope you don’t have to go through any more ordeal of this sort anywhere.
    Lastly, I want to applaud you for having the guts to call a spade a spade.

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    • Hi Gary,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I would just like to mention here that the article does revolve around my harassment, but such experiences are not unique to this campus. Solidarity from women across the country has shown that this is something that happens in every campus. My article was not about my campus, it was about how we need to introspect on our behaviour with each other.
      My experiences on campus have been positive in some sense, as well. Our administration has shown support to several student causes and our community has also generally reacted well to initiatives for sensitisation and awareness.
      My college has changed a lot in the three years that our batch has been here, and I do acknowledge that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Aarushi, I understand that the issues you mentioned in your write-up are not person-specific (or Aarushi-specific), but gender-specific. I’m glad girls at my undergrad and PG colleges didn’t have to face such a thing. And I wish your article inspires girls to stand up to nonsense and reject it. For, resisting is the first step towards eliminating it. Heartening to read that the college administration is not indifferent. Hoping things just improve from here :)
        (Saying this with much hesitation…) Be very proud of yourself for being this tough chick. This badass person who’ll do what she wants. No matter how risque or unorthodox it may be. That takes immense guts. I know I don’t have it in me to give the unorthodox side of me the freedom of expression like you have done. I’m a straight guy who likes wearing women’s clothing sometimes (after an elaborate dress-up + make-up session at the hands of a gal pal), but I cannot even tell my select few female friends about it. And to know that there’s a girl who had it in her to give two hoots to body hair or the perfect figure issue, or bother about her style statement being too strong… You just elicit respect. Hats off for having the strength to be yourself!

        Like

  21. A,

    Respect to you not only for writing this with so much honesty and beauty, but for all your awesomeness and courage in college.

    Like R, I am a graduate of a different NLU and also ended up in a non-conventional, and in fact, all-female workplace where I have become more and more comfortable with taking off my bra at work, coming to work in pajamas and with hairy legs, wearing clothes that I was always told I was too fat for, and having people listen to me without cutting me off with what they think is a superior opinion (at the risk of “generalization”, men do have a terrible habit of doing this!). Law college was simultaneously a great place, where I quickly shed myself of some of the horrible and embarrassing stereotypes and assumptions that I had come with, and a terrible place where I began to objectify my body as a way to defend myself against the constant objectification that others heaped on me.

    Also, as a side note, you write very well.

    Like

  22. More power to you Aarushi..!!!..Whatever you have written happens not only to you but alot of girls in alot of universities all across India.But,not many ,unlike you ,are brave enough to fight it or even question it!!!

    Like

  23. Your piece is a well articulated and hard hitting slap on my face. Actually, its a slap on many faces. I’ve been one of the boys who gossiped, ridiculed and labelled. I might not have done it publicly but definitely within the confines of a safe sanctuary where along with the other boys I indulged in the guy banter and chastised women with my opinions like I was making some difference to the world. I’d like to think that I’ve grown up a bit in the last few years since I feel terribly ashamed of the things I’ve done. I might have not sexually harassed someone in the physical sense but most definitely injured many emotionally and mentally with my cowardly behaviour. I’m glad people like you have the courage to stand up and test your beliefs. Your side of the story puts many things in place. I hope more and more people entering colleges read this.

    Like

  24. Why stop at class? Why not walk in to Supreme Court with every-thing exposed?

    I will tell you why. It is because you only like to shout at people to feel superior. You take real Feminism issues and confuse by taking things too far.

    You will take off your bra in class as protest, but no one should look or say anything? How that is protest if no one looks, or discusses?

    Lady Godiva did not ride naked in the Coventry and shout “Don’t look at me, that will be harassment! Bachao bachao!”

    If someone says something about clothes you are wearing, either prove your point that there opinion is irrelevant by ignoring, or if you feel uncomfortable put on clothes as the case may be. You CANNOT have it both ways, on one hand “expressing” by roaming half naked and same time screaming STOP RAPING WITH YOUR EYES.

    I am not saying leaving car unlocked is giving license to anyone and every-one to steal. But you cannot paint car rainbow color and say no one should look at the car.

    If you like to discuss and debate, then please do so on campus as well. Instead all you do on campus is shout, but you will write this article in calm voice to make world think you are reasonable person, and frankly you are not reasonable at all. Anyone who has interacted on campus will know your shrill tone and aggressiveness for small small things that is not expected even from jaat/gujar boys. Everyone knows you are only attention seeker.

    Feminism is important thing to get women equal rights. But this is not feminism. It is true you were harassed by some anti-social elements, and there can be no excuse for people saying lewd things on SMS and shining laser. Such persons do not deserve any place in a campus like NLUD.

    But at same time, you cannot go so far to say that you can do whatsoever you like and no one should say anything. For boys as well as girls, we cannot do everything we like at the point we break society’s decorum. This is simple truth applicable to every-one, and not just man, woman, or transgender.

    LAst point: NLUD is professional institution, and boys as well are told not to wear shorts, chappals to class. That is entitlement to wear pants and shoes????? Asking not to take off bra in class is simple question of decorum.

