"He gets out of the auto to tell me why I shouldn't be dressed like a slut," Aishwarya wrote.

What youre wearing is inappropriate Bengaluru woman slut-shamed by moral policing auto driverAishwarya Subramanian/Facebook
news Monday, April 25, 2016 - 18:01

For Bengaluru-based writer Aishwarya Subramanian, a regular auto ride she took in the city on Sunday turned out to be a shocking experience. 

All because the driver of the auto that she had hired felt that the dress she was wearing was inappropriate. 

On Sunday, Aishwarya took to Facebook to narrate the ordeal she had to go through earlier in the day. 

She had taken an auto and after she got down at her destination, this is what, Aishwarya said, unfolded. 

"The Metre," she wrote, "was 40 but I asked him to keep 50 as it was hot outside. And then he looks at me for a second and says - "please don't mind me but what you are wearing is inappropriate".

In her post she further wrote that the driver insinuated that she was slut for wearing the kind of dress. "I stand there shocked. And then I tell him clearly that as long as I am paying he has no right to tell me what I can or cannot wear. Then he gets out of the auto to tell me why I shouldn't be dressed like a slut (I am wearing a white summer dress that reaches my knee)."

As she started taking pictures of the auto driver and his vehicle, one of the men who gathered around came forward in support of the driver as some tried to dissolve the situation.

"One man who has gathered tells me that the auto driver is right. Apparently a girl who lives in a society like mine should be dressed more modestly and like a woman. I am about to start crying at this point. This is the first time I have been so publicly slut shamed," she stated. 

However, two men from a nearby store shortly came forward and told the driver that he had no right to moral police someone and a person can wear what he or she chooses to. 

"I walk away feeling shell shocked and ashamed. You want to know why we fight for our dignity? Because even the clothes we wear makes us sluts. What is the point in being a girl in this country anymore? I feel so embarrassed. My building's guard was standing right there as these men called me a slut for wearing the clothes I wore. This is who I am. These are the clothes I wear. Everyone else can f*** off. Anyone can share this post. I am done feeling ashamed for being me," Aishwarya wrote. 

Speaking to The News Minute, Aishwarya said that the entire incident was not only humiliating, but also made her feel very small.

“It was my favourite dress and now I am throwing it away because looking at it reminds me of what happened. This is my home and my surroundings and to tell me that I am not respectful, it was humiliating for me. He insinuated that I was a slut and he made me feel very small,” an emotional Aishwarya said.

Aishwarya’s post has been shared over 700 times at the time of writing this piece and she says she did not anticipate the way it has been received.

“The post is a platform where I could stand up for myself. To start a conversation. To talk about why some think it is okay to talk to women in this manner, why we tell women to dress a certain way, why the society polices girls right from a very young age,” she stated.

However, what has come across as even more shocking to her is the negative responses she has got from some on social media. “When I made my post public, I did not expect the kind of reaction that it has received. A lot of people have come forward and supported me. But I got many messages online from complete strangers telling me that I was lying. One even called me a b****. At least three have called me Jasleen Kaur and said that I was seeking publicity.”

Overnight she also got over 140 friend requests, she said, mostly from men she doesn’t know and does not even have common friends with on Facebook.

Along with her post, Aishwarya has also uploaded pictures of the driver and his auto. To those charging her for uploading the picture and number plate of the driver online, she said that she had clicked the pictures and uploaded it after having taken permission from the driver. 

"He said that he wanted "his message" out because the country will agree with him and not me," she wrote. 

Aishwarya said she does not want to drag the driver to a police station and that she is not against auto-drivers. 

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