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德里女性专用车厢受青睐

2018-12-27

阅读与作文(英语初中版) 2018年8期
关键词:德里专用车厢

Subway Announcer: Male passengers are requested not to sit on the seats reserved for ladies.

Welcome to the womens-only-compartment, where lawyer Saloni Chowdhry climbs aboard twice a day.

Saloni Chowdhry: I prefer it from the general compartment, because its more safer, less of eve teasing, so I prefer the ladies compartment any day.

Eve-teasing is an Indian euphemism for how men harass women, pass sexually charged remarks their way, or brush up against them to make physical contact; everyday, sexist abuse of Indias every woman or Eve, as the Biblical name denotes.

Reporter: Have you been harassed on the train before?

Saloni: Yes, yes.

Reporter: Whats happened to you on the train? What do men do?

Saloni: Just being little touchy. And at times, then you have—its a bad word, how they want to feel you. So for the last, oh, like, say three years since the ladies compartment has started, I think we are much more safer now. Yeah, you feel better, and even if it is a little crowded, therere all ladies around you, so you feel more secure.

Cairo, Tokyo, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro—all reserve subway cars for women, to spare them from being groped or harassed. Pritpal Kaur, a radio jockey, says New Delhis single-sex compartment is a refuge, especially at night, when she says men have leered at her and deployed Hindi slang that refers to women, delicately translated, as hot stuff. Pritpal Kaur: Hot stuff, exactly.

When the ladies carriage fills, there is a dormlike camaraderie as young women, like Sonal Sinha, survey fashion trends among fellow passengers and swap gossip.

Sonal Sinha: Sometimes you even hear gossiping, two girls about others. Fantastic.

Akanksha Gupta says women can get plenty pushy in the lone female carriage. But at least there, she says, she can relax and not worry about men staring at, say, her neckline.

Akanksha Gupta: When Im in the ladies compartment, I feel satisfaction. I mean, no matter if I sleep, I dont have to wear a scarf or anything if at all. But when Im in the general compartment, you know, I have to be very careful.

A recent Times of India survey said 96% of women in Delhi feel unsafe after sunset. A glimpse at recent headlines provides reason enough. “Woman Alleges Gang Rape in Lawyers Chamber,” “More Shame: Five Rapes in Two Days,” “Woman Resists Molestation, Shot Dead.”

The emphasis, in India, has been on protecting women rather than giving women more freedoms—like the freedom to be safe, or the freedom from fear. The choice to sit among women on a train is a form of security. But the question arises: Can segregating the sexes be a long-term solution for what ails India?

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