Why should all acts of sexual harassment be taken seriously, even when there is no grievous physical injury?

Why should all acts of sexual harassment be taken seriously, even when there is no grievous physical injury? Because the mindset that makes men commit street sexual harassment is the same mindset that makes men commit heinous, aggravated rapes.

And because before a criminal commits a rape, he has generally got away with ‘eve teasing’ – street sexual harassment. Ram Singh in Delhi and the rapists in Bombay had committed similar crimes before they were arrested for rapes.

Desi Girl of GGTS shared this llink,

Actress Shweta Menon tells media she will withdraw molestation case against Congress MP

Hours after filing a First Information Report or FIR against Congress MP N Peethambara Kurup for alleged molestation, actress Shweta Menon issued a press statement saying she will withdrawn her complaint against Mr Kurup after his “repeated apology.” “In the wake of Mr Peetambhara Kuroop’s repeated public and personal apology about the incident at the President’s Boat Race at Kollam, I am withdrawing all legal and other actions against him,” a press release issued by the actress said.

Does this public apology indicate ‘a lesson learnt’ and would it discourage other sexual criminals?

Also, is sexual harassment a crime against the one victim who reports it or against the society (since such crimes make it extremely difficult for women to exercise their rights and freedoms – which leads to oppression and facilitates crimes)?

But most of all, what makes a man molest a woman or a child? I don’t mean his confidence that the crime would not be reported or he would not suffer any consequences – but what makes him want to molest someone? What makes him want to humiliate or hurt? And so, what does such an alleged sexual criminal mean if he asks for forgiveness for molesting? Does he mean he has started seeing women as people? Does it mean he has understood (how? when?) that no matter what the circumstances, he would not be ‘provoked’ to hurt another person? And seeing the propensity to ‘lose control’ should such people be allowed in public spaces?

My first reaction was actually to feel grateful. Grateful that the sexual crime was reported and the alleged molester (or other random people) didn’t say Indian culture (i.e. Patriarchy?) was being saved by teaching a lesson to the woman who was harassed. (like here).

DG says: “What is this business of apology and forgiving the sexual harassers. Will this really bring about a change? Two sentences on the national TV saying I am sorry and it was a misunderstanding will it teach any lesson to anyone – both the harasser and those contemplating of doing so in future. Both abused and the abuser are high profile public figures so what message are they sending to common people. Are the public figures even accountable of their private actions as means of social responsibility? If law makers cannot be held accountable what do we expect from common masses?”

Here is a TOI comment that I expected to hear – instead of an apology.

Its nothing but cheap publicity stunts thats it.. she can go for all hot and bold scene on screen but made an issue of off screen…

How is this TOI commenter unaware that a woman could choose to ‘go for’ any number of ‘all hot and bold scenes’ and would still have the right not to be molested?

Shouldn’t there be awareness campaigns that educate potential sexual criminals about the requirement of consent in sexual acts? Those who make such comments, how do they treat the women in their family, neighborhood and work places? (it doesn’t help that it is still legal for men to rape their wives – Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex, not lost Virginity or Honor.)

And this comment below is why sexual harassment or molestation should not be called ‘outraging a woman’s modesty’,

19 hrs ago

These actresses can go nude on screen and do all the touching and even insertion on screen, but making a big drama off screen! Modesty is lost only if there is any.

Related Posts:

Study finds 98% of India rape victims knew their attacker.

“As long as the men do not understand that they CANNOT and WILL NOT get away with such behavior and criminal acts, the rape culture will not go away”

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

How Victim Blaming confuses rapists, police and the society about when exactly does non-consensual-sex becomes a crime.

This is what rapists do when there is no fear of punishment.

Yet another rape that was not about lust but about aggression, revenge and putting the victim in her place.

“I am safe because I’m very careful in the way I behave and dress in public, on the streets.”

Can sexual harassment be compared to Terrorism against a whole community called women?

99 thoughts on “Why should all acts of sexual harassment be taken seriously, even when there is no grievous physical injury?

  1. That TOI comment reminded me of another one: the cop who told Tehelka oh there are women who’ll go to clubs, share a drink with you, willingly kiss you/ make out with you….the day someone forces himself on them they’ll call it a rape. (You had a post on it.)

    It seems to be a commonly held opinion that a woman’s sexuality belongs to her husband, and if there’s no husband in the picture and YET the woman dares to live her life as a sexual being, then it’s free for all. I think people need to be educated that a) women are human beings, they’re people who experience desire, and b) sexual contact with a woman without her consent is sexual harassment/rape. I’m talking advertisements on TV and at the beginning of movies, similar to the ones on smoking. (Of course, people will complain that these ads are not family friendly, that they’re polluting their kids’ minds blah blah..)

    There was this UN survey where a whopping 25% of the South-Asian men surveyed no to whether they’d ever raped a woman, but yes to whether they’d had sex with a woman without her consent / a woman who was incapacitated or otherwise unable to consent to the act. The mind boggles.

