FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT/ EVE-TEASING-
FAQ I) What is eve-teasing/ sexual harassment?
Walking out of your house wondering if today I’ll be able to drive around, go out without being harassed .
It’s driving around and getting harassed (ofcourse it would happen)- by some shady boys in an even shadier car.
It’s walking in the market, minding your own business and boys stopping to stare at you- up and down, left to right and snicker and nudge his friends to check you out.
It’s sitting and drinking coffee and boys taking pictures of you and your friends with their cell phones.
It’s standing in line to buy a movie ticket and random men brushing against you and then standing on the side and STARING.
It’s your 10 year old niece going for a cycle ride and random men going up to her and telling her they will drop her home.
It’s finding a website with pictures of girl’s from your city (some who you know) which some pervert has made.
It’s walking your dog in your vicinity where you have lived your ENTIRE life and getting groped (like disgustingly groped) by two ch*%#as on a scooter.
It’s being followed by two big ugly men on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway despite having two men in the car.
It’s you and your Mum walking and men stopping and shouting lewd comments at the both of you.
It’s walking in a park and having a shadow follow you through your entire walk. Walking should be stress free!
It’s going out with your friends and one trying to make a move on you when he knows he shouldn’t.
It’s finding a masturbating man behind your house, in the gully.
It’s having a cycling + masturbating man past you and your friends in broad daylight once, then twice, then thrice…
It’s having men drive past your house at all odd times, cos they have seen you somewhere- followed you home and decide to STALK you.
It’s drunk uncles (over the age of 50) who follow you around in a bar saying “Hello” and smiling what he thinks is his best smile but is only full of his rotting teeth and halitosis!
It’s whistling school boys.
It’s frustrated Uncles.
It’s pinching men.
It’s rear-view mirror adjusting Autowallas.
It’s someone from the village, it’s someone from a good family, it’s a rehri-walla, a college student. It’s anyone. Anyone who is male, that is.
It could be you.
FAQ II) So, what do we do about people who sexually harass/ eve-tease us?
Ø For a STARER- We ignore them? No! We look them eye to eye and challenge them. We make sure they never ever have the chance or the thought to do what they’ve done again.
STAGES OF OUR CHALLENGE-
1. We stare at them, a nice long icy stare.
Now chances are the perpetrator will do one of two things- he looks away and moves on, OR he continues to stare without faltering for a second. The second is more common these days.I’m not sure why, but these days men seem to have a lot of bravado that is uncalled for- watching too many superhero movies I guess. Well, we must dispel this ridiculous thought from their minds.
Ok, so if he looks away and moves away, we don’t chase him because if we chased EVERY man that stared- we’d have no time to live our lives.
2. At the guy, who doesn’t look away. Ask him what he’s looking at (usual stuff- “ ghar mein ma/bhen nahin hai?”) .We ask calmly,let’s not get agitated just yet.
3. He snickers and continues to stare. Sometimes, he starts reaching into his pants. He can’t help it! I mean, come on, women are such a rare sight! Pshhhh
4. You can either take out a camera (your phone or otherwise ) and take a picture of him, which will either shock him or will anger him.
5. Or, if you’re in quite a busy place, like a market or railway station- start yelling and making a commotion and pointing at Mr.Stare-a-lot.
6. Better still call the cops/ women help line or the best would be if there is a cop around- just say EVE – TEASER and leave him to the cops.
Ø For a FOLLOWER (car/bike/otherwise)- call the cops. Don’t hesitate. Call them. Don’t forget to have their vehicle number! Always helps, if the followers see you noting their number down and making an obvious phone call to the cops.
Ø For a PINCHER/ GRABBER- Turn around and PUNCH/ SLAP/KICK/SCRATCH whatever you can do. Yup. That is the only solution. Just don’t beat up the wrong person.
Ø For the MASTURBATOR-Take garden shearers and cut the damn thing off. I got no other solution for this variety nor any sympathy. Sorry, if it’s a bit violent but when it comes to this stuff, controlling my rage is hard.
FAQ III) Do these methods/solutions always work?
No, they don’t. Sometimes, the cops don’t come in time, they sit and stare at you and tell them to call another number cos this isn’t there area.
Sometimes, the perps can be scary and you can be alone in a strange,unfamiliar area.
Sometimes, they run.
Sometimes, they threaten.
Sometimes, they go beyond reality and do things which are scary to mention- rape, rape, rape.
FAQ IV) So, then why do we try to do something?
Because if we don’t, things will never get better- they will only get worse.
And we don’t deserve to be treated like objects.
NOTE- This is a note to all the men out there who think it’s their bloody birthright to lech at women and think they can get away with it. You better quit it asap cos we are going to retaliate harder than ever before.
Just like every drop in the ocean counts, every guy you yell at, report and even slap/hit/kick (cos most of them deserve it) - makes a difference. No longer should we sit back and allow boys/men/uncles to treat us like we’re made for them to stare,grope at.