Is this all that I am?

August 13, 2008 at 7:55 pm 65 comments

While talking about TISSTalks to various people in campus, one reaction (which was shared by quite a number of people) was that they haven’t faced sexual harassment on campus. I wish I were among that privileged few, however I am unfortunately not and this was my experience here.

They say campus is a gender sensitive space. While I have always been conscious that I am studying with people of the opposite sex, I have never really worried about what they thought of me and whether I should dress a certain way only because I am going to be around them. I never knew then, that it was wrong of me to wear something ‘inappropriate’ to class. And so, stupid me, I decided one fine morning to wear a skirt to class.

There was a chorus of hoots and whoops which I did not really expect but accepted as run-of-the-mill. I had never worn a skirt before that, besides which, most of that choir was made of girls. However, later on, this guy from my class comes up to me and says – Well Sanjana, the other guys and myself were talking about you and we decided to buy you a longer skirt.

For a moment, I was speechless. Actually, I STILL am speechless. At that point of time, I laughed it but inside I was seething. How dare they imply that I was not supposed to wear something, which I am comfortable in, which I think I look good in? How dare they say that I (as a big person) could not be allowed to show off (my ugly?) legs? How dare I affect their delicate sensibilities by showing some skin?

It may have sounded like a mild statement to some. It may seem harmless to others. But to me, it spoke of complete disregard for a person’s, a woman’s free will to dress the way she feels like. Offering to buy something for someone out of friendship is something, but to do the same to cover up the person’s legs is something else altogether. I still cannot get over this and I am ashamed to admit this but now, whenever I open my cupboard and look at that particular skirt, I hesitate. Cause I don’t know who’s going to ask me to cover up this time.

I am glad that finally I can tell the whole campus about this. I am glad that people will now know that such statements are NOT ACCEPTABLE. I am more than my body, I am more than my legs. And don’t ask me to cover up…because I wont. Because it’s not about you…it’s about me.


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65 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ankur  |  August 13, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    I agree with whatever u r saying.. juat wanna add something,..firstly if ppl r criticising n till u r honest n true to urself..i dont think it makes much of difference.. n secondly, avoid using terms like..’tiss is a gender insensitive place’,, coz some individuals mite be, bt it is nt correct to genralize d institute under their names..n also criticism arises more whn either v try to genralize things or thinking ourself as knowledgeb;e try 2 preach others… wht v want is gender sensitization whch is only possible by collective effort and applying an all inclusive approach… targeting or labelling ppl wont solve the problem….

  • 2. Contrapunto  |  August 14, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Did you notice the prponderance of the’I’ in this viewpoint? While I agree its absolutely a person’s prerogative to dress up comfortably, there’s equally a question of to what extent that freedom can be taken to.. This is not to speak of in any moralistic sense, but the respect for other people’s sensibilities is equally important.. I for one have get peeved to see people in ridiculously low low waist jeans- totally repulsive to my aesthetic sensibilities.. So where do you draw lines between personal choices and a sense of respect for other people’s sensibilities? Or do they not matter at all? Just wondering..

  • 3. suresh.......  |  August 14, 2008 at 9:06 am

    @ β€œIs this all that I am?”
    i completely agree with what you are saying. come on people we have to respect individuals choices and it is very appropriate when she made a voice …………..needs to be heard…
    i think this is shameless on the part of the male student of this campus…
    till now these voices were there under carpet now i think they are coming out
    people what ever you are doing is steering the tilted balance
    and these people are showing their sheer frustration don’t stop here just carry on till the people starts exchanging equal status not only in words but in deeds..
    one has to respect individuals existence & their choices….

  • 4. Hena  |  August 14, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    You go, Sanjana, and wear what you feel like wearing. Your body is yours, and it really isn’t for others to be gawking at, or to be covered up.

    As for the matter of other people’s sensibilities, these are to be displayed in the way one-self behaves, not by expecting others to conform to your conception/perception of what is sensible and what is not. And if you don’t like what you see, turn away. It is as simple as that. But, trumpeting “Respect MY sensibilities, but YOURS are open to being trampled upon” doesn’t really help the issue now, does it?

