Focus on your driving and not on our cleavage through the rear-view mirror.
The world is a horrible place for a woman right now but it has always been so. We’ve been sexually assaulted in schools and colleges, at our workplaces, in public transport and even our own homes. So why in the world should cab rides booked through mobile apps be any different? I mean, it’s honestly sheer denial on our part to expect anything else. You are yet another product of this patriarchal society created to show women their ‘rightful place’.
The society has always used rape and other forms of sexual assault as well as physical assault to control women. And now that we women have begun to fight back, the society has become even more desperate to keep us on a leash and you are an outcome of just that. You have been conditioned to see us as a means of getting sexual satisfaction and nothing but that. You think that it is your right to rape us or to use us to satisfy your wants. It’s your privilege as a man, you think. But, guess what? You couldn’t be more wrong about this.
We might have entered your vehicle but you don’t have our consent to enter us.
It’s a story that has been heard too many times and shared twice as many times. A girl or a woman is travelling home late from work or a party or a college or wherever. She books a cab through one of those mobile apps hoping that it will be a safer alternative to public transport. She is wary of it especially after the nightmare faced by Nirbhaya. She gets into the cab, exhausted from her busy day and aches to enter the safety and comfort of her home. But the cab driver turns out to be a lecherous character. Instead of providing the service he is been paid for, he chooses to assault the woman in some way.
We are sick of the same story being repeated time and again. We are paying you for a service, dear cab drivers. We are paying you the same amount that our male counterparts do. And we expect the very same service in return. What we neither expect and nor want is any kind of sexual contact. We are not asking for it. We might have entered your vehicle but you don’t have our consent to enter us.
The entire system has to change; there is no alternative.
We get it- yes, we really do. It’s not entirely your fault. You were brought up in surroundings where disrespecting women and dominating them was considered ‘masculine’. And without this twisted idea of masculinity, you were mocked and ridiculed. Despite everything that you have done, we have the highest degree of compassion and pity for you. Patriarchy has messed up your lives too, just as it has messed up our lives.
That being said, this cannot go on. The entire system has to change; there is no alternative. We demand to be treated with respect and courtesy. We demand that you see us as human beings capable of love and deserving of respect. We are more than vaginas for you to use at your will. When we enter your cabs, our safety has to be guaranteed. Anything less than that is simply not acceptable. From this day on, all you are going to do is drive us to our destinations and not violate us in any way. We are your customers and you need to realise that.
Even after all this, if you continue to assault us, we will fight with all our might to get the justice that we deserve.
Incapable of tolerating more of this,
Your female passengers.