Eve teasing is a very common social problem and every day women come-across some form of eve teasing. In this case , do you think that women should be empowered to fight back due to end this evil act – Explain and Illustrate
Eve Teasing- think of a situation where your younger sister is going to school and a group of boys following her saying indecent things, making annoying noise and sometimes going even further in terms of violation, what is it that comes to your mind first? The answer is very simple- the ultimate anger towards those boys. If this is your case you are definitely going for some course of actions against them. However if this is not your case what will you do? If we are agreed to reality we might end up doing nothing. Now the question is why not? Just because the lady was being teased is not our sister or no one even we know. If we consider ourselves the best creatures of all, the fact that is used in the answer will face the lack of humanity.
It hasn’t been a long time since the issue of eve teasing started to take an indistinct able part in the media. Although it’s not a new issue yet the people think it is, as it now being discussed widely than ever in the media. However eve teasing was always there, just the attention of the media wasn’t there. Now that it has become a seriously common and everyday social problem time to discuss its root, existence and prevention in a broad way has arrived.
This essay will be analyzed in three sections. The first part will discuss what is eve teasing and how it started to take part as a serious social problem? In the following part law associated with this issue will be discussed and finally in the third part the actions needed to be taken to empower women to fight back due to end this evil act.
Definition of EVE TEASING
Eve is believed to be the first woman created by the Almighty and all women are the descendants of her and thus generically could be called Eve. So, teasing a woman is called ‘eve teasing’. The other explanation is that the biblical Mother Eve enticed the biblical Father Adam to share and eat the God-forbidden fruit of the heaven. The origin of man in the earth is nothing but the repentance of the sin by the first couple Adam and Eve acquired by eating the forbidden fruit. Eve, by nature is an enticing character and men just fell into her enticement. This explanation remits the offence of men and attributes the liabilities to women. But, whatever may the origin of the term be, it is widely circulated and even accepted in the Indian subcontinent during the 1960s.In this technology based era, one new thing should be added to the definition of eve teasing, that is teasing by mobile phone and mobile tracking. The government should pay attention to these types of teasing as well.
Eve teasing is widespread in every form in our society. I guess every woman for sure in her lifetime has come across some form of eve teasing. No villages in Bangladesh are barred from this social evil, let alone capital city Dhaka. It would not be an exaggeration if I say each and every time when you step out of your home; you can see one or two such incidents around you, maybe on roads or buses.
Eve teasing is basically seen in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal for public sexual harassment, street harassment or molestation of women by men, with Eve being a reference to the biblical Eve
The term eve-teasing is used in Bangladesh to describe harassment of girls and women by boys and men. Such harassment can take the form of making sexually suggestive comments or gestures, ogling, groping, or forced touching of the body or clothes of a girl or woman.
Though eve-teasing is commonly used and popularly understood a term in Bangladesh, it remains outside the explicit legal definition.
The Motives of Eve Teaser
Many psychologists believe that sex, love or fun is not the only motive that men indulge in this behavior. Eve teasing is closely related to the patriarchal mindset of the male. Men are raised to believe that they are more powerful physically and emotionally than women. They feel that they are doing nothing wrong just having some fun. Women on the other hand are made to feel vulnerable and the weaker sex.
Teachers of psychology and social scientists believe eve teasing to be a result of the frustrations suffered by a majority of youth. Disappointed by the unbecoming attitude of teachers and indifferent parents, they yearn for an outlet to vent their aggression and depression .Besides many who do not inherit good values tend to indulge in acts of sexual harassment.
Eve teasing can be seen as a rite of passage for boys on their way to becoming men. Considering that sex is not the only motive, it would be reasonable to conclude that the psychodynamics of eve teasing are closely linked to the issue of masculinity and the masculine agenda.
At the risk of over simplifying a complex phenomenon, it would not be imprudent to say that in our country, the construct of masculinity is usually equated with patriarchy .In other words, masculinity is experienced not so much as a set of emotional or behavioral characteristics unique to the male gender, but more in terms of hierarchical domination over the feminine gender; so that most man gets a socially dominant position over his female counterpart.
Gender segregation from childhood, lopsided parental relationships as well as the representation of man- woman relationship in literature and popular cinema, all serve to reinforce the patriarchal model of masculinity in the mind of the growing male child.
