‘Meet to Sleep’ to promote women’s safety in public spaces 

The organisation in association with several feminist allies have been rooting for asserting the ‘right to live defenceless’ and ‘free from fear’.  
Image used for representational purpose
Image used for representational purpose

BENGALURU: Intending to make women feel safe, fearless and comfortable in public spaces, a unique ‘meet to sleep’ is being organised in Bengaluru on December 10 from 2-5 pm.

Blank Noise, a Bengaluru-based community proposed this idea in 2007, mobilising women to confront their fears making ‘trust’ a priority over taking measures like carrying a pepper spray around in public spaces. The organisation in association with several feminist allies have been rooting for asserting the ‘right to live defenceless’ and ‘free from fear’.  

Founder Director of Blank Noise, Jasmine Patheeja, explained that every citizen’s relationship with their city and public spaces is unique. In common circumstances, when a person is commented at by a stranger in public, feels uncomfortable.

In the case of women, they are exposed to even more uncomfortable experiences, when they are whistled at or stared inappropriately while walking on the streets or sitting in public spaces. Jasmine sharing her experience with TNIE of how this idea came into existence said, “I wished to sleep in Cubbon Park and despite being with my colleagues I couldn’t.”

When a person is lying down on the ground, they become more alert of the surroundings. These sounds are misunderstood for the presence of a person in their vicinity or a possible threat to them. Hence, it is crucial to build trust among women and people from different gender minority groups to feel safe in public places even if they are ‘defenceless’ to be saving themselves.  

Along with ‘meet to sleep’, the team has initiated campaigns like ‘walk towards healing’, building testimonies of clothes people were wearing when they faced sexual or physical violence. 
 

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