Eve teasing is a silent repulsive crime….
The Roadside Romeo.
He’s here, he’s there, he is everywhere.
Eve teasing is a silent repulsive crime rampant all over the world. More so in India that I am more cognizant of it’s excessiveness and its demoralizing and many times fatal effects there.
What is Eve teasing? Women all over the world have at some point or the other been a victim of it. A leering look, a wolf whistle, a slight touch here, an ‘accidental’ brush against a breast, blatant groping, grinding in a crowded bus.
Who is this predator? He could be anyone. That lecherous uncle who comes over for the holidays. That distant cousin with raging hormones out of control. That middle aged teacher, local shop keeper, the lift man, the dentist, the uncouth young cad in the local bus sniffing you from behind. They are everywhere.
Someone you would least suspect. Someone you are supposed to trust. Someone who is supposed to protect you.
They are the ubiquitous assholes with octopus hands groping and poking for their pleasure and cheap thrills. These silent predators wait and watch for their victims and pounce on them at any given time, in a crowded place, in a lonely corner. They don’t care. They have no control over their animalistic lusty hormones. I wish I could line them all up and castrate them. The victims are left feeling unclean and molested and used.
“Do you never look at yourself when you abuse another person?” — Plautus
Who is the victim? She is anyone from one, two, three years old to eighty, ninety. She is someone’s mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister. The predator does not care. What is common with the victims? They are silent. They are silent because they know no one will stand up for them, no one will protect them. They are first humiliated by the despicable transgressors and then by trying to talk about it or seek help.The victim grows up and moves on with numerous of these instances under her armor.
By the time you are grown up you have lost faith and trust in humanity.
I remember when I was probably around 3 or 4 years old and visiting my maternal grandparents in Punjab. The family had an old caretaker we all called uncle. I know he was old as he had a flowing white beard and wore a high white turban. Like an Indian Santa Claus. He was in charge of taking the children to the park and watching over them. I remember being in the park that day and my cousins playing and him putting me on his lap. I remember his bristly beard scrapping behind my neck and something uncomfortable on my back. I didn’t know anything at that time of course, I was only 3 but as I grew older, I always thought of it with disgust and a creepy shiver flow through me. Yuck! It still disgusts me and the thought of umpteen young girls who go through this…..this abominable experience.
I feel so sorry for the little me. Why is it that even after over 48 years, I can still remember everything clearly. The exact color of the blue sky, the warmth of the sun, the sounds of children playing and me …….feeling things I shouldn’t have had to.
The one thing I expounded upon relentlessly to my daughters since they were wee bit was to always, always tell me everything no matter how uncomfortable. I had to keep them safe and always had a hawk eye on them and any man around.
It’s was a different scenario though when I was in college and a little more mature. And then if any of those infernal feral roadside Romeo’s even touched me, I would get my fangs out and strike back. I took to wearing high heels and would literally stamp their feet in retaliation or call them out in public. Much to the consternation of my friends who would tell me to tone it down. Who could tell if one of these guys could get vicious! Maybe fling some acid on my face!
Once during a bus ride with some friends I noticed my friend who was sitting on the aisle seat, suddenly went pale and starting looking very uncomfortable. I asked her what happened and she just shook her head and didn’t say anything. It was then I noticed the man standing beside her was digging his ugly manhood into her shoulders. The poor thing didn’t know what to do. The spitfire in me poured out and I stood up and told my friend to sit in my seat. I then shoved him hard with my heavy backpack and sent him reeling. He just smirked. The repulsive scoundrel actually laughed and walked away. They are all that way. They know we can do naught to them and their kind.
Many incidents and I remember every one of them. We all do. The smell of their horrible breath, their fetid body odors. I wish I could erase every one of those nightmares. I remember reading an article by Vicki Rivard many years ago –Does it count? Does it count? Does it count?
Yes, it does. Yes it does. Yes it does! Every single one of them counts.
I know that every woman remembers them. And none of the men do.
The woman may be weak to not fight back or seek help but they are strong enough or maybe accustomed enough to physically ignore it. Some times these seemingly innocent or mild instances can turn fatal. The umpteen brutal rapes and murders and the acid flinging if you don’t reciprocate their amorous advances. These are enough for women to keep quiet and ignore them.
Should there be something done about this? Hell yes! Can there be something done about this? Absolutely! Is there or will there be something done about it?
Sonia H Kumar