#AbhishekSpeaks

Dear readers, you know how we feel about #BreakingStereotypes. What you may not know is that many of the lovely people we have featured in our photo essays actually work towards #BreakingStereotypes in their daily lives. Here’s a little snippet from Abhishek Bahadur’s blog that could serve as a guide to good behaviour. Are you listening, boys?
Don’t Stare : Okay so you see an attractive girl, what next? It’s easy . Stop staring. No girl is comfortable with the idea of a man staring at her and it doesn’t matter what strata of society he belongs to and trust me your supposed decency cannot be conveyed when you make her feel uncomfortable. You like a girl? Great! Now keep your eyes off and mind your own business.
Mind your language : Okay so she might have been unfair to you. That’s really sad but it doesn’t give you the right to malign her character or call her names while  drinking with your chad-bads. Convey your displeasure, do whatever you want but do not go to extremes of abusing her.
Correct your Friends : I had a friend who got an earful from me when he was staring at a hostess at a popular club in South Delhi. It isn’t cool. Correct them immediately.
Respect women : I am not going to dwell on this. If you’re aware of why you need to do this, great! If you aren’t, too bad- you need to learn.
Equality : Yes, even though you can lift heavy weights at the gym, I’m sure she can kill you with her sarcasm or dress better than you. She can do all the things that you’re capable of and some better than you. Don’t believe in stereotypes ; you don’t have to ‘be a man’ nor do you have to ‘man up’. Considering women go through a lot more shit than we do should be consider the term ‘woman up’?
Intervene : Always. Now it doesn’t have to take something as extreme as a sexual assault for you to intervene. Step in if you hear a comment, you don’t have to get into a physical fight if the numbers are against you or if the guy is bigger than you are. It sends across a message to the woman that she’s not alone and will make the man panic.  Most people want to intervene when they see something horrible, they’re just not willing to be the first one. You’ll gather support if you step up. Also, the girl will feel more secure in your presence.
Approach women in distress : If you sense that a woman isn’t feeling comfortable and you find men around her, approach her and ask if she needs any help. Whatever you do, don’t get in her face. Talk from a safe distance so she doesn’t feel threatened. Words like ‘ma’am’ can reassure a lady in distress than you’re trying to help her. This stands true for women who have violent partners. She might not approve of it but heck you have her best intentions in mind, so go through the trouble.
Kill stereotypes and be sensitive : No humour which has a sexist tone to it is good. The sooner you learn it the better it is. Unacceptable nonsense in the name of humour is passed around on e-mails, posted as retweets. Stop it.
Play your part : If you’re aware educate others. If you want things to be better do what it takes. Go for a protest, reassure your female friends that you’re only a call away. Don’t forget about this tomorrow and do what it takes as an individual to be as sensitive and proactive as you can.
Social conditioning cannot change over-night nor can law and order prevent every incident. What we need is citizen intervention. Let the ladies know that they’re not alone.

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