There's No Safe Public Space Away From Harassment When You're a Woman


Where do you go when you can’t even feel safe inside your own car? (Inside, we guess. Where women belong!) Here’s a disturbing story about driving in Delhi from Pamposh Raina in the New York Times:

In February, I was driving my car through a busy street in Connaught Place when a taxi driver began honking his horn at me. It was around noon, and honking is hardly unusual for chaotic Delhi traffic, but the driver kept angrily pounding on his horn. The noise ended only after the taxi had pulled beside me at a red light. Then the driver angled his car to block mine. I was stunned.
The man was enraged. He rolled down his window and angrily gestured that I do the same. I worried that he might ram into my car if I didn’t comply. But when I did, he shouted the foulest, most sexist insults I’ve ever heard.
“Why are you holding the steering wheel? Go hold a penis!” he yelled at one point.
He was screaming so fast that I struggled to piece together why he was so furious: He had been behind my car earlier, trying to pass, but I couldn’t make room because of the narrowness of the road. But what infuriated him was seeing me at the stoplight: he was angry that a young, female driver had stopped him from passing. He did not hesitate to humiliate and threaten me. I’m sure he never would have acted the same way to a man.

Bolded emphasis ours. Because that rivals my most sexist road rage story to date: the time I admittedly cut a guy off when I was 19 (I was late! L.A. traffic sucks!) and he parked his car in front of mine on the jammed-up 101 freeway, walked over to my Jeep, and told me I was a cunt. (I was so shocked that I inexplicably blurted out, “That’s not very mature,” which embarrassed him enough to prompt him to return to his car.) Everyone is horrible.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin