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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Touching Girls

This post is a response to comments on various blogs, claiming that there is no sexual harassment in Georgia.

Hey you, yes you, the one who writes that Georgian men respect women, the one who claims that perverts do not exist here, that streets are safe and that it is women’s fault if they get touched! I am going to be very honest with you and tell you little stories that happened to me or my friends…

Stuff like that does not happen to me anymore, but when I was a teenager, all sorts of creepy men took advantage of my vulnerable situation.

Once, my very conservative friend was sitting in marshrutka and she saw a guy petting something in the corner. She thought he had a puppy or a bird. Turned out, it was a not a bird. My friend was so ashamed, she did not dare to say anything.

Often, in a crowded bus, I felt men standing behind me. I used to calm myself by thinking that it was probably a briefcase or an umbrella, because there was nowhere to move and I couldn’t allow myself to imagine anything else. Needless to say, many times it was not an umbrella.

My first year in university, a man with his pants down used to scream out offensive stuff just by our university, on the Varazis khevi hill, by the zoo. He stood there, with dick in his hand, everyday. How he did not catch cold is beyond me. My friend complained that since there are no houses on that hill, no local boys could protect their territory from this man. Everyday, I pretended that I did not notice how he called me slut and exposed himself. During our daily complaining session (truth to be told, this pantless man provided us with stuff to talk about), one of the girls told us: “oh that guy! When I pass him, I throw rocks at him and he hides in the bushes!”. That’s how I learned that most of those sick men would disappear at the slightest confrontation.

I can tell you many stories like that. So what? You would say that those men are just sick people and that every county has them? But that is only half of the problem isn’t it? The worst thing is that teenage girls get so lost during this encounters, they either become mute or try to convince themselves that nothing happened. And no one ever tells them or teaches them what to do in such situation.

I mean really, imagine you are this Georgian virgin girl, who maybe hasn’t even kissed a boy and the first penis you see in your life is this gross penis of a gross man in a gross underground passage! One might develop penis phobia…I probably shouldn’t go there…

Everybody knows what I am talking about, but mo one dares to admit that they have been exposed to other men’s penises, cause they feel guilty!

And you, you big-bellied, hairy-shouldered, cheating-with-the-prostitutes but drinking-for-respecting-women guy, you claim that there is no sexual harassment in this country! I hope one day you’ll have to take a bus and when you look around, you will see that the umbrella that has been poking you for 15 minutes, is really not an umbrella at all!

the pic: our gray umbrella.


  1. I so agree with you.

  2. Hello Lika,

    Regarding the subject - these 'Brave Proud Georgian Men' already exposed themselves (pun intended) quite well at Neal's blog's comments in his SIG (Sex In Georgia) series. Here is latest such example:

    That percentage of grown men in Georgia who got stuck at age 16 in their mental development is quite astounding and most of them continue to live in their alternative reality - where there is no violence against women, where nothing is their fault, where there is no place better than Georgia, where Masons and others are ruling the world and so on...

    Yaah, good candidates for Flat Earth Society...

    P.S. I and my wife are following your blog quite a time. You are really good at it.

    We will be in Tbilisi in June-July. My wife actually arrives on May 25th and I will be there on 7th.

    It would be our pleasure if we can meet somewhere in non-smoking environment to have coffee, cakes and do some chit-chat ;-)

    BTW do you know places where expats/TLG folks are hanging out frequently?

  3. You said it, sister! Sexual harassment would be the thing I miss the least about Georgia. But I learned some valuable lessons: a) It doesn't matter if you dress like a bebia--if you're a female foreigner, you will be called a whore; b) Never ever get in the car with your host father alone after dark when he's been drinking; and c) Never wear shorts on a marshrutka, no matter how hot it is in August.

  4. @stepi: i miss u so much!!! i want u back on the territory where i can meet u!
    @Invisible: i would like to meet u and ur wife. i have actually met several nice people thru my/their blogs. however, could i know a little more about u be4 we meet? do u have a blog? facebook acoount?
    and yes, i know a place with good coffee, many foreigners, no cigarettes and high prices. there's no way around it--it is either expensive, or georgian (or both) :-)

  5. @ლიკა:
    > and yes, i know a place with good coffee, many foreigners, no cigarettes and high prices
    პროსპეროში არ წამიყვანო შენი ჭირიმე. :-) სხვა ალტერნატივები არ არის?

    > do u have a blog?

    >facebook account?
    ნიკო მერიძის (მგონი მიხვდები ვისზეა ლაპარაკი ;-) ამ პატივცემული პიროვნების ბლოგში მე კომენტარებს --> ნიკით ვტოვებ) FB friend-ებში ერთადერი ირაკლია - გახლავართ.

    c) Never wear shorts on a marshrutka, no matter how hot it is in August

    @Stepi: I'm actually going to do it when I'm in Tbilisi, in addition to wearing Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek. Do you think I need to start selling tickets for the show?

  6. დიახაც, პროსპეროს ვფიქრობდი.
    ალტერნატივები როგორ არ არის, უსიგარეტო მაინც ძნელი საპოვნელია...
    მოკლედ, გააჩნია, რამდენად "სვეტსკი" ადგილას გინდათ წასვლა.
    საერთოდაც, ნაყინზე რას ფიქრობ შენ და შენი მეუღლე?

  7. @ invisible:
    oh, i know who u are, u write intelligent comments on neal's blog!
    i like ur blog and ur sense of humor.
    anyway, i am sure that my husband will be very exited 2 meet u, based on ur profession, and darn it, this is not the 1st time people get interested in me and then i introduce them 2 giga and they like him better :-)
    i am trying 2 figure out how 2 give u my contact info without the whole wild world reading it on the internet...

  8. > მოკლედ, გააჩნია, რამდენად "სვეტსკი"
    > ადგილას გინდათ წასვლა
    ეს ქართული პონტები გადამრევს - სადაც არის საკმარისზე მეტი 'სვეტსკი' ხალხი $1500-იანი ტელეფონით და ზარის გაშვების თხოვნით...

    > საერთოდაც, ნაყინზე რას ფიქრობ შენ
    > და შენი მეუღლე?
    ძალიან კარგი იდეაა.
    > am trying 2 figure out how 2 give u my
    > contact info

    Easy - send me a friend request on FB and we'll use it for personal communication from now on.

  9. eee, am kartil ponts vwer gaekcevi, tu ginda normaluri servisi da gemrieloba, gverdit mokiskise gogoshkebi unda aitano, romlebic egreve daadzroben iphonebs da magidaze dadeben--kvelam naxos

  10. ise kaci erts magraT mogtynavda magram shen rom mogtynas albaT inglisuri unda icodes ara? ;)

  11. @hello: ara, inglisuris codna sachiro araa, shennairi asshole ar unda ikos.
    hey, case in point: some guy just said wrote inappropriate shit about me.

  12. @ hello, istsavle inglisuri, shens shesadzlo momavalzea es posti

  13. Until men (and women as well) in Georgia stop denying that this is a common occurrence, women will continue to feel insecure in public space. This is an extremely important issue to raise awareness about, and if men who do not partake in such practices do not want this to happen to their wives, daughters, friends, etc., then they too bear a responsibility to end such disgusting harassment.