    Like

    • Ugh, such disgusting comment from the cop, but unfortunately this is the mindset of most people in India, men and women. Zero respect for women, her freedom/independence regardless of a husband is the very foundation of Indian culture. Even my own mom would say the same thing. She thinks women should maintain discipline for having a happy life, that is her code word for not doing any of above (drinking, partying, kissiing) until married to a good boy. No wonder I never share any of my day to day life details with her anymore.

      Like

  2. Lets say there was this very rich man. Everyday, he would donate money to beggars sitting in front of the temple. One day, all the beggars ganged up on him, threatened him, beat him up and took his money. Should this not be called theft just because he was willingly donating money every day. Do people say that this man had no issue donating money and now he is making a big fuss about being robbed?

    Same thing about rape. I can sleep with 100 men and still I preserve my right to say no to the 101st man. And if he forces himself on me, it is rape. Irrespective of how many other people I slept with.

    It is not my modesty that is being enraged. It is me who is enraged. Me, the person. Not my virtue, my husband, my hymen. It would be ME who was violated. And that is rape.

    Like

  3. I do not understand why you repeatedly bring up children, with women, when talking about molestation. It is hardly so that all molesters are pedophiles. What makes him want to molest? its not that big of a rocket science. Its just about fulfilling the carnal urges when you think you will get away with the crime. Just a reminder, women also molest when they are sure they will get away with it unharmed.

    Like

        • Right, because of course, women are molesting men everyday om buses, trains, streets. No man can walk down a street without hearing cat-calls, or someone attempting to grope him. It’s all just a question of getting away with what you can – women are so confident of getting away that they think nothing of grabbing a man when they walk past him on the road.

          Like

    • Children are not going to speak for themselves, we have to be their voice for more children both male and female are abused by greater number of men than women.
      And do you think we who are posting are not aware that some women are abusers that you are enlightening us. Check the archives and then speak.
      DG

      Like

        • Oh really, you didn’t find anything about how women are bothering other women or how women as mothers are controlling and manipulating the lives of their sons. Is that not considered abusive?
          DG

          Like

        • @ DG, In reply to your last comment..

          As was obvious per the discussion, I was talking about molestation. But yeah, in general you can extend it to any abuse by a woman where another woman ( a bahu to be exact) is not at the center of the story.

          Like

        • Perhaps you can share links to stories where women have molested other men/children. We as a society need to condemn all forms of molestation whether it’s by a man or woman. I have seen tons of articles and news reports where men have been perpretrators. The fact that I have not seen reports of women sexual molesters tells me that either such things don’t get reported on for whatever reason, or that they do not happen. So please do share your experiences/news reports.

          Like

        • ” The fact that I have not seen reports of women sexual molesters tells me that either such things don’t get reported on for whatever reason, or that they do not happen.”
          Molestation of men by women is not a crime in India, so I wonder where did you expect to get these ‘reports’ from.
           
          I was pondering – why is the NCW and other women’s right lobbies so vehemently against gender neutral sexual harassment and sexual assault laws? Do they assume men who get assaulted ‘asked for it’ or ‘secretly enjoyed it’, like some of your desi compatriots believe about men-on-women rape?

          Like

        • I think boys / men refrain from reporting sexual assaults by women because such people face even worse shame than women who face sexual harassment. Boys / men are supposed to ‘enjoy’ sex, no matter whether it is forced or not. Only if the perpetrator is another male is the issue even considered as bad. There is no consideration that women can (and do) harass men sexually quite regularly because of course, what man would refuse free sex? As far as I know, this usually happens to younger men by older women and certainly needs to come out into the open. Many damaged men have been sexually abused at a young age.

          Like

    • B, Clearly you’re bringing this up for the sake of it. But lets make it easy for you : “Rape is NOT about sex. Both sexes can rape. A man or a woman who has behaved sexually inappropriately deserves severe punishment”. Does that make IHM and other commentators’ stance easier for you to understand? That every human deserves to be respected and cherished. It doesn’t matter if you’re male, female or a hermaphrodite – you deserve respect. End of story.

      Sometimes we generalize for the sake of simplicity. Do you always say “he/she” in place of he or she when you make qualified statements? The moment you bring up such a point in the midst of an important discussion, you lose credibility.

      Like

      • Just FYI Krithika, “hermaphrodite” is no longer an acceptable term. “Transgender” is preferred.

        And here, we aren’t “generalizing for simplicity” – the fact is that men are predominantly perpetrators of sexualized violence, and women (and non-cic gendered minorities) are predominantly the survivors. While some women also perpetrate sexualized violence, against men and children, this does not excuse the behaviour of men committing the same crime.

        Like

        • starlitwishes, I think a hermaphrodite is someone born with both male and female genitalia as opposed to a transgender person who is born with a different perceived gender identity than the gender assigned to them at birth.

