A short note

to update on the blank calls – I haven’t had one since the post! Yippeee!!

Lots of people have helped out – I mentioned BikerBoy’s fantastic innovation (did I tell you that was the quickest response?) on the update to the last post, but I’ve received updates from friends on how they’ve called the harassers. Most of the women mentioned that they didn’t know how to begin, so they plunged right in, or prefaced it with “Blank calls have been received from this number…”, which is what I’d probably have done too. It’s strange how, even when we decide to do something unusual for us, like calling a stranger, we want to conform as far as possible to social norms of how things are done. A conversation must have a beginning, a middle and and end, and we are uncomfortable having anything but conversations on the ‘phone.

Then there is the fear of being overheard. I asked that you use a public phone, for safety. But a public phone means people can hear you, and many of you, who are not ‘the activist type’, are uncomfortable with being perceived as such. In spite of that, you did it – what can I say, except “thank you”? I remember the first time I did something non-conformist, drawing attention to myself as “no decent woman would” – in spite of the fear, I was excited, and in spite of the guilt, I felt joy, exhilaration, empowerment. I hope you did too.

There were all of you who were concerned for me, for ‘consequences’ I might incur – I hope I’ve reassured you. You suggested alternatives too – filed away for future reference, I promise.

And there were the “Why can’t I yell at the bloody idiots? Let’s find out who they are and beat the s*** out of them!” responses. All I could say was, that is not what I want to do. That is a response they would’ve gotten before, a response they’re ready for. This is not. That’s a response that doesn’t give me a moral high ground (and you all know how much I like having that!) Most importantly, that’s a provocative response, and the contest becomes ‘who’s stronger’, doesn’t it?

I’ll keep you posted on developments, of course!

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9 Responses

  1. good for you

    but you, non conformist?

    nah…can’t be…not possible

  2. well…when a significant part of my interaction with your professional self consists of rule making and rule following…i.e.

    “read this…READ THAT!”

    “submit tomorrow…or don’t bother submitting”

    and my personal favourite

    “no full stops??!!???”

    the idea of you as a firebrand flouter of conventions, while not surprising, does present challenges to the imagination

  3. The higher moral ground is so important, isn’t it? That’s why that last post took me so long to write. And I still have my moments of doubt…
    But yay! at you 🙂

  4. Mr. Nair: Hmpf! Please refer: bare acts, notices on mess notice-board, seminar courses et al.

    Tharunya: Thank you!

  5. ha ha

    you should blog about that notice, I think.

    the male menstruation one?

    or have you, and I haven’t seen it?

  6. […] But, it works. Most of the women mentioned that they didn’t know how to begin, so they plunged right in, or prefaced it with “Blank calls have been received from this number…”, which is what I’d probably have done too. It’s strange how, even when we decide to do something unusual for us, like calling a stranger, we want to conform as far as possible to social norms of how things are done. A conversation must have a beginning, a middle and and end, and we are uncomfortable having anything but conversations on the ‘phone’. […]

  7. Mr. Nair: Don’t remember – will have to go through the archives! Think I did, though.

    Shivam: Thanks for the trackback!

  8. it worked for you. good for you.

    now think of others too. the spamming thing is a gimmick. in fact the spammer can himself get into trouble with the law for that.

    the proper way to do this is to get this recognized and prosecuted as harassment. then once this gets prominence in the media, others will be benefited as well.

    your efforts to end your suffering, eventually, would have led to the good of all.

    “may all beings be happy.”

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