Eve teasing

Most of my readers, as far as I know, have English as their first language (South Africans excepted), and come from so-called advanced white western societies.

In the pursuit of feminism, many people think because women have got the vote and we have equal opportunities legislation in force, that there is no need for feminism. After all, there is no disparity. Is there? I’ll look at this in more detail when I write a post on ‘What about teh menz?’

For now though, hold that thought, and let’s look elsewhere. Because feminism and women’s position of inequality, is worldwide.

When I grew up, there were three women Prime Ministers. India, Ceylon and Israel had all beaten Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the USA to elect a woman as leader of their country.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike was in power from 1970–72 and Indira Gandhi held office from 1966–77. It was the late 80s before Benazir Bhutto was elected prime minister of Pakistan, and the first woman to become head of state of any Muslim nation. Like Indira Gandhi, Bhutto was assassinated. (Note to self: not a good idea to become a woman prime minister of India or Pakistan.) Khalida Zia became the first woman prime minister of Bangladesh in 1991.

I mention these women specifically because this post is about south Asia, ie the India sub-continent, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan primarily.

One of the sillier arguments against feminism, is that, when a woman achieves a powerful position, ergo, there is no further need for society to do anything. If a woman can be prime minister, surely that proves we have equality between the sexes?

Well, simply. No. Especially when they get killed.

Back in the UK, we had a political drive to ensure our boards were made up equally of men and women (it didn’t last long). My chair, who was a woman, said: ‘As I’m a woman, we don’t need any other women on the board, do we?’

No, Syl. That is not equal representation. One woman lording it over eight or nine men does not equality represent. Typical Queen Bee syndrome.

Although a recent study debunks the Queen Bee. Grauniad reports on this study by Columbia University.

But in the groundbreaking countries of South Asia with their early women prime ministers, we have ‘Eve teasing‘ which I learned about via Carissa’s fascinating Mumbai-based blog.

This was a new one on me, so I thought I would share it with my dear readers.

It’s basically sexual harassment that can range from verbal to physical abuse, ie from sexually suggestive comments to groping.

In itself, the name, is an excellent example of sexism in language.

It comes from Eve as the temptress, because it’s always a woman’s fault, right?

And it’s teasing. It’s fun and flirtatious to be on the receiving end of sexual comments, be regarded as an object for someone else’s sexual pleasure, and be sexually assaulted. This is not teasing. At all.

But, wait, the solution to this is to dress conservatively, or ensure one has a man with one after dark. Or probably at all times.

Carissa’s account here.

For the record I had no problems in India in 84/85, although I did have problems in Italy the same year and in the Phillippines. Morocco has been fine too, although years before he met me, my partner teamed up with a couple of women who were getting unwanted attention aka sexual harassment.

We should call these criminal offences what they are. They are not attention or teasing. They are at best insulting, but the bottom line is that they are sexual harassment, which in the case of physical contact, becomes sexual assault/aggression. Because, no, men do not have a right to touch a woman’s breasts or bottom. Or any part of her body. Or tell her what they want to do to her.

So you see, we can have all the legislation in place to promote ‘equality’, we can have women leaders, but until we change societal attitudes, we will not eliminate the discrimination against women and their status as sexual objects. (Obviously when they pass the useful sexual stage they no longer have status). And the rights of men to regard them as such.

‘What about teh menz?’ will be up soon. Ish.

About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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21 Responses to Eve teasing

  1. mrs fringe says:

    Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for this! We are still so far from equality, in every way, in (just about) every culture and country. And your point cannot be made frequently or loudly enough, sexual teasing outside of requested-in-the-bedroom variety is not teasing or harmless. It’s harassment at best, assault at worst.


    • Thought you might agree 😉

      Spain, incidentally, has no problem with nudity. Since Franco’s death, nudity on beaches became legal, and although there are specific nudist beaches, topless sunbathing, and nudist, is common practice.

      As for your post. There is really no difference between breastfeeding and grabbing nipples? Lets add kicking in the bollocks to that one.


