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Congress MP N Peethambara Kurup for alleged molestation, actress Shweta Menon issued a press statement saying she will withdrawn her complaint against Mr Kurup after his “repeated apology.”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?

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“How to react when you know somebody is staring at you? I am not sure if I should slap him…”

Sharing an email. 

Hey IHM,

I have one very basic doubt –
How to react when you know that somebody is staring at you? And now that person could be anybody (from some mawali on road to maybe your colleague). So if he is a colleague or somebody whom i know I am not sure if I should slap him or go and shout at him. Please advice.

Ya.. if you could share it that would be good.. As I will get to know what others do in these type of situation because I think almost every women must be going through this!!

And I am not sure if I want to ignore something like this in work place. There must be a way of handling a situation like this without being labeled as weird / without being ignored by everyone (as I am the only gal in my dept).
Related Posts:

Allahabad girl Aarti Yadav beats harasser, sets bike on fire

Martial Arts for women to fight back rapes?

If you were this woman would you want to know what your juniors thought of your personal life?

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Reserved seats and coaches are not a special indulgence towards women, they are an indication of a serious social problem.

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

What’s the best way to fight for your rights and freedoms and to prevent Talibanization of India?

How Indian women feel when they are being subjected to sexual crimes. How Patriarchy sees sexual crimes.

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

“The sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household”

“Such mannequins will excite men and pose a danger to women.”

Not just women who are sexually assaulted, but also men who object to sexual assaults risk being accused of ruining the Indian culture.

Gurudutt Kamath and Vijay Kumar, two of the 13 young people who were attacked, stripped and robbed in a Managalore homestay are refusing to be intimidated. They are challenging the allegations (that I found impossible understand) made by the Karnataka state Women’s Commission. It seems not just women who are sexually assaulted, but also men who don’t molest or who object to molestations are seen as ruining the Indian culture.

I agree with Bhagwad Jal Park,

“I love it when people are not ashamed of “drawing attention to themselves”. The culture of intimidation can only operate when the victims are afraid of their face being in the papers. These thugs are helpless against those who stand up for their rights and confront them publicly without fear or shame.”

Gurudutt Kamath and Vijay Kumar [Link to stories of other courageous young men who fought back similar assaults].

Support them.

Mangalore: Boy Victims Deny Manjula’s Claims, Demand CBI Probe

Mangalore, Aug 11: “We do not believe in police investigation. We want CBI enquiry, fast track court and an independent lawyer to fight the case,” said Gurudutt Kamath and Vijay Kumar, both two of the victims of the recent Padil stay home attack.

Addressing a press meet here on Saturday August 11, they explained the entire incident as it happened, and as was reported in these columns earlier, and placed forward a few demands from the central and the state governments. [link]

Related Posts:

Did the boys, who arranged the birthday party, try to mislead the girls?

Did the posters threatening acid attacks on women wearing jeans surprise you?

Does Moral Policing make business sense?

Open letter to Karnataka state Women’s Commission chief Manjula – Amit Sharma

What goes on in the mind of an ‘Eve Teaser’?

An email from an American reader : “He then said… ‘..my wife is very sexy.'”

“Sometimes outsiders experience and see things differently than locals who have become so accustomed to it… “

Dear IHM,

Reading over one of your recent posts about the young woman who was harassed on the Delhi Metro and then blamed for instigating a fight really touched me. One of the most striking things, for me, was that one woman in the comments section mentioned that she felt relief and “uninhibited” when travelling in a woman’s compartment and around other women. Another commenter (a man) said he always felt “uninhibited” walking around in public and didn’t realize women always have to constantly be on their guard. If I may add one of my own personal experiences to this long list of troubling realities about women and public transport in India:

I’m only writing because something happened to me a few hours ago and I can’t seem to shake it from my mind. I was at CP in Delhi waiting to pick up my passport from a visa office located there. I am not from India. I am an American student studying women’s issues in Delhi. I speak okay Hindi and I have a very deep love and respect for India. I was quite obsessed with it for many years, but I am moving to SE Asia soon to explore other interests, though I think women’s issues will always be my abiding passion.

Anyway, I had just gotten my visa and I was very happy to have it in my hands. To me, getting a visa is almost like getting a new lease on life. A chance to explore new things, start over. I was really happy walking out of that building in CP. I flagged down an autorickshaw. Because I was in CP and because I look white (though I am only half-white), I knew he would charge an exorbitant rate. I told him he was crazy (in Hindi) and that eventually got him down to the correct price. I got into the auto.

It’s a peculiar thing about being a foreigner in Delhi. In some places (like say Malviya Nagar or Lajpat Nagar) I don’t have too much trouble with autos. These are not “tourist hotspots” so I usually get a price close to the local rate. When I go to places like CP, Khan Market, or Hauz Khas Village, however, I know I am going to be shafted. It’s just a fact of life. No one expects you to know the real price (because you aren’t Indian) and my Indian friends even complain they never get the ‘true’ price either. Anyway, I’m saying this because this afternoon I was in CP and did expect to be mistaken for a tourist even though I have lived in Delhi for several years.

So, when I got into the auto, he immediately asked if I was from America. I replied (in Hindi) that I was. I am very used to this sort of game now: autos who pick you up in tourist sections will assume you too are a tourist and thus you would naturally love to talk about where you’re from and talk to ‘real’ Indians. And so it was with this autowallah. (Autowallahs in local neighborhoods barely talk to you.) So the game began:

He asked which is better: India or US. I replied I like both. He asked what I liked about India. I said the food. He asked what else. I answered: the people.

Then, he asked the inevitable question they always ask: shaadi ho gyi? I replied ‘yes.’ I am actually not married but in a long-term relationship with an Indian-American, but I have found that saying ‘yes’ to this question makes them immediately back off. A married woman is not to be harassed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case with this driver. He asked when I got married. I said a year ago (I’ve rehearsed this story just for such occasions). He asked if I had children. I said ‘No, it’s only been one year.’

He started to talk about his family, which I liked. I really do like hearing about people’s families. He was from Bihar and had two sons and had been married for fourteen years. I said that was all very nice. He then said something along the lines of (in English) “Yes, my wife is very sexy.” I laughed awkwardly, feeling the direction of the conversation was taking a bad course. To move away from the topic of his wife’s sexiness, I asked if he was from a village in Bihar. He said yes, but his next question is “why don’t you and your husband try for children? Don’t you try?”

I laughed awkwardly again. “Yes, we try but we just don’t want children right now.” The more accurate answer would have been “my boyfriend and I are in the early stages of our career. We aren’t ready to have children yet.” But, I didn’t know how to say that in Hindi!

Next, I truly don’t know what happened. He started say a lot of things in Hindi that I couldn’t understand in a loud, moving autorickshaw on the street. It looked like he had asked me a question (I could see his face in the mirror; he kept turning it to get a better look at me) so I looked up at him politely. He said (in English): “In Delhi there is lots of sex. Sex. Sex. Sex.” I didn’t respond and just looked out the window. Once it became clear to him I wasn’t going to reply, he asked, “Do you like it?” “What?” I snapped. “Sex,” he answered.

I didn’t respond and removed my phone like I was about to call someone. He did not seem alarmed but luckily we were close to my flat and I was very anxious to leave him (I thought about not paying him, but then I knew he might want to follow me if that were the case). All the while, he was muttering “sex, sex, sex,” under his breath while looking back at me in the mirror.

I felt really weak, helpless and dirty. And yet, I had done nothing wrong. I hadn’t even wanted to talk on this ride. I had just gotten my visa and wanted to revel in the fact that I would be going somewhere new. I had been very happy. And here this man was asking about sex in a creepy and perverted way. I didn’t know him. It was none of his business if I liked sex or didn’t. This leads me to another assumption that some Indian men make about foreign women. They assume we are all obsessed with sex. Maybe it’s from all those bollywood music videos that show blonde women gyrating behind the hero, but for some reason it’s like men think we have one-night-stands with different men every night.

By this point I was very uncomfortable as he pulled into my neighborhood. I asked him to stop the auto. I would walk the extra block to my house. As I was pulling out my money, he asked: “Did you like me talking about sex? Did you like it?”

I replied: “No. It was very wrong.” (My Hindi gets worse with anger. I wanted to shout at him that he was very disrespectful, that you can’t treat any woman like that. Not even one you know. You need to wash your dirty mouth.) He put on a fake contrite expression, saying “sorry madam.” You could tell he was not sorry at all. He had got his fun today.

