Udisha Srivastav - It's 2021, Harassment Of Women On The Streets Is Still Rampant, Will It Ever Change?

Whether it’s at home or on the streets, at the workplace, or on public transport, women do not tend to feel secure anywhere. The patriarchal outlook and misogynistic mindset have spread their roots deep into the societal structure, living minimal space for women to breathe freedom and independence. 

Shockingly, according to the National Commission of Women (NCW), in June 2020, when the country was under a lockdown, 194 cases of sexual harassment and molestation were registered. It means, even when the world was battling with an uncertain health crisis, humanitarian crisis and human rights violations ensued. Will they always continue?

Take a look at this short piece of poetry that talks about the struggle of women on the streets and how they heal themselves again and again to encounter the new ones. 

When we walk out of home after nine,

at that time, 

men on the streets reign.

Seeing around, 

there are hardly any of us on the road,

kept inside, preserved and protected,

we are anyway too much of a load. 

Shadows of trees and buildings

fall on a dimly-lit and deserted street,

often suggesting us to walk faster

and sometimes to just retreat.

As it gets more gloomy 

and dark, 

they sit on their haunches

like a blood-thirsty shark.

Feeling their scary apparitions,

chills run down our spine,

sweat wetting our forehead,

and a mournful whine.

We think, “don’t they have a sister?”

Maybe they are a monster,

thrilled to do anything sinister.

We come back home, take a hot water bath,

and some sleep,

feeling disgusted and pathetic,

lying in bed like a crushed heap.

With tears rolling down, 

we sob silently and grumble,

but when it happens again,

we don’t let the mountain inside us crumble.

We collect the broken shards of our soul,

piece by piece,

making it a fixated whole.

We know, that we are

treated less like humans, 

but more like rumors,

not equal to your boys,

but surely like toys,

not an inch of respect,

but labeled an object,

not as a workaholic early riser,

but a satisfying delicious appetizer,

and leave the humanity part,

for you, 

we are just a work of art.

Yet again,

we try to stand tall, 

like a strong wall.

And that is what defines us,

our beauty, our strength and us,

the women. 

Image credits: BBC

Udisha Srivastav is a Freelance Content Writer with Femsay.com