          I still stand by my statement about generalizing for simplicity because I truly believe that a victim is a victim. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a male or female. I say this all while recognizing that sexual violence victims are most commonly women.

          Like

        • Krithika – Sorry, I meant “intersex”, not “transgender” – apologies!

          Also, I dislike the word victim, because it implies passivity. Survivors of sexualized violence, whether male or female, ought to be recognized for their strength in surviving through the trauma, and as such, the term “survivor” is also preferred.

          Like

        • To akhimlyngdoh’s comment – ‘Molestation of men by women is not a crime in India, so I wonder where did you expect to get these ‘reports’ from.’
          By reports I meant news reports – if you read news you will know that, the news do not focus only on criminal activity. If there do exist cases of women sexually molesting children/men, why are we not seeing any reports of these in newspapers. Again, not defending such an activity, but also questioning where you came across such instances.
          I also mentioned ‘experiences’ which you obviously missed or decided to ignore in your haste to type up a fast retort. I was asking the original commenter to relate his experiences in this area.

          Like

    • B – it is certainly not about “fulfilling carnal urges”, as Krithika has aptly pointed out. Rape and other crimes of a sexual nature are about power and control. Read any peer reviewed article about sexual violence anywhere in the world, and this will become clear in the first few sentences. While the knowledge that one will ‘get away with it without repercussions’ is certainly a factor that undermines deterrence, it is not the underlying motivation behind this crime. Neither is the availability of someone the perp can rape or harass.

      Like

    • The reason why she brings up women and children – is because they are both the victims of violence done by men. And also men are abused by other men.
      So there is a common denominator here….
      I’m not even going to start in with the “carnal urges” comment. Barf.

      Like

    • @AP, Just this last weekend I was molested by a colleague at a party. She just went ahead and grabbed my ***** and after that went on to do other things. This is just one example, I have many more first hand experiences. As for child abuse, I have had my share of abuse at the hands of both males and females. In case of my daughter, we had to take her out of a day care because of abuse by a female care giver.

      Like

  4. I’m going to re-post my comment on the matter here:

    The attitude that people have against crimes and women need to change as well.
    My sister recently posted a status on facebook about a mallu actress who had complained about a politician who had groped her. The actress broke down on tv while explaining what happened and her husband stepped in to defend her. My sister’s comment was on how the husband did good and that all men should be like that.

    Someone commented on that post (a female someone) saying ” My dad says she is a prostitute (obviously they are throwing the word ‘prostitute’ in very callously!). He reckons she’s just doing it for publicity”

    To this comment, another guy posted ” 80% of mallu actresses can be bought. Besides, I saw the video. He just brushed against her. Hardly call that MOLESTATION”. This comment was “liked” by the previous female.

    I am appalled that these 20 somethings who are all supposedly “new age” and talking like this! They are calling an actress a prostitute based on what?!! They are maligning her character because she raised a complaint against assault!!?

    I responded saying that a prostitute also must not be touched against her will. That a person’s sexual history is irrelevant when they complain against a sexual assault.

    She responded saying ” I agree. That’s not what I meant. I only asked if she is a prostitute cos that’s what my dad said. My knowledge of the case is limited”

    Of course… in spite of her ‘limited knowledge’ of the case, she has already rubbished a woman’s claims of being sexually harassed by a man by calling her a prostitute and suggesting that she was doing it for publicity.

    This world… I cannot understand the way it works. *sigh*

    Like

    • Your sister’s friend said that her father told her the actress is a prostitute I really want to ask if he paid her for favors. Long time ago in college someone said so and so is a prostitute and my first response was, oh so how much did you pay her. This is the only way to challenge this mind set.
      If you watch the video you’ll see the actress claims it was her father who phoned her and asked her to withdraw the case because the culprit has apologized.
      These fathers are really doing great service to the cause.
      DG

      Like

      • Parents are awful as well. They don’t support their children who have been abused. Instead, they tell you you are a girl, and YOU are the one to suffer.

        There is an old mallu proverb that translates to ” whether the thorn falls on the leaf or the leaf on the thorn, it is the leaf that gets hurt”.

        So basically, no matter what is done to you, don’t make an issue out of it, lest someone finds out and you lose your “izzat”, cos that is all that matters!

        How convenient for the friggin thorn (man)!

        Like

  5. IHM, its not just TOI commentators who put forth such views. High profile leaders are giving such irrational public statements. K. Muraleedharan, MLA, said that she cannot be considered as a victim because she had allowed filming her own delivery. And the DCC President had said that “Menon should not claim moral high ground since she had acted in a condom ad even when she was barely 16 years of age”
    And the Film Exhibitors Federation president saying that “she may not have been paid the money she was promised to participate in the event.”
    If this way they could silence such a high profile victim, how easy it is to silence a commoner ?
    Just today I overheard my cab driver telling another colleague “see now she has withdrawn the complaint. All publicity stunt. No wonder Film star Suresh Gopi said that no girl from good family would act in movies. So true no.”