    But if it does not become question of Feminism, then how will Aarushi shout?

    Like

    • Eklavya, you have completely missed the entire point of the article. Why I wear certain clothes in certain places is not the question, because for me too, this is an experimental process wherein I find myself truing out new things and growing as a person.
      I dont understand the distinction being drawn between feminist issues and other things…This article was written under the premise that sexism is overbearing in every aspect of our life.

      My taking off my bra in class may not be limited to a protest, it may be an act of liberation, an act to make myself feel that it is no more different than a jacket, an act to begin to normalise the ‘hush-hush’ maintained around bras. The point of the article isn’t that no one should look or discuss. Of course, that is something I can’t control. But what is problematic is when those looks or comments make one uncomfortable.

      I dont understand your argument at all. What seems to be coming across is that you’re a mindless victim-blamer and once a woman has worn something, she loses the right to protest against feeling uncomfortable. That is downright ridiculous because people are bound to look when one wears something that is contrary to social norms, and of course, that more often than not leads to harassment. What you have said is so horrible and disgusting because it basically puts all responsibility on the victim (stupid rainbow car example)

      By talking about my shrillness, aggressiveness and shouting on campus, do realise what you’re doing. You’re again concentrating on the form as opposed to what is being said. Im assumed that you’re a man and you’re telling me that I’m unreasonable. Why can’t you simply concentrate on the fact that once someone is talking about something so grave, the form really shouldn’t matter? You’re painting this picture of an angry feminist and how I fit into the stereotype and again, you’re missing the point altogether.

      By calling me an attention-seeker, you are trivialising my very personal and emotional rendition of my experiences and that is downright disgusting. You basically want women to tell you’ reasonably’ and ‘calmly’ that they have been harassed. Did you miss the entire paragraph about the ‘perfect victim’? Also, who are you to decide whether a matter is small or important enough to merit my anger?

      How are you drawing this distinction between feminism and this, please explain? Sexism, harassment and bullying surely fall within the ambit.
      This ‘anti-social’ elements classification is also based on a completely non-nuanced understanding of harassment. All men are capable of sexually harassing, and this behaviour is not restricted to particular boys.

      As far as society’s decorum is concerned, some of us are trying to challenge that in itself. The decorum is extremely androcentric, based on patriarchal notions of ‘decency’ and of course, stifles women’s freedom of expression and self-determination. As a man, perhaps you will not be able to relate to it. This affects women far more than men, so it is not the simple truth applicable to everyone. These notions of professionalism are what are being challenged, and you are reinforcing. So perhaps, we cannot agree here.

      But wondering what will Aarushi shout at next is just so silly and immature because I mean, ya, she was harassed, but why cant she chill out in life.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dude. How is her taking off her bra any different from someone lusting after her and ogling her and rubbing his male parts (it happens in NLUD classrooms, btw)? In both instances there is an exercise of free choice. Her post indicates the level of scrutiny an individual goes through for exercising her choices. And that sucks.

      There is an ever present group of people at NLUD who sit around the canteen staircase and dictate the narrative. Individuals not confirming to certaistandards are mocked; one can’t be overweight or skinny, females should use hair removal products (you kidding me), small towners are dumb no matter what, mooting is the be all and end all etc.

      I have had enough experiences where I have seen people suffer because of all the prejudices rampant in NLUD. Though the author’s experience is something which goes beyond the limits of tolerance.

      Everyone is judged, made fun of and labelled. If you speak out you are labelled as “the guy or girl who’s mentally unstable”. I tried to fight a lot of them but instead ended up being labelled as unfaithful in my relationship (when nobody has the right to discuss that)/the one who made too much noise over little things, etc.

      I really hope the bullying comes to an end because I survived that hell, but there would be someone who may just give up.

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  25. I was wondering that I should share a point or two. I do not understand what you are trying to achieve. Is feminism all about the dress of a woman, and the length of the skirt of a girl is the ultimate measure of her emancipation? You are a girl from the social class well established in status quo, and you want some more entitlement for girls like you, namely a more liberal dress code. Most of the women in India cannot even afford to buy a bikini or your fancy clothes, let alone fancying to wear it. I am not supporting the people who send those illustrious messages to you, and you have the liberty to post any picture in your facebook page. But they will eventually reflect your taste more than they will symbolize your freedom. Why don’t you come up with a success in your life, and create your own identity, with which the society will start recognizing you, rather than by your garmental rebellion? Achievements speak more than rhetorics, and that is why Angela Merkel will always be a better symbol for rational women than Kim Kardashian.