    As for that classmate, Sanjana – how about we buy him some ‘whiskered’ jeans? Aren’t those atrocious? πŸ˜€

  • 5. Ankur  |  August 14, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Hey smwhere i feel that we are diverging frm our objective…
    sensitization means a change in attitude..
    blaming or pointing finger wont work..wht we are doing nw is trying 2 create a danger zone..n through fear we wanna stop such incidents…bt, i feel respect fr the opposite sex n sexuality, if we r looking fr equality then using fear as a means is wrong.. and i hope the talk which has been initiated will help in bridging the gap n nt widening it…

  • 6. Vaishno  |  August 14, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    thats right, change in attitude is needed. though such a change would take a long time, we should still voice our opinion and just be true to ourselves. when i am not forcing my views on anyone, nobody has the right to force their’s on me. though we must understand the context from where a person is coming, we must not lose our own values and beliefs in the process…. just be yourself, that’s whats important.

  • 7. Janice  |  August 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I completely agree with Hena and Ankur. However, I must agree that I have never been so conscious about being ‘female’ as I feel after coming to TISS. My clothes to me are an expression of who I am. No one! Absolutely NO ONE has the right to tell me that its revealing (isnt that a subjective term), especially not in college. College is supposed to be a place where we develop our understanding not generate homogenous ideas that adhere to stereotypes.

  • 8. Varun (HRM)  |  August 14, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Hmm…well to be very frank, it is very difficult to comment when we hear only one side of the story, in this case Sanjana’s….I have no reason to doubt the fact that 99.99 % , the guy wanted to ridicule her for her skirt…but then there could be something else too…..I feel what is more important is ” Educate The Man”…in this case, Sanjana, after some time, once everyone’s cooled off, you could have walked upto this guy and told him how you felt and in general how women feel when such ridiculous comments are you may argue that does this guy need any telling….doesnt he have the brains or sensitivity to understand ??? Well, I shall just say there is no harm in hammering a point 100 times…as a guy, I shall have no qualms about listening to a gal complaining to me about my demeanour….in fact, I shall be mortified and more than that, I would love to learn from that and avoid such kind of behavior again…this kind of incident happened to me too on Meghmudra day when I passed some comment ( which strangely I cant recollect) on a senior and I was talked to by the senior guys…at the end of the night, everything was sorted out and there was a sense of respect among all…!!!

  • 9. Varun (HRM)  |  August 14, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Slightly diverting from the issue, there is no where written in the Gita or the Quran, that you cannot wear a short skirt if you are a “big” girl with “ugly” legs….in the first place, I dont quite agree with “big” associated with “ugly”, ( not saying Sanjs implied that..), thats another stereotype we need to get rid off that big women cannot be beautiful..!!!

  • 10. shall i reveal  |  August 14, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    sanjana…i wud really like u get that skirt out n wear it t omorrow n break all the shakles of our (or yours) friends’ mind…go ahead n njoy the independence day on ur terms n hope u wud wear THE skirt

  • 11. shall i reveal  |  August 14, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    hena….liked ur views…well i cannot agree more wid u..

  • 12. Hoopla Over Nothing(HR)  |  August 15, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Dear All,

    Everything in this campus, and i mean everything, is considered with such “sensitivity” as it may never ever require. I do not understand, what ails this campus. Wearing or not earing something is of least imporatance to my existence. Those who proclaim that it is a case of sexual harrasment, itself are giving it a sexual overtone.

    Just imagine a boy turning up for a class in a pair of shorts. Will he not be seen as offending sesibilities in a similar fashion? Will he not be ridiculed in a similar manner? Essentially this issue is not of gender discrimination, it is not even of “abuse” or “religious diktats”. It is about appropriateness to the conduct and slomenness of the occasion. A “class” is not your personal space, but also shared by others. It is as uncomfortable for them as it is for you. Therefore claiming that your comfort matters more to you is itself “insensitive”, no point branding the whole place insensitive then. “Educate” yourself first and then go about educating others or changing “attitudes”

    It is plain and simple an issue of “covert assertion”, trying to ruffle feathers just for the heck of it. trying to be seen as an activist (ofcourse one needs a cause for that right?). How is wearing a wearing a skirt equivalent to “breaking shackles”? Please my dear intellectuals, one does not invariably wear clothes for oneself, one wears it to project oneself to “others”, as one of your “favourite and most quoted philosopher” has said, “without the other there is no self”. So all those creating hoopla about it being “my body”, “my freedom”, please wear a bikini to class tommorow onwards and “break all shackles”…..

