Eve Teasing

Eve teasing is a term used in India and sometimes Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal for public sexual harassment, street harassment of women by men, with eve being a reference to the biblical Eve. Considered a problem related to criminal behavior in youth it is a form of sexual aggression that ranges in severity from sexually suggestive remarks, brushing in public places, catcalls, to complete groping. Sometimes it is referred to with a modest suggestion of innocent fun, making it appear safe with no resulting liability on the part of the person behind. Many feminists and voluntary organizations have suggested that the expression be replaced by a more appropriate term. According to them, considering the semantic roots of the term in Indian English, eve-teasing refers to the temptress nature of Eve, placing responsibility on the woman as a tease, as though the aggressive response of the males was normal rather than criminal.

Eve-teasing has been a notoriously difficult crime to prove, as the person behind often plan clever ways to attack women, even though many feminist writers term it as "little rapes" and usually occur in public places, streets, and public transport.

Some guidebooks to the area warn female tourists that eve teasing may be avoided by wearing conservative clothing, though eve teasing is reported both by local women and by conservatively-dressed foreign women.

Though the problem received public and media attention in 1960s, it was in the following decades, when more and more women started going out to colleges and work independently, which means they are often no longer accompanied by a male escort as had been a custom in traditional society, that the problem grew to an alarming proportion. Soon the Government had to take remedial measures, both judicial and law enforcement, to curb the danger and efforts were made to sensitize the police about the issue, and police started rounding up eve teasers. The deployment of plain-clothed female police officers for the purpose has been particularly effective; other measures seen in various states were setting up of Women's Helpline in various cities, Women Police stations, and special anti-eve-teasing cells by the police.

Also seen during this period was a marked rise in number women coming forward to report incidence of eve-teasing like cases of sexual harassment due to changing public opinion against eve teasers. In addition, the severity of eve-teasing incidences grew as well, in some cases leading to acid throwing, which in turn led to states like Tamil Nadu making eve teasing a non bailable offense. The number of women's organization and those working for women's rights also saw a rise, especially as this period also saw a rise in reports of bride burning. The increase in violent incidents towards women meant previously careless attitudes towards women's rights had to be abandoned by law makers. In the coming years, such organizations played a key role in lobbying for the eventual passing of legislation designed to protect women from violent eve-teasing.

Many other cases go unreported for fear of revenges and exposure to public shame. In some cases police let the offenders go, after public humiliation and ordinary punishment. Traditionally, cinema has depicted eve teasing as a part of teasing beginnings of a courtship, along with the usual accompaniment of song and dance routines, which invariably results in the heroine submitting to the hero's advances towards the end of the song, and young men tend to emulate the example, depicted so faultlessly on screen and which gave rise to the Roadside Romeo which even made it a film version in Roadside Romeo (2007)(Staring Saif Ali Khan). It also has been popularly depicted that when a girl is teased by eve teasers, the hero will come and beat them up, such as in the Telugu films "Madhumasam" and "Magadheera" and also the Hindi Movie "Wanted". Nowadays, this issue is also featured in Television Soaps.

(Mostly collected from web)