This post is in response to this news.
Why a ban on jeans may not stop street sexual harassment* of women.
Because sexual harassment existed in India before women started wearing western clothing. The difference is that now girls dare to speak up.
Why do we have street sexual harassment in the first place?
Because young boys are curious about girls and they want to get to know them. This is perfectly natural, but in our society they dare not express this. When they cannot speak to girls, they find negative, unwelcome and generally offensive ways to seek their attention.
Irresponsible statements and punishing the victim confuses the culprit. The boys notice they are not being blamed for molesting the girls, because the girls ‘asked for it’. This attitude does no good to a society, especially when this society will soon have a large number of unmarried boys.
When boys are focused on their careers they are less likely to find the free time to harass a girl no matter what she is wearing, but an aimless boy with plenty of free time will linger in her daily route to college. Not knowing how else to handle what he feels, especially if his attentions are not welcomed, he might do anything from whistling, singing, trying to touch her or throwing acid on her face.
Again what kind of clothes she wears has nothing to do with his actions.
Adults in positions of authority and influence should not be making baseless statements that reek of inefficiency. Colleges need to seek police assistance to ensure their students’ safety, the way colleges in bigger cities do. Sexual harassment is a crime and should be treated as one.
Meeta Jamal must understand that there is no end to the ways in which she might find girls’ provocative. Today it is tight jeans, tomorrow it will be the way the girls wear their dupatta or the way they laugh or walk, and banning all of these has still not protected women in conservative societies. How safe are women in Taliban?
I have said this earlier, I repeat again, these are future scientists, doctors, teachers and mothers in those pairs of form fitting jeans. Meeta Jamal’s job is ensure they grow into confident young women, not helpless victims who blame themselves for any and every crime committed against themselves.
(*Street sexual harassment is inaccurately and euphemistically called Eve Teasing)
I am still on a blog break, this post was written in a moving car -for the first time in my life! I just had to meet a dhamaal ka provocation on my blog break 😉