Isn’t Eve Teasing a Part of Our Life?

 

Imagine the picturesque beauty of our Marina beach, around dusk, the beautiful red sun is ready to go down and smiling at us just above the lazy waves. There are small crabs crawling the area and the wind, just perfect. I was sitting there with a couple of my friends enjoying the wind and scenery, taking a tiny break from our college time. As always the area was steaming with people, and soon a group of guys came to us and started making lewd comments….one guy described how awesome our boobs were and yes very decent he was, asked our permission to hold them! Now let me describe more details about the scene, opposite the beach is the city police commissioner’s office which is a huge building with lots of police posted in the vicinity. Plus there are around six to seven police officers going around in horses to maintain the law and order of the surrounding and a few standing here and there.

Feeling so proud about our awesome breasts after his poetic description we decided to complain, so we went to the nearby law maintenance officer hurling on a poor horse and explained to him the situation and pointed to the perpetrators…..he never bothered but kept on riding the poor animal bringing no apparent results. We tried the same with few more officers and result was the same. Finally in a distance we saw an officer who looked senior, so we approached him….instead of at least trying to hear us out he chose the shouting way and frankly all of us felt scared. By then the nice people around too took our case and according to many of them we deserved it because of the dresses we were wearing!

Eve teasing in most places in India is the daily order of the day. The term denotes eve as the temptress…..so definitely girls it’s our fault! And in majority of the cases our response is silence. When we choose to silently suffer we are giving them more power over our bodies and yes re- establishing the patriarchal order of the society and willingly let it dominate us! For the same reason of patriarchy, majority of the men think our dresses and our bodies are in their ownership to be teased and tested and in some cases abused. When these acts happen at public places and we choose to ignore, these acts of violence becomes a normalized act. We get used to it! It becomes structural violence.

So what can we do to tackle the issue? Obviously police has a major role to play. Apart from that we too can choose to react. We can voice out against sexist comments. In most cases the perpetrator won’t be expecting that from us and hence in that case it will have an impact.

Another major change that we need to bring about is in our cultural values. The female gender is not possessions or objects. We do have the right to go to our schools, colleges and work without being reminded derogatively about our bodies or dress. It is a truth that men who actively pursue this think that it is some kind of their right! We need to pluck that thought out of their mind and replace it with equality. This requires a comprehensive education process that involves the schools, families and societies. Most of us get advices from parents and authorities to just ignore eve teasing, but what should actually be done is that we should act against this collectively as a group. Such groups can ensure that we react back as well as don’t get harassed more in the act of defending ourselves. A lot has been happening on this stride since “nirbhaya” but to achieve an equal status we do need dedicated society as well as proper law and order mechanisms.

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