By guest author Darshini Shah
According to the “Indian Journal of Criminal and Criminalistics,” eve teasing can be identified in five areas: verbal, physical, psychological, sexual, and harassment through objects (Warrier, 2013).
While India does not have a uniform law for eve teasing, there are Indian Penal Codes that serve as a legal remedy. However, these transgressions are bailable; the fines often an insignificant amount; and the prohibitions are often not enforced (Pandey, 2011).
In one study of eve teasing in undergraduate students, Ghosh (2011) found that psycho-social factors such as internalized beliefs in patriarchy, poor socialization, the media, and lack of legal understanding contribute to sexual harassment.
Psychologists also note that many men are sexually repressed and invoke a range of power dynamics (e.g., emotional, psychological, and physical) to suppress assertiveness in women (Pandey, 2011).
One of the most tragic incidences of eve teasing occurred in 2012, when a female student was gang-raped on a public bus in Delhi, India, and eventually died (Wolf, 2013). While there are many cases that go unreported and under-reported, this case provoked a public outcry, protest, and discourse on women’s safety, rights, agency, violence, patriarchy, systemic and community awareness, political and social will, and equality.
A national and global consciousness awakened, and at present, certain solutions have been actualized, such:
- A hotline to call-in for a transgression
- Sensitization of police and law enforcement
- Reforming laws
- Educating and raising awareness in public spaces, such as an educational, community, and commercial (e.g., malls and theaters) settings (The Times of India, 2013).
A short film by Indian film director Anurag Kashyap addresses this social issue, particularly gender sensitization and equality (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/that-day-after-everyday-watch-anurag-kashyaps-short-film-on-sexual-harassment-of-women/431508-8-66.html ).
Darshini Shah is a researcher and a yoga instructor who divides her time between India and the United States.
Ghosh, D. (2011). Eve teasing: Role of the patriarchal system of the society. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 37, p. 100-107.
New helpline to complain about eve-teasing, molestation. (2013, January 2). The Times of India. Retrieved from http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-01-02/jaipur/36110519_1_helpline-collectorate-register-complaints
That day after everyday: Watch anurag kashyap’s short film on sexual harassment of women. (2013, October 31). IBNLive.com. Retrieved from http://ibnlive.in.com/news/that-day-after-everyday-watch-anurag-kashyaps-short-film-on-sexual-harassment-of-women/431508-8-66.html
Warrier, V.S. (2013, October 4). Eve teasing: A perennial problem in today’s society. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/notes/aware/eve-teasing-a-perennial-problem-in-todays-society/168773969993901
Wolf, N. (2013, January 3). Ending India’s rape culture. Aljazeera. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/01/20131393027992335.html
Women rally against ‘eve teasing’ in south asia. (2011, March 1). Dawn. Retrieved from http://beta.dawn.com/news/609882/women-rally-against-eve-teasing-in-south-asia