Eve teasing is a euphemism used in India to refer to the sexual harassment of women in public. The word Eve being a biblical reference to the first woman created. It is mostly thought to be a problem related with youth delinquency and it ranges in severity. It can be anything from the uttering of sexually suggestive comments, public brushing to flat-out groping of women in public. Sometimes, this term can be referred to lightheartedly thus making it to seem innocuous. In such cases, the act does not result in any charges being filed against the perpetrator of the crime.
The main challenge that faces the victims of this crime is how to prove it. It can be very difficult to prove that a total stranger harassed you sexually. This is mainly because the architects behind these crimes come up with nifty ways of harassing women. Eve teasing first got media attention in the 1960’s when women started becoming more independent. As a result of this independence, women started going out in public without male accompaniment as was the case before. Since then, the problem grew at an alarming rate forcing the Indian government to take measures to remedy the situation.
The police were sensitized about the situation and they started rounding up offenders. The most effective measure has been the deployment of female officers in plain clothes. Despite efforts to remedy this ail; most cases go unreported because the victims are afraid of public shame and retaliation. Many people are opposed to the use of this term because it simplifies the act of sexual harassment. The portrayal of teasing in Bollywood cinema can be said to contribute to the problem. When a person sees this in a film, they might be tempted to think that it is a form of flirting and that women like it.
In Mumbai, India, some trained compartments referred to as Ladies Special have been introduced so as to make women feel safe while travelling. The law protects women from such acts by punishing the offenders. Making obscene gestures and using lewd body language when addressing a woman is punishable by a one year jail term or a fine or both. Eve teasing should not be taken lightly by either men or women. To curb the problem, women should ensure that they report any occurrences. Men on the other hand should learn to treat women with the respect that they deserve.