  • 13. shall i reveal  |  August 15, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    hoopla over n othing…..a bit confusing….on one hand u say that issues are being raised just for the sake of raising…so there are so many here already doing that..n dan u join in to preach whether a topic is an issue or not …come on..we have enough hoopla on something no more hoopla on nothing plzzzz

  • 14. Ankur  |  August 15, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    @hoopla over nothing
    it is sad to hear such remarks.. dear u can nt tell that ppl here r insensitive, coz u by nt realizing n understanding their pt of view are actually passing judgements… n also wht is “wear a bikini”..i think b4 passing such statement atleast give it a thought.. u cannt demean ppl like this. u absolutely dont have any right to tell ppl wht to wear n wht not.. no one is asking fr ur opinion dat hw one shud clothe onself to look decent.. wht we r asking is to respect n accept ppl as wht dey are… n plz try 2 understand n nt mis-interpret d notions of ‘my body’, ‘my freedom’… respect individuals..

  • 15. Ankur  |  August 15, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    i agree wud -shall i reveal

  • 16. Janice  |  August 15, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Dear Hoopla πŸ˜›

    Firstly, the fact that you compared a skirt to a bikini empasises the need for gender sensitization at TISS.

    Secondly, even if anyone wears shorts to class, and some do find it offensive – please remember that its your gaze that needs to be changed. A body is not sexual unless one attaches sexual connotations to it.

    Thirdly, wearing a short skirt is no equal to ‘breaking shackles’… What u need to understand is that one has the freedom to wear what they want. And what may be short to you may not be considered as being short by others.

    So, learn to respect other people.

  • 17. Varun (HRM)  |  August 16, 2008 at 1:38 am

    Points all well made…in fact there’s nothing more to say….my 2 bits would be :

    You said ” If a guy wears a pair of shorts, would he not be ridiculed ?”
    My answer is maybe…maybe not..( not bcoz there is a guy I know in HR who does wear shorts to class…!!!)

    My point is would anyone go to the guy and say ” Dude, we all have decided to buy you a longer pair of shorts ???”

    Please be truthful when you answer my question ( if you ever shall..!!)

  • 18. shall i reveal  |  August 16, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Janice, Ankur…i agree with wot u said…we hv to respect and accept people as they are and respect their personal choices and their sexuality…and at the end it is the nature of gaze (spriarllin gout of ur thought processes) is to be should not be such that you are stripping the person of opposite sex rather dan looking at him or her at a human level….i wud rather ask ppl to ahead with their personal choices n do not mind wot otherz are thinking….coz u can quastion a gaze….but cannot enter the labryinth of mind n change the thinking processes of ppl like HOOPLA…..hope i m able to make myself understandable

  • 19. Varun (HRM)  |  August 16, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    @shall I reveal,

    I dont think we can change mindsets..all we can do is make them aware of what damage they are causing….once they learn this, then its their call whether to change themselves or else stay the same ( n bear the guilt of conscience.!!!)

  • 20. Janice  |  August 16, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Changing a mindset is diffcult. One is free to do think and do whatever they feel like, provided in the bargain nobody’s personal space is violated.

  • 21. TOBEHONEST  |  August 17, 2008 at 4:53 am

    it is not about mindsets….its more about HORMONES!!!…..come on people we are at an age when our hormones are raging…we just cannot help but look at attractive members of the opposite sex in specific manners…..and when they wear some kind of clothes….in some more specific manners….thinking about this as insensitivity is stupidity….u have got to realize that there are somethings in us which even we cannot control and that control us….like our HORMONES!!!

