That was not a click bait using a shocking headline. A man really did send me photos of his manhood last night.
I have met this man just once in my life in 2011. It was a casual date and we had sex. The date was at his place so I already knew what it ‘really’ was and I just wanted to have some fun. I never met him again but we’ve been connected on social media, and over the last five years he has given me hundreds of booty calls some of which I found amusing, some boring, but none offensive. On my part I have been flirtatious but I was always clear in my head that I don’t want to meet him again. I last WhatsApped him in Jan this year, around my birthday when I was getting worked up about not having enough sex in life.
Last night, at around 11.30 pm he suddenly sent me 5-6 photos of his dick through WhatsApp with a message, ‘just shagged imagining you.’ Just like that, no ‘hello, what’s up? how is life? I am horny can we have sex chat, can I send you photo of my dick’ nothing. Here is a man lying on his bed shagging and sending photos of his dick to a woman he hasn’t met or talked to in 5 years and hasn’t even exchanged virtual messages in 6 months.
Guess what is missing here? Consent. He didn’t ask me if I was interested in his dick at that point of time. In his virtual world he sort of opened his pants took out his dick and shoved it in. A man cannot be any less bothered about the woman at the receiving end (of the photo or the actual thing). As far as I understand, this is virtual rape. And while I cannot possibly control anybody’s imagination but by sending me a photo of his dick he made me and my body a part of his stupid imagination, without my consent.
But shame or sexual violation isn’t what I felt. I got furious.
His utterly stupid insensitive act disturbed me so immensely that I cannot even begin to explain. I have been working on my MA exams last few days which just got finished yesterday. I came back from the college, made some snacks, had dinner with dad, helped him pack since he was going to leave for Dehradun today morning to see my sister who had a surgery yesterday for her gallstone. I hit the bed early because I had a terrible headache and a bit of guilty feeling that I am not going to see my sister.
So last night, when this dick sent me his dick, I was trying to have my first peaceful sleep after weeks of sleepless nights with a baggage of mixed emotions and physical exhaustion. I had barely closed my eyes when I got the photos.
So what did I say to him?
This brings me to the point of writing this piece, anger. I told him how angry I was and how far I was willing to go in my anger to take him down and smother him the next time he does this shit (this was not his first offense, and wasn’t my first warning). That my shame and honour is secondary to my anger. That the fact that I have slept with him in the past will not stop me from filing an FIR. Or the fear that he might make public the sex chats we had or the photos I might have sent him or anything will not deter me. Nothing can intimidate or embarrass me because my anger is above them.
This anger is important. This anger along with the knowledge that I have my rights. That my body is mine (fact that I have to wake up unexpectedly and see his dicks with my eyes is a violation of my bodily integrity unless I have given consent) and nobody has any entitlement on it. Not even my boyfriend or sex partner or client (if I am sex worker) or husband. (Oops I just got a bit over ambitious there, actually husbands do have the right to rape their wives in India. Sex workers can technically refuse to serve a client though)
We should teach our girls to be more angry, more often. Anger so powerful and toxic that it would consume every other emotion a girl feels when she is violated – shame, fear, honor, modesty, family izzat – she would deal with all of these later. First, she’d be angry like hell. She would scream at the top of her lungs taking the name of her perpetrator, she would violently kick and punch the next man who gropes her in the bus, she would break and throw stuff around.
We need more women to be more angry. Just make it a habit. Make it a culture. A culture where men would gather at little corners, near the photo copier or the coffee machine and whisper:
“Do you see how women these days have become, so angry all the time, you can’t even like grope them a little bit you know. The other day I barely touched this girl with my dick and she like flipped out, like crazy or something, started making so much noise, telling every body ‘this man is poking me with his penis’. I mean how can a decent woman say penis loudly in public?”
“I miss the good old days, when they were just embarrassed and scared.”
“Yeah! I know what you mean man, totally happened to me. Last night I WhatsApped some photos of my you know ‘big beautiful thing’ to this woman and she went crazy, telling me I violated her or something, like its virtual rape or something. I mean c’mon! And its not even like I am a stranger to her, I had already fucked that bitch.”