It may appear paradoxical that in a country like Bangladesh where the mother is generally deified, the growing male child does not learn to respect the members of his mother’s gender. But it is because of this deification that the boy finds it easy to slip into the patriarchal mode, for he does not relate to his mother as a woman, but as a helpless and martyred dependent who needs to be pitied and cared for.
The vocal emergence of feminism has also pushed the contemporary male a little on the back foot , not only the women are threatening to encroach on his male dominion, but also because he does not have any idea about how he can counter encroach on hers. So he moves squarely into the adversarial position, something he is instinctively comfortable with and, during adolescence, focuses not just on how he can express himself sexually, but also on how he can claim his patriarchal right. As part of his evolution into the patriarchal role, an arena is required in which his velour can be expressed. Organized sport and cultural activities are examples of these, but require some talent and application. Whereas standing with a group of peers at a bus stop or in a Cineplex, passing lewd remarks, gesticulating lasciviously and generally behaving obnoxiously requires mere numbers, and when the hapless girl is in no position to defend her despite visible evidence of distress, domination gets established.
Laws Related to Eve Teasing
As eve teasing showed its unholy face publicly in India as early as in1960s. The Indian states took the first initiatives to amend the penal code or frame new laws defining the term more accurately and allocating appropriate punishment for it. The Delhi provincial parliament passed a new law ‘The Delhi Prohibition of Eve-teasing Act- 1988’. This act, perhaps for the first time, defined the term ‘eve teasing’ explicitly in the Indian Sub-continental context. The state of Tamil Nadu amended the Indian Penal Code by making the offence non-bail able and also enacted new law in 1998. Most of the Indian states showed utmost efforts to curb the eve teasing offence. Even some states have been planning to amend their laws making eve teasing more stringently punishable than actually molesting a woman.
Laws in Bangladesh
In post-independent Bangladesh the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ordinance (DMPO) of 1976 first addressed the women teasing directly. Section 76 of the ordinance defines women teasing as, “willful and indecent exposure of one’s person in any street or public place within sight of, and in such manner as may be seen by, any woman, whether from within any house or building or not, or willful pressing or obstructing any woman in a street or public place or insulting or annoying any woman by using indecent language or making indecent sounds, gestures, or remarks in any street or public place”. Women-teasing is punishable with a maximum one year of imprisonment, or with a maximum two thousand Taka fine, or with both.
This is for the first time, in Bangladesh, an act other than the Penal Code addressed the teasing offence against women. However, the term ‘eve teasing’ is still not used. Likewise, the other five metropolitan police acts/ordinances made similar provisions to penalize the offence of teasing women. However, these acts have no jurisdiction outside their respective metropolitan areas that makes the offence exclusively a local and urban phenomenon. Special laws penalizing the offence of teasing women having nationwide jurisdiction was yet to be passed.
In 2000 the government enacted tougher law to protect the vulnerable women and children of the country from various typical offences. The Prevention of Women and Children Act-2000 came down heavily on the oppressors of the women. This act, inter alia, defined the now-much-talked-about sexual torture and sexual harassment.
In section 10(1), the law defines sexual torture as, ” if a man touches the sexual organ or any other organ of a woman or of a child by any of his organs or by any other objects with a view to fulfilling his illegal sexual desire, such act of the man will be termed as sexual torture”. This definition, in fact, includes the attempt of rape or outraging the modesty of a woman by actual physical contract. The law punishes the offender with rigorous imprisonment of minimum 3 and maximum 10 years and also an indefinite amount of fine.
In section 10(2), the law defines sexual harassment as, “if a man, with a view to fulfilling his illegal sexual desire outrage a woman’s modesty or makes erotic gesture, such act of the man will amount to sexual harassment”. A rigorous imprisonment ranging from 2 to 7 years and additionally an indefinite amount of fine is rewarded for this offence. According to this definition sexual harassment is an offence that is committed by not coming with actual physical contract to the victim.
However, the section 10(2) was abrogated when the law was last amended in 2003. A new provision has been added under section 9(ka) of the present law that states, if a woman is forced to commit suicide as a direct consequence of somebody’s willful dishonor/sexual harassment/assault, then the offender will be liable to a maximum of ten years and a minimum of five years of imprisonment. The amendment actually denied the remedy of sexual harassment of non-contract nature. The new provision though punishes the offender, it will not happen until the victim is dead. A legal ridicule, indeed!
