Indian Woman's Facebook Post About Being Slut-Shamed By Her Rickshaw Driver Is Going Viral

Sadly, many women will relate to this.

On April 24, Indian journalist Aishwarya Subramanian hailed an auto rickshaw on the street on a hot day for a ride to her destination. After about five minutes, she stopped the rickshaw, got off, paid the driver, and was about to be on her merry way when something wholly unexpected occurred.

"He looks at me for a second and says - 'please don't mind me but what you are wearing is inappropriate.' I stand there shocked," Subramanian wrote in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

She recalled defending herself, telling the driver that he had no right to tell her how to dress. She added: 

Then he gets out of the auto to tell me why I shouldn't be dressed like a slut (I am wearing a white summer dress that reaches my knee). A few men gather as I take pictures. One man who has gathered tells me that the auto driver is right. Apparently a girl who lives in a society like mine should be dressed more modestly and like a woman. I am about to start crying at this point. This is the first time I have been so publicly slut shamed. 

Thankfully, she said, two men came out of a store and told off the men and the driver — but the damage was done. "I walk away feeling shell shocked and ashamed," Subramanian wrote in the post that included photos of the driver and the auto rickshaw's license plate.

Her Facebook post has since been shared more than 2,000 times. Many enraged commenters have rushed to her defense, but others questioned why she posted photos of the man, implying that she was the one doing the public shaming. Subramanian later edited the post to address the accusations: 

Since there are those who think I posted this without this man's consent (thereby insinuating that I am the one who's publicly shaming someone). Here's the real deal: I actually asked his permission before taking his picture and posting it on social media! He said that he wanted "his message" out because the country will agree with him and not me. I gave him far more respect than he did me. Please please don't think these pictures exist here without consent. I have it! And given how skewered the Indian mentality sometimes can be, I actually think he has a point when he says that there will be people agreeing with what he had to say. 

The staggering rates of sexual harassment and violence in India has been well-documented in the media, with high-profile rape cases in the past years making international headlines and spurring global outrage at the country's sexual violence epidemic. 

"You want to know why we fight for our dignity?" Subramanian wrote. "Because even the clothes we wear makes us sluts. What is the point in being a girl in this country anymore? I feel so embarrassed. My building's guard was standing right there as these men called me a slut for wearing the clothes I wore. This is who I am. These are the clothes I wear. Everyone else can fuck off. Anyone can share this post. I am done feeling ashamed for being me."