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    • Sayantan, this article does not define the extents or the goals of ‘my feminism’. Im sorry, but wanting to wear what I want is certainly not an ‘entitlement’ for ‘girls like me’. Of course, I agree that it may seem exclusionary but the aim was never to make all girls wear short clothes, it was for them to be able to to if they so desired without being made felt uncomfortable.
      You are no one to decide what depicts my freedom. I don’t see how my acts preclude me from doing other things in life, or why they aren’t a personal success for me. Im in third year and this is only the beginning for me. Being in a law school doesn’t mean that my ambitions be limited to jobs, my college is a space for me to grow too, and these experiences have played a huge role in that which I would not like to be undermined.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Hey, I think this post is ultra modern and got inspiration from any Hollywood movie..I don’t think what this girl wants to explain. First of all it is India and not any western country..you can’t expect here to do whatever you want and in whatever manner and expect others to appreciate you and clap for you because of feminism..no one is stopping you from whatever you want to do in your personal life…but nlu is a place to study..not the beaches of Australia..our Indian culture is not represented by your thinking ..for you everything u have done is fine and acceptable …and if any other discuss or comment about it..he is gonna be culprit..India is a democracy..you can’t expect changing of everyone’s mentality overnight..if you want to be a inspiration ..you may be in other ways also ..like setting example in the law career for your college,like your other batch mates did..which is the main motive of any nlu to strive for excellence in the field of law…

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  27. “First of all it is India and not any western country..you can’t expect here to do whatever you want and in whatever manner and expect others to appreciate you and clap for you because of feminism”- Are you kidding me? Are you making a cultural argument here to defend repression of women choices?
    I dont understand the distinction between my personal life and my life in NLUD. The entire point of the article was to break the conception of ‘professional’ and to have the ability to wear what I want to to college.
    I think you have completely misinterpreted the term ‘democracy’. Nowhere have I claimed that I should be able to do what I want to with no one discussing it, but surely you can draw the line between that and harassment. A democracy cannot be given the restrictive meaning of people being allowed to talk, it is much more substantive than that and I definitely have the right to not be harassed.
    I dont understand the protection being awarded to the men ‘commenting’ and me being reprimanded for trying to ‘change everyone’s mentality overnight’. If you had paid a little attention, you could have seen that it spanned across semesters and the goal wasn’t to change people, it was to reclaim the public space with my body.
    As for you telling me that I should focus on my career, lets stop you right there. This article doesn’t reflect my career choices. Being in an NLUD doesn’t mean that I have to concentrate on law as a career, I would like to think that my options aren’t that narrow.
    I would like to concentrate on what my college can give me as of now, in the moment, and for that is the freedom to challenge norms, debate, discuss, and learn from mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moral police alert! I’m amazed. This flagbearer of ‘Indian culture’ doesn’t even have the balls to disclose his/her name here. Bloody keyboard warriors. And this is the educated class. That’s what makes me a bit cynical about our country. There’s no reason, no rhyme to what Mr/Miss Anonymous has said. The write-up was about how girls are prone to bullying and harassment in our campuses. “Our Indian culture is not represented by your thinking…” Whoa! Ever heard of “live and let live”? Or “to each his/her own”? For people like you, dowry, sati etc are Indian culture. Isn’t it? A woman should know her place. Pati parameshwar. Why am I even responding to this anonymous … Ugh..

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  28. It’s sad to see what you faced Aarushi, I’ll just tell you to keep doing what you do and I salute your fearlessness :) I wish I were as bold as you are. Hopefully things will get better now. You go girl!

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  29. i think Ms. mahajan does not need to be represented by you H Gary..she has enough courage and good mind to explain and represent herself ..m not here for any moral policing..i just wanted to clear some points like..NLU delhi being a state under article 12 of our constitution should be discussed also in the light of state..Ms. mahajan talks about freedom of wearing anything in which she feels liberated in nlu campus..and objects about talking .commenting ,discussing about her by her university students..most of the NLUs have their dress codes and i don’t know what is making NLU delhi a top law institution by making the exception in this case..if u have the charisma to attract a lot of people and make them notice you..why are you complaining then..you achieved what other girls dream of..wearing your choice of clothes in a government institution..you cant not censure each and every person there who is not acting like your imagination..if you are making a difference ..don’t regret for it..i could not understand in which way you were harrased in NLU..from starting to the end u did what you wanted to..now you can admire yourself for being an extraordinary girl or blame the whole university.its environment and its students for not felicitating for your acheivement…

    @ H GARY i think you should come out from the era of late 90’s and i said nothing which makes you remember old S***t practices…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Alok.
      1. I never claimed to represent her. Just like she never claimed to represent your interpretation of ‘Indian culture’.
      2. You wrote: “i just wanted to clear some points like..NLU delhi being a state under article 12 of our constitution should be discussed also in the light of state..” Hahaha… Gobbledygook! Vats, kehna kya chahte ho?
      3. You wrote: “i could not understand in which way you were harassed in NLU.” Isi baat ka toh dukh hai, bhai. If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem.

      Like

  30. I guess cheap, barbaric, inhuman boys from your college grow up to become lawyers like the one who gave the controversial interview in the documentary, India’s Daughters. You decided not to give a damn about what you wear, high time you decided not to bother about those comments either. And it’s their penis that is talking, ignore them. Their pea-sized, bigoted brains can’t handle your swag. You go girl!

