Unboxed Writers App for Phone and Tablet

Here are more ways to stay at forefront of Unboxed Writers and stay informed and inspired! Download our app for Android Phones and Tablets. Click on the image to Download Now!


Justice

Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

 

Archives

Cattitude: Cause We Support

Cattitude!

The Cattitude Trust is a Public Charitable Trust started to reach out to cats in distress, particularly in Chennai (India).

To know more about Cattitude, 'Like' them on Facebook.

Copyright

Creative Commons License
All content displayed here by Unboxed Writers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://unboxedwriters.com.

Excerpt, Don't Copy: You may not publish an entire post. You may republish an excerpt of not increasing 250 words.

Give Credit: You may not use any material from our site without giving due credit to the individual author and Unboxed Writers. You must hyperlink directly to the post.

Author: Author of the post retains all copyright, and reserves all rights not explicitly granted here.

Why I Shun ‘Women Only’ Travel Services

article-2359482-0B4E9FC3000005DC-840_634x401

I am a tad upset. I have just read about a hotel chain which is soon launching women-only hotels. I know I should be kicked about it, as I often travel solo, but I am not.

Traditionally, our streets, roadside restaurants, public parks, pan- cigarette tapris have been a male bastion. While women remained housebound,  men traversed the  streets. Or loitered.

Not much has changed even now except more women are independent and working outside their homes. But these seemingly public spaces remain a male domain.

The recent hike in reported sexual harassment and rape cases has led to a new trend: women-only car services, train coaches and now women-only hotels. The key term for marketing of these services is not women’s comfort, its women’s safety.

On the face of it, this looks like a welcome change. Women travelling for work or for leisure, within city or across country, can now have access to safe commute and hotel stay. Tourism boards are taking pride in it, brands are pitching in and travel bloggers are raving about it.

But this whole situation is also gnawing at me. Have we, as a society, come to this that we need exclusive hotels and taxis for women to feel safe? Are we trying to say, because we cannot control harassment on roads, let’s safeguard women in these enclosures? Are we reiterating that women are not safe in general coaches, hotels and taxis driven by men?
As a woman traveller (often solo) I do want to feel safe and secure. But at the same time, I am not ready to give up my space on public streets, dhabas, hotels and taxis.

One good outcome of this new trend, however, is that Indian women are slowly foraying into “male” jobs.

I remember the days when I used to take metro from Delhi to Gurgaon for work. Women-only coaches would be so packed in office hours that I preferred travelling in general coaches. In a more recent episode, I found myself travelling in a general coach of Mumbai local in off-peak hours. I am new to Mumbai local railway system. I reached the platform, couldn’t locate a women’s coach so quickly hopped onto a general coach. And then?

Then I reached home. Safe and secure. No one groped me. No one stared at me. I am probably expected to add “fortunately” here, but I won’t. A women travelling in a general coach and not being harassed is not “fortunate”– this is how it should be in the first place. Sadly, we have forgotten that a general coach is a general coach and not a male-only coach. Safe travel of women should be taken for granted and not something expected as a measure for “women empowerment”.

Now, this doesn’t mean I live in a fairyland. Bad experiences do happen. They can happen at home, office, neighbourhood, train or even an airplane. There is no doubt about the fact that as a woman, I am more vulnerable to unpleasant experiences. When travelling solo, I have to be extra cautious of my environment, be vigilant of prying eyes, be appropriately clothed, avoid late nights and most importantly appear confident at all times. Confidence, sadly, cannot be faked. Confidence can only develop when you leave that couch and step out– by yourself. So, there is no better alternative to actually moving around and experiencing the world with all six senses.

It’s all like a balancing act between reclaiming our space and being safe. So, what will you choose?

Note: This story has also been published in Huffington Post: Why I Steer Clear Of Women-Only Travel Services

 

Richa Gupta is based in Mumbai, is an avid traveller and also passionate about writing and encouraging responsible and alternative travel ideas. After having worked in the  fashion industry for over six years,  she decided to quit and started with a little not-for-profit initiative to help people with  travels which not only help support local culture, economy and environment but also offer life changing experiences. Her work and blog can be found at http://travels-and-stories.blogspot.in

 

 

Similar posts
  • Memories Of Doon’s Magical Monsoon Moments of truth. Everybody has one or maybe several. So it is with times of inspiration. Everybody has that reference of sight, smell, sound, touch, feeling or piece of imagination that inspires. For me, one of the strongest times of inspiration is when the sky opens to pour its heart out in a manner unrestrained and unabashed. [...]
  • 7 Secrets To Becoming A Professional Travel Blogger “How to become a professional travel blogger? Naturally, this is a right thought, because you cannot rush into a new adventure being unprepared. Understand that starting a travel blog is not difficult; it ‘s hard to develop it properly, and not to give it up after a couple of weeks because it turned out to [...]
  • Mussoorie And Landour: The Literary Connection The twin towns of Mussoorie and Landour are famed for their scenic beauty and the rare winter line phenomenon. However, not many people know that they have a rich literary heritage and highest density of authors anywhere in the world. While Landour is home to many writers, the most well-known being Ruskin Bond, who shifted [...]
  • Lakhamandal: The Lost City About 20 kms off the pristine hill station of Chakrata in Uttarakhand, from the other side diagonally opposite to the entry from Kalsi, we hit the dirt road that would take us to the very historic city of Lakhamandal, situated on the banks of river Yamuna. The road, moderate in size, neither too tiny nor [...]
  • A Lesson In Slow Travelling S l o w… They are in no hurry. They stand and stare at me when I photograph a cloud. They slow down their two-wheelers to look at me, because in their town, girls do not sport short haircuts; their plaits touch their hips. My friend Muthu, who is a proud localite, tells me that [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Authors

Be the first to read the latest on Unboxed Writers!

Subscribe for FREE and get the latest in your Inbox! You can unsubscribe at any time.
Name
Email *

Admins

Editor & Founder:
Reema Moudgil
Design Director & Founder:
Vani Bahl
Media Consultant:
Poonam Goel

Mission Statement

Who are we? We are writers. And here, in this space, we put pride and passion back into writing. We give ourselves and each other creative freedom and respect.

* We create an environment where content generation does not entail degeneration of inspiration and spirit.
* We create content that we believe in and identify with.
* We recognise that to create is always of more value than to berate.
*We critique without malice and arrogance.

This site is about us writers, what we stand for but more importantly, about creating something valuable, inclusive, thought-provoking. In this space, we do not just stand for ourselves but for all those who listen to a compelling inner voice that tells them, "Create!"

Unboxed Writers Share

Join the other awesome people who get the new posts right away by email!
Be the first to read the latest on Unboxed Writers.
Enter your email and stay on top of things!

Subscribe!