You may ask, why did I even talk to him in the first place? You’ve been in India long enough to know that autos are not the safest transport for women, especially at night. Simply don’t engage with them. The answer to that is, usually I DO NOT engage with them. But in tourist areas they always ask friendly questions about where you are from, etc, etc. In those instances, it seems rude not to answer. Sometimes, I have chosen not to answer such questions and they say something like, “Okay. I understand madam. You don’t like talking to real Indians. We are beneath you.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. I wouldn’t have chosen to move to India if I disliked the culture or the people. It’s only in the moments where such men feel they can treat you with disrespect and force their perverted nature on you that I dislike living here.

Many people have said on your blog, IHM, that women do not encounter any harassment when using public transport in the West. This is entirely true in my experience on the Boston, NYC, and Washington DC metro systems. (I have also lived in Taipei, Taiwan. Again, not a single instance of feeling uncomfortable.) Everyone minds their own business. Staring would be considered very rude. Even striking up a conversation would be a little odd. That may be because we are very individualistic in the West and don’t engage with people (I’m not in support of that) but it also has to do with basic respect of personal boundaries. That no one should be able to threaten you, make you uncomfortable, or make you feel dirty (a particular problem for women in cases of sexual harassment).

My experience in the auto this afternoon is not a lone event, unfortunately. I’ve received things like joking marriage proposals. Another auto asked whether I knew if he could be addicted to sex and would I help him with his problem? The worst was when an auto I was in pulled up on the side of the road and the driver started masturbating while staring at me in the mirror. I shouted at him to stop and get going or he wouldn’t get any money. Again, the same smirk and lack of remorse. Again, I am the one feeling dirty, as if I have done something wrong. [In case you care to know (even though it should not matter at all!) I dress very conservatively in Delhi. Today I was wearing a kurta, full jeans, and a dupatta]

I don’t know why I chose to write all this, IHM. I know as a foreign woman maybe my opinion carries less weight because, of course, I can leave India at anytime I want. I don’t have to stand to live in such a blatantly patriarchal country. My passport is my ticket out. But as an outsider (and sometimes outsiders experience and see things differently than locals who have become so accustomed to it) I can say that this is a truly horrible state of affairs. From you posts, it’s clear women don’t feel comfortable 1) riding scooters alone, 2) driving a car alone, 3) riding the metro in the general compartment, 4) riding buses, 5) riding in autos and 6) even walking alone. What is there left for women if even our feet fail us?

All this does is conspire against the free movement of all women in India. Keeping them confined in the home and dependent on male relatives who are free to walk out of the house as they please. It’s daunting for me (as an American, who is used to driving my own car and walking around late at night) to live in such circumstances, but my respect for India remains. There’s so much good about this country that outweighs these dehumanizing experiences, but that doesn’t mean I like experiencing them in the first place.

* * *

I know I have the extra barrier of language that keeps me from fully expressing myself in cases of harassment like this. I just wanted to lend my perspective to show that misogyny has no limits. It’ll go after anyone it thinks is weak from a lone Indian girl walking home to a white woman.

A loyal American reader.

Related posts:

She started a fight between two men?

She started a fight between two men?

Sharing this email shared by the victim’s friend who’s also a blogger.

This young woman could have been any of us. Please keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to know how one would react in such situations, shock and trauma can confuse and immobilize or fill us with rage. This incident reminded me of the time (have blogged about it , will link) I yelled at four army jawans who were harassing a woman in a train in 1999, it could have turned very ugly too.

What do you think of the reactions of the fellow passengers here?

The account in this courageous young woman’s own words, with a big hug to her.

**

This post contains language, four-letter word language. These are my words and my account. Most of the exchange was in Hindi, nearly everything I shouted was in English. 
23rd June, afternoonish, I board the metro from Noida City Center. The train was almost empty, I find a spot by the right side of the car near the door, put my earphones on and prepare to wait through all the stations till Rajiv Chowk. Few stations afterwards, I feel someone hovering, I turn to look and this guy wearing shades is leaning towards me, his arm extended above me brushing my head, holding the seat railing, his breath fans my hair. I look beyond him, the coach is still relatively empty with plenty of space for someone to stand comfortably without being forced to lean on another passenger and breathe down their neck. I assumed he wanted to get off at the next station and waited. Station arrives, we are standing to the right of the coach, the doors open to the left and he doesn’t move.  I ask him now, do you wish to get off at the next station?  He answers in negative and looks away. I continue to address him, please step back you are crowding me.  He ignores me. I speak again. 