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  31. Respect to the author ..

    On a related note its funny to see how this philosophy continues in the comment section where people hate on each other just cos they don’t like the other’s perspective .. its hilarious how we are turning into a society with tolerance levels are going down drains .. anyways .. cheers to the author again (y)

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  32. @H GARY yar tu kyun bina bat k hero ban raha hai. apna gyan kahin aur dikha bhai..tu dukhi atma lag raha hai mujhe..aur apna pahle thik se likhna sikh le bro …tere short form le likhne se tu kabil nahi ho jayega……

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  33. @H GARY yar tu kyun bina bat k hero ban raha hai. apna gyan kahin aur dikha bhai..tu dukhi atma lag raha hai mujhe..aur apna pahle thik se nam likhna sikh le bro …tere short form likhne se tu kabil nahi ho jayega……

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  34. Social evils will sustain no matter how much you protest/ complaint and I would accord most of it to our socially oppressed culture. I would like to know what prompted you to use your real name in this blog. No matter what people say in these comments, your image is getting tarnished. The question stands owing to the fact that you are a lawyer, supposedly.

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  35. Is this supposed to be feminist? If you don’t care about your looks then y r you so bothered everytime any1 comments? People do make fun of me if I don’t shave or that I’m fat… That doesn’t make them “anti-male” and I don’t get the point of removing your bra in front of everyone. I’m sure people will laugh at me if I removed my vest in the middle of a class.. Including girls. I respect that you r proud of what you are but what happened to you had nothing to do with your sex

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  36. hi…too long article so i dint read it full….can get d gist though….dear i have a genuine suggestion for u….what has happened has happened…1st thing that u have is a habit..wrong enough….even many of us have..to depend for our happiness on others….looks..appearances are deceptive..u must b knowng tat by now…love urself….aim for higher things….challenge urself….whatever happens there will b alwaz bad people and good people..we cant make them think our way…nor can we have company of all good ones all d times….get over this physical appearanc thing..and blaming others helps2relieve mind..but itz no solution.few years from now u will mature enough to find how childish this article is….but s4 nw..itz gud…one must express their thoughts.and2me Feminism is what irom sharmila and others r doing…c she doesnt need a dress code 2 prove herself..neither do u..itz inside…every women……liberty of mind…thing is that our society needs to change itz mindset to understand the abilty everyne has…whether men or women….and one should not be stopped on basis of sex….moreover we need to accept even women need professions,money..good life…like men…

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  37. You might want to correct the typo in the line – We feel entitled to know what happened, who the victim feels, why she isn’t speaking up Besides that glitch, In a country like this, the reactions like this from men – its not surprising, its sad yes, unacceptable yes, hope they see that too sooner rather than later

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  38. Hi Aarushi, outsider , chanced upon your post as i was researching some trends for campus. Been 8 years since i passed out, totally appalled that campus culture is become even more regressive and patronizing . You have my greatest respect , keep the swag and ignore the faggots. Do not let these comments and peabrains weaken your resolve. You should also be happy that workplaces are much more progressive than campuses as all multinationals actively build a culture that fosters diversity It would make you happy that for people like Eklavya, all it takes is an email to be shunted out with an eit without benefits as they try to reinforce their stereotypes. Another sincere piece of free advice from a well-wisher and a fan, Do not join an Indian workplace ( its a breeding ground for jokes like eklavya and alok ), go for a corporate career in a global multinational and you will kickass. See a very bright future ahead , immense clarity in the way you have responded to assholes and uncanny ability to filter the bullshit, shows an extremely high level of acumen. The world is your oyster , dont let campus farts bog you down, stay hungry , stay foolish.

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  39. I feel the same way in campus law centre. This is one the reasons I love going abroad and no one gives a damn of what you wear. I’m reminded my by loving boyfriend everyday that ‘please don’t wear that and step out of the house’ and ‘why do you always have to dress up sluttily’. It is sad that you had to face this in NLUD, for which I had lot of respect due to mooting. Clearly a fancy law degree doesn’t make one gender sensitive.

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  40. @Anonymous June 6, 2015 at 7:12 PM and @Vaibhav
    Both of you are men. I suggest that both of you read up on gender politics and the differential treatment that is meted out to men and women for their clothing.
    You may be called fat and may be shamed because you don’t fit societal norms of hotness, I don’t deny that. But don’t compare the experience of a male to the constant pressure a woman feels as our bodies are the only thing we are inherently measured by in our lives. There are industries created just to demoralise teenage girls on the basis of their appearance. Suicide and depression rates are at an all time high because thats what girls are supposed to think about.
    Men are criticised cause of their clothing because its unprofessional and casual but women face reprimand for different reasons.
    Our bodies are sexualised without consent. So this guy who says he won’t support me if I take off my bra, ask yourself why. Why do you draw your line at the bra? Because it is linked to your subjective notions of decency and morality. Because it holds up my boobs which you think you are entitled to sexualise. My body is yours and the society’s to determine which part is sexual and private and what part is decent. Why is it different from my denim jacket?
    These notions of morality apply differently across the gender spectrum and do not kid yourselves by saying that the same notions apply to us. They don’t. Please read up on the same.

