Eve teasing is 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 & Illustrate-
Bangladesh, a small and developing country, is beset with multiple problems. Among them, eve-teasing, nowadays, has become a talk of the country owing to its injurious effects on women, especially to the teen aged girls. It’s obvious that no conscious citizen of our country is unacquainted with this problem created by evil-doers. Whenever, we put our eyes on daily newspapers, we find the news of suicide of any school or college going girl which is the outcome of eve-teasing.
I reckon that everyone knows what eve-teasing is, for which there is no need to define it black and white. Varieties of reasons can be cited. Through satellite TV, the young boys and girls are watching pornography which is directly or indirectly leading them to eve-teasing. It is a matter of great regret.
Most victims of it are women or girls who fail to wear very modest dress. On the contrary, those wearing decent dress are not found to be teased as usual. The previous two sentences imply that not only the evil doer youths, but also the women wearing indecorous dress are equally responsible for it. There is a law against it but law is not enough to solve the problem. Parents should make their children realize the impacts of eve-teasing.
Definition of Eve Teasing
Our Society is suffering from many social evils at the moment. One of the worst evils is the Eve Teasing. Eve Teasing is a term which usually involves young men annoying or disquieting girls or women by making sexual innuendos against them in public or in work places. Eve teasing is a euphemism used in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan for public sexual harassment, street harassment or molestation of women by men.
With this given definition, 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.
“The minds of today’s young men are a madhouse”
– Chief Minister Sam-purnanand of Uttar Pradesh
Eminent sociologist Pratikha Baxi of India has stated, “Eve teasing is a euphemistic expression that lives in post-colonial India and refers largely to sexual harassment of women in public spaces, thereby constituting women as ‘eves’, temptresses who provoke men into states of sexual titillation. This popular perception of sexual harassment posits the phenomenon as a joke where women are both a tease and deserve to be teased. Considered a growing problem throughout the subcontinent, eve teasing ranges in severity from sexually-colored remarks to outright groping.”
Eve teasing begins as an attempt to irritate a girl or catch her attention A lewd stare, a sly whistle, a well-timed clap, an unwarranted bump, a seemingly causal touch, a lingering look at a vulnerable time, the humming of suggestive song, passing downright uncouth comments, cheap gestures, display of indecent snaps or videos, giving “unwelcome call” or “missed call”, sending indecent texts …., all these are typical examples of eve teasing.
As conscious citizens, we should initiate some effective measures to encounter this gender biased social menace. But prior to this, we need to unmask the causes of eve teasing. Who get involved in eve teasing and why? One statistics suggests, 32% of the eve teasers are students, 35% are anti-socials while 33% are middle-aged men.
The spectrum of eve teasers is very wide starting from teenagers to middle-aged men, either illiterate or educated. Psychologists and social scientists suggest eve teasing to be a result of the frustration 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. Moreover, those who do not inherit good values involve in acts of sexual harassment.
Eve teasers frequently undergo unnecessary touching, pushing, shoving, or vulgar comments on the public transports and streets, while on the other hand they are also frequently harassed at workplaces by male colleagues or bosses. These experiences severely hinder women’s productivity as well as mobility. In the long run, these women and girls, their families, and thus the whole society suffer.
A vulgar stare, a sly whistle, a wink, a well-timed clap, an unwarranted bump, a seemingly casual touch, a lingering look at a vulnerable time, the humming of a suggestive song, passing downright uncouth comments, cheap gestures, the display of an indecent snap or video, bikes flying close with hands stretched to feel around you, passing by in slow moving cars blasting loud music with many eyes inside measuring you up … all these are typical examples of such sexual harassment.
Any kind of harassment of women, which is known as ‘eve-teasing’ in Bangladesh, must be considered sexual harassment.”
–The High Court
Bad Impacts of Eve Teasing: Bangladesh-Realities
Although the term ‘eve teasing’ originates from India, in recent times, this vice has spread over all the sub-continental countries. Perhaps, India’s scenario in this context is the worst and so it has initiated a number of steps to combat this social menace. Eve teasing was not that acute problem in Bangladesh till 1980s. However, from 1980s, when girls and women, especially at rural areas started going out for education and employment at a large scale, eve teasing with its sharp jaws has started to pollute our social fabric.
