We train our children meticulously to be careful of strangers, making them aware of the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. Fast forward to adulthood, where we find ourselves back in the company of warm touches which are suggestive, casual, friendly, aggressive -I could probably go on.
As an adult, we navigate ourselves around the world in an attempt to find peace and to be healthy, exercise for the mind and soul, work to have our finances sorted. Amidst all of these real-world responsibilities who would have thought that there would be a need for us to get up and hold a neon signboard that screams bad touch? Predators exist in all forms.
Let me try to list them out for you:
- The Gym – The overeager personal trainer invading the bubble known as your personal space to tap your backside or give you a massage which feels uncomfortable. This is an absolute NO.
- The yoga studio – the postures do need help sometimes, but if he is touching you in a friendly manner, tapping your shoulder, taking your leg too close to his crotch or asking you to give yourself up entirely to him, the warning signs couldn’t be clearer.
- An interview in an office space – if your boss asks you to wear shorter clothes, touches you for no reason, offers you lifts for no reason. If you are not comfortable, this is not ok
- Within your home – if you maids are repeatedly complaining about any of the men in your house, there is a reason for their accusations. As women, we have an instinctive tendency to brush these issues under the carpet. Be it the wife, daughter, daughter in law or any other person who the complaint is taken to. But as someone who is in a position to help-Do Better.
- Swimming pools, Tennis courts, Schools, the list goes on.
The scariest part of this all is the commentary that follows. When we hear women say “We should be strong”, “we shouldn’t put ourselves in such compromised positions” or even “if it were my daughter she would have got away from that situation immediately.”
My dear women, let’s not normalize this behaviour and make it ok. Let’s not make situations like this easy or more accessible. Let’s not allow other women/girls to be preyed on. If we don’t put a stop to it now and help a sister out, we will be the downfall of one another.
One out of every four women becomes a victim of severe violence. One out of every two will be confronted by sexual harassment over her lifetime. These crimes are everywhere and can take place behind any front door in the country, every day, and barely elicit much more than a shrug of the shoulders and superficial dismay.
Natascha Kampusch, 3,096 Days