He turns and says, why are you here, you should be in the women’s coach. 

I tell him, women do not have restrictions on travelling cause they apparently can travel in decency, step back please.  He continues to ignore me and doesn’t move. 

Another guy standing to the front us says to 1st guy, when she’s asking you to move why don’t you just move?  2nd guy says, what is it to you? You are her what?

They start arguing. 2nd guy says to 1st guy, hey! speak to her however you want but speak to me with respect! Interesting how suddenly the dynamic of the situation changes.

It’s about respect, not towards me but to his manhood. Sufficiently angered they start shoving each other. I try to turn away and ignore them hoping they will stop and quit being assholes. But it escalates.

The other passengers are watching but not really doing anything to stop the fight. In a matter of seconds it turns horrifically ugly, 1st guy smashes his fist into 2nd guys face and 2nd guy falls to the floor, blood gushing out of his nose and forehead. The other passengers go wild. Few turn to me and start shouting, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, YOU STARTED THIS FIGHT, THIS IS ALL BECAUSE YOU CAME INTO THIS COACH.

I’m a little surprised and I try to tell them, I am not the reason they started fighting cause 1st guy didn’t speak with “respect” to 2nd guy. Of course no one is listening. The crowd is a frenzy. The 2nd guy get up off the floor, blood dripping everywhere, no one helps him.

One of the passengers steps up to me and shouts, DO SOMETHING THIS IS YOUR FAULT STOP THEM FROM FIGHTING.

Can you imagine stepping in between 2 aggressive physically violent men and trying to stop a fight?

Me, a girl? When all these other men in the coach haven’t yet made ANY moves to stop the fight!? The train stops at Akshardham station and 1st guy runs out. 2nd guy starts calling his friends and runs out as well. The crowd is screaming at me to call the cops. My shock is a delayed reaction, but it finally sets in. I am supposed to call the cops? If I was in an accident am I supposed to call the ambulance? I dial 100, networks choppy no surprises there. Someone answers, I give the details, which station, 2 men fighting, badly hurt. The guy on the other end of the line hangs up.

I can’t believe this is happening to me, I’m standing here in a coach with 50 odd men and they are all shouting at me. 

– YOU WOMEN ALWAYS DO THIS, YOU STARTED THIS FIGHT – I did not start anything, I spoke up because he wouldn’t move!

– WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE GO TO THE WOMEN’S COACH – I have as much right to be here as any of you. I’m not the reason the government made separate coach for women.

– YOU ARE THE REASON, GET OFF – The reason is men like you who cannot respect women and instead of stepping up to stop harassment you encourage it by segregating us.

Yes. I shouted these words. Perhaps not coherently. Perhaps not eloquently.

I couldn’t understand how even one individual out of all these people didn’t have the decency to REALLY see what had happened and try to stop it.

My disbelief had turned to royal fucking rage. There were a few women, who looked on like how you glance back at road accidents. I shouted at them as well, shame on you for standing there, this happens to you too and you don’t have the balls to say a word now.

My head was a screaming mess of thoughts, my heart felt it will explode. Strangely even though my knees were shaking like hell, I felt a strange compulsion to stay and not flee.

There’s a button by the door for emergencies. I recall this hours after the incident. The crowd wouldn’t let up. Every time the coach doors opened and new passengers got on they ask about all the blood on the floor, everyone starts pointing fingers at me,

– SHE STARTED A FIGHT BETWEEN 2 MEN. WHY DON’T YOU GET OFF, GET OFF GET OFF GET OFF!!!!

After 3-4 more stations I’m trying really not to fucking loose it. I continue to stand by the door. 

One man in the back shouts, Ladkiyan to hoti hi aisee hain… I turn to see who spoke, he’s hidden between passengers… wo dono pit gaye par isko koi asar nahi huya. I turn back, FUCK YOU! 

Another man from the front of the coach jumps out, HEY SHOW SOME RESPECT!! – Respect????? I’m aghast. Respect to whom? You all stand around and do nothing and I said fuck you so now you want to teach me respect. – YOU WILL SHOW RESPECT.  

– All the men all the time keep saying vile abuses, maa bahen ki gaaliyan and NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING TO THEM. I said fuck you, so you want to teach me respect!

I’m glad he didn’t dare. I do not know what I would have done. I start clapping and giving everyone the thumbs up, THANK YOU EVERYONE, brilliant display of support, I feel so good about my country. Keep it up.  I’m sure they all thought I have gone completely mad. I was mad. Stark raving mad. But I stood there listening to them talk and laugh and stare at me.

