Priji – Gender woman Was: a victim City: Chennai


Gender womanIMG_1449

Was: a victim
City: Chennai
Was wearing Chudithar/Salwar Kameez with dupatta
Reaction: Helpless, Passively Endured

Incident was : Recurring

Perpetrator was a Stranger and aged 30-40

I had enrolled for driving classes in Chennai close to the CMBT bus stand. My aunt had suggested the place to me as my sister also had taken her license there.

I got myself enrolled and the first day of the class went fine. The teaching instructor was a male and of course I was not gender biased and did not insist for a women instructor.

I still recollect his remark that he told me that most women chose for a women instructor, and that they should just open up and not shy away from male instructors just because they might have to hold on to your hand while changing the gear box. I smiled at the comment and did agree that there may be  a need to catch hold of your hand when you shift the wrong gears or lose control of your steering.

After the first day on road the instructor then suggested we start classes on reverse driving as it is the most difficult to learn. The first lesson of reverse driving went well and I thought I had picked it up real well. But the following day he still insisted on half an hour of reverse classes and  this time he would not let me do it my self. I had to do a reverse in a straight line and he complained I was not getting it straight and he put his hand across my chest to handle the steering wheel. It felt uneasy every time he did this there was an attempt to brush across my breasts. I sat as pressed to the car seat as I could, to avoid this brush.
But he somehow closed me in a way that felt a reverse could not be taught with out this ‘casual’ physical contact.

I was naive to understand what was going wrong. His comments of how women often complaint for small physical contacts and   how silly it was made me doubt whether I was being silly to doubt his brush through.

I passively endured it for about 4 classes where he taught me nothing but driving reverse in a straight line. 4 classes was more than I could take, I would sulk to go for a class and my aunt would force me as we had already paid a deposit for one month classes and not going for any meant I was wasting cash.

I had to return back to college and I somehow convinced my aunt that I would do the rest of the classes when I get my next leave which I never did. I had later asked a good friend of mine who had a car to teach me a reverse just to see if it required a ‘casual’ physical contact of that sought in anyways. I was taken back with embarrassment, anger towards him and my stupidity for enduring it when I realized that my friend dint even have to put his hand across the steering wheel the way the instructor did it in any fashion to control the steering. I then asked him to put his hand across the steering wheel to see if that caused any kind of physical contact just to add to my embarrassment, it never had to. The instructor very cunningly and tactfully was doing it in a way that seemed so natural as though it was the only way to do it.

My anger towards that instructor was never ceased, its been more than 7 years now. My embarrassment when I think of my naiveness, lack of courage to speak out still eats me from inside. I wish I gave him the stares when he passed the comments on women, I wish I had sternly looked at him when he brushed across for the first time, I wished I had pushed his hand away the second time he did it and got him fired from that driving school. I did none and that makes me feel guilty the most.



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