Thoughts from Chennai
23 Feb 2012 8 Comments
22 Feb 2012 4 Comments
12 Feb 2012 1 Comment
Originally published on Hollaback.
Eve teasing is something that is always glorified in movies and accepted as funny even by women folk to watch on screen. From the yesteryear movies where MGR would tease Saroja Devi and she would behave like a damsel in distress unable to deal with it, but eventually fall madly in love with him, to a modern day Bala movie “Avan Ivan” where Arya teases Nivedita crudely and still she falls in love with him, this has been the accepted scenario by every one.
Why talk about today’s talkies, you might say, this was the case even between Murugan and Valli. Drama was added to the love lore of Murugan and Valli when Murugan as an old man teased Valli and eventually became Her consort.
This some how gives the impression to the young and many times the old men that women can be teased and there is nothing wrong with that. Whistling, cat calls and lurid comments made when a girl passes by are a few forms of teasing. Following her and if an opportunity arises touching her anywhere in the body are some other forms of eve teasing. Somehow men fail to realise that this is sexual harassment and very offensive to women folk. Why, until Sarika Shah died of eve teasing even the government was lax in its laws and punishments for eve teasing.
When I was growing up I was teased. I always got angry and every time I retorted. Some times ignoring the teasers also helps. They give up after some time. But I have slapped a guy who touched me inappropriately in a bus and he got down in the next stop without saying a word. I am sure he would not have learnt anything from that incident. The root cause for this problem lies in upbringing. In households where women are treated with respect children learn that it is wrong to be teased as well as to tease. Parents have a huge responsibility here. The husband and the in-laws have to treat the wife/daughter-in-law with respect. The woman on her part, ifill-treated, should not take it lying down. This is a tight-rope walk for a woman in a household where she is not treated well, as she has to make her marriage work and at the same time be heard. As a mother she can very well create a new generation of well behaved adults. She has the power. Both daughter and son have to be educated on what is appropriate behaviour. Children should not fear to confide in their parents when they have a problem relating to sexual harassment.
Many times the victim becomes the accused in our society. So they would rather put up with the nonsense than bringing it in the open. If there is both a boy and a girl in the family, both have to be treated equally. Of course the needs will differ for both of them but partiality to one gender must be consciously avoided. Parents should not condone what is wrong when done by one person and object when the same act is done by somebody else. Teach the boy to help a lady if she is being eve teased. Teach the girl to object to eve teasing.
Somehow there is this other belief as well that eve teasing happens because of how a woman dresses up. This again is preached in movies by heroes (from Rajini to Vijay) who are fully clothed with even an added scarf and a sweater in a Swiss locale and where the heroine is made to prance around in the snow in a skimpy two piece suit. A woman has the freedom to dress the way she wants. Of course she has to use her discretionary powers wisely like in every other decision that she makes. But men cannot assume that they can tease somebody because in their eye she has not dressed up appropriately. Unfortunately a lot rests on the woman’s shoulder to eradicate eve teasing. She has to be more assertive and not be bulldozed. The society has to take more responsibility. There’s no use in women’s liberation organisations objecting to movies where women dress up in scant clothes. They should seriously object to the content in movies where eve teasing is glorified. The police stations must be really helpful to women who seek their help. Schools and colleges should take an extra effort to educate their students on the evils of eve teasing. Honestly it is a joint effort, if this has to go away from this society.
11 Feb 2012 11 Comments
06 Feb 2012 2 Comments
There is a beautiful Saiva Adheenam in Kauai, Hawaii whose previous pontiff was Sivaya Subramuniya Swamy. We called him Gurudeva. He was an embodiment of love. Once, while talking to us, he asked us if we knew why the North Indians fared very well in business. He then continued to say that N.Indians always spoke about business matters with their children around them. After school, the children also helped the father in the business. So they grew up watching their father in action and when they inherited the business did better, with the knowledge acquired from their father all along. You can see this culture in the N.Indian households even now.
06 Feb 2012 5 Comments
02 Feb 2012 Leave a comment
Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law are both women. Only a daughter-in-law goes on to become a mother in law. Yet something happens in the transformation that changes the same woman into a totally different person!