I wondered why I wasn’t crying or falling apart. My shock was tremendous, my disappointment crippled me. Frozen I continued to stand by that door.   7 stations later I get off at Rajiv Chowk. I do not know why I didn’t just get off before. I probably should have. But I felt at that point, perhaps stupidly now that I have hindsight, no fucking force on earth is going to make me feel like a victim, I’m not going to get off, I have as much right to be here as any one of these barbaric men. My knees wouldn’t quit shaking by the way, I felt as if I had no oxygen. I didn’t want to report it. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to be left alone, that’s all I had asked.

Thinking back I cannot still understand how literally the most ridiculous thing turned so ugly. I’m sure you are thinking, why did she do this, why didn’t she just leave, why did she even get in the general coach, what was she wearing, what does she look like to elicit such an incident. And you know what, that’s precisely the whole fucking point. It doesn’t matter what you think might be a cause or a reason. No one, NOT A SINGLE person had the balls to step up and help me. And all these 50 odd men, your regular joes, college kids, engineers going to office shouldering laptops, salesmen and just normal folks commuting.  I have never felt this alone.  And for the record, I’m AGAINST the separate coach for women. It is the most ridiculous solution the government came up with to ensure women traveler’s safety. Segregating men and women will never help anyone develop tolerance and respect for others PERSONAL SPACE.  Thank you for reading.

***
You can also read this story here,

http://doiwrite.blogspot.in/2012/06/in-her-own-words.html

What part can women play in preventing sexual harassment against themselves?

What part can women play in preventing sexual harassment against themselves?

1. If they are mothers, they can raise their sons to see women as people/humans.

They can raise their daughters with awareness of their rights.

(People who do not blame themselves are less easy to bully. If they are not blamed, they would be more likely to fight back.

Criminals seem to choose vulnerable looking people, so looking like someone who would be difficult to harass could help.)

2. If they see a woman being harassed they can support her in whichever ways they safely can. Sometimes just standing next to her maybe enough, because most bullies are cowards, and two is stronger than one.

3. They can ensure that no man or woman ever hears them blame women’s clothing or life style for crimes against them. (i.e. making excuses for the harasser)

What else can Indian women do to make public spaces safer for themselves?

Male escorts and whistles: IIT-Madras’s new safety plan.

What kind of measures would you recommend to make a place like this safe for women?

PT shared this.

‘IIT-Madras has created a new “safety plan” for female students which involves having male students who volunteer to escort them around the campus.
From the article:
“Male escorts for night strolls on campus and a whistle to hoot – that’s what women students of IIT-Madras can expect now.
IIT-M administrators, who have mapped ‘unsafe’ zones, have proposed that women should not move around after 11pm without escorts, who will mostly be male student volunteers.

What if the escort turns out to be a molester? Well, the student will have to carry a whistle which she has to blow in case of an emergency.”

If you’re a female student at an IIT-M hostel, your procedure for taking a walk outdoors would be as follows:
1. Go to the senior year student on your hostel flank.
2. State your purpose.
3. Have the senior call up the “volunteer”
4. Wait for the volunteer arrive.
5. Get your whistle, put it around your neck, and go for a walk, under the watchful eye of your “escort”.

It would be laughably stupid if it wasn’t so horribly regressive.

I can’t believe that one of India’s best tech schools could come up with nothing better than escorts and WHISTLES, for god’s sake. Even we lawyers do so much better than these so-called technocrats. 
.

Reminds you of Gurgaon roads being reserved for men and rapists after 8 pm? [link]

I agree with Times view.

“All they are doing through these rules is attacking the symptom, not the cause. Beefing up on-campus security … having 24×7 helplines, swift punitive action against any male student harassing women on campus; these are where the focus should be. The aim must be to create an environment where women feel safe, not simply confine them to their hostels.”

.

But who are these criminals who are harassing the women on the campus?

I googled and found this.

