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If a woman doesn’t protest, does it mean you can abuse her as much as you can?

In the countries like India and Bangladesh, eve teasing is so common in the streets. Group of boys sit together in a street and they will call girls passing in front of them whatever name they want like “sexy”, “hot”. In India, I have mostly heard is “Pataka” and “Maal”. “Pataka” means crackers and “Maal” means commodity. Even whistling is very common.
Day by day, this trend has become a vital part of youth culture. This takes different form as the climax of the story. Sometimes, this will end up in rape or sexual assault or sometimes turns into so called love story. If a girl feels uncomfortable about this and she complains or protests, she will be the victim of boys’ ego sometimes, which will lead to negative consequences. And, sometimes the story will be taken to the other side claiming that the boy tried really hard.
These words are problematic because it objectifies women. Sometimes people don’t even realize that these things are derogatory. But from where this trend initiated?
The credit goes to our Bollywood movies. In the movie, or we can say in the so called romantic Indian movies, every time there is a style. If a guy likes a girl, he will approach to her through eve teasing. The girl protests sometimes, or sometimes she gives hint that it doesn’t matter or she feels loved. Then the couple fights, the fight is termed as “cute”. I don’t see any cuteness there. If the teasing is persistent, which compels the girl to rethink about her decision. The guy who was hated by the girl will eventually be loved by the girl then the story becomes so cute love story. So, the story is seen as the guy really loved her and he tried to gain her. As the proverb says, “try, try until you gain”. So, the guy gains the girl. These sort of movies are the real source of inspiration for the guys who thinks sometimes some girls will fall for their eve teasing. It is so sad, these guys who tease them are seen as cute, and the one who does not approach in that way are seen as so dumb. They are remained unnoticed. I would say, they will be single for long time and it is like people even sometimes think they do not exist. I mean, "to come into lime light, one must tease girls" is preached by movies. Here, I also want to clarify, all movies are not like that. I am talking about so called cute Hindi movies where eve teasing is portrayed as a tool to gain love from a girl.
Moreover, I have noticed sometimes girls do not even protest. I was in a tea stall with one of my friend. Her boyfriend approached towards us and waved his hand. He then told the girl, "today you are looking "maal". As a response, the girl smiled at her boyfriend. I told her, "this is commodification. How can he called you like this? He is your boyfriend. He does not have any respect towards you". The girl enlightened me with the new meaning of "maal". She said, "by saying maal he meant that I am looking beautiful". I replied her, "I don't understand the meaning of maal if it means beautiful. Is uttering beautiful too hard for him?" She did not reply me anything. But I told her, "this is apparent that you are igniting eve teasing. Only difference is he is you boyfriend. But no matter if its a boy or a girl. We can't use that word for any one." She then broke her silence, and grumbled, "you are becoming more radical these days. Don't create an issue on this now".
I was shocked and ashamed of her thinking. But the thing is that these days youth are so used to it that they do not realize the problem of the words. Beautiful is the best word to appreciate if someone is beauty. These changing connotation of words are born due to the movies which portray such deed as cute. Eve teasing should be eliminated from the love story in order to get rid of eve teasing in real life. Furthermore, no matter if the word has positive connotation, the actual meaning of the word should always be taken into consideration. Big or small, teasing is always teasing. One should not support this by listening and claiming the different meaning of the words.

Comments

kirthijay's picture

Agree!

Hi there,
I completely agree with your thoughts. I share your shock and shame, too. Thank you for being a vocal fighter about these issues!

hanasazi's picture

I had not heard this called

I had not heard this called eve teasing before, but what a descriptive way to name. Your writing is not only clear and easy to read, but you express your thoughts so well and selected a perfect example to illustrate the problem. I was just commenting on a post by Shahd about the same thing. You bring up a good point about the influence of popular media on the behavior of young men, and how it deceives us into accepting behavior that should make us very uncomfortable, even making it desirable to young women. You were wise to point out the way changing the meaning of words is a tactic used by some men to justify their actions, and how it can actually lead to violence and sexual assault on women. We see a lot of this in the States, too, and the only solution I have come up with is to cultivate any respectful non-sexual relationships that are possible so that other men and boys have something positive upon which to pattern their own relationships and treatment of women.

Thank you so much for your wonderful post! Please keep writing and sharing! You certainly are a Ray of Hope, and it's a pleasure to meet you through your journal here at World Pulse!


Hannah

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