This Mother’s Letter to Her Son About Sexual Harassment Should Be Read By Everyone
An Indian digital campaign organisation called Breakthrough India has concieved a campaign to elimante sexual harassment of all women. A survey by the organisation revealed that 90% of women had experienced sexual harrassment, mostly in public spaces.
The new campaign, #ShareYourStory, encourages women to share their stories with their sons in order to better educate young men about the effects of harassment.
In a letter posted on the site, one woman writes to her son;
Today you are a 13 years old boy! And, you are such a big boy today. Happy birthday darling.
I know, you have opened all your gifts by now, and are you frowning that I only gave you a letter? But darling, read this letter, it is more important than, anything that you have received today.
You know, Darl, when I was 13, yes, exactly of your age, I used to ride bicycle to my tuition classes. For two years, a group of boys would follow me and Radha Maasi, each day. No matter what route we took, what time we walked out they would follow. That would make us so uncomfortable and scared. Beta, I loved cycling under the open sky. We have huge roads with hardly any traffic. Boys would cycle, I loved it too. But I always had that fear of being stalked. I wondered son, if all the boys, could cycle whenever they wanted and why could not I. As far as I knew, they never EARNED any brownie point to be free. That always enraged and confused me. So, right at your age, I learnt what fear of being harassed was.
She continues to inform her son that the perception of romance in films is often incorrect.
You will see in the Hindi movies, how they show that it is okay to stalk a woman and how the woman finally falls in love with the guy. Here is a secret. No, dear, no woman ever like being harassed. And harassing a woman is never cute or romantic.
She finishes with;
Baby, now that you are growing, you will meet more women. Here is what women are. No, they are neither a mystery to deciper, nor a damsel in distress, they are people just like your male friends are. They might be different, but that’s it. They are always equals. Be a great friend to a woman, be a great lover, husband or a father, that my son is the mark of a man. Never ever force a woman to something she will not consent to. I have told you, that your body is precious and no one can touch you unless you feel right about it. The same apply to all girls too.
The letter can be read in full here.