I think after a certain point of time we girls get used to the looks we get when we’re out of the house, whether wearing a suit or shorts, I don’t think it has ever made a difference. No matter what time of the day, there will always be that boy who stares at you until you feel uncomfortable and your skin starts crawling. Some of them even call you disgusting names and begin to follow you until you get on the bus or catch an auto and leave but no matter how far behind you leave those boys, the words they said ring in your head and the fear stays until you’re in familiar surroundings.
For a very long time, there was nothing being done about such cases. Girls had to just shut up and suffer but now maybe things can finally change for us. Recently the Delhi High Court announced that eve-teasing and stalking violate a woman’s right to live in light of another event of stalking. A 22-year-old man named Rajesh was taken to court on the charge of stalking a girl when she went for tuition classes. Rajesh continued this even after the girl showed disinterest in him. He would follow her to her bus stop and then stand near her seat showing gestures and saying things to insult her modesty. Upon being found guilty Rajesh was sentenced three months in jail for his crime and had to give a compensation of Rs 10,000 to the victim.
In the past, the blame for stalking fell on the victim. It was either way she dresses or the fact that she dares to leave her house alone. Nobody raised a finger against the person actually stalking the girl because its probably not even his fault right?
“Eve-teasing has become a menace in the society due to which women feel unsafe and nervous to move out alone. Eve-teasing is a typical social crime which violates the right to live and liberty of the women in the metropolitan cities,” Magistrate Susheel Bala Dagar said.
The high court has decided that any man found violating a woman’s right to live should be given a punishment that discourages other like-minded men from doing the same.
“Acts of stalking, passing lewd remarks and gestures, brushing against the woman’s body and passing vulgar comments are some of the things which women in metropolitan cities face all the time and what exactly happens simply depends upon the opportunity which the perverts get. Men who indulge in such enjoyment do not seem to realise how a woman may be affected by their comments and acts. These men feel it right to show their attention and aggression towards women. They rather feel validated by acting sexually and aggressively towards women. In case of eve-teasing and stalking, the seriousness of the offence lies not in the extent of punishment it carries but on the impact, it has social psyche and public order,” the magistrate said.
So I think after such a decision it is a time we let men go for such acts on the basis of “boys will be boys”. We as women have a right to live our lives the way we want to. No matter what kind of clothing you are wearing, it is not anyone’s right to follow you and make you feel ashamed of it. Next time someone follows you or makes lewd remarks, remember that it is against the law to do so and call up the police. It’s time to start discouraging such activities. It’s time for a change.