Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eve Teasing/Female sexual harassment in India

There was an interesting response from "Bharathiya Nari" to my previous post - titled India Bashing: Favorite tourist activity - commenting about "eve teasing" of women on the streets of India.

Why do we have this problem, this "eve teasing"? 

Three reasons;
One, our culture seeks to confine sexuality to marriage including placing intense emphasis on a women's chastity while being very forgiving of male peccadilloes; thus repressing and titillating some men...

Two, men do not have innumerable outlets like topless bars, strip clubs, peep shows etc etc (as these outlets are rightly considered distasteful in our culture) to satiate their lust at whatever level they choose. I mean, not every one is hungry all the time for the complete sex act, or always up for visiting sex workers! What if at the end of a long hard work-day, a man decides that the best way for him to de-stress is to watch a pair of bouncing boobs without being called upon to perform in return?! Yeah yeah, we have Bollywood but what if he feels that nothing beats a live act? Not that there are live acts on the Indian streets but he could use the "male gaze", I mean his X Ray eyes on live women.... everywhere else in the world, women in India too are objectified one way or the other which means they are open targets for male entertainment whenever and wherever the men choose to use their "privilege".

So does this mean legal and organized sexual entertainment for men, using a woman's weaknesses, be it moral, emotional or economical, in the form of strip clubs etc has no connotations of sexual harassment??

Aren't both eve teasing and the regulated sexual entertainment industry different symptoms of the same problem? A forgiving acceptance of uncontrolled male libido and objectification of women? Well, of course, eve teasing is not legal and not considered least in theory.

Eve teasing is another instance of a universal problem assuming a unique form in India. 

1. I am aware of the existence of male strippers, male sexual harassment by females etc...but this post is chiefly about female issues in response to the comment, not a comprehensive analyses of this topic.
2. I am not branding the entire male population as repressed or sexually uncontrolled, only those who get their joys out of eve teasing/sexual harassment.

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