Be safe, little woman

So, a collection of advice for women who must live in a world of men. This collection ought to keep you safe from sexual molestation unless you are really unlucky.

  1. Never dress provocatively. Allow for interpretations of provocation, and wear something that covers every inch of your body – LOOSELY – your figure is provocative.
  2. Return home before dark.
  3. Avoid staying in a home with male members who could molest you.
  4. When you are walking on the road, stay focused at all times. Don’t plan dinner. Someone could simply walk up to you and grab your breast while you think recipes.
  5. Do not talk unnecessarily with men. You never know who will take it to mean sexual permission.
  6. Do not travel on buses or any public transport without separate arrangements for women.
  7. Avoid traveling out of town for work, but if you must, avoid traveling with male colleagues. If that is unavoidable, never ever invite them to your room. All it takes is one bad guy.
  8. When walking on the street, note all them men around, specially any moving in your direction. Be prepared to dodge.
  9. When walking on the street, keep your elbows out to push any men who may walk into you, arms slightly raised to protect your breasts if needed.
  10. Don’t wear heels in public. You never know when you  need to run.
  11. Carry weapons. A gun or knife would be best, but that is not womanly. Carry mace. Or at least safety pins and chilly powder.
  12. Don’t wear frocks or skirts, no matter how long. They are easier for rapists.
  13. If you see a parked car with men sitting inside, don’t go anywhere near it.
  14. If you have long hair, be extra careful for anything ranging from chewing gum to yanks from passing vehicles. Know that it is the perfect handle for your head if you get assaulted or raped. Cut it short.
  15. If you end up traveling by bus, don’t travel in one where you can’t keep a foot distance between you and the next person.
  16. Learn martial arts, but more important, become a serious runner.
  17. Do not talk back to neighborhood bullies. They may take it personally and target you.
  18. Do not have male friends.
  19. Avoid being alone with male relatives.
  20. Do not travel in the gent’s compartment of a train at rush hour, no matter what your boyfriend/husband/other male companion says.
  21. When on train stations, stand well off the edge of the platform as the train enters and be prepared for disembarking passengers “accidentally” running into you.
  22. If you stand in the door of a train, be prepared for men in other doors to make rude gestures – anything from facial expressions, obscene exposures to spitting, if they are in the door ahead. Dodge, glare, look the other way.
  23. Do not walk on foot over bridges in non-rush hours. If you do, be hyper alert to all other people on it.
  24. If you walk on lonely bridges at night, do not look too carefully at what the man standing in the corner is doing as he looks at you. Trust me, you don’t want to know.
  25. Do not assume that knowing someone means you can trust yourself to be alone with them. No one. Particularly not men. Particularly not relatives, neighbors or close friends.
  26. Do not work late unless most other colleagues are staying back.
  27. If you work late, do not go to deserted areas of your office building.
  28. If you work late, do not trust male colleagues to drop you home.
  29. If you work late, do not trust cabs, buses or any public transport.
  30. If you work late, get your car out of any parking areas that will be deserted by the time you leave.
  31. When getting in your car, always check that there is no one in it. Even if it was locked.
  32. During family functions, do not trust any distant relatives with any extra curricular fun – movie, local sightseeing, etc.
  33. During weddings, do not assume that the relatives of the “other” side are safe to be around.
  34. During children’s parties, school gatherings, etc, keep an eye out for their fathers getting too close under the pretext of casual interaction.
  35. Do not walk into police stations after hours.
  36. Do not interact with policemen alone
  37. In hospitals do not allow male attendants to enter your room.
  38. Do not attend ill males in hospitals alone. Particularly over night.
  39. If your car is parked in a deserted spot and you must get to it, bring out your mace, safety pins, chilly powder, whatever first and run through your safety preparedness plans first.
  40. Never draw attention to yourself and stand out in a crowd. Always draw attention to yourself and become conspicuous with few people around – so that if you need help, people can see it easily.
  41. Do not trust good samaritans to be alone with you. You never know if it was helpfulness or possessiveness that slayed previous monsters.
  42. Do not order home delivery for groceries unless other people are at home too. That goes for all deliveries.
  43. Practice swiftly presenting your arm or side to anyone reaching out for your breast. It will come in handy on a daily basis.
  44. Do NOT relax if the last time you got hyper about a touch was an inanimate object you leaned on accidentally. The next touch will again be an opportunist.
  45. If you travel home late a lot, seriously consider anti-rape devices. Better still, return home early.
  46. If you complain about a molestation, be hyper vigilant for worse attacks in retaliation.
  47. Wear thick clothing if you anticipate having to board or alight from crowded transport.
  48. If you have a stalker, change your route, change your timings, try and find a trusted escort.
  49. Do not trust anyone who stays away from you publicly and keeps trying to contact you in private.
  50. Do not trust male friends of any family member, including husband.

The list goes on, but this should give you a fair idea. Feel free to add to it in comments, and I will add them here. Let us make a really “safe” list for women.

Be Safe, Little Woman!

Note: For those who don’t “get it”, this is a sarcastic take on women having to be hyper-alert constantly for fear of being molested and a world that advises them to be more and more careful. Women are used to thinking like this about various situations and adding situations they encounter molestation in. Not even this list can guarantee safety for a woman.

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About the Author

Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

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