Divanee Magazine Editors Blog

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Where you from?

I love NYC. I love living here. It is one of the best cities in the world (this statement is subjective not objective, of course).

But, one thing that drives me crazy is the random comments by street harassers in broad daylight about Indian girls.

"You from India? You married?"

"God bless you, Indian woman."

…and the like…actually some of the stuff people say is pretty vulgar.
Firstly, my origins lie in Pakistan (not that should matter). Secondly, I don't reveal too much in my dress (not that should matter either because it's not about that). Thirdly,what do you hope to accomplish by yelling out something vulgar to a person trying to pass by or just trying to take the subway. No, we aren't asking for it. Which is why I'm really glad someone started this site:


"Holla Back NYC, which [launched] a Web site encouraging women to post photos of anyone who makes uninvited or inappropriate comments and gestures. “It’s not a protest, per se,” explained Emily May, one of Holla Back’s founders. “We don’t hate the guy. We just want to raise awareness about street harassment and let people know it’s not OK."

This is why I love NY.


May 26, 2006 - Posted by | Social Justice


  1. hollabacknyc + riya = powerful feministing (huh?) !

    Comment by saad | May 28, 2006 | Reply

  2. saad, i have no idea what you are talking about?

    Comment by miral | May 29, 2006 | Reply

  3. you sometimes speak in puzzles.

    Comment by miral | May 29, 2006 | Reply

  4. sorry, i work as a secretary, and am used to using shorthand to take notes being dictated. riya is the coolest thing in a while, check it out at riya.com ! it’s like flickr to host photos, however with auto image/face recognition

    Comment by saad | May 29, 2006 | Reply

  5. What I hate worse is when they confuse you for Mexicans. Before I was married, I used to live in the city, and one day when I went to get groceries, one of the mexican workers there came up to me and started saying something to me in Spanish. I told him “I don’t speak Spanish”. Then he said, “You Indian, you make rotis?” I was like WTF? I replied “no” and did my best to get my damn fruit bagged and out of there, but he was persistent.
    He asks, “you married?” I don’t know why I felt I needed to respond, but said “no” and thought ‘damnit just let me buy my fruit in peace’. I started to leave and go to the cash register and he yells “How come a beautiful woman like you not married? I marry you, you make rotis for me.” What a sleazeball, he never got his answer because I bolted out of there. There was no hollaback then and no camera phones either (this was 1997) but if it happened today you’d be sure I would take his picture and post it on the net under the heading “The Sleazy Illegal Mexican”.

    Comment by Sadaf | June 15, 2006 | Reply

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