29 Oct 2016

Shritika Bhardwaj

Ever heard of it, RAPE ANXIETY?

Most women tend to have “rape anxiety” in public. Many of us might not understand this concept, so here I try to explain some feelings and thoughts which can be termed as rape anxiety.


Sometimes, if a woman is walking alone on a deserted path, she may worry that she might get raped. That anxiety can even happen in more low-risk situations, like even walking to work in broad daylight or even when someone rolls down the window of their car to shout something about our bodies.
So now most of you still won’t have any idea about it but a woman experiences this fundamental truth every day. This feeling is shared, to some degree, with most women (and other marginalised people who are threatened in public spaces).

So to all guys out there, you might unintentionally make your counterparts nervous by just being around them in a weird way. It may be uncomfortable to start talking about sexual violence and harassment, but it's so, so necessary for all of us and the most important thing is that a guy should be aware about what his female friend wants him to do when she talks of sexual harassment and violence.

1.      Listen very carefully

It is very important to listen to a female when she speaks be it about whichever topic she talks about (Just listen to avoid pissing her off). Keeping jokes aside and coming to the point, whenever a girl wishes to discuss a sensitive issue with you remember that she trusts you and she confides in you, please be generous and make your ears available for her words. She might just want you to listen and if you have your opinion regarding the issue please put it forth because this might change her view of the world and it too can affect your thinking process as well.  


2.     Be aware of your behaviour

It is not always true that if a women looks at you she might be interested in you, maybe she is just glancing at you to make sure that you aren’t a threat. You need to understand the hint that a women is trying to avoid you. Most of the times you are harmful to the opposite gender but maybe your body language and behaviour might drops signals that a woman will perceive to be incorrect. So make sure you are a gentleman.

3.     Use your privilege as a shield


The perpetrators of gendered micro aggression, sexual harassment, and sexual violence aren't strangers — they're the men in your classes, your workplace, your gym and all areas of society. So if you see something wrong happening, please make a move and say something because if you won’t, nobody will. And PLEASE teach your sons, brothers, and friends to do the same.