  • 22. TOBEHONEST  |  August 17, 2008 at 4:58 am

    As for what the guys did 2 u sanjana….u just need to tell them that their point has been heard but u dont agree with it….so just buzz off!!….yup thats what u should do….show some attitude…wear what u want and what makes u comfortable…there will always be those who comment and criticize..if it is not the size it is the colour or the accessories….you dont need to think twice just because somebody said something!!!

  • 23. Varun (HRM)  |  August 17, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Well, forgive me for being provocative, but if it was just a question of HORMONES and not MINDSET, the same HORMONES should be raging at home too…and the same behavior should be replicated with the female members of the family…why is that we are very “decent” at home, but suddenly our hormones start raging at campus ??
    Its same like ” Apni behen behen, but doosron ki behen behen nahin..!!!”

    I do agree that hormones/DNA do play a major role, but that cannot ever be used as an excuse for the shoddy behavior…we have to learn to keep our HORMONES in check, mate..!!!

  • 24. Varun (HRM)  |  August 17, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    As for your 2nd suggestion, absolutely no issues with that, but here instead of taking post-action response, we are trying to tackle the root of the problem itself…let us make people aware so that next time they shall not make such insensitive comments…only Sanjana knows what happened there actually…all we can do is infer and postulate…!!!

  • 25. shall i reveal?  |  August 17, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    @ TOBEHONEST …as far as your second response goes…i agree of taking an pro-active stand atleast in the campus…but i really worry about those females (outisde the main gate) who are not really in a posiiton to take any proactive steps….still it might work in campus…but i do not agree to ur 1st comment centering on HOROMONES…well if a male body secretes hormones…dan a female body does too!! and the biological functions of the both are same in nature…but i never saw a gal (except a few!! n i mean it – a few)..behaving as a boy does,,n thus this topic has been picked up here and being discussed and debated,……

  • 26. Ankur  |  August 17, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    @ TOBEHONEST, shall i reveal
    we are a part of a phallocentric society, where men getting excited on a look of ‘woman’ is a normal ritual bt this doesnt hold valid in a woman’s case. Also society only permits this fr the opposie sex n nt the same….
    and the argument which u give of hormonal secretion, dear there r smthings which are biological determined n others r a product of socialization..derefore to define where biology ends n society starts is a difficult that doesnt gives u d permission to violates sm1 else’s space..

  • 27. TOBEHONEST  |  August 17, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    dear ankur, varun and sonali….i did not say that only guys secrete hormones….girls do too….but societal restraints are such that the pressure on them to not act on those hormonal instincts is far greater than on guys….thats not the guys fault…..we should take a leaf out of western society and rather than restrain guys from flaunting their instinctc give greater freedom to girls to flaunt theirs…then only will this problem be solved……when societal restraints on individual sexual expression is removed then these kind of issues will disappear…and one more thing..male and female hormonal secretions are not the same…..

  • 28. Janice  |  August 18, 2008 at 12:27 am


    Let me be a little honest with you.. I am a girl. I am 21 (prime youth). I have raging hormones. But I would never tell a guy what he should wear and what he should not – no matter how hideous I find it. That is decency. Also, I dont find every male attractive. And I would never offer to buy them clothes I find suitable. SO, stop trying to justify what the boys told sanjana. It is just not justifyable or acceptable.

    male and female hormone secretions may not be the same but they are both sexual beings. So dont even try intending or pretending that women are less sexual than men. Its a myth n im breaking reality to you. I know equally well behaved men.

    Also, I find it funny that everyone who seems to voice anti-choice views does not have the guts to spell their name. Too scared to be a ‘Man?’ n own up?

  • 29. shall i reveal?  |  August 18, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Janice…i agree on the last to lines of your comments…but why are you so concerened with the name rather than being satisfied in learning the so called “anti-choice” views…is name important or their views??? let d people be as they and let them be comfortable with wot they are and let them voice their views…atleast they are voicing..itz such an issue you don’t ever get the spectrum of views …which again is very important for making concrete strategies…well i hope u wud agree with me!!! cheers!!