    Like

  6. I’m actually beginning to think there should be formal awareness courses on recognizing gender bias (and probably other social evils like caste discrimination, ragging etc.), understanding why it’s wrong and ways to fight it at every organization in the country. It should be introduced in curriculum for students (primary school, high school, college and higher education); corporates should be directed to make it a part of their orientation programs for new joiners; existing and trainee public service personnel should undergo this course so that they understand their responsibilities without prejudices. I think this is the only way in which we can quickly bring the much-needed change in our society.

    Like

  7. Things like acts of sexual harassment run deeper than just the physicality of the situation. They are indicators of how we as a society function and think. If the value we have for the women in our society does not extend far enough to respect their personal space and their right to not have unwanted advances being sent their way, then it is a problem irrespective of whatever physical harm they are subjected to. At the end of the day, it is about respect for a human being, no matter how small the action is. No act is ever insignificant. Anything we do comes from a place of meaning. If your actions originate from a problematic place, then it does not matter how “small” or “insignificant” it is, they must be acknowledge, analyzed, and learned from.

    I will never, for the life of me, understand why humans are so averse to thinking and digging deeper. It seems like just another form of anti-intellectualism to me. “Oh, why are you talking about something so SMALL, it doesn’t really matter!” Uh, maybe not, but so what? What is so wrong about having a curiosity about human behaviour, no matter how small it is? At the end of the day, all you’re doing is gaining knowledge. Maybe not from a school-board certified textbook, but it’s knowledge nevertheless. Why is it so uncomfortable for people to try and gain knowledge that doesn’t always come from a cardboard box?

    Like

    • I second you..May be that they don’t consider it knowledge at all..living my life has become very difficult these days with people like these around me…feeling sick.:(

      Like

    • I think it’s because people find it uncomfortable to take lessons from their own lives. As long as harassment happens to someone distant, you can always blame them but when it happens close to you, you are left a little bewildered because you KNOW it wasn’t the victim’s fault.

      This is exactly how parents who pay out dowry think. They feel it’s great they are following traditions and receiving honour in society and puff themselves up in pride at how much they have provided for their daughter, and are then completely puzzled when she is harassed / abused / murdered because they simply can’t fathom why. Uh, why NOT? You started it by disrespecting your daughter, so the other family is only continuing it.

      Then there is also this idea of adjusting to small things. But once you start adjusting, there is really no end to it. People don’t often realize that. They prefer to brush small things under the carpet. My parents have always been puzzled about why I never put on a bindi for a few hours just to please a few strangers at a function. But I’ve never seen why I should. If they are demanding bindi today, they might claim my body tomorrow as their own.

      Like

  8. Its her wish what she wants to do(act,dance,eat,drink,pee etc)and it is no business of other people.. i think people who want to molest think that they possess every right to do so and/or are paranoid.and i don’t see any logic behind victim blaming.somebody hurts HER and she is held responsible for the acts of somebody else as if she lovingly embraced the trouble..nobody loves and invites trouble..

    Like

  9. FOR ONCE, CAN ANYONE SHARE THE VIDEO WHICH ACTUALLY PROVES THAT THIS LADY CHARGES ARE TRUE??? There was a video clip which I came across, and there is no such this as this women is claiming.

    Perhaps, the place was way too crowded and there was lot of people. What ever people people might try to create a wave of sympathy and create a level of hype about by playing spicy words,

    But why the letter writer has not shared the original clip in which the so called actress is alleging she is being molested? Lets find the right facts first on this incident first than create a hype…

    my sincere opinion

    Like

  10. There is another important aspect to the title of this post other than physical molestation or groping. According to the latest law regarding sexual harassment, “unwelcome sexual gesture or behaviour whether directly or indirectly as sexually colored remarks”, “verbal/non-verbal conduct being sexual in nature and/or passing sexually offensive and unacceptable remarks” and showing pornography are also included under sexual harassment. Clearly, there is no physical injury to the victim of such harassment, but still it is punishable by law.

    In fact, the victim does not have to be the person directly harassed but can be a witness of such behavior who finds the behavior offensive and is affected by it according to the following link –
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_harassment

    So, all those people who think that only physical harm is recognized and punishable by law should understand that something like showing pornography to a female colleague is not merely the exercising of one’s right to freedom of expression.

    Like

  11. I was surprised when I read her interview staying that her ‘guru, father and husband’ urged her to withdraw the complaint…isn’t that too patriachy? Why didn’t she take the opinion of her mother, friend, any woman in her life? And why did these men in her life think that she should forgive him? And why should she do so, even if they did tell her that? I just didn’t expect this from a woman who i thought was bold and lived life on her terms…very disappointing!

