Eve-teasing – An Evil
Posted by Fariba Iqbal
On 20 October 2011, Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez were out with their friends when some “EVE- TEASERS” started misbehaving with the girls in the group. These two young men objected to their behaviour and got into an altercation. The goons stabbed both Keenan and Reuben. Keenan died on the spot and Reuben passed away a week later. Reuben and Keenan died because they took a stand against the menace of “eve-teasing”.
Eve-teasing is the incessant and unremitting sexual harassment of women by men who takes perverted pleasure in tormenting them. Nowadays, Cluster of young boys can be seen standing in groups at public places like bus-stops, street corners, parks, etc. When a young girl or a couple of girls happen to pass near them they invariably subject them to verbal abuse, filthy remarks and lewd comments and obscene gestures. This eve teasing menace has been omnipresent in our society since many decades and, has become an endemic part of public life. No city in India is barred from this social evil. There is hardly a girl in India who is not subjected to it. Women are still not respected in this male dominated country. It can be seen as an expression of masculine sexual control over women who have stepped out of the private sphere. These men just think that women are weak & always target them. BUT Keenan and Rueben were the MEN who couldn’t tolerate such non sense and paid the ultimate price for standing against this heinous act of Eve-teasing
In the Indian Penal Code, the word ‘eve-teasing’ does not exist. Eve teasing is an attitude, a mindset, a set of behaviours that is construed as an insult and an act of humiliation of the female sex. It has been argued that one of the reasons for the audacity of abuse against “women” is that police do not regard this as a “serious” crime.
At one point, we people say that today’s woman is a free and a modern woman but I wonder what kind of freedom and modernity are we talking about?? Every now and then SHE is raped, insulted, beaten up, teased, humiliated and what not!! Every human being has a right to live with freedom, respect and dignity , THEN why SHE (woman) is always made the victim and the oppressed. I guess this is a by-product of our patriarchal culture in which MEN are treated differently than the women. Women are always seen as “targets” and “victims” for any kind of violence across the World. She is the one who is always to be blamed for everything. It is often heard that “She might have provoked or seduced the opposite sex and that’s the reason why she is raped, molested or teased”!! BUT ,It is the patriarchal mindset of the Indian men which is to be blamed. They are always believed to be the powerful sex , on the other hand , Women are always made to feel vulnerable and weaker. Eve- teasing is an act which is really shameful for males as womens do deserve respect and by eve- teasing we are doing no good at all instead we are harming them!! It violates the basic right of a woman to live with dignity. It makes the life of the” women folk” miserable.
Eve teasing should be dealt with unbailable custody of the accused. Unless we make stringent laws to deal with eve teasing our women folks will not be safe on the streets. This is a call to ACTION, we need to protect the social fabric ,make it safe for women and highly unsafe for the culprits. Secondly, women should not ignore these incidences of eve-teasing, instead they should protest strongly against them and should immediately report to the police. And the Government should take stern measures regarding this issue and ensure security to the Women folk. And most importantly, MEN, should change their mindset on gender equations, to make Women feel safer and out of danger.