  • 30. shall i reveal?  |  August 18, 2008 at 1:33 am

    @ Ankur…wud request you to kindly go through my comments again…especially the last part of ….lemme paste it here again for you says…

    ….and the argument which u give of hormonal secretion, dear there r smthings which are biological determined n others r a product of socialization..derefore to define where biology ends n society starts is a difficult that doesnt gives u d permission to violates sm1 else’s space….

    plz review and say ..r we not speaking the same language

  • 31. Varun (HRM)  |  August 18, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Well @TOBEHONEST, Do you really think the Western Society is any more “liberalized” than us ??? I maybe diveging a bit, but today we have a woman president and we have had women prime ministers..look at what happened to Hillary Clinton and the kind of dirty gender politics played by Obama to win at any cost ??

    My 2 cousins sisters stay in US, and they face equal sexual harassment there as in India, its no different…its a global issue and not India-centric..just by making guys and girls wear skimpy clothes and the freedom to gawk,oggle and comment, one is not going to achieve anything….all you might see is more of teen abortions..!!!

  • 32. TOBEHONEST  |  August 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    being president does not mean liberalized…we live in a country where we give the ceremonial job of president to a woman but dont give them their just due in terms of proportional political representation in parliament….in the US women dont have to be scared about taking proper legal recourse if harassment happens but things are different here…they are grilled by the police, the opposite sides lawyer and even petty tabloids that put “alleged rape”, “alleged harassment”, “alleged date rape” in quotes in big fonts on the front page…an indian living in america does not automatically become american buddy…..they still live within the restraints of our societal “values” and “culture” that places the same psychological limitation on them there that was there here….now for ur reply Janice….i was in no way condoning what the guys did…..over and above hormones and socialization there is common sense and basic decency and that should have restrained those guys ..but it didnt and in most cases it doesnt..thats the way reality is….i was just recommending that when something like that happens the girl need not bother about “decency” either and give back in the same coin….the fact that u dont comment about what boys wear and dont go about buying them dresses is ur personal choice and i appreciate that….but in some situations u really can give back in the same coin and u should…as for who i am i prefer keeping it anonymous….it is just obvious that i am a guy…i dont think there is a need for u to know more….knowing my name or how i look is not going to make any difference to how u think or perceive me….good day to all of u….expecting some reply to what i just said…

  • 33. TOBEHONEST  |  August 18, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    and one more thing Janice….i never said women are less sexual than men…all i said was women are less sexually expressive in the open when compared to men….this is what makes people perceive them as weaker and makes them targets….a girl who is more openly expressive might be labelled a “S***” (NO OFFENCE INTENDED PLEASE. JUST SAYING WHAT HAPPENS) but guys really do give her space….they are likely to think twice before making statements as they might feel it might not affect her or worse…she might take it as a compliment..which defeats the whole victimization purpose of the comment they have made….believe me….this does happen…

  • 34. Varun (HRM)  |  August 18, 2008 at 11:23 pm


    I seriously hope you are not asking gals to be more “expressive” and the erroneous logic used ahead…!!!!

    I somehow get a feeling that you are just trying to justify a behavior( hormomes spilling over into mis-demeanours) which is essentially wrong and un-tolerable..Instead of castigating such behavior and trying to change, you seem to be satisfied with the way things are….unfortunately, this does not work ( maybe works for some men ), but no woman today shall accept your logic. I appreciate your continous efforts to make us see your side, but unless you try to include our feedback and consider it, I dont see the point of us having a discussion..!!

  • 35. Varun (HRM)  |  August 18, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    As for gals giving it back to guys, all I can say is ” You can try to fight again and again with a pig, but at the end of the day you and the pig both turn out to be dirty..!!” ( or something like that….)
    Two wrongs dont make a right, and ” an eye for an eye” approach has never worked in the land of Gandhi…also dont you think by giving it back, we are actually providing more ammunition to guys to do more they can say ” She also abuses me”, so why not I turn up a notch….so there is no end..!!!

