"This blogger" makes his point about why BNP is not being helpful to either men or women with it's stand on "looking". The truth is, several aspects of "eve-teasing" are extremely intangible. So it seems like while a grope or a physical act warrants reaction, and can also be condemned lawfully, one cannot complain against "looking" because that is the fundamental right of the man. We have several rights. We also have responsibilities. And have to follow certain social norms and basics of respecting fellow human beings in a society. It's just sad that the issue of respecting a woman seems to have no bearing in the average street-life in India. Everyone who's been "looked at" in a perverted way knows what "looking" BNP refers to when they say "no looking". It is not the ordinary harmless "looking" that all the pious saints will claim to do, and hence feel uncomfortable by this campaign. Who's to decide or differentiate what "look" is okay and what's not? I don't know, indeed , the lines blur there, and perhaps that's why there' s no law against "looking". But the way I see it, BNP is protesting against the kind of "looking" that is derogatory, offensive and I stand by the fact that "looks" alone can harass or demean. There's no other way for me to explain that, unfortunately.
Why let the look offend you, you say? "Are you that weak?" I don't see why a woman's self-esteem is being blamed for her reaction to eve-teasing to start with. An individual's self-esteem is not the business of a complete stranger who has nothing to do with the individual. So a self-assured woman may walk away unaffected by it, but that doesn't stop the pervert. He is still continuing to be a nuisance, if not to this woman, to the next. Oftentimes, the harassment doesn't end there either. So every woman should be as self-assured and as capable of being unaffected by these perverts? While that would be ideal, yes, is every man self-assured and self-confident? (No, staring at girls walking down the street does not make a confident man). Then WHY do women- self-assured or not, have to struggle or put up with this, or have to invest effort in bearing / ignoring/giving it back to eve-teasers??
While I agree with several points jyothsnay made in her comments @ retributions, women have to take on assault confidently. assertively, and humiliate the pervert the best they can, my question is WHY do we have to deal with this to start with? Because it is there? So lets just deal with it? NO. When are men going to learn not to objectify women? "Eve-teasing" has been going on for eons, yes. That doesn't make it excusable in any way. Which is why BNP's attempt to make the public realise that they cannot get away with misbehaving is commendable. Are they being extreme? Are some of their points a little overboard? Perhaps yes. I don't blindly agree with all that they profess either. I am not an advocate of blind "militant feminism" myself and I don't think the BNP is about that. And no, I don't think this is a "them" versus "us" fight, nor do I interpret that from BNP's campaign. But I am not going to harp on what I find objectionable about BNP. Because I choose to reserve my outrage for the fact that in this day and age, it is still thought that "men will tease, we have to deal with it smartly".
BNP's campaign against "looking" is not all they have to their credit. They are making resources available, actually discussing and taking to the streets an issue that has for long been put away as "hota hai" and so I find BNP an empowering initiative. It's an effort to revolt against men who think eve-teasing is their birthright. Please realise, they are fighting an attitude, a culture, deeply ingrained in the psyche of the common man on the street in India. From what I see, I don't think they are advocating a weak stance either. Stare back, fight back, and then also educate, make people aware. This fight has arisen out of a lot of frustration at having to expend energy to deal with sexual harassment, in whatever way each one might have chosen to deal with it. When no external source of help- the law, the police, or even the general public has come to the rescue of a victim of sexual harassment. I sure hope that BNP doesn't die down and fade away.
Yes, women must stand up to the lechers and fight back. But that is not enough. Uncivilized behaviour has got to stop. It is unacceptable. If men turned their backs and went back to doing it when they were told before, they need to be told again. and again. in every way possible. Until they get it.