14-second stare: Kerala woman’s reply to Facebook abusers goes viral

"If you have read what was written above, do you dare to fix a rate for my dignity? "
14-second stare: Kerala woman’s reply to Facebook abusers goes viral
14-second stare: Kerala woman’s reply to Facebook abusers goes viral
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Most responses to Kerala Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh’s bizarre idea that staring at a woman for more than 14 seconds could land a man in jail, took a dig at this comment.

A young writer from Mavelikkara of Alappuzha district, Vanaja Vasudev, however, saw Rishiraj’s comment in a different light altogether. On August 20, Saturday Vanaja wrote on her Facebook wall that she enjoyed looking at handsome men, whom she saw on the streets or in other public places.

She also said that it was quite natural for men and women to look at each other. She even said that she sometimes felt good when some men looked at her.

She was abused for her views. According to her many messages were obscene. Some asked her for sex and even her rates to sleep with them.

On August 18 she posted a long reply to these abusive messages. It has gone viral with even filmmaker Aashiq Abu and Kozhikode District Collector Prasanth Nair sharing the post.

Here are some parts of Vanaja’s reply:

“Let me introduce myself….

From where should I begin? I was an introvert, a quiet girl who always walked with her eyes to the ground. I did not spoke to anyone, walked alone always, I was scared of everything.

In childhood my dreams were about having a full stomach and wearing good clothes. My father died when I was in Class 5. My mother struggled to make up for his absence. At the time, I hated everything around me, and our relatives abandoned us. Mother fed me and my brother by starving herself.

The loneliness made my mother short tempered. She had hit me with sticks until they broke and I did not understand why I was beaten. At night, when she thought I was asleep, she would come near me and cry, softly touching the welts on my body.

I used to cry all night those days. Early morning I would go to the neighbouring houses to sell milk. Through the windows, I saw children of my age sleeping in their rooms.

We sold eggs also to make living, but neither I nor my brother had the fortune of tasting it. We would wait for the day our mother got her pension, when she bought good food for us.

Being a widow, my mother starved and raised us. Even at that time people were worried about whether my mother would have an illicit relationship. I hate this fake morality then and now.

After completing my polytechnic course at 19, I came to Ernakulam in search of a job. I did many jobs day and night and studied until my post-graduation. I was all alone in my journey, had fallen many times, but picked myself up. When I rise from each fall, I grew more confident.

I was tired of crying, finally I scaled greater heights. My hatred changed to love. I started loving the world and saw it with a broad mind. I began to smile and talk to people.  

I say all this to my brothers who have come to teach me Bharth Samskar in my inbox. You even spoke about my private parts and claim that you are teaching me culture. Why do you take class about dignity while inviting me to share your bed?

I have said that I used to look at boys. It doesn’t mean that I would come anywhere you called and remove my clothes. Don’t think that I am not replying to the inbox messages because of my inability.

I am a daughter of my mother who lived with dignity even in extreme poverty. With a lot of hard work I am independent. Your abusive words can no longer trouble me.

If you have read what was written above, do you dare to fix a rate for my dignity? If yes, please comment below this post and not in inbox.”

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