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  41. “No Vice Chancellor would take on an ethnic-minority militant feminist. Those are not humble Nobel laureates who can be forced to resign quietly.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3143945/Lecturer-accused-sexist-Nobel-Prize-professor-keeps-job-despite-Mail-revealing-dubious-claims-career-told-update-CV.html#ixzz3eZt1g4RF

    I cannot believe the level of idiocy that our campus has descended to. What on earth is this attitude of not questioning? “Feeling entitled” works both ways, dummy. You feel entitled that other people shouldn’t get kicks at your expense. You feel entitled to shout at people for LIKING A GODDAMN COMMENT, yet bask in the likes you receive from you echo-chamber of not-so-secrets.

    I mean shit, it’s truly awful some of the things you went through, but that is absolutely no excuse to shout down and frighten anyone who tries to engage with you–people who want to understand what is going on, how it affects them, and how they are part of the problem, whether it is a problem from their perspective, and how they can be part of the solution. You’re not an object of curiosity deprived of agency any more than the rest of the world around you. It’s human nature to be inquisitive. Don’t put yourself on a goddamn pedestal. If you don’t want to answer them, then don’t answer them, but be clear that you do so because you feel entitled to the ‘fact’ that you can say whatever you want and not be criticized.

    GROW UP. The world doesn’t give you a trigger warning before you get hit by bus, or before someone disagrees with you on something that makes you uncomfortable (though in your case, it is difficult to know which would be louder–the screams whilst being crushed under a bus or you shouting down someone with a reasonable perspective that disagrees with yours, telling them to read that one Kat Mackin article you read the cliffnotes of before you became an expert on feminism).

    If someone disagrees with you, engage or do not. It does not matter. Do not shout them down and shut them up. I believe that was your problem with Abhish Mathew, yes? Take your own medicine without playing the woman card. Free speech and the struggles of women since time immemorial do not make you entitled to the largest loudspeaker in the marketplace of ideas.

    Some dumbo from GGSIPU recently wrote something calling you a Feminazi. She’s an idiot. She doesn’t have a point. You aren’t one. Because you cannot be one. Because it’s a idiotic word and people should stop using it.

    Moreover, Nazism as a parallel at most indicates intolerance of an immutable characteristic (judaism-being a man), doesn’t apply. A fair number of the ones who celebrate everything you do are male.

    Take a stance against the dress puller, the debater, the laser pointer–all of them. Shout if you want, form/substance is a non-starter as far as I’m concerned. Remember though, that shouting is not the same as shouting down. Terrorizing someone who has a coherent response is not not #NotAllMen (double negative, not triple–think about it).

    This is sad. Very.

    Because a lot of what you’re doing is awesome. A lot of it, however, is monopolizing the space of free speech on the NLUD campus, and that, my friend, is a problem. I’m a know it when I see it kinda person, and so besotted with post-structuralism that I cannot bring myself to draw a line of any sort. Buuuuut, allcaps-ing the living shit out of someone for liking a comment without any understanding of which severable part of it attracted their appreciation, which is subjective and depends on their identity and is an extension of their dignity, I see it. And I know it.

    Do you know why people deleted their comments? Because you terrified the living bajeezus out of them. Including Tanvee, I believe, who agreed with you after you engaged with her. Sure, you’re entitled to scare people. Whyever not? If your goal is exclude people from discourse and shove mouldable opinions out of the public space in campus, you’re going to get more laser lights and people’s accounts ‘hacked’ (actually or otherwise). Unfreedom does not beget freedom. Investing in a structure that enhances everyone’s liberty allowing a fair assessment of the relative value of their ideas, opinions, and consent is not your burden, or anyone’s burden. If you want to accomplish what you claim, however, be prepared to give as much as you get. And no, saying “but patriarchy” does not apply to the intellectual atmosphere at NLUD significantly enough for you to shout people down. It doesn’t. I know it because I have seen it, and anyone observing the campus in the veil of ignorance (or at least a lack of contrived self-importance) would know this. All I’m saying is that for you to reach your goals (please don’t “how dare you presume my goals” me–we agree on most things), consider including people in discourse rather than shunting them. Dissent works both ways–in Capitalist Russia as well as in Soviet Russia.

    The problem is that you aren’t a FemiNazi. You’re a FemiStalin.

    Ok, I said that to sound clever, but I must clarify: The fem has nothing to do with it. Shocker, right? My problem is with your method of engagement. Why am I entitled to comment? Because this here box entitles me to comment. Do I feel entitled to comment? Yes, I do, which is why I’m commenting. Do you feel entitled to stop me from it? Yes, you did. Fun fact: Aarushi initially wanted this to be published with comments blocked. Yes, the grapevine exists. Yes, CCR is amazing.

