Light of recent events, women’s safety has definitely gained a great deal of importance; an event that should have happened much sooner. As they say though, better late than never. The nation’s capital had slowly become a feeding ground for men who see women as nothing more than pieces of meat. They are constantly on the prowl; while some get a kick out of a simple whistle or shoulder bump, others go on to commit much more heinous acts. With the string of protests and forwarded SMSs which strongly condemn such acts, we all know change takes time. The change required here is much more than reduction of a particular form of behaviour. It is a deeply ingrained thought in the minds of many individuals raised in a society of complete patriarchy.

As society changes however, we women have to keep in mind that safety comes first. I’m sure all of us have experienced at least one incident which sent chills down our spine. Whether it is a casual stare or even somebody following us, we’ve all been there. What matters is, there is always a way out. I remember an incident in which three men who were on one bike followed me as I was travelling back home on a rickshaw. Though I did not pay heed at first, as they continued to follow me, my fear grew. I began to sweat profusely, my hands became clammy, and I did not know what to do. At that very moment I realized that I needed to get a hold of myself, I needed to think my way out of this one. I picked up my phone and pretended to dial the police, acting as calm and non-chalant as possible. I made sure those men could hear me, all I needed to do was make them fear me; make them realize that I can do just as much harm. Though that did work, I got off of the rickshaw a few blocks before my house, just so the men would not have a definite idea of where I live.

The incident, though extremely frightening, did teach me to rely on my senses. I learned to not picture myself as a vulnerable and helpless damsel in distress; rather, as a woman who knows how to get out of a tough spot. Though such thinking does not apply to all situations, it’s a thought all women should carry with them as they venture out into the city. In fact, there have also been reported incidences of women beating up eve teasers. Now, we know violence is not the answer, but we can learn a lot from these women. The most important lesson being preparation and confidence are very important!

Aside from the normal advice we all get from our mummies and daddies (‘come home before it gets dark’, ‘don’t travel alone’,etc.) women should also keep in mind that we are not vulnerable. If we use our heads, there are so many ways we can scare off wrongdoers. Moreover, with several operational help lines and alternatives such as self defence (classes happening all over the Delhi-NCR area) we can actually prove that there is no such thing as the “weaker sex” by being prepared, mentally as well as physically. So Delhi ki kudiyaan, party, protest, be safe, and remember: ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’

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