“Open Discussion With Director, Dean Student

An open discussion between the institute administration and the student body ….  address issues relating to hostel regulations and women’s security in campus… [Click to read more]

Security Concerns

… several incidents of attempted sexual harassment by men in motorcycles. The perpetrators have been found to be both from within and outside campus…

…The Director explained that the best measure against external security threats would be enlisting the services of a CISF force to guard the campus perimeter which, while effective, was rejected by administration due to the fact that their patrols are armed and are not answerable to anyone except their commandant. Also, the need for such measures was not felt since the threats were not that grave. While the administration takes regular measures to close breaches in the perimeter, they have been subject to failure. It was noted by the Director that residents outside the campus make mounds to climb over the walls and that police action in this regard had also proved ineffective. He also pointed out incidents where the infiltrating outsiders have been known to beat up security guards.

The following were the proposals discussed…

.

  • Self-defence training for women: the Dean Students noted that it was met with a positive response.
  • Cameras installed across campus, cited to be 2000 in number
  • Providing whistles: Dean Students mentioned that the suggestion came from the girl students themselves.
  • Pepper sprays
  • Paid escorts: this was a completely voluntary proposal, and constituted assigning students only at request.
  • Declaration of Safety: Dean Students clarified that this was not a safety measure, and that it applied to hostels of both genders. The declaration states briefly that the signatory is aware of the risks faced by wandering in the night outside safe zones, and of the potential consequences of taking these risks.”
What do you think of these measures?
Would such measures  work to warn sexual offenders, and generally create a safer environment for women in any place (given similar circumstances)?
What kind of measures would you recommend to make a place like this safe for women (and everybody else) – a place where outsiders are known to beat security guards, where the residents outside the campus make mounds to climb over the wall?
Do you think that crime against women is a reflection of the general state of crime and safety in a place?
.

Related Posts:

India might finally get proper laws against sexual harassment, instead of just “eve-teasing”.

An email from PT with a news to make you smile 🙂

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has prepared two Bills to protect children and women from sexual abuse and exploitation. These are the ‘The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011’ and ‘The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010’.

Have a look at the news piece here:

http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/Bills-to-protect-Children-and-Women-from-Sexual-abuse-and-Exploitation-13747.asp

From the article:

“The objectives of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011, are to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment, pornography. It provides for establishment of Special Courts for trial of such offences keeping the best interest of the child as of paramount importance at every stage of the judicial process. The Bill also incorporates detailed child-friendly procedures for reporting and trial of cases.”

and:

“‘The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010’ provides protection to all women, irrespective of her age or employment status, whether in the organized or unorganized sectors, and covers a client, customer, apprentice, daily wage worker, student/research scholar and patient in a hospital. The Bill defines “sexual harassment at the workplace” in a comprehensive manner, in keeping with the definition laid down in the Vishaka judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court, and broadens it further to cover the promise or threat to a woman’s employment prospects or creation of hostile work environment, which is equally detrimental to her equality rights. The Bill has also been reviewed by the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development. The Committee presented its report on 8th December 2011. It has made wide ranging recommendations on various provisions of the Bill and has suggested that the Bill may be passed after incorporating their recommendations regarding title of the Bill, issue of gender neutrality, inclusion of domestic workers, definition of employer, sexual harassment, concept of victimisation and complaint of sexual harassment etc.”

Both of these have been long-awaited and at this time, it appears that both bills are all set to pass through the legislature without much trouble. The sexual harassment bill may be changed to be gender neutral.

Haven’t had the time to actually read through the bills yet, but I’ll do it when I get the time.

Hope this cheers you up a bit, yes? After all, India might finally get proper laws against sexual harassment, instead of just “eve-teasing”.

Links to the original bills:
Protection of children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011:
The Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment At Workplace Bill, 2010:
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Thank You PT.

What goes on in the mind of an ‘Eve Teaser’?

Is it just disrespect for all women in general or also jealousy of any man who women seem to respect or prefer the company of?

And do all ‘eve teasers’ also try to control their sisters, daughters and wives, warning them against offending the sensibilities of men like themselves in public spaces? Like the man in this email, do they believe all public spaces belong to molesters?

1. On 20th October, six young people in Bombay, Andheri had dinner and stepped out for paan at 11 pm. A drunk man, Jitendra Rana, attempted to ‘eve tease’ (sexually harass) one of the women in the group, her boyfriend pushed this ‘eve teaser’ away. Rana left threatening to return. He returned with a violent mob of 13 men and stabbed Keenan Santos (24), Reuben Fernandez (29). [Link]

Santos, 24 died that night, and Rueben died this Monday.


2. On 15th February this year, Rajib Das, a class XI student was killed brutally while his 21 year old sister screamed for help, beating at the gates of an IAS officer’s house a 100 meters away.

