Men Are Just As Misinformed About Their Rights As Women

I know most women are unaware or misinformed about their rights. The right to say no, the right to birth control, the right to a woman cop’s presence. Then I just came up against a conversation started by a woman who talked about her right to have her bra strap peek out without having to be harassed. And a man asked “So you can show but we can’t look? Just asking.” And it made me realise that men are just as misinformed about their rights.

So here is my attempt to dispel some misinformation for men:

  • You do NOT have the right to harass a woman, no matter what she is wearing.
  • You do NOT have the right to stare at her in a way that she considers offensive.
  • You do NOT have the right to insinuate that it is her fault.
  • You have the ‘freedom of speech’ right that we all have. But ‘freedom of speech’ means that you have the right to speak your piece as long as it does not hurt anybody. Insinuations like these do hurt women.
  • Women have the same right to that freedom of speech as you do. If you feel you have the right to tell me I’m blowing things out of proportion, I have the right to tell you that you’re wrong and a misogynist.
  • The statement “Just asking” does NOT automatically waive the ‘does not hurt anybody’ clause in ‘freedom of speech. 

*I apologise for this not being a comprehensive list. There is much misinformation and I’m doing my part to dispel it.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on August 19, 2014, in Battle of the sexes, Harassment & abuse, I'm An Indian Woman and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Are you serious? Free speech and not hurt anybody? That’s not free at all. Who made up that clause, anyway?

    I agree with the spirit of your post, but things like not staring at a woman (or anyone!) or using a woman’s attire as an excuse to harass her are just common sense/basic decency. How do they even relate to free speech?

    And what about flirting, friendly banter, a genuine compliment or asking a girl out? Too often that is considered to be “Eve Teasing” in India. Consider the following simple social experiment. You, as a female, can ask 10 random men out for a drink or tell them that their outfit looks good and they will all almost certainly be pleased by your remarks. But a man in India risks getting lynched for doing the same to female strangers. I would wager that at least 2 out of 10 women will slap the guy and find such an interaction offensive and outrageous.

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