Sexual harassment in India. Is it even considered a problem?
#1
I'm still out of town but since I have a decent amount of internet access and since I'm going to spending the entire night at my friends apartment, I thought I would make a quick post.

In my opinion, sexual harassment is the correct term that should be used to describe what is commonly known as "eve teasing". The term "eve teasing" is such a vague term used when talking about something that can be very distressing and hurtful to a lot of women. I personally never know what to do in a situation where I feel I am being followed, or teased about my clothes etc. Not because I'm scared of the harasser, but because if the situation escalated, then I really would not know who to go to.

I think first of all NOT calling a spade a spade, society causes the most harm. And I've noticed that families/employers/colleges feel that the best way to prevent attacks on women, is to set up a dress code that is more "conservative". This is so counter-productive and anti-women, it is not even funny.

How big a problem do you think sexual harassment is?
What steps can we take to set harassers straight and prevent them from doing something more serious in the future?
Do you think women should be more aggressive and confront the harasser?

EDIT: Fearless Karnataka did are really great job at raising awareness about the rise in attacks on women in Bangalore. I was attacked once in Bangalore and after that I did some research about them and I remember seeing posters around Brigade Road which is a very popular hangout for young people. It made me feel kind of happy that there ARE people out there who care about our plight. smile

http://blog.blanknoise.org/2009/03/fearl...ataka.html
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#2
It certainly is a big problem and to do something about it law-wise would IMHO require a large scale, persevering movement to make the laws more strict. The problem itself reeks of a dated social order involving severe gender inequality. To get society to rise from the squalor and change itself, requires handling the deeper problems first.

But on a practical side, I think women should be bold enough to confront the harasser especially in public, and ever more so if the women are in groups. It is certainly not advisable to do it when there are fewer people around, as it is very easy for the perpetrator to get away, even with violence in an under-policed country like ours.
Aditya Manthramurthy
Web Administrator & Associate Editor
Nirmukta.com
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#3
(10-Jun-2010, 08:31 PM)palaeo Wrote: In my opinion, sexual harassment is the correct term that should be used to describe what is commonly known as "eve teasing". The term "eve teasing" is such a vague term used when talking about something that can be very distressing and hurtful to a lot of women.

I completely agree. Perhaps someone should a campaign to get newspapers and television to stop using the phrase "eve teasing" to describe sexual harassment of women. The connection between power and sex is not insignificant. Sexual harassment involves more than just a verbal act. It is the expression of power and its intent is implicit in its action.

Quote:And I've noticed that families/employers/colleges feel that the best way to prevent attacks on women, is to set up a dress code that is more "conservative". This is so counter-productive and anti-women, it is not even funny.

This is an extension of the 'blame the victim' school of bigotry.

Quote:How big a problem do you think sexual harassment is?
What steps can we take to set harassers straight and prevent them from doing something more serious in the future?
Do you think women should be more aggressive and confront the harasser?

I have no answers to these questions, but I would also like to know what they are. Meanwhile, here is an article that explains very well why it is essential that both women and men (well, at least the ones who don't get off on harassing women) work together to rid society of some of these more barbaric vestiges of our primal past.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#4
The problem of sexism in India is really big. Be it college or office space. One solution can be gender sensitization classes. Corporates can have HR meeting devoted to this and college can have a few discussions on this. This may not work too well but would be a good start. It would make the victim feel that she can stand up and make a statement. Atleast there should be a team where one can go and make this complaint. A lot of colleges of Delhi University have started this but the teachers are so unapproachable that the whole point is lost.
Now should women be aggressive. This cant be answered easily. The answer to this question is not about feminism. When confronted by a "wolf", the primary aim is safety. So one can go on bragging about how women should be assertive but that may not be a good idea when you are confronted by an attacker in a secluded place. Anyway, these attackers are of three types- some are scared of the public so the minute you shout they would flee. The other are the more stubborn ones, they would persist but would stop if you raise enough noice. The most danderous variety is when they answer back to you, almost ready to fight for their 'right to molest', these are the ones you have to be scared of. Avoid confrontation and leave. The division was made by some psychologist in my school. May or may not be true, she was not too smart. But sexual harrassment is a big problem, every girl has a story to tell.
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#5
Sorry for the inadvertent smiley, here is the right video



Murthy

"Credulity kills" -- Carl Sagan
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#6
That was an intense video, thanks for posting, Murthy!

Here's a video that I think is very appropriate for this thread. I think Rakshi first brought Sunita Krishnan to my attention:

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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