    If you feel entitled to live in an echo chamber and hide from the uncomfortable thought that you’re wrong, or overreacting (and not, simply being labelled as overreacting because you aren’t the ideal victim–telling people to unlike comments whilst drawing strength from/getting drunk on ‘likes’ on your own comments and tasteful pictures with chinoo is overreacting for a dude as well as a dudette–I mean look at Vadda for crying out loud), then go ahead. Be my guest. Oops, *be your own guest.

    You’re entitled to. And I am entitled to look on, and say “wow. what an idiot.” Free speech cuts both ways. Heretofore, you have not wanted free speech. People who assisted her– you’re idiots too. If you have a structure that is a better alternative to free speech, I would love to hear it. If not, don’t erode sustainable meta structures simply for the love of pomo feminism. There’s a hyphenated word-group thingy for people like you. It’s called a lynch-mob.

    Your cause is irrelevant. Your trials and tribulations are irrelevant. Your righteousness and zeal are irrelevant. a lynch-mob is a lynch-mob (unless it’s an EDM group, I suppose), and a lynching is a lynching.

    Stop.

    Ruining.

    NLUD.

    If you feel entitled to, that is.

    P.S. Kindly ignore the previous comment/delete it if it gets publish. Hand slipped to enter. It felt entitled to, I suppose.

    P.P.S. Want to write “hey you, bugger show your face, show your names if you have ball”? FEELING ENTITLED, HMMMMM? Go ahead. I’m scared. There, I said it.

    P.P.P.S. Ms. Seema Sapra: Feel free to use me as your personal human effigy for whatever cause has caught your fancy this day/month/year. Take me to court for putting sauce in your raspberry macarons or whatever it is you file cases for. I probably did it. You are significant and your footprints will not be lost on the sands of time. Totes.

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    • Reply to Maybe she’s borne with it. Maybe it’s… no, shedefinitely borne with it.

      Must say I am very impressed by your comment, I certainly couldn’t express myself as well as you do at your age :), though in my defence. I grew up in the pre-internet era and therefore I blossomed late.

      But really, I don’t see much to disagree with in your comment, where your protest is for the right to discuss and debate freely. I have no idea what debate is going on at NLUD or in other law schools.

      I only commented on this post by Aarushi Mahajan at Legally India and I stand by everything I said there. Was there something I said there that you disagreed with? Feel free to comment there or on something specific that I said, and we can engage, – otherwise I can only say that I found your P.P.P.S. above to me “cute”.

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  42. Maybe she’s borne with it. Maybe it’s… no, shedefinitely borne with it.: Thank you for writing a long comment reeking of privilege with the mask of your anonymity. Very brave.

    I would like to apologise for demanding that “no one get kicks at my expense” i.e. for telling men to not enjoy me begin harassed. So sorry. I forgot that that was something that they’re ‘entitled’ to.

    “You feel entitled to shout at people for LIKING A GODDAMN COMMENT, yet bask in the likes you receive from you echo-chamber of not-so-secrets.”: Lets address the context of the situation: I was harassed. Yes, online harassment is a thing. Men kept commenting and interfering despite me telling them not to. Then it resulted in SHOUTY CAPITALS. Not that those wouldn’t be justified in the first instance either. For you to understand why my shouting is acceptable, I would have to explain how victims of harassment react differently and how men contributing to that harassment cannot claim to be innocent and demand respectable treatment. If there was a crowd surrounding a harasser on the street and it was taking pictures, they would have been shouted upon, right? Or would you demand that even in that case, the female victim shut up and prepare a calm and polite response for the perpetrator directly inflicting harm. Please read up a little. You sound like you are in my college and Im worried that you’ll say shit like this to other women who’ve faced worse harassment. And that is disgusting.

    “I mean shit, it’s truly awful some of the things you went through”: Thank you for spending one line to acknowledge harassment, thank you. Thank you for defining the response I should’ve had in the very next sentence. I can shout at whoever, because no one is ‘entitled’ to engagement when I’m begin harassed. If someone genuinely want to understand what is going on, how it affects them, and how they are part of the problem, whether it is a problem from their perspective, and how they can be part of the solution :They can fucking wait and perhaps not ridicule and mock me when Im being harassed. if they’re curious, and by all means, thats great, I’m sure their curiosity does not begin and end in the moment of my harassment. You’re expecting the victim to sit down and engage with everyone calmly, whereas there is no expectation of good faith and decency from the onlookers. Are you a man? You’ve surely exhibited the privilege of one.

    ” It’s human nature to be inquisitive. Don’t put yourself on a goddamn pedestal. If you don’t want to answer them, then don’t answer them, but be clear that you do so because you feel entitled to the ‘fact’ that you can say whatever you want and not be criticised.”: Its also human nature to be compassionate to an event of harassment and to respect the woman’s wishes. My entitlement to say whatever I want in the event of my harassment is definitely greater than someone’s entitlement to be ‘answered’ while Im being harassed. Your comment is beginning to sound more and more ridiculous. Why don’t you begin reading up on responses to harassment rather than defending the nameless men who’ve been deprived the opportunity of engagement?

