Friday, December 09, 2005

Eve-Teasing

That's a truly STUPID word: eve-teasing. The very phrase is a misnomer; what women are subjected to in India is no form of teasing - it's more a form of subjugation, of abject humiliation.

Dilip D'Souza links to an anguished post by Mumbai Girl:

...but I don't have a single Indian girlfriend who hasn't been groped or sexually assaulted in one way or another. Not a single one. It happened to my mother, it happened to me, it happened to my sister, it happened to my friends. It continues to happen.

This sort of reminded me of another post on sexual harassment (this is not just another sexual harassment post; Mangs had the guts to have the perverted bastard jailed). Excerpts below:

At 3:30 a.m., my Upper Berth neighbour reaches and touches my breast. I don't know what he was expecting. That I would simper coyly and turn away? That I would ignore him? Encourage him? Mind boggling possibilities.

I was up like a shot; my mind blank in my half-sleep and all I did was scream. It was strange, thinking back on it. I wasn't angry, I wasn't yelling expletives, or hell, even sentences or words. It was just like an animal-in-pain screaming. Shrill, loud, repetitive. No words, just screaming and screaming till the lights were flicked on, people hurriedly woke up, the TC came running.
...
Upper Berth man was yanked down, the Railway Cops (they had come by too, by this time) grabbed hold of him, and the TC told me to come down and write out a complaint.
...
The Man began begging for mercy. "You are ruining my life," he told me in Hindi. "Please forgive me." Then, in English, "I could not control myself."

This is back from June, when I did not have a blog. However, I did email the article to several friends because I appreciated what Mangs had the guts to do. All of them - every single girl whom I mailed this to - had similar experiences to narrate. Which is downright pathetic.

There's a school of thought that says that in situations like these, the girl should ALWAYS react - scream, slap the guy, hand him over to the police etc. I used to subscribe to this doctrine, until some of these friends told me of their experiences when they reacted. One was called a whore; another had a bottle of Pepsi emptied over her. And - you guessed it - nobody reacted.

And then we have incidents like this (link from the daily DNA India). Excerpts below:

...they ejaculate in their hands and then brush their hands against girls. It is disgusting.

...When we go to the cops they ask us questions like why do you dress like this? There should be helpdesks attended by policewomen. I and surely most girls feel awkward about going up to a policeman and telling him that there is a guy masturbating outside my college. I don't even know how to explain this to a cop.

...Once when my friend slapped a guy, he and his friends carried her and threw her on the footpath and no one did a thing.


You know, stuff like this makes me feel that movies like Zakhmi Aurat do make sense. Such men deserve to be castrated - without anaesthesia, and with a numb saw - slowly, with the intent to inflict maximum damage.

I do not know what's an ideal answer to this. I do feel that girls ought to react more and more, especially when in public places where they are likely to get support. No pleas of mercy by such men should be heeded. Policewomen stationed near colleges would be a big help too, as a girl opines in the article above. And most of all, we - the men who condemn so easily - ought to express our outrage more publicly (and, it has to be said, it's not much help if the victim herself tells us toforget it, after the guy gets slapped a couple of times).

2 comments:

Pradeep said...

True, eve-teasing is a misnomer... it's sheer humiliation in full glare of others, debasement and an exhibition of misplaced male bravado (if there is one like that). What happened in the train, is nothing short of an assault.

Ranjith, how much ever disgusting such practices are, one needs to look beyond and see why guys do this. I am not referring to criminals, but otherwise decent guys who exhibit this deviant behaviour. Actually, as I started typing out my comment it became too long that I turned it to a posting on my site. Please have a look at it.
http://bpradeepnair.blogspot.com/2005/12/sexual-harassment.html

Karishma said...

The worst thing is when you realize that these guys don't actually see you as a human being, but more as a "thing", an "object". Sad to say, but fact is that the same way some people treat animals in zoos, throwing things at them, provoking them with whistles, etc., is the same way they treat women in the real world! Isn't that eyeopening enough? And most women don't do anything to correct this...they get so paralysed by fear that they become powerless. If only they could let pure, unadulterated rage and a "how-dare-you" attitude take over them, rather than fear, the misconception that women are "things" would evaporate slowly, but surely!