Frequently Asked Questions
But nothing ‘major’ has happened to me. I’m not sure it’s violence. But, I think it could be harassment…I just remember feeling a bit uncomfortable. Should I share it here?
We tend to dismiss violence. To ignore it. To imagine: ‘Maybe it was an accident.’ ‘Maybe he didn’t mean it.’ Maybe it was ‘just a joke.’ But the memory lingers, or it could resurface even months and years later. It could be what you decided to brush off as small and insignificant but haven’t forgotten. It could be about being made to feel small. Sick. Dirty. Disrespected.
A thing you might have ignored, back then, but still resides somewhere at the back of your mind.
To answer your question more directly: YES!
We are not creating a hierarchy of the nature of violence. We simply want to create a space for you to come forward and share your experience. The fact that you remember feeling discomfort is reason enough fill out this form.
You may relate to this. You may not. You may revisit this page months or even years later. Because suddenly you remembered that one incident you had forgotten all about.
There are so many.
But why should I participate towards building ‘evidence’?
We report to remember. We report to articulate. We report to recognize. We report to build truth. Insight. Meaning. Justice.
We report because we remember. We report that we remember.
Why do so many women worldwide remember what they wore when they experienced sexual violence? We shouldn’t have to remember the clothes at all. We shouldn’t have to blame ourselves because there is no excuse, no justification, for violence.
We are trying to build this archive, one Action Hero at a time. There is power in numbers.
One of our aims is to assert that these incidents reported by individuals all over the world are not one-off, stray experiences. Your story is important because it is both your unique experience and it resonates those felt by millions along with you.
What happens after I give my clothes?
The garments you send in will be installed on the streets of various cities all over the world. This travelling installation will appear in cities from 2015 onwards. Each garment is a rejection of blame. It has stood witness to your story. To what happened. We propose to install these garments in public sites for all to see and realize that we were not ‘asking for it’ in wearing those garments.
What happens after I share my personal story?
Your testimonial, submitted online, is shared in the following ways:
- As an Action Hero Map: Placing the garments you send in and the stories associated with them on a world map to allow you to see what others around the world saw and experienced.
- As an ‘I Never Ask For It’ Gallery: Building a large archive of the clothes various people around the world experience sexual harassment, threat, or intimidation in. Each garment flicked past in the gallery giving a resounding reminder, ‘I Never Ask For It,’ no matter what I am wearing.
- As a Action Hero Table of Facts: Strong, hard, unadulterated data to show just how many people remember what they wore when they experienced sexual harassment, threat, or intimidation.
- The ‘I Never Ask For It’ Installation: When you send us the actual piece of clothing to our postal address, we will be including your garment as your testimonial for a large scale mobile, travelling installation in cities across the world from 2015 onwards.
Where do I send the clothes?
Please send the garment to the address below:
BLANK NOISE: I NEVER ASK FOR IT c/o Srishti School of Art Design and Technology Near Rail and Wheel Factory Yelahanka, PO Box #6430 Bangalore 560 064
Does this campaign include the LGBT and hijra communities?
Of course. The campaign asks for autonomy and respect for one's identity irrespective of the social sanction for or the so-called ‘legitimacy’ of the group. I Never Ask For It asks for the right to be.
We don’t want to be criminalized or policed for who we are. At the end of the day, we all are, regardless of our gender / sex roles, citizens with rights, individuals with spirit. Violence is often permitted by a group that assumes power over other groups that are considered to be minorities: women, gays, lesbians, queers, or those with ‘deviant’ gender identities. I Never Ask For It asserts the voice of various expressions of self, and not just communities. It asserts the right to celebrate our identities without apology, regret or shame.
Is this only about ‘eve-teasing’? Street harassment?
