Holla back, India

India's female bloggers protest daily sexual harassment.

Topics: Broadsheet, India, Love and Sex,

Thanks to Boing Boing for pointing out the Blank Noise project, an Indian blogging campaign that, like “Holla Back NYC,” is shedding light on daily public sexual harassment. Blank Noise has gathered more than 250 bloggers to write about “eve teasing,” the practice of verbally or physically harassing women on the street.

There are reports of the things the bloggers have heard on the streets (“Gosh! Look at her, shes so cheap, why does she bother wearing anything, she would rather be naked.” “Lipstick? I think its too much. People will think you’re a slut!” “I am allergic to women in pants. It is against our culture”) along with tales of women who have been groped, who have started dressing androgynously to avoid attention, and who carry a safety pin with them when they walk.

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Blank Noise writes, “I ask for it because I have a body with breasts that I should feel ashamed of? I ask for it because you think there are good girls and bad girls, decent girls and indecent girls? I ask for it because you think I am attractive? … When we demand the need to make our cities non threatening, I don’t expect anyone to think of me as their sister or mother, but to really look at women as citizens who have every right to be out on the streets, without any explanation. Sometimes we just love to walk, stand around, hang around, without looking ‘available.’”

Check out the very impressive list of participating blogs, and read some of the stories; they are incredible.

Rebecca Traister
Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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