Blog Sparks Debate over Sexual Harassment in India


An American student's blog detailing sexual harassment in India is fuelling worldwide discussion and keeping the spotlight on recent high-profile rape cases.

In her blog for CNN, University of Chicago student Michaela Cross describes her experiences after spending three months in Pune, India on a semester abroad program.

“India was wonderful…but extremely dangerous for women,” she writes. Her article describes the difficulty of living as a woman in a society where women have to deal with the reality of sexual harassment on a daily basis.

She recounts having strangers groping her on the streets, incessant photographing and a stalker who followed her for close to an hour until she shouted at him in public. Her experience so affected her that she took leave of absence from university to receive treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

On the blog, which has raked in more than 825,000 views, Cross says that nothing could have prepared her for a cultural experience that was “both beautiful and traumatizing.”

Cross’s story has sparked heated reactions from several countries. Many commentators have offered sympathy, with some men offering apologies for her experiences, while others have cautioned against making generalizations about India or its people. Sexual violence and harassment have been especially sensitive issues in India since the Delhi 2012 rape case.

For more information about rape, sexual harassment, and women’s rights, follow this link. For information about the ‘Red Brigade’, India’s Anti-rape vigilantes, click here.


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(Image: Delhi rape protest 2012 )