What Is Meet To Sleep and How Is It An Act of Protest?

Who started Meet To Sleep?

According to Ideas.Ted, this annual event was created by Jasmeen Patheja. She is an activist, located in India, who supports women who have gone through harassment. She was able to do this event through Blank Noise, which is a community of what she calls “Action Heros” who spread awareness about harassment towards women. Campaigns, such as the “I Never Ask For It” project, in which women bring in clothing they wore on the day they experienced any form of harassment, are created to spread awareness of this important issue and movement. As a part of this campaign, women bring in anything from regular t-shirts to floor-length clothing as a way to prove that those who blame what the women were wearing while they were harrassed are incorrect in their assumptions. No matter what the women were wearing, they ended up being harassed. Patheja wanted to spread awareness of harassment towards women, because when she went off to college, she suddenly experienced all forms of harassment. She was stalked, spat on, and even groped throughout her college experience. Shockingly, one of the many replies women say to this unacceptable behavior is “Boys are like this.” This made Jasmeen realize that this behavior is considered normal for women. This is what made Jasmeen take action and become the founder of Blank Noise.

What is Meet To Sleep?

Meet To Sleep is a project where thousands of women sleep at a park, making a statement that they shouldn’t fear being outside in such a vulnerable state as sleeping. Jasmeen came up with this idea when she decided to take a nap outside at the park to face her fear. It’s normal to see a man sleeping outside, but unusual to see a woman do the same, unless they are homeless. When she napped outside, rustling leaves, walking dogs, or any other movement startled her into thinking someone was walking towards her. This gave her the idea of Meet To Sleep. For the first event, in 2014, women met in Bangalore for Meet To Sleep. Jasmeen hopes that this campaign can be spread worldwide, growing to be much more widespread than just India.

What now?

I found Meet To Sleep to be a remarkable way to make awareness of harassment towards women. Such a project is unheard of and especially inspiring since it allows women to confront their fear of harassment. I believe people should try this on their college campuses or in their communities. It creates a powerful statement, speaking volumes to any bystander who witnesses these women sleeping in a park or outdoor area. Overall, just like Jasmeen, I hope this project can go worldwide to apply this to our own communities and college campuses.


Here is a link to her TedTalk if you would like to know more on the topic: