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Esha Gupta Calls Out A Man For Raping Her With His Eyes. This Has Happened To All Of Us. We Stand With Her

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I was 8 years when I first felt an uncomfortable gaze of a man. It made me squirm in my seat. My cousin was 11, my best friend was 13 and another one of our friends was 16 years old when this happened to them. Growing up as a girl, especially in a city like Delhi or rather, a country like India, is most likely to leave you mildly traumatised due to sexual harassment at a very young age. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a little girl in a big frock, or a big girl in a little skirt. It doesn’t matter if you’re a middle class woman, or a celebrity like Esha Gupta, the chances of being harassed are still the same. 

If Delhi is somewhat known for anything, it’s two things – its party culture and rape culture. In theory mutually exclusive, but in reality as correlated as ever. And Raaz 3 actress, Esha Gupta, on the night of 6th July, happened to experience a bit of both. She visited the famous club Dear Donna in Delhi on Saturday, and like any usual celebrity, wasn’t alone. Apart from her own company, she was at all times surrounded by 2 guards, but turns out even that didn’t work too well when a known hotelier, Rohit Vig, came into the picture. The man was at the same venue that night, and as per Esha Gupta’s recent tweets, raped her with his eyes. Esha wrote, “If a woman like me can feel violated and unsafe in the county, then idk what girls around feel. Even with two securities around I felt getting raped.. #RohitVig you’re a swine.. he deserves to rot.”

Apparently, the guy had been constantly looking at Esha and no, not in a fan gaze sort of a way, but in a much more disgusting way that made her feel more than just a little uncomfortable, it made her feel she was getting raped. Even after being asked three times to mind his inappropriate behaviour, the guy refused to be less of an asshole and was eventually asked to leave the premises. Esha shared how she did not know who the man was, until she put out videos of the guy asking people if they could identify him, and he turned out to be the owner of the St. Regis Goa hotel chain, Rohit Pervert Vig. 

And even though it saddens me to say this, I could relate, and so could many others. How many times has it been that we’ve been looked up and down, in a stare so ugly, we feel shamed. We pull up a top, pull down a hem thinking this is what will make him not stare. How many times has it been that even after showing clear signs of not appreciating that gaze, the other person just keeps looking as though he is entitled to. Or sometimes even touch himself at places we’d rather kick him in, making us feel all the more sick. 

And that is exactly what actress Esha Gupta meant to address with her series of tweets and stories when she wrote, “It’s not about being a celeb. What a normal girl has to go through? How can a man be above the law. I was having dinner. He came much later n took the table opp us. Why is it ok for men to think it is okay.”

In fact, it happens so often and literally on the daily for us, that the concept of men staring with sleaze has actually become normalised, when it needs to be criminalised. We understand that we can’t charge a person with anything if he’s ‘just’ looking, but that’s the point. It’s not ‘just’ looking if the guy makes you feel so uncomfortable and in a way, sexually abused. And if calling out such men in public is what it takes for them to realise how wrong it is, then be it. We stand right with Esha on this one. Men like him do deserve to rot. 

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