Eve teasing might seem harmless ‘fun’ to some, but gets the nerve of the victims. The severe impact of eve teasing is taking away the lives of young girls as Bangladesh has witnessed recently. Based on empirical study (2008) the Hunger Project has identified some impacts of eve teasing in the society of rural Bangladesh. These are:
a) Curtailed education: Sexual harassment increases girls’ drop-out rate from school. Parents concerned about their daughter’s honor or safety sometimes keep their daughters home and/or marry them off at an early age.
b) Early marriage: Girls who are teased or harassed are also pushed into marriage, before they are physically or mentally prepared.
d) Hindered development: Eve teasing contributes to maintaining the low status of women. It also hinders women in participating in the formal employment sector. As nearly half of the population of the country are women, for the economic development of the country their participation in employment is a must.
In a male dominant society like ours, the concept of ‘masculinity’ is usually equated with patriarchy. So, eve teasing can be viewed 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 the psychodynamics of eve teasing are closely associated with the issue of masculinity and the masculine agenda. Gender segregation from the childhood and the domination of the male members in a family over the female members contribute much to reinforcing the patriarchal model of masculinity in the society.
To the society, in general, being male signifies ‘powerful’, while the female is always a ‘second sex’ or weaker one.
Electronic media, especially some movies (both Hindi and Bengali) may be blamed for propagating eve teasing. Many movies depict scenes of teasing, showing this behavior as a way to win a woman’s heart. Others show this as behaviour for men indulged in some fun, at a woman’s expense of course.
Sometimes, women are blamed for ‘alluring’ eve teasers by their ‘seductive’ dresses or make-ups. But the reality is, the majority girls who become the prey of eve teasers are from rural areas and they are more conservative in wearing dresses compared with their counterparts in the urban areas. Even in Pakistan rural women in strict ‘purdah’ are not escaped from the harassment of the eve teasers. In a recently held discussion on eve teasing, alleged war criminal and the apex leader of Jamaat Motiur Rahman Nizami has blamed women as they go out at night time. What an audacity! Limiting the movement of womenfolk goes against the essence of our constitution as it has ensured both the genders indiscriminately to move freely.
In our country, yet now there is no strict law that can effectively curb eve teasing. Article 76 of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ordinance 1976 of the Penal Code of 1860 affirms that any acts, conducts or verbal abuses that are used to disgrace women are punishable by law. However, these provisions seem minor compared with the crimes they commit.
Categories of Teasing According to Law
The Friends of the Chair (FoC) group of the United Nations Statistical Commission on the Indicators on Violence against Women defined different types of violence against women in the following way:
Physical Violence: It is an act that inflicts physical harm to the body of the women. Acts such as hitting, biting, kicking, slapping, pushing, shoving, grabbing, beating, chocking and assaults with different objects and weapons would all fall within this category.
Sexual Violence: It is an act aimed to force the women to engage in sexual acts against her will (or without her consent). Sexual violence consists of a number of different acts such as forcing her to perform undesired sexual acts or performing any sexual activity that the female finds degrading and humiliating, attempted rape, rape and aggravated rape, being forced into sexual activity with someone else or for money or for goods.
However, in addition to the violence defined by the FoC, another sort by violence is also observed in all countries that may be termed as “mental violence” or “psychological violence”. Though physical assault and sexual abuse are not done in this case, but this mental violence leads to mental disorder and sometimes it leads to severe consequence such as “suicide”. These types of mental violence are; scolding, do not address to queries, threatening, stopping expenses for livelihood, abusing parents of the female counterpart etc.
Legal Framework: Government of Bangladesh is pursuing legal and protective measures for minimizing all sorts of violence against women for many years. Some of the legal measures are directly related to violence against women and some are indirectly related to violence against women but conducive for upholding the rights and privileges of women. The legal measures are as follows:
- The Acid Crime Prevention Act 2002
- The Acid Control Act 2002
- The Legal Aid Providing Act 2000
- The Suppression of Violence against Women and Children Act 2000
- The Family Court Ordinance 1985
- The Dowry Prohibition Act 1980
- The Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Act 1974
- The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939
- The Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act 1933
- The Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929
- Section 375 of the Penal Code 1860
- The Code of Criminal Procedure 1898
So what’s a woman to do?