First, there’s no such thing as ‘eve-teasing’. It’s street sexual harassment. And in response to your question: not at all! Although Blank Noise started out probing into the questions surrounding street sexual harassment, over the past decade, during the several dialogues and conversations we have been part of, we have realised that the boundaries between spaces are often blurred. ‘Place’ or ‘location’ is arbitrary, and an act of violation may take place anywhere, even within the comfortable confines of our homes. They could take place at the workplace, school, and even cyber-space. It could be about someone threatening us on a social networking site.
Is this a global campaign?
Yes, this is a global campaign and will be built by partners, collectives, and individuals: the Action Heroes. Blame is universal. If you are an organisation or individual interested in contributing to the campaign from where you are, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject, ‘I Never Ask For It: Collaborations.’
Is this anti-men?
Nope! We’re not passing the blame on to men. We’re calling for action to arrest blame, not shifting it back. This isn’t about male vs female. Nor is it about traditional and modern. It’s about the fact that violence has been justified far too long and that we, as women, have been raised in an environment of blame and warnings, where violence has been sanctioned and justified. Action Heroes can be both female and male volunteers. Sexual violence is not a woman’s issue.
I am heterosexual guy. How do I participate? Is there room for me in this campaign?
Sure, there is! Here’s what you can do:
- We are currently designing interventions and actions that men could directly get involved in. Look out for them by signing up on our mailing list, and we’ll keep you informed.
- You can also sign up to join our “Reporting to Remember” open-research team. Write to us with the subject, ‘Reporting to Remember: Join.’
- You can bring the women around you to build this space by encouraging their participation.
- Propose an idea towards how more men could join this campaign. Write to us with the subject, ‘I Never Ask For It For Men.’
- There are aspects to this campaign beyond submitting testimonials. If you would like to participate in the day-to-day running of this campaign, write to us. We need the committed hands, legs, minds, hearts, and souls of our Action Heroes. Write to us with the subject: ‘I Never Ask For It: Volunteer.’
Besides that, you may also participate in the fact-building process by filling out our form, recalling an incident when you were made to feel guilty or uncomfortable by something you needn’t have been blamed for. I Never Ask For It is all about shedding the blame we associate with certain incidents in our past. It is about realising that the perpetrator was solely responsible for their actions, and it wasn’t us that ‘provoked’ or ‘enticed’ them.
I don't want to say what happened but I want to send a photo of the garment. Can I?
We encourage you to give us a testimony of what happened, and you can do it under a fictitious identity if you don’t want us to know your name. However, if you still don’t feel comfortable describing the incident, you may upload a photo with the name of the city, country, or location where the incident took place.
I dont have the garment to photograph or to send to you. It happened when I was five. Can I still participate?
- Please make a sketch of your clothes with as many details as you can remember, and upload it along with your testimonial.
- Dig out an old photograph of yourself in those clothes and you can upload that too.
Do you really think things can change?
YES! It takes you and another Action Hero. One Action Hero inspires another. Small steps to a big change.
Are you proving something with all this evidence?
This participatory statistic-building, truth-creating, evidence-gathering process is a way of allowing the ‘information’ to speak for itself.
- We are getting more and more Action Heroes to say that blame doesn’t reside in their bodies and selves.
- We are getting more and more Action Heroes to speak up.
- We are creating an environment to say that it isn’t even about the clothes, and that the problem lies in the blame and the justification of violence.
- In saying, ‘I Never Ask For It,’ we are creating a space to articulate what we are, in fact, asking for: to be allowed to be as we are, to be allowed to exist without blame.
We want to collectively arrest blame. Your testimonial in this growing archive could find itself influencing policy change. We are gathering information and making it visible. There is power in numbers. So, come on over. Let’s change the scene.
What are the other components to this campaign?
We will be updating our plans shortly. Keep an eye on the ‘Be An Action Hero’ page. But just to give you an idea, we are planning on organising a series of street actions, installation, interviews, video campaigns, researches, and so on. Stay tuned!
Can I support the campaign with funds?
Yes, you can head over to our Fund page to contribute.