  • 36. shal i reveal  |  August 19, 2008 at 12:11 am

    i think we all have lost steam and trying to defend our humble submissions…Sanjan…r u with us? your comments..your experience after posting your incidence…did you ever thought that the responses would be on the similar we read here…where are you?

  • 37. Ankur  |  August 19, 2008 at 1:28 am

    @ shall i reveal…
    hey we were saying d same thing.. i agreed to whtever u said, n taking it forward was trying to answer tobehonest…

  • 38. TOBEHONEST  |  August 19, 2008 at 7:27 am

    just because we can come up with a cool saying to back what we are saying does not mean varun that it is right…..the reality out here is very different….and i dont understand why girls should not be “expressive”….why do guys have a problem with that…..and why object when girls find our being expressive bad….we are setting two different limits for guys and girls when the real purpose of this discussion is to arrive at a common ground….we are saying guys can do this this and this…but girls should only do this this and this….the rest we will do it for them…thats stupid…they can very well do things by themselves….the only problem is they feel society might object and it does….but that should not stop them….if we cant come up to “standards” then it sometimes it is necessary for people to lower their standards to teach us where we should stand and how we should behave..!!!

  • 39. Varun (HRM)  |  August 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Well, let some girl answer that for you, it seems whatever we say does not make any sense….

  • 40. TOBEHONEST  |  August 19, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    its not that what u are saying does not make sense :-)….i did not mean “expressive” to imply vulgar….i meant just that a girl should not be restrained from reacting to a situation just because that is not the “proper way” for a girl..and saying that that might instigate the guys to become even more violent is just making an excuse…as for the teen abortion thing….come on buddy..any guy or girl who are liberal enough in their thinking to be like how i say they should be would have heard of birth control!!!….

  • 41. Janice  |  August 20, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    To begin with… Voicing opinions but refusing to own them is in a way not believing in what you say… πŸ˜›

    secondly, women are not less expressive. No points for guessing which gender talks more (obviously there are exceptions to every rule)

    Justifying everything by saying that society operates in a certain manner is not acceptable. It is important to remember that we are society.

    lastly, this discussion is going no where. The point that sanjana was trying to make is lost and we certain people are just trying to defend what they said.

  • 42. shal i reveal  |  August 21, 2008 at 1:02 am

    well JANICE…..i feel d same…d discsussions are not going anywhere ….already posted d same view earlier n requested Sanjana to comment?

  • 43. shal i reveal  |  August 21, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Sanajan….ver r u? u sud tell us ur experiences if any after you posted dis real life incidence…any remarks from ur friends or from that boy who wanted to buy u a SKIRT?

  • 44. shal i reveal  |  August 21, 2008 at 1:05 am

    oops! sorry for the typo error..SANJANA!!! i regret the error

  • 45. shal i reveal  |  August 21, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Oops! Sorry for the type error…SANJANA! I regret the error!

  • 46. shal i reveal  |  August 21, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Sanjana…sorry for the typo error! i regret the error.

  • 47. Varun (HRM)  |  August 22, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    I feel we need to focus on the bigger picture than the Sanjana incident..we should be thankful for Sanjana to bring this up on this forum, but this is not on Sanjana…so lets not coerce ppl to answer etc etc…we are talking abt day to day events which no one ( other than the victim ) cares lets keep it as holistic as possible..!!

  • 48. shal i reveal  |  August 23, 2008 at 1:31 am

    @ Varun….thanx for drawing the boundary or rather removing that…still some feed back from Sanjana would be really important coz we need to learn whether this discourse helped her in anyway or bringing out the incidence has further pushed her to corner? such practical expereinces and second generation implication helps us to formulate appropriate and adequate future line of action…atleast this is important for people who work with people and for people in real situation….so I agree that we need to keep the outcomes of such discussion HOLISTIC as possible with substantiating it from micro-level expereinces. WIth that all the initiatives remains holistically holistic withput any backward or forward linkages with the real grassroot realities!!!

  • 49. TOBEHONEST  |  August 23, 2008 at 10:29 am

    why does it look like people are losing their interest here….

