22.8.05

Your MOTHER
Your SISTER
Your WIFE

“Ghar mein ma behen nahi hai kya?”
“Don’t you have a mother or sister at home?”

(a commonly used statement. Most often heard in Bollywood movies when our hero is ‘eve teasing’/ wooing the female actor.)

Akhila spoke to a number of people at Majestic Bus Stand the day opinion polls were conducted.
Here are some of the results: (translated from Kannada to English).

“One cannot look/ tease married women. But these days I cannot figure out if the girls are married or not.”

“When young men see girls they experience joy but they don’t think of their sisters.”

“Women can wear what they want. We should treat them like our sisters.”

“The people who do it have no common sense. They do it because they don’t think of a woman as their sister.”

Other comments included
“It does not happen here.”- male
“It happens here and not in rural India because women know how to dress.”- male
“Mostly villagers do it. They come and touch”- female bus conductor.
“It is today’s college going generation that does it/ aaj kal ke naujavan.”- male
“I have experienced it mostly from middle aged men.”- 47 yr old female.

5 comments:

  1. There are two articles "Hands Off" and "Trivialising The Aggressor" on page 2 of 'The Hindu' supplement 'The Magazine',dated Sunday,11th September,2005.I think you should go through it. All the laws made under pressure from the educated social reformers and the elite social workers will remain just on paper unless they are strictly implemented at the grassroot level.And they will be implemented at the grassroot level only when majority of the people feel,know and accept,and condemn outrightly,rape and sexual harassment as crimes. A lot needs to be done to change the psyche of the indian men who see women as inferior and as sex toys; and also women who've been socialised and brainwashed to blame themselves and their dressing sense for the crimes committed on them. But how to change the psyche of an entire patriarchal society remains a big question. A multi-pronged approach is necessary.

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  2. Anonymous4:36 pm

    I think the concept of treating all women as sisters, to prevent eve teasing is fundamentally flawed. If so, are we saying that hypothetically speaking, a male who does not have any sisters and whose mother died while delivering, has a licence to eve-tease as he does not have any sisters or a mother? Why should respect for women only be done for sisterly figures and not for every woman? As a male who grew up in Blore and now living in London, I find a huge difference in the perception of what amounts to privacy and ones own space in public, (comparing Blore with London). Here, even in packed public transport, if one were to hold ones gaze or look just that milli-second longer at a person (female or male) this would be considered an invasion of privacy and an intrusion of sorts.
    My point is that only if a sense of respect for fellow individuals is developed from early days, would we have an answer to this problem. Every single individual irrespective of the person being female, male, old or young deserves the same level of respect. Any intrusion of this should be dealt with as a breach of privacy.
    Its time for a change in social values itself. I’m sure if one were to round up that guy peering into the auto rickshaw and passing lewd comments to answer a few questions we would find that he has not interacted with women (other than his sister/mother) at all. His views and ideas of engagement in society would have been developed by the Indian movies, which offer good entertainment but are pure fantasy.

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  3. The results of the survey - predictable, aren't they? Sad, sad.

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  4. Anonymous12:48 pm

    most of the people who responded will not tell the truth....really useless 2 ask them....they say smthing and do smthing....n that makes me wonder many ppl come here and express their views but how many of them really mean it...saying is something bt abiding by it......really doubtful...?????

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  5. anonymous,you can't be cynical about things like these. one can only hope for the best and be positive and sincere his/her approach.

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