Every other day you’ll see women uploading screenshots of the harassment that they faced online and offline. Inboxes of most women have been attacked by unsolicited penises or questions like ‘want hot sex?’. Women get asked how much they charge while waiting for buses. The online sexual harassment is so common, people think you can be asked if you’d do a blowjob in the same breath of asking ‘what time is it now?’ Oh by the way, these are not questions. Just abusive statements.
This time a man decided to show women that he doesn’t have to be online and anonymous to abuse. He decided that he’ll masturbate while on public transport looking at women. Could be the belief that nobody would dare do anything and his belief was proven true when one of the girls, called the police. When she told the man at the helpline what was happening, he laughed. This is what happened to a Pooja Nair on a Train from Borivali to Dadar. She put up a post that said the same and it’s time for some gaalis, people.
Lesson 1: What is a helpline?
Listen carefully. It’s kind of complicated. A helpline is a phone line people can call when they need help. You can remember this decision from the name. ‘Help’ part of helpline stands for help.
Lesson 2: Don’t get helplines mixed up
The helpline where Pooja called gave her a laughter therapy. We understand what happened. You thought that you are the ‘laughing therapy helpline’. Never mind one such doesn’t exist. You are prone to be delusional. So here is the thing. There are different types of helplines. Like when there is a fire you have one helpline, when there is a theft there is one, and when there is sexual harassment there is one. You belong to the last one. So you will not give laughter therapy.
Lesson 3: What do you do?
First of all, don’t do anything nonsensical. Like not do anything. When there is a distress call on train, you’re supposed to send an officer there. If there is no one on train (why is that again?) a squad has to be deployed in the very next station, should get in and arrest the offender. Instead, you cut the call. Now here is a tip. You do not cut calls when someone is calling for help. It’s like you calling the police and screaming for help because you spotted a burglar and they give out a long drawn yawn and say ‘we’ll see’. How would you like that?
Lesson 4: Suicide helplines are dead?
When the first helpline laughed the matter off, Pooja also called the suicide helpline. Guess what? They didn’t pick. The number where a person calls, when they are at the verge of suicide or when they desperately need help, that number didn’t pick up. Pooja calls it irony but it’s more like uselessness.
And what about you, Mr. let’s-masturbate-on-train-because-women-like-it. First of all, fuck off. And then get this into your head. People travel by train and nobody wants to see your penis. If you think women like it, it’s your problem and you need to treat it. But wait, when you call for help, dial a helpline which will pick your call. Good luck finding one.