    “GROW UP. The world doesn’t give you a trigger warning before you get hit by bus, or before someone disagrees with you on something that makes you uncomfortable (though in your case, it is difficult to know which would be louder–the screams whilst being crushed under a bus or you shouting down someone with a reasonable perspective that disagrees with yours, telling them to read that one Kat Mackin article you read the cliffnotes of before you became an expert on feminism).”

    Thank you. For undermining my response to harassment. I need an antonymous person to tell me to not shout and criticise my responses. Your entire comment revolves around people trying to debate and me shutting them down. How about this: harassment may at times not be up for debate. That is the complainant’s wish and well, you have to deal with it.

    ” Take your own medicine without playing the woman card. Free speech and the struggles of women since time immemorial do not make you entitled to the largest loudspeaker in the marketplace of ideas.” : Sorry for playing the woman card which gives me SO MANY PRIVILEGES IN LIFE. It is amazing to be a woman and be harassed everyday everywhere. Oh wow. And on top of that, SO MUCH EMPOWERMENT. You just sound whiny now, please educate yourself.

    You talk about the feelings and expectations of people with coherent responses who’ve done nothing wrong but attempt to engage. Please try to see the other side of the coin and perhaps attempt to understand the expectations you’re putting on someone begin harassed and how they don’t only have to deal with their harasser, they have to deal with you and the people expecting responses. Women are harassed, thats a fact. At least let them deal with that first, rather than forcing them to interact with you at the same time. Anyone with the slightest hint of compassion or human dignity would know not to equate the woman and the people wanting to engage in this situation and would give her some room to breath.

    “Because a lot of what you’re doing is awesome. A lot of it, however, is monopolizing the space of free speech on the NLUD campus, and that, my friend, is a problem. I’m a know it when I see it kinda person, and so besotted with post-structuralism that I cannot bring myself to draw a line of any sort.”: If you live on campus, you’d also be able to someday realise that no one is precluded from doing anything in good faith. If your argument is that people commenting on a photo in which I was being harassed were trying to espouse different forms of feminism and I shut them down and monopolised discourse at that point, you’re very wrong. If you’ve been paying any attention, you’d see the diversity that has slowly begun to emerge. Stop defending the people on that post and saying that I ‘allcaps-ing the living shit out of someone for liking a comment without any understanding of which severable part of it attracted their appreciation which is subjective and depends on their identity and is an extension of their dignity’: Do you even sit back and wonder what you’re saying? You’re basically defending their dignity with no due regard to I don’t know, the person being harassed.

    Do you know why people deleted their comments? Because you terrified the living bajeezus out of them. Including Tanvee, I believe, who agreed with you after you engaged with her. : TANVEE LEFT FACEBOOK, YOU IDIOT.

    Sorry for scaring people contributing to my harassment. Honestly, please read up on cyber bullying and think on how their responses could have been anywhere else but there. I would not have shouted at them if they had messaged me. But if a boy is going to like another boy’s comment which is trying to take my case on a post in which I was harassed, Im sorry but he should butt the hell out. Im supposed to be understanding and encourage engagement, what the fuck was going on through the heads of the people who decided to make that post a circus. Or are you telling me they were so keen to engage that it could not have simply be done anywhere else??

    Fun fact: Aarushi initially wanted this to be published with comments blocked. Yes, the grapevine exists. Yes, CCR is amazing.: I wanted comments harassing me blocked. You are for sure, now, definitely a man. A man with the privilege of perhaps never being harassed when he wrote something. Thank you for being sarcastic on a post containing my harassment of three years. You truly deserve worthy engagement and come from a place of good faith.

    If you feel entitled to live in an echo chamber and hide from the uncomfortable thought that you’re wrong, or overreacting (and not, simply being labelled as overreacting because you aren’t the ideal victim–telling people to unlike comments whilst drawing strength from/getting drunk on ‘likes’ on your own comments and tasteful pictures with chinoo is overreacting for a dude as well as a dudette–I mean look at Vadda for crying out loud), then go ahead. Be my guest. Oops, *be your own guest.:

    You’re entitled to. And I am entitled to look on, and say “wow. what an idiot.” Free speech cuts both ways. Heretofore, you have not wanted free speech. People who assisted her– you’re idiots too. If you have a structure that is a better alternative to free speech, I would love to hear it. If not, don’t erode sustainable meta structures simply for the love of pomo feminism. There’s a hyphenated word-group thingy for people like you. It’s called a lynch-mob.

    Your cause is irrelevant. Your trials and tribulations are irrelevant. Your righteousness and zeal are irrelevant. a lynch-mob is a lynch-mob (unless it’s an EDM group, I suppose), and a lynching is a lynching.

    Stop.

    Ruining.

    NLUD. : HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    If you feel entitled to, that is.

