by Rita Banerji
When I first went to the U.S. from India, as a student, I was 18. And it was then that I learnt something about being a woman that I could not have learnt had I stayed on in India.
I learnt, with a certain feeling of jubilation, that it was absolutely possible for me, to walk down streets and into public places, alone – and not be prodded, grabbed at, stared down, commented on or stalked by vagrant men that hung around every street corner! Like most girls who grow up in India, I too went places only in pairs or in a group. But never alone! The feeling of suffocation and repulsion in something so simple as walking down a street as a girl or a woman in India, is dreadful. It is like walking through a war zone with your defenses up, always expecting…
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