  • 50. Varun (HRM)  |  August 23, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Yes, agree with you shall I reveal…., but its a personal choice whether a person wants to confide in or not, we should be thankful for the initial effort itself…!!

    As for TOBEHONEST, people are not losing interest, but someone needs to come up with a new issue…as far as I remember, someone was planning to write on how religion and sexuality is linked on the campus….

  • 51. Sanjana  |  August 24, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I wrote this testimonial for several reasons – to a) bust the myth that there is no sexual harassment/gender discrimination on campus, b) to judge what the perceptions of people are to sexual harassment on campus and c) to facilitate discussion and thoughts based on this issue. On a more personal level, I wanted to reveal an incident which had humiliated me (I was going to go for dehumanised, but maybe that is a bit much?), thereby helping other people who have faced similar and worse incidents on campus to come out and talk about it as well. Talking is very therapeutic and although there is always that fear of being judged, all it needs is a little courage for a whole world of support which is available out there. I would also like to make it clear that by saying that there is a lack of gender sensitivity on campus, I am not saying that there are NO gender sensitive individuals here, but there IS a lot of silence and a lack of awareness on this issue.

    Looking at the 40+ comments on this post, I get the feeling that a lot of people dont see the incident as big enough or worthy enough of being talked about. While I believe that I have made my feelings about the comment abundantly clear in the post itself, I would like to reiterate that nobody has the right to tell me what to wear and when to wear it – that is just a way of patriarchal control over a woman’s body under the guise of ‘morality’ and ‘decency.’ Like some of you’ll have quite rightly pointed out, sexuality is not inherent, it is attached and the focus is therefore not on the person but on the intent behind the gaze of the viewer. That is where intervention should be and that is where sensitisation should be.

    Finally, I was a little disappointed that more women did not comment, or share similar experiences as that was what I was hoping would happen. However, I understand that it is not easy to talk about things which have threatened us, our bodies and our sexualities. And to the person who said that there is nothing to fear – there is a LOT to fear. And that is what has to be changed, so that women understand that speaking out is not going to get them penalised, that society is not going to force them to shut up, that there are people who will support us even if there are those who will try to control us.

    Speaking out is just the first step. But it is the most difficult. I hope that people, after reading this, are able to come out – either on this blog or privately to us at TISSTalks so we can do whatever we can to help individuals and through that the collective.

  • 52. TOBEHONEST  |  August 24, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    HEY sanjana

    hats off to u for coming out with the incident and how u felt about it

    guess it is a bit too late but great effort….even if people arent talking about it here..its still there in our minds….and will continue to be there

  • 53. shal i reveal  |  August 26, 2008 at 2:21 am

    thanx Sanjana……i know how it is hard to speak out openly on such issues….all the more when you are sharing your personal expereinces….but i wud always keep ur incidence in my mind……plz continue ushairng ur thoughts on the ISSUE…wish there were more ppl sharing their expereinces to bring out real situation in this campus….OVER n OUT

  • 54. bradd pitt  |  September 23, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    let me tell u the fact that………first giving lectures to others, first stop objectifying yourselves.
    wearing bust and butt cuts in the campus generally provokes any one…
    first u realise not to objectify urselves….later ask the others who see.
    u r objectifying urselves wearing tight cuts as some one said. its not about freedom,no one ever objected the dress sense,its about hormoned which u can never change,
    but abt sensitisation , thats true few guys need sensitisation to treat girls as individuals rather than girls.

  • 55. bradd pitt  |  September 23, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    so realise hormones has lot to play , i insist, beause its an important angle to think for sensitisation.
    one more question? why rnt girls participating in discussions, this indicates they have no time to bother r either problems

  • 56. Richard  |  September 24, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    well i jus chance upon this site after long, m appalled to read some comments, we are all human above all…the rest are all related to society…equal rights shudn be based on the model of our out-dated society whic is largely male dominated, and on caste, creed, color etc..and jus a word of caution to brad pitt, or a or b or z whoever you are…ur a disgrace to mankind, its no point talking to or tryng to shw u wht sanjana has convey,,,the problem is wit u…period !