    Dear privileged man-who is so concerned about engagement on campus that he goes to the extent of defending bullying-who has nothing concrete to suggest but criticise me,

    Thank you for this not so well thought out response. I do hope many people read it and realise that your viewpoint is one espoused by many. You differentiate yourself from the reply to the article on TRP, but you’re quite alike. Both pieces exhibit a complete lack of understanding at the power structures at play. Both offer a critique of responses to harassment (not up for debate) and critique to campus engagement( needs to be improved for sure, and yes, is up for debate). Both just say stuff to sound cool and completely dismiss the inherent nature of harassment, why it exists and persists, what are we as culture doing to perpetuate it. Both focussed on how engagement sucks, boys are shut down, everyone wants to speak up but you’re not letting them etc.

    Neither offered anything helpful for me to begin to engage with.
    If you could voice your opinion and would like to discuss how we can make engagement on campus better (with suggestions other than engage with the men liking comments which harass you or mock you), please feel free to email me anonymously. I will address your concerns, fellow NLUD male.

    Like

    • Aarushi, I really enjoyed and appreciate your response above. I think I was too kind to “Maybe she’s borne with it. Maybe it’s… no, shedefinitely borne with it.:” when I stated above that I did not find much to disagree with in his comment. Reading your response made where that dude was getting off clearer, it put the context straight for me. BTW I would love to read the Kat Mackin article referred to. please post a link.

      Like

  43. Har jawaab mein bade bade paragraph kyon chep rhi h… Yeh exam nhi h ki answer ko lamba kar rhi h… Underline karke margin bhi chhor de..top karegi..

    Like

  44. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histrionic_personality_disorder

    “HPD affects four times as many women as men.[1] It has a prevalence of 2–3% in the general population and 10–15% in inpatient and outpatient mental health institutions.[2]

    HPD lies in the dramatic cluster of personality disorders.[3] People with HPD have a high need for attention, make loud and inappropriate appearances, exaggerate their behaviors and emotions, and crave stimulation.[3] They may exhibit sexually provocative behavior, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and can be easily influenced by others. Associated features include egocentrism, self-indulgence, continuous longing for appreciation, and persistent manipulative behavior to achieve their own needs.”

    Still think it’s feminism?

    Like

    • Response to “You go girl. And get help.”, you don’t really deserve a response, people like you are best ignored, but must say – I presume you are very young, so its unfortunate that someone so young has lost the “idealism” of youth so early, jaded as you are to so viciously attack a young student who was sexually harassed. Or were you one of the perps in this case and its self-defence speaking?

      Like

  45. @Ezra,
    Anonymous on June 5, 2015 at 12:49 PM,
    Anonymous on June 5, 2015 at 3:55 PM,
    Dhananjay,
    A1 on June 24, 2015 at 6:36 PM,
    Anonymous on June 6, 2015 at 7:12 PM,
    Anonymous on July 2, 2015 at 1:46 PM,
    Eklavya,
    Sayantan Dasgupta ,
    Anonymous on June 7, 2015 at 1:36 PM,
    vaibhav,
    prabz1204,
    Maybe she’s borne with it. Maybe it’s… no, shedefinitely borne with it.

    Everything you said has been voiced similarly in this piece.
    http://www.mensxp.com/special-features/today/26657-10-real-reasons-why-men-dont-trust-women-anymore.html

    Its an article about male oppression by a man, on a website dedicated to men. You may find articles which interest you here. If you want to deepen your chauvinism that is. Please go through these ridiculous articles and realise that your ignorance is very similar :)

    Like

  46. I was some how routed here via a tweet,
    I read most of the comments and entire post and felt compelled to leave a post

    The impression I got in your post is that you are
    – experimenting life [like when you mention different types of tops etc] and
    – pushing the boundaries [like when you mention this should get the guys out of their comfort zones ]
    – perhaps also trying to bring out common occurrences and experiences of girls in general

    but when you are experimenting and pushing boundaries, for which you are getting real world feedback,
    also you are building up an impression which is lingering on, and not playing favorably towards you

    if you just act as a neutral, without bringing sexes, just a general game, you can think there will be pros and cons to what you are doing. It depends on your mental maturity and toughness, you have got an experience, to learn from and play more skill fully in future

    but I bet if you were a more power/ socialite / experienced player [if you read some of the comments, some women mention they cant think of pushing to the level what you could do, means this is a relative game] – then you could have handled it lot better.
    May be you are on the way, the blog and comments are giving you further feedback

    But my advice, life is too short to learn everything yourself, learn from other experiences,
    and take caution when you do decide to experiment with fire in future

    Cheers

    Like

  47. btw I do empathize with some of the other regular experiences you have shared, I have had been told of women in Ggn not able to get off the car in general on roads etc,
    And the one you talked about – that the strangers are still strangers, the known ones can be even more of a shocker etc

    There is no defense for those behaviors, but all I can say is women are more emotionally mature than men in general, and that’s the silver lining, those experiences make you that,
    So if you look at it in a bigger picture, every event in life is perfectly planned out, if you were told that God creates those experiences [slightly metaphysical, but it has a strong basis] – then you wouldn’t hold anger and me vs them thought, just see the silver lining. you cant fight god, and he has best interests for you.

    Cheers

    Like

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