    Like

    • It is very difficult to be in such a situation where your whole world is against you. It is easy for us to judge, but she must be going through hell for this. I’m not saying what she did is right, I’m just saying I understand it. Go easy on her.

      Like

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if there was money (and threats) exchanged under the table. Even totally random, small time politicians here seem to have hundreds of goons–the guy probably reminded them that his goons could make life miserable for said Actress and family.

      In a country where tons of politicians have active cases of murder, rape, theft (etc) and nothing’s being done about it, I can understand why the actress would want this to end quickly.

      Like

  12. I have a story to tell🙂 yes again.
    When i was single and kind of getting to know my husband, i used to meet him in b’lore club. there was this other guy there who had once rubbed against me, an smirked when i yelled, i saw this fellow a few times in the course of a few months, he patted my butt once and i went berserk on him, there was not many people by the tennis courts and he and his friend just laughed when i yelled and asked me what i was doing in the club, alone !!!! so after a war of words the steward separated us and we left with me promising them i was going to file a complaint in the police station. to which one of them asked me to go ahead and try .. anyway a few months went by i didnt see him again in the club, my not yet husband encouraged to file a complain if i met them and i generally assumed they were some jobless low lifes living off daddy’s money.
    we got married, v small ceremony and left for our and came back to a reception my husband had arranged in bombay , there were to be close to 600 people, his associated, friends etc., I happily went ,and as we were circulating, who should come up to congratulate us with flowers for me but the groper/loser. i just stood shocked while he smiled his slimy smile and i don’t know why he thought I’d smile but there was no way i was touching that bouquet, my husband took one look at my face and simply said ‘ your golf club gropers??’ i could just stare, so my husband prodded me and asked me to do whatever i wanted,🙂 so yes i threw them out, and told them i didnt want sexual harassers in my reception, they turned out to be employees of my husband and pretty high up in the mgmt pool too. sad , so sad, no amount of education, opportunities, wealth could fix what was inherent in them, i doubt it was for lack of sexual partners, they just did it because they could. i don’t know what happened at his work, i know my husband took some action, but i didn’t care to learn of it, he just asked me if i wanted to file a report, i didnt. and to this day regret it, i wish i had, i wish i had caused them lots and lots of trouble.
    After that i have never refrained from calling out these idiots . but the fact that i let those 2 go with just embarrassment is a regret to this day.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing this, goes to shows the misogynist mind set of majority of Indian men regardless of their educational and economic situation. This is just Indian culture that pampers men and teaches them women are worthless creatures. My ex-BF who was from IIT, a top 5 US university and working at one of the best tech companies had similarly low opinion of women in general, obviously he kept hidden around me or I was just too oblivous in the begining. Molesters don’t come from loafer/frustrared/poor men only, they can very well be from educated and “good” background. In my opnion all Indian men are molesters and misogynist simply given their Indian cultural upbringing, I assume they are guilty unless proven otherwise. I refuse to give them the benefit of doubt unless they prove it meticulously. Yes I am harsh, but I won’t be wrong in large majority of cases.

      Like

      • Annondiva, this sounds very misandrist. What do you mean “all Indian men are molesters and misogynist”?

        This is similar to somebody else who wrote “91% of Indian men are molesters”. Apparently everyone in my group belongs to the other 9%.

        Like

        • @ Niketan

          Please don’t get defensive.
          Yes, yes, it’s right. They are molesters. exceptions are always there but they never make rule
          Now are trying to state that that Indian women molesters?
          They are misogynists too.
          They love their moms excessively and so you know……….

          Like

        • Sunanda, sorry I’m not sure I follow. Are you saying the average desi man is a molester? That sounds like the gender-equivalent of racism, doesn’t it?

          Like

        • I’m sorry, but there’s absolutely nothing to get defensive about here when you look at the people who make misogynistic statements, the people who make misandrist statements, and the power imbalance that exists between them. If you make a misogynistic statement, society will enable you to give that message power and thereby cause harm to women as a result of those words.

          Misandrist words, on the other hand, do not have the same type of power structure to back them up. Simply put, even if women makes misandrist statements, the overarching cultural norm will always maintain the idea that men are human and women are not. Even as AnnonDiva makes that statement, that all Indian men are molesters and misogynists, that statement will never have the same type of impact that a similar statement about women would.

          I’m not going to deny that what she said clearly isn’t true. Obviously not all Indian men are as she describes, anybody would know that. But instead of being offended by those words, why not ask yourself why a woman would be making such a rash blanket statement to start with? What is it with the behaviour of men that is causing women to label them as potentially dangerous to their lives to start with?

          You might think that AnnonDiva’s statement is misandrist, but would any woman out alone at night interact normally with stranger they see who is of the opposite gender? No. We automatically make the assumption that said male is a potential predator (unless proven otherwise), because if we do not do so, we are risking our lives and our health. Obviously, 95% of the men who stroll out at midnight are not predators. But we have to assume they are anyway, because the consequences of not making that assumption is potentially disastrous.

