In ‘Why Loiter’, the authors make a strong case for aimless wandering on the city streets. While the focus is on Mumbai, the insights are universal.
As women, we are taught that loitering is not a feminine thing. Women in public spaces are expected to demonstrate a purpose (waiting for a friend, getting back from work etc). By loitering, women challenge the stereotypes and the label of a ‘good girl’. However, it’s not easy for women to loiter because the public spaces are designed in a way that discourages women from going out.
The authors have written the book with an aim of including all kinds of women. Differently-abled women, wealthy women, lesbians and women from the lower economic class find their place in the research on public spaces. Phade, Khan and Ranade don’t just highlight the problems; they have some innovative solutions to combat the problem of women’s safety in public spaces. The only issue with the book is that the authors often end up saying the same thing again and again.
If you are shaken after reading about what’s happening to women in this country, then this book will help you understand the root of the problem.