NEW DELHI: Over 500 denizens of India have taken to the internet to personally post comments apologizing to travel blogger Lucy Hemmings after the British national was disturbingly harassed by a man who shamelessly masturbated while ravenously staring as she sat at a Mumbai bus stop.
“I was sitting at a bus stop in Mumbai when I noticed a man move closer to me. From the corner of my eye to my horror, I realized that he had pulled out his penis and was masturbating, staring intently at me. I felt sick,” she wrote on her blog.
Hemmings also related that although she made a point of trying to respect Indian culture by covering herself in loose clothes and following safety advice about conduct with strangers, it was dismayingly not the first time something similar had happened Eftcrop.
On a previous visit to India in 2012, she and a female friend spotted another man masturbating while watching them from behind a nearby bush. Hemmings and her friend laughed at the man and pointed him out to passers-by to take control of the situation, and he eventually skulked away.
When it happened to her second time as she waited for a train, she alerted fellow travelers, and the offending stranger melted back into the surging crowd.
Speaking to The Hindustan Times, Hemmings remarked that despite the Indian nation making her feel welcome in every other regard, the most recent incident of public masturbation has certainly influenced her thoughts regarding the country. “The combination of being a woman, being harassed, and being in a foreign city without the same understanding of the law enforcement system as you may have at home is something that I found both daunting and difficult,” she said.
“Other than this man, I’ve been treated so kindly by both men and women … Indian hospitality is one of the warmest and most genuine [things] I’ve received throughout my travels,” Hemmings continued, before remarking that it has been ” heartening and refreshing to have received such an overwhelming response from Indian men apologizing on behalf of the revolting individuals who tormented her.
“It is truly disheartening to know that you have had such an experience while you were in my country … I pray that you will have a safer environment from now on,” wrote one commenter.
However, their focus on Hemmings’ foreign nationality — especially when juxtaposed against the general domestic treatment of Indian women — should raise concern, wrote the Daily Dot: “… this problem isn’t endemic only to foreign visitors to the nation. The fact that it took a white non-Indian female reporting sexual assault to elicit hundreds of responses from Indian men is disturbing, to say the least.”
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According to Bustle, a media disseminator based out of New York City, Hemmings still wishes to return to India several more times. Despite being forced to view the country with a significantly more cautious purview, she still harbors a deep-seated “love” for the Indian nation and fully intends to continue defending it “against racist colleagues who view the country as ‘dirty’ or the culture as ‘wrong.’”
“I know that it is a tiny minority who behave this way,” she told The Independent, a British newspaper. “Good and bad people most certainly exist in every country, and India has an absolutely astonishing amount of good people.”