          Compared to that, what are the disastrous consequences of misandrist statements? Can you be killed? Can you be maimed? Lose your job and livelihood? Be ostracized from community? In a land where women are not even given much of a voice, how much impact will saying, “All men are rapists unless proven otherwise.” have on you? Not a whole lot, and definitely not on the same scale as such a blanket statement would for women. It is a hurtful statement, yes, and an untrue one, yes, but not one for people to take personally. If it does not apply to you, then excellent job on being a decent human being.

          Like

      • Oh IIT, lol most of the dudes that I know who went there are really weird people. I’m not getting into details, but they’re super messed up. I don’t think that has to do so much with how Indian culture values women but more to do with the fact that they’ve been forced to study their whole lives and have pitiable social skills. Put that in a conservative culture where male and female interaction is discouraged and you get super weird creatures.

        “In my opnion all Indian men are molesters and misogynist simply given their Indian cultural upbringing,”

        I disagree with this. The section of Indian society that I’ve seen (in Delhi, Bombay, and Hyderabad) is very different. The more I live in India, the more I realize that they’re just a tiny section of society and they are pretty privileged in terms of economics/education/political power and connections. Within this crowd, I find Delhi to be the most conservative region–i e, dudes go for bachelor parties to Prague while their fiances do a girls sleepovers bachelorettes.

        They’re not molesters because they’ve been brought up to date/be in relationships without having to think of being married right away/travel by themselves–most have had some kind of university education abroad.

        One of my former colleagues (who’s family lives in Shillong) says that where he comes from, men and women interact completely differently with each other–he finds the people of this region totally sick and demented in that regard. And these aren’t only the super rich–he says even the middle class is this way.

        Like

      • Misogynists don’t necessarily have to be molesters too. I know a lot of misogynist men who would never molest anyone. I agree most Indian men are misogynists, but saying most of them are molesters too is stretching it too far.

        Like

    • I love how your husband had nothing to say except to do as you want. That’s the sign of a strong man. One who stands by his strong woman confident in her ability to do the right thing. I can say from all your stories that he would’ve given them a nice pounding if the opportunity arose, but he let you take charge. He let you stay in control of your experience. **hats off, sir**

      Like

      • wow, what gives the men the right to invade someone else’s space ?? mind boggling . dont worry you shamed them, that’s more powerful inthe indian context than anything else you could have done in our shame based culture .
        As for your husband , i really like his attitude, no unnecessary male posturing, leave you to deal with what you are capable of doing, and just eb a support. I wish more parents and spouses learnt that .. treating women as adults capable of independent thought and action.

        Like

    • “, i wish i had, i wish i had caused them lots and lots of trouble.”
      “but the fact that i let those 2 go with just embarrassment is a regret to this day.”

      This isn’t about retribution. someone committed an offense, it hurts, but there shouldn’t be personal vendetta.

      Like

      • Why shouldnt there be anything personal,
        he insulted her as a person, as a human, he touched her inappropriately, Invaded her PERSONAL space and hurt her PERSONAL feelings. It is very personal, It’s not like he committed an offense at large and she was collateral damage, he saw her as a lesser being, demeaned her choices and insulted her character. therby personal, very personal.
        we’re all human , and i doubt if i came up to you and insulted you, humiliated you, touched you inappropriately, questioned your right and freedom to be in a certain place and blamed you for me touching you inappropriately and laughed at your outrage on top of it, You’d just take it lightly.

        Taking official action imeans then he would have stooped to think about the repercussions of his actions and maybe not repeat this on someone else? getting off scott free is not really a choice molesters and harassers should be given.

        Like

        • I never said this isn’t personal or that law shouldn’t take it’s course, let the man be arrested or fired from work if the law demands that. I only said personal vendetta is awful. Yes, it hurts, but that’s no reason for us to want to cause pain to him. This is such a fistfight mindset that we have in India

          Like

      • Why not? What’s wrong with personal vendetta? If someone punched the shit out of you, would you not look for every possible opportunity to get back at them? Simple human tendencies – or are you from some higher plane?

        Like

      • No, sorry. People should not just let go of incidents that directly undermine their humanity. It doesn’t matter how small the incident is, it has to be acknowledged and it has to be dealt with–personal vendetta or no. If you give people an inch, they will come back and try to take a whole mile. You have to make noise about the small things, and you have to mention how unacceptable they are. It’s the only way we can ever deal with the bigger problems in society.

        Not to mention, you don’t really get the right to tell people how they should feel about the situations that happen in their life. You can be as well meaning as you like, but people deserve to own their feelings about what has happened to them. If she wishes she could have caused them lots of trouble, they are her feelings about the matter. Maybe you wouldn’t have dealt with it in the same way, but you don’t really have the position to tell her what should and shouldn’t be a personal vendetta.

