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Monday, November 17, 2014

how free and safe are women to walk in New York and in amchi Mumbai !!!

In every old movie, in the college scene, the heroine coming from a village would be ridiculed for her dressing style – she would find it odd and tough to cope up with other girls in modern wear !  - whether she adapts to the change or make others realise that her way is right was the theme of many films.  The famous  Katy Perry [remember she danced at Nandanam promoting IPL 5] alongside bollywood divas and actors]  went trad Indian for her wedding to the comedian Russell Brand conducted in India – and not many young Indian girls would prefer such dresses as their wedding wear.

The oft quoted words of Gandhi goes – the day  a woman walks freely on a road at midnight on the  roads of India, one can say that we have achieve real Independence.

Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, later Leia Organa Solo, is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, portrayed by the actress Carrie Fisher. The character is one of the main protagonists of the original Star Wars trilogy.  Recently a video went viral – that of Princess Leia taking a 10-hour stroll around New York City recently, “wearing a simple white dress with her hair in space buns,” she discovered the earthly city to be a wretched hive of scum and villainy. In this “Star Wars”-themed parody – the viral video  highlighted the street harassment faced by one woman walking around the Big Apple, the Princess of Alderaan similarly struggles to find some peace on the streets of the metropolis. During the leisurely stroll, she was  hounded by individuals from a galaxy far far away, living and wandering in the streets of New York.

In another incident, reports suggest that the woman was verbally harassed, stalked and catcalled more than 100 times in one day while walking around in New York City in a video that has gone viral.  The video hails from the group Hollaback, which aims to end street harassment globally. It features sections as wideranging as Croatia to Chicago….  Shoshana B. Roberts, a 24-year-old actress, saw a casting call on Craigslist and allowed Bliss to record her walking through various neighborhoods in New York City over the course of 10 hours. Roberts remains straight-faced in the video as male strangers greet her, comment on her personal appearance, and in some cases, follow her for several minutes.

After seeing the popular 10 Hours of Walking In New York City video, the team at India’s IndieTube decided to make a Mumbai version of the popular video.  …… and not so surprisingly, Pooja Singh - dressed in a vest top and short skirt - was not catcalled or harassed once.  Daily Mail reports that as the  woman walked through the second most populated city in the world’s most populated country, several men stare - but nobody catcalls or says anything derogatory.

‘Not even a single incident of woman street harassment took place in a city that has diversified culture, demographics and economy,’ a title card at the end of the video reads. ‘The female citizens are safe, respected and treated unbiased in this city which never sleeps.’ This comes in contrast to actress Shoshana B Roberts - who was the subject of the original video set in New York.

Ms Roberts was told to smile, advised to thank the men for their lewd comments and threatened with rape. The difference is stark: in the original New York version, there were more than 100 examples of harassment over the 10 hours Ms Roberts was walking the streets of New York, not including whistles and winks. In India, subject Pooja Singh received none.

-        ~ and  has that not  a lot to do with  Indian culture !!!
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

17th  Nov. 2014.

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