‘You sleep with men’: Mumbai cabbie tells girl after she asks him not to spit on road

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Sep 23, 2016, 2:18 pm IST
Updated Sep 23, 2016, 2:18 pm IST
"Aap toh samaaj mein gandagi karti hain. Aap ladko ke saath soti hai,” the cabbie said.
This reflects the perception of women in society (Photo: AFP)
 This reflects the perception of women in society (Photo: AFP)

Mumbai: Apart from crimes against women being on the rise, the perception of women in Indian society reflects a sorry state of affairs as far as gender equality goes. While films, online campaigns and celebrities try hard to change this, there is still a  lot to be done for raising awareness.

Even as the nation cheered three strong women for making India proud at the Rio Olympics, little seems to have changed in the way society actually responds to women with an opinion of their own. A woman in Mumbai was shocked by such an approach when she stopped a taxi driver from spitting on the road.

 

Shaken by the way the taxi driver responded, the user shared her experience in a Facebook post, where she mentioned how the driver rudely told her that she is spoiling the society and sleeping with men, while he is simply spreading filth on the road.

The driver said it when the woman was just getting out of the cab and sped away before she could take any further action. But the incident was a grave manifestation of how women are largely viewed in our society.

Here’s what the woman wrote in her post,

I took a cab (kaali peeli) today morning from Prabhadevi to Lower Parel to get to work and started talking to the taxi driver about when he starts his day, where he lives and on how much rent. It was going well till I saw him eating gutka. I didn’t have a problem with him doing that at all, but I knew what was going to follow – he was going to spit on the road. I told him to avoid spitting on the road and he told me how he never does. In the next five minutes, he did spit and I stopped him from doing that again. My argument being that pedestrians have to walk in that muck and it spreads diseases. He came at me saying how it is completely okay to add a drop to the ocean that is already existing. I tried to tell him again how he wouldn’t want his kids to walk in other people’s filth. What he said next disgusted me to another level.

He told me, “Madam, main toh sirf road pe gandagi kar raha hoon. Aap toh samaaj mein gandagi karti hain. Aap ladko ke saath soti hai.” (I’m just dirtying the roads, you spread dirt in the society by sleeping with guys)

He said this when I got out of the cab and before I could act upon what he said – I would’ve either slapped him or taken his vehicle number and reported him to the police – he sped away.

I am writing this post because I don’t know how else to vent my anger and frustration. I am confused as to why he dared to say something so sickening – either his male ego was hurt very badly that a young girl tried to stop him from spitting, or because he just assumed that single girls living in Mumbai generally sleep with guys. I hope when any of you reading this come across someone like this taxi driver, you be prepared with something as heinous. I’m prepared for the next time, just hoping that no one makes me feel as sick in my stomach again.

 

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