        Like

  13. Yes Yes..
    I heard about the incident. How would I not, when the whole of ‘Kerala’ media was ‘celebrating’ the incident.
    I agree that media has to play a vital role in bring these kinds of pervertism to light and make sure that the culprits are punished.
    But would that explain how this incident was a ‘HEADLINE’ and a ‘BREAKING NEWS’ for three whole days and the scenes of the man brushing past the actress was shown in slow motion for 100th time in the news?
    Would that explain how they alternated between the fateful incident and ‘highlights’ from an item dance of the actress as if trying to prove something?
    Would that explain the airing of comments after comments by famous political leaders on the ‘charector’ of the actress judging her by the roles she had done in the past?

    What happened was a charector assasination of the actress, or thats what I felt when I watched all these clips.
    It is just a matter of common sense to not mix the roles she had done in the past with her real life charector.
    There were questions on if this incident deserve any attention at all in the light of the recent graver atrocities that were reported in Kerala which includes a 4 year girl being murdered by her Mothers lover.
    I would say yes.the media was right to highlight this issue.Because if a actress was molested by a political figue in a public event under the watch of thousands of spectators and cameras of all channels, then what can an ordinary woman expect when she is travelling in a crowded public transport. If no action was taken against this particular man, what message would it send to all other perverts out there?
    But then the way media presented it was biased, I would say.
    And all those political leaders out there who commeded that ‘She had done certain roles because of which she is NOT a victim’ or ‘she had hugged a participant in a reality show and thus she is has no right to feel offended when somebody brushes past her’ , I can only sympathise.If you are the ones who are going to make laws for the women safety, I can only imagine how safe it is going to be.
    As I had always said All is not well in gods own country.
    The situation is just the same as it was years before ,similar to the plight of Usha as I had mentioned in this post
    http://confusedhumanity.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/all-is-not-well-in-gods-own-country/

    Like

    • No, I think people will do anything as long as there is a lack of strong punishment, just like urinating in public, does that mean the offender thinks hard enough to view the public property as worthless? I donj’t think most people think that hard and far and act.

      Like

      • I agree and disagree. I agree with the lack of strong punishment and getting caught. As it needs to be seen as socially unacceptable to do such assaults – men have to stand up and hold other men accountable. Instead of all these videos pinpointing Shweta, there should be all these videos pinpointing that MP.
        About the urinating part, I don’t think a person would urinate on their own wall. So otherwise, yes, where they urinate shows a lack of care/respect for the property.
        Regarding ” I don’t think most people think that hard and far and act.” –> I don’t think they think about it, it is automatic, it is deeply ingrained – and that is the problem. They should think about it, whether is where you urinate, and who you assault – people SHOULD think about it. It’s not that hard to be considerate.

        I also kind of find it odd that urination is compared to a sexual assault….two different things. But I guess both are seen by the offender as some “uncontrollable urge”? Is that what you mean?

        Like

  14. I am reminded about the so called “Kissa Kiss ka” some years ago.
    Mika kissed Rakhi Sawant at a Public Event on the stage.
    Rakhi complained.
    Some people claimed Rakhi of all people shouldn’t be complaining!!!
    Just goes to show how some persons think.

    Rakhi had every right to complain.
    So does Shweta in this case.
    Irrespective of what she does otherwise with others on various other occasions.

    Reverse situation.
    Richard Gere kissed Shilpa Shetty at a Public event on the stage.
    Shilpa didn’t mind.
    Thousands of self appointed guardians of Indian culture condemned the incident.
    It was none of their business. If Shilpa did not mind, they had no business objecting to it.

    Regards
    GV

    Like

    • Love that analogy, yes..Shilpa shetty was ok with the peck on the cheek by Richard Gere (I would be🙂 too), but in this video you can clearly see the minute he brushes up against her, she is uncomfortable and moves away. Yet he continues, it was wasn;t that crowded. He just wanted to cop a feel and felt it was his right and privilege, you know. Who cares if she is mom and wife. She is an actress of loose morals, hence free for the taking.
      Thats how most people think.

      Like

  15. More disaapointing than the withdrawal of complaint by Swetha was the misogynist reactions from all across the length and breadth of Kerala Society. Youth Congress burned the effigy of Swetha Menon while even the so called liberal Men on Social media claimed the physical contacts accidental and blamed Swetha for being too publicity hungry.
    At least let us hope the molester will never be given a ticket in future to contest in elections.

    Like

    • Agreed Arun. The molester is going to go right ahead and talk about women as his mother/sister/daughter and get a ticket and win an election, as if nothing ever happened. Our memories are very short term.