  • 57. Richard  |  September 24, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    and yeh, the last few lines in my above comment is meant for those who doesnt understnd or who r reluctant to understnd wht one indiv basic right is… ( not necessary for brad pitt !!!… )

  • 58. Richard  |  September 24, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    read ” necessarily”

  • 59. bradd pitt  |  September 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    good discussion,
    some time back when women never came out of home, and now they r doing jobs, some time back they never wore shirts n pants other than sarees, so once what looked ackward now become a style or change in culture or watsoever,
    can sanjana be called a feminist, we have to say yes, like u said we never understand u, the same ,,,u never understood us,
    so what is the limit to freedom,
    on the name of freedom i cannot move on undies in the campus, right
    in the same way moving in undies may become style in future,
    now i coming to the point…freedom. no one dictated u what to wear or what not to wear, even if u move with nothing no one bothers, but dont ask at the end of the day if something happens to u on the name of freedom. so whats the limit of freedom? thats upto u…
    now my point is when u talk abt total freedom irrespective of how objectifying it is…then u have no right to think what other ppl think abt it in their minds…..
    so again never say that ..we have every right to wear what we want.. becoz go through net levels of exposure of womens body is direclty related to level of sexual assault.
    now its ur own intelligence and ratinality to decide upto what extent u have to utilise freedom,and what kinda dressing sense u should have in society…its not a law or one dictates stop provoking and objectifying urself first, then blame others, becoz we cant blame others unless we r perfect

  • 60. bradd pitt  |  September 25, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    change has to start with us,in our home then it will to others

  • 61. bradd pitt  |  September 25, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    now we are asking to u ” IS THAT ALL YOU ARE”..

  • 62. Amrit  |  October 5, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Sensibility,Social responsibility, intellectuality… What are these adjectives? Who defines them? Who governs them? And above all who rates and monitors? And what do we criticize most?
    Let alone the fanatics and maniacs who molest and massacre people of other community, race , religion or nationality in a so called attempt to salvage our holier-than-thou cultural, social and religious values.Let’s talk of the saner ones. A person who pronounces lingeries as “launjeries” and not “liingaarriiiess”, a person who can make out between Mocha and normal coffee, a person who can differentiate between rock and pop. Well are they the sensible, socially responsible and intellectuals we are talking off? And what dressing sensibility do we talk about? Let’s take it, we are sick and shameless. We criticize such dressing sense and call it a taboo publicly when most of us will gleefully relish it in private to sate our carnal hunger.

  • 63. bradd pitt  |  October 7, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    @ amrit
    he seems to be like taking vengence. ”gleefully relish in private”. even if anybody relish gleefully in private,how come thats bothering anybody. its the topic abt social behaviour.clear it,what is so wonder here to use adjectives(sensibility,social responsibility)that when we give ppts ,public lectures in classes for hours talking abt all these adjectives.its wonder that u consider newer.pity.
    so u dont know who governs social rsposibility,sensibilty. who governs. its abt negotiation and mutual development.when it comes to mere facts a ”vedantic” language is spoken by you dude. wonder. so dont u think every gender has a role for the current situation in society. before always pointing others.narrow vision which makes us think biased.apart from tiss, looking to gals from mumbai some r wearing clothes the size of hand u mean thers never been a vulgarity@ women in mumbai r in movies.i think u shall even move into city to look around the world.every gender has a role for the current situation in blamin just one gender never solves the issue of sexual harashment.i mean taking measures from both sides.

  • 64. bradd pitt  |  October 7, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    thers a saying..”a fool never knows that he is a fool”. a word of caution for u as u mentioned me as a disgrace to the mankind.first u r biased urself a lot in a shallow well of ur own ideas. before commenting others just watch up… is ur brain grown enough in size. read out any bodys passage thoroughly before outrage. its all for euality in caste ,religion, and gender is everyone fighting for. but the issue i raised is there also has some resposibilty from female side.

  • 65. roshan  |  October 7, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    whats up guys….. why dont we talk about the issue of terrorism in india….causes, preventive measures etc.


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