Every night, either Rajib or his father would wait at Barasat station to take her home. Rajib was cycling his sister home, at Banikanthanagar 2 km away, when the gang stopped them… They wanted to douse his sister in liquor and take her away. Rajib would not let that happen.

Read more about Rajib Das here, and here.

The news was reported as, ‘Barasat eve-teasing case: prime accused nabbed” or “Eve-teasing: One arrested in Rajib Das’ killing“.

Was this a case of ‘Eve Teasing’? Calling it Eve-Teasing trivializes Sexual Harassment.

3. Hashiya from Tardeo was eight months pregnant, going for a sonography with her husband, when a group of men started harassing her. They molested the woman, attacked the man, some even using cricket bats!

“My husband was holding on to my shoulder to support me as I walked. The men began commenting snidely at what they perceived to be an obscene display of affection,” said Hashiya.

So they thought display of affection was obscene, and molesting was ‘decent’?

4. In Jan 2009, Muthalik claimed two consenting adults (unless same sex)  dancing and drinking (and generally being happy together) was obscene, he would probably support the molesters in Tardeo.

Pawan Shetty who fought back against these molesters in Mangalore, faced threats.

Is it possible for a decent man, who respects women (including those in his own family, his colleagues etc);  and is generally a law abiding citizen, to ‘eve tease’ or molest a woman?

Why do some women see western clothes and being able to flaunt their bodies, without fearing being called sluts, as empowerment?

Women, feminists and others, have been writing about their bodies, about sexual exploitation, about objectification. So, why is the SlutWalk being heralded as something that has finally arrived in India, like some colonial hangover after a rave party?  (Thanks for the link Hrishikesh)

1. I think because this protest is not a cautious plea disguised as protest. In Slut Walk women are not careful not to ‘cross their limits’ (limits set by those who seem to have no understanding of what they are protesting against, even when the problem affects them, they would rather stop a daughter from studying/working than understand the problem).

2. For the first time women are questioning the misconceptions about sexual crimes and what the victim was wearing. And demanding that they be respected as being the best judges of what is appropriate for them to wear (and read, eat, drink, talk etc).

3. Protesters are not asked to wear modest saris and salwar kurtas  (and wearing saris hasn’t automatically created an understanding so far).

Maybe protesting in saris conveyed that women thought saris were needed for women to be taken seriously? 

4. Like the Pink Chaddi Campaign, here too women are refusing to prove their Indian-ness to the molesters, law makers, law enforcers and the society, by protesting in ways that the society permits women to protest. (For example by sending bangles.)

5. Protests that were found satisfactorily modest and appropriately Indianised have not succeeded in creating awareness about how harmful victim blaming is for the society, and how it encourages crimes.

6. Women who disagree should think about what they were wearing when they were harassed on the street. Keep in mind that domestic helpers, construction workers and rural women of all ages face the same harassment.

My 17 year old cook in Pune was slapped by her uncle for carrying a cotton bag I had given her because it attracted attention to her. The small bag to hold her Entry Pass and a tiny FM radio was bought from Janpath, Delhi, and had pictures of Krishna all over it.

The Slutwalk is a minor tic, but today when everyone wants to be a concerned citizen, it could turn into a movement. I won’t be surprised if some media group joins in to sponsor the event. After all, we do have beauty pageants that already flaunt the female body as an example of empowerment.

In a society that uses clothes, to control women and their sexuality, why do some people see western clothes and being able to flaunt their bodies, without fearing being called sluts, (or being able to cock a snook at such attempts at labeling or controlling) as empowerment?

It’s the same as married women in India being ‘allowed to’ wear jeans or not be forced to wear sindoor, tali, mangalsutra are generally considered luckier.

For many women in India not being forced to do something is seen as empowerment.

The ramp is the precursor of the SlutWalk. No one calls it ‘besharmi’ because these girls are trained by ‘experts’ and Mother Teresa protégées in diction and clichés. They speak up for causes ranging from global warming to education.
Not one of them has spoken up for the real slut. The whore. The sex worker. The woman who works by getting fucked. Really.

If on the appointed day they can walk and show solidarity for those women, then these hawks can tawk.

Sexual harassment concerns everybody, all women (including sex workers). And their families and friends are affected. Why do they need to show solidarity for anybody else before they can expect crimes against them to be taken seriously?