Delivery Boys to Grocers, Unsolicited Texts Haunt Women. This Tweet Opens the Pandora’s Box

Delivery Boys to Grocers, Unsolicited Texts Haunt Women. This Tweet Opens the Pandora’s Box

A woman’s tweet on being made uncomfortable by a milkman’s unsolicited comments and attempts at small talk has opened the pandora’s box of how women negotiate each moment to get access to basic amenities, particularly when they are living alone. The woman took to Twitter and narrated how the milkman who would deliver milk at her house started asking random, unsolicited questions which made her wary of his intentions.

“A day in the life of a woman in India,” the woman, Tanzila Anis, wrote in the beginning of a series of tweets. Anis went on to say that the man had previously asked her if she lives alone and if she is married. The tipping point of it all was recently when the milkman went on to ask her if she had taken a bath then or not.

“I am creeped out and uncomfortable and annoyed,” she wrote.

Anis has decided to go back to opting for online delivery of milk. She explained how he had called her one evening to “chat” after he had given his number to her to settle bill related issues on online payment apps.

“And this is so common that it’s not even surprising anymore. When he had given me his number to settle bills etc via Paytm, he had called me in the evening to ‘chat’ and then also I had been very weirded out,” Anis wrote.

Her tweet is a tip of an ice-berg explaining the amount of negotiations and self-censorship women do everyday even for basics like groceries. “Imagine being a woman and considering the pros and cons of something as basic as getting grocery etc home delivered with respect to your safety. Because random men will be in possession of your location and phone number,” she wrote.

Anis was not the only one to feel intimidated by the milkman’s behaviour. In fact, her house help too revealed to her that he had been ‘accosting’ other house helps in the lift and making them uncomfortable.

The milkman’s entry is now banned from the building after Anis made a complaint before the management of her residential building. She said that the man was a threat to other women and girls living there.

Even though Anis’s grievances have been addressed, at least for the time being, women have come forward with their stories of being creeped out by random men after they gave their numbers for things like online deliveries and bill payments. “I remember courier guys pinging me on Whatsapp couple of times. One bastard had even circulated my number to others. I usually have my DP private and I don’t save their numbers. I write them in my phone’s notepad. If only men made it a little easier for us to breathe in peace,” wrote one.

The stories of women being made uncomfortable by unsolicited text messages, phone calls and the subsequent comments that follow seem to be never-ending. And as it appears to be, every woman has a story of being made uncomfortable in such scenarios.

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