After the amendment of The Prevention of Women and Children Act-2000 in 2003, there remained no legal provisions in the country addressing directly the problem of sexual harassment. But, newspapers bring out heart rendering reports on sexual harassment every now and then. At this backdrop Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) filed a Writ Petition (No. 5916 of 2008) to the High Court Division. The Honorable Court, after examining the pros and cons of the problem issued their Judgment on 14.5.2009 giving the government an eleven-point directive which will fill up the legislative vacuum in the nature of law. In these directives the Court suggested a detailed definition of sexual harassment that included all other existing definitions of non-contract sexually connoting offences. It also incorporated the modern means of erotic insults against the women that are prevalent in our present age of information technology. However, though the ingredients of the offence of eve teasing are easily distinguishable from the order, the court did not use the term eve teasing. Actually, eve teasing, though commonly used and popularly understood a term in Bangladesh, it remains outside the explicit legal definition.
It is known that the government has already started the process of fulfilling the directives of the judgment. Complaint Committees have been formed in many institutions according to the decretive no-9 of the judgment. But framing appropriate law to combat the ever-growing eve teasing is yet to be done. Committees are being formed in the institutions to protect the women attached to the institutions and punishment will be imposed on the persons inside the institutions, but the street Romeos, who commit their offence outside the institutions are still remain outside expected legal net. So, the enactment of an appropriate law to address sexual harassment to cover the whole gamut of the problem is an unavoidable urgency.
Women’s Empowerment to Fight Back
After going through all the stories behind this eve teasing issue I definitely think women should be empowered to fight back due to end this evil act. They should have their own rights to actions against eve teasing. There are always some issues that cannot be solved by directly imposing law against them, sometimes we need be really conscious to end this kind of evil act.
Eve teasing is a civil wrong. It is an unlawful infringement of the victim’s legal rights. So there should be a remedy for the victim in the cases of eve teasing.
This part is very important for many reasons.
Firstly, it gives relief to the victim as she can recover the loss caused to her.
Secondly, it gives the victim immense satisfaction to see the eve teaser punished and admonished. She develops a sense of satisfaction, happiness and regains her confidence and self esteem.
Thirdly, it gives a strict warning to the eve teasers so that they do not indulge in this heinous practice. It, thus, strongly condemns the practice of eve teasing.
Different forms remedies
Public Humiliation –
The eve teasers should be humiliated public ally so as to make them aware and feel guilty of the shameful practice that they indulged in. People should socially boycott them as to make them realize their mistake. Their names should be published in the newspapers describing their shameful act in detail so as to make them feel guilty and realize their mistake.
Monetary Compensation –
Damages should be awarded to the victim in terms of money. It should be big money. It will recover the loss that she must have suffered and also will discourage men from involving in eve teasing.
The court can also ask the eve teasers to strictly abstain from indulging in eve teasing in case of repeated acts of similar kind.
The court could also arrest a person for eve teasing .This would further discourage people from eve teasing.
Eve teasing is a wrong against the honor, dignity and self respect of a woman. It hurts her immensely. There is a strong need for combating this fast growing problem. Policing should be made more responsive to the needs of women, for instance with dedicated police cells and help lines for victims. State and public institutions should take more seriously the implementation of the directive on sexual harassment issued by the High Court last year — or face severe sanctions. Civil society organizations and women’s groups should be given more resources to support and counsel victims, and launch public awareness campaigns
By law, the government should make it mandatory that the youth found to be guilty in eve-teasing deaths should be dismissed from the school/college he is studying and also barred from joining any other school/college – even through correspondence. They should not be allowed to join the government services. Their Driving Licenses should also be cancelled permanently. No Bank or Insurance Company should entertain them for opening a Bank account or getting an Insurance Policy. They should not be issued passports, throughout their lives. All these punishments should be apart from rigorous imprisonment for a few years. In essence, they should be blacklisted at all levels and made a “zero’!
After considering all these I think we can conclude in this way that it’s only our combined actions and participation from everyone in the society can solve this problem.
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