Monday, January 23, 2012

Eve Teasing

Imagine this: You take a bus to your college and the uncle standing next to you presses against you every time the driver breaks. Whats more, he seems to be getting aroused every time he does it. You try moving away but are groped by at least five pairs of hands in this attempt. Another set of pinches is just common place. Somehow you manage to get off the bus, feeling filthy, and take an autorickshaw instead. You stop at a red light and find young men staring at you. As if they have X-Ray vision installed in their eyes. The more daring ones may even smile and pass lewd comments. Not to forget the auto-walla, who steals furtive glances at you under the pretext of adjusting the mirror. If you survive this and reach your destination, more likely than not, you'll be stopped in your tracks by a speeding car or bike. Those inside would probably burst out laughing, seeing your reaction.

Sounds familiar? It sure does. I'm sure every girl who has ever travelled alone in Delhi can relate to it. Trust me, I am not exaggerating when I use the words 'Every girl'. Very broadly such acts can be classified as Eve Teasing in the huge variety of Crimes Against Women. Yes, such behaviour is a crime and can lead to heavy fines and even imprisonment. Fundamentally, the very term used here is wrong. Eve in Eve Teasing refers to the first woman, biblical, Eve(Wikipedia added that to my knowledge). Therefore, eve teasing literally portrays the woman as a tease. Thereby transferring the blame for such incidents on women themselves. We forget that no woman, with even a dime of self esteem, would want such kind of attention from their male counterparts.

So what is it that makes Indian men (It is a country specific disease. If you google 'eve teasing' most of the results are Indian webpages) behave in this way? Perhaps because we have always been a male dominated society...where men think they can treat women in whatever way they want. Perhaps because it is very difficult to prove the crime in most cases. Perhaps because the perpetrators always have some excuse of proving themselves innocent. Perhaps because of the social shame associated with it. It is not unknown that most of the offenders go scott-free and do things of their own free will.

Another major contributor are the movies. Since times gone by, flirtatious behaviour has been portrayed as essential to the beginning of a courtship. The hero generally stalks his leading lady till she obediently submits to his demands. This is often followed by our world famous song and dance sequences. Do such movies not promote eve-teasing? They glorify it and give it a kind of social acceptability and legitimacy. What the movie-makers don't realize is that the public in general is rather creative. In their race to emulate their favourite heroes, young men ruin (even end) lives. If their dream girl doesn't react in the way heroines do, they stalk them, throw acid on them, rape them...

And I am still talking about the nation's capital. Only God knows what goes on in other, smaller towns. 
Talk about eve-teasing and some loud-mouth will definitely come up with crap like 'girls bring it upon themselves'...'provocative dressing'...'Indian culture'...
Why do they talk about gender equality then? Why are women given the same rights as men? Why not just shut them up in some dark hole of a home and abuse them in whatever way men like? Why the whole drama about women keeping pace with men? If a society cannot even respect its women, cannot even give them the freedom to roam empty streets without fear of being pulled into a car, cannot even ensure their safety...then why does it claim to be a progressive, open-minded, cultured, educated group of people?
Even savages don't do things like we do. 

It won't help much if some of us go mad, yapping on our blogs about this injustice. But those of you who are reading this can at least help. Do your own little bit. Next time you see some such thing happening, don't just turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to it. I am not asking you to go all out and get into a full blown fight. Nobody expects that. But do help out the girl in whatever way you can. Make that pair of hands groping her, four...if not less...


  1. Great article, i fully support ur views. Good to see that sum1 else is also having d same vision of a future Dilli as me.

    1. And it is really heartening to get such a favourable response from my male counterparts!!!...thankyou..