The idea of consuming the public space is different with the different gender roles in our society. The article explores the relationship of women consuming public space and the relation she has with the city. Most of the time women don’t have access to the public spaces as men do.
This is very much obvious in our society as well, a women can’t just roam aimlessly. she needs to have a purpose to claim the public space. Not alone purpose, she always shields herself by making the purpose obvious to anonymous people who objectify female presence in public space. Here comes the normal and abnormal category defined for the gender. Women loitering is abnormal be it mall, street, park so on and so forth.
Certain women can consume the public space, either the woman should be professionally using the space or she is a consumer. This goes back to the modernity, for sake of standing in the row of world class city. where women can shop and add into the economy.
Loitering is claiming the space and can be thought of as a right of the citizen. so women doesn’t enjoy the rights of “free” citizen.
The article is well researched in Indian society where woman feel uncomfortable in the presence of Muslim guy or lower class men. This categorization to me, as the “other” is mere a stereotypical image of Muslims. on the other hand in our society, we do feel uncomfortable in the presence of Lower class men (Tapori as named in this article). before concluding I would want to look at who is defining the normal and abnormal and this is what actually matters.
The notion of being purposeful in public space for women is important because the society judges on these parameters. They engage and make their engagement obvious in order to be respected. The women are defined in binaries: Good and Bad, consuming public space is a deviant act for a good woman and she is categorized as bad, and it is different if she consumes a private space.
Prostitution is legal in India, still the hooker is not allowed to be seen in public space as its only allowed indoors. The whole society is based on the binaries of right and wrong, normal abnormal, acceptable not acceptable.
Even good men don’t loiter- then how women can? gender biases attached to the idea of who can consume the public space for what. Loitering doesn’t change the identity of a citizen its just an act irrespective of the gender. It gives self-gratification, its not forced and has no productivity. It is a desire and pleasure which is not offered to women. In this way gender hegemony is exercised in public spaces.
It is sad to know that, if woman remains anonymous she can access the public space and she can remain invisible. but of course its temporary.
The idea of the World class city does not have room for tapori and unproductive people to loiter around.