      Like

  16. I’m not surprised by the TOI commenters–from all of the posts you’ve posted on here, the comments section has always been infested with these people. To me they’re just half baked, barely literate, low wage earning men who are taking out their frustrations on the strata of patriarchal society that’s supposedly lower than them (aka, women). Their understanding is–if a woman is acting on screen then she must be willing to do the same actions with them. The entitlement is both hilarious and disgusting.

    These men are exactly the kind of men that writer Lavanya Sankaran writes about in her The Good Men of India post in the NYT– “Indian cities are awash with feral men, untethered from their distant villages, divorced from family and social structure, fighting poverty, exhausted, denied access to regular female companionship, adrift on powerful tides of alcohol and violent pornography, newly exposed to the smart young women of the cities, with their glistening jobs and clothes and casual independence — and not able to respond to any of it in a safe, civilized manner.” Add a slight bit of education (so that they can type their comments in broken, grammatically incorrect English) and the frustration only grows.

    Like

    • I have a lot of issues with The Good Men of India post in NYT–mainly because it tries to differentiate values based upon class, which often isn’t true. People from higher stratas of society hold similarly half baked, barely literate ideas. The ones who earn six-figure salaries often have little to no ideological difference from the ones who earn barely nothing.

      To me, the article was an attempt to deflect blame from where it should also be rightfully placed, which is the middle and upper-class, who rail against the “smart young women of the cities” as equally and vehemently as everyone else. The entire piece read a lot like, “Oh, it’s not US who are like that, just a few select group of people. THEY are the ones who are bad, not the rest of US.”

      The reality is that such attitudes are completely endemic in society, rich poor, high class, low class, middle class, college educated, garbage collector, CEOs, beggars–everyone. The people we count on to be evolved aren’t evolved either. They’re just evolved enough to create scapegoats, it seems.

      Like

      • @A – I totally agree.
        I liked parts of the NYtimes article – like the “Main hoon na” part. But I really hated the article blaming all the violence on the village men. Let us not forget that Jyothi’s father was also a village man who was a great father and wanted his daughter to learn physiotherapy.
        Misogyny knows no class – I have also noticed seriously misogynistic attitudes in the most educated upper class and castes. It’s such a common urban middle-class argument to blame everything on the village people who flock to the cities for work opportunities, just like everybody else. Respect is respect – and it doesn’t have anything to do with whether one has a good job and/or a masters degree.

        Like

      • I don’t necessarily agree with “Oh, it’s not US who are like that, just a few select group of people. THEY are the ones who are bad, not the rest of US.”

        Because ‘they’ over here does not = a select few–it’s the vast majority of the country’s entire population. And when the country’s population is 1.2 billion, it’s a lot of people.

        I do think the article focuses unfairly on migrants from villages–it would have made more sense if she wrote men who feel disenfranchised (and that includes most of the middle class over here IMO and to a certain extent, even the upper middle class).

        Like

        • “it would have made more sense if she wrote men who feel disenfranchised”

          See, this is the hilarious part to me. That men, for the first time in centuries, are feeling disenfranchised because women are pushing to be allowed to do more, to have more opportunities, to actually succeed. Men, and really any privileged person in society, have realized that the things they once took completely for granted by virtue of their gender will one day no longer be awarded to them. When their entitlement is threatened and they get a taste of their own medicine, they get fearful and rail against the changes.

          Like

  17. “Is sexual harassment a crime against the one victim who reports it or against the society ?”

    Clearly it is up to the victim to define whether what she has lived is harassment or not, and whether she needs to file a case or not. Then you file a case so that the perpetrator reflects on his actions, shows remorse and is suitably punished. If the lady feels that public apologies is enough reparation to her, then nobody has any ground to criticize her.

    Where I live, in cases of domestic violence, Court presses charges even if the victim changes her mind and drops the charges. Some may think it is a brillliant idea to fight domestic violence. I wonder if this will not simply encourage women not to press charges in the first place.

    Like

  18. My comment is for Fem – since I am not able to reply on that thread. No, I do not believe women groping men is alright at all. No one should be touching anyone else without consent, irrespective of gender. My comment was meant to be sarcastic. Bringing in the topic of women groping men (which the other chap had done) is a strawman argument meant to distract from the topic.

    Like

    • I wasn’t talking to you, but to B, lol! He seemed to think that ‘just as it’s okay for women to grope men, it’s okay for men to grope women’. At least, that’s the message I got. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

      Like

  19. Pingback: For NCP leader Asha Mirje. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  20. Pingback: Classmates who rape and burn to death are not Spurned Lovers, they are dangerous, violent criminals. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  21. Pingback: 7 things that can make ‘Rape sometimes right’. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  22. Pingback: ‘“Why would this girl lie? After all she is taking the blame on herself”, said the police officer to the criminal infront of me.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  23. Pingback: 62-year-old Indian man admits to sexually touching sleeping woman on plane. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  24. Pingback: ‘Angry Mob cut off man’s sensual organ for attempting rape of a girl.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  25. Pingback: Research survey on Street Harassment | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s