Many have resorted to carrying pins, pen-knives and even daggers as a deterrent. Others have taken self-defense classes and don’t hesitate before landing a karate chop on the offender’s shoulder blade. 
- Fight back
This doesn’t mean you have to sock your offender in the face – no matter how tempting it may be. But being too shy and reserved to speak up is just going to work against you. You’ve got to look your offender in the face and speak up as loud as you can. The crowd will automatically be on your side and you’ll have the satisfaction of watching the ball of slime mumble a denial and slink away.
- If you’re being followed
Nothing psyches your follower as much as this: Just walk up to him and start yelling at the top your voice, without letting him gets a word in. Ask him for the name of his employer. Drop the ‘You don’t know who I am and who you’re messing with’ line. Tell him you’re going to sic the police on his ass if he doesn’t do the vanishing act. (Not recommended if you’re talking to a 6 ft muscleman or to a group of hooligans, but a wimpy, skinny male will rue the day he crossed your path.)
- Walk in well-lit and frequented areas
Don’t walk through a dark, lonely street or you’re only inviting trouble. In a well lit area you’ll be able to see and avoid potential offenders.
- Be street smart
Don’t daydream and don’t look lost – even if you are. Look as if you know exactly where you are going.
- Dress appropriately
If you are going to spend the day in crowded areas, don’t wear a mini skirt. True, women in salwar kameezes get harassed as well, but there’s no need to call attention to you. Save your skimpy clothes for the nightclubs, when you’re the one who’s on a prowl!
- Know thy enemy
Is the guy across the street waiting for you to pass by? Does he look like he’s out for some ‘fun’? Is he huddled with other men and just hanging out, doing nothing in particular? Then it’s best to…
- Avoid potential harassers
If you see a group of men hanging out, or a man who’s making eye contact with you and trying to get your attention, take a detour. Better safe than sorry. 
- Travel with a male escort
Though this may not always be possible, try and work out some arrangement where you have a male escort. Eve-teasers by and large target women who are without a male escort. Of course, if they are very frustrated, even the presence of a man may not deter them – so better safe than sorry. 
Either physically or electronically, must be considered sexual harassment.
–The High Court
Our Society is suffering from many social evils at the moment. One of the worst evils is the Eve Teasing. Eve Teasing is a term which usually involves young men annoying or disquieting girls or women by making sexual innuendos against them in public or in work places. Education Ministry in Bangladesh has designated 13 June, 2010 as Eve Teasing Protection Day. This declaration reflects increasing concern over the worrying number of girls and women who have committed suicide in the country to escape sexual harassment known as Eve Teasing.
School and College gates or the street is main the target of the wayward young men to disturb girls and women. Ain-O-Shalish Kendra (ASK), a human rights organization reveal that 14 girls and women have taken their own lives over the past four months across the country for Eve Teasing. In addition, a father and a daughter also committed suicide jointly – in an incident blamed by the authorities on Eve Teasing – while police say three males who publicly protested against the practice have been killed by stalkers over the past 12 weeks.
It is moral duty, social obligation and legal right to fight against Eve Teasing. Education Ministry initiated with the declare 13 June as the Eve Teasing Protection Day, which is encouraged to protect this social evil. But it must be removed at any cost. First of all we need to reduce the gender segregation in the society so that children of both genders can know each other well. In a family, children of both sexes should be given equal emphasizing. We also need to formulate a mass awareness programmed in this context. Media, NGOs and other social organizations may play pivotal role in this respect. Besides, the government should also initiate special projects focusing school/college students with a view to increasing awareness about and against eve teasing. However, all the steps will be futile unless the male segment of the society change its patriarchal mindset.
Women have the right to live freely in the world. Independence is their birth right. They have the right to lead their lives as males. On the other hand, the family and society of the victims or teased girls should have the courage and resolve to support them. Most often, they are misunderstood by their family whenever they inform the family members about teasing. The family and society should support them mentally.
“Those who are teased do not like to go to school and sometimes guardians do not allow them to go to school for their safety and honor. So the drop-out rate of female students in many schools is increasing,”
–Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid
Besides, the government should also initiate special projects focusing school/college students with a view to increasing awareness about and against eve teasing. However, all the steps will be futile unless the male segment of the society change its patriarchal mindset.
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