      • mrs fringe says:

        The funny part is, I’m pretty uptight about my body, and wouldn’t sunbathe nude. But that’s my body, I don’t and shouldn’t have the right to make that type of decision for anyone else. As for Moore and his ilk, the attitude is revolting and juvenile, what makes it terrifying is that he was elected to office.


        • Well, I’ve done it, deserves a post of its own …

          I admire the older fat spaniards who take off their clothes with gay abandon. With creeping age I’m less likely to do so. Ah vanity!

          However, there are distinctions which clearly asinine fools like Moore can not understand.

          1) Breastfeeding: natural way to rear babies
          2) Grabbing women’s nipples: sexual assault – criminal offence
          3) Topless (or nude) sunbathing: a decision made by an individual to do so that does NOT warrant Moore et all sexually assaulting anyone. Don’t like it? Look away.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Arkenaten says:

    As I don’t speaky the inglish … I shall remain mum.
    But a thoughtful post nevertheless.


  3. pinkagendist says:

    I must take you off on a tangent. Bhutto and Gandhi- as Marine Le Pen, Bachelot or Fernandez de Kirchner are not a product of the success of feminism. They’re a product of aristocracy and the “divine rights” of the elite.
    Christiane Taubira might just be a feminist product. But she’s an exception.


    • Absolutely, both came from monied political families. I did think about pointing that out but thought it was … tangential 😉 I found Bhutto’s autobiog fascinating:
      However, to the average person in the street, and like my health authority chair, they may well take the simplistic approach of woman in power = equality, ignoring of course, sensible indicators like access to health care, reproductive rights, education, employment, representation on boards, political parties etc etc. Even looking at Thatcher, although she may have come from a grocer’s family, the fact that she married money meant she could play politics while supported by his income.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sonel says:

    Yes, especially this Souf Efrican. LOL!

    There will always be a need for feminism because some people just don’t think before they speak. 😀

    Never heard of this ‘Eve teasing’ and it was quite interesting to read up about it. Thanks for the links. Quite interesting that it does have to be something to do with ‘Eve’, doesn’t it.

    Well said. It’s not attention or teasing, but definitely insulting and it makes you feel like some kind of sex object and that you’re only good enough for that one thing and nothing else..

    You’re so right there. Legislations can all change to favour women, but until society change their attitudes, nothing will ever change.


    • I did have you in mind (and Fletch) knowng that however fluent you are, English is not your first language, although it would be easy to make the mistake and think it was.
      I’m pleased I’m not the only one not to have heard of it, so maybe worth the share. Plus, I think it’s nice to look elsewhere in the world to see what is happening. One of the pros of the Internet.

      Attitudes and perceptions are the biggest barrier because they are so difficult to quantify, unlike legislation and statistics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sonel says:

        Ha! Should have known and thanks for the compliment but I do think Fletch is way more fluent than I am. 😀

        It sure was worth it and that is the truth indeed. Definitely a pro of the wide web.

        That is a fact. Legislation and statistics always change. Attitudes can only change if people want them to change and have them stay like that.


        • Sonel says:

          PS: Loved the article that Carissa wrote and her attitude: “For every negative there was an even greater positive experience and I have no regrets.” An amazing lady indeed and what she said is the truth. Things like that will never change because attitudes don’t change. Really sad.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hey thanks Sonel! This was a post I wrote some time ago but one that remains with me… and clearly continues to resonate with others too. Cheers, Carissa

            Liked by 2 people

          • Sonel says:

            You’re very welcome Carissa and yes, I see I also made the mistake of spelling your name wrong. Sorry for that and I know it’s okay. We all make mistakes like that, especially if you’re like me, getting old and have to wear glasses and sometimes the flare from the pc screens blur the letters. LOL!

            I am sure it will. It’s clearly an experience no woman ever wants to go through. I’ve had my share as well in life and it wasn’t good at all, but that taught me how to stand up and fight for myself and it also taught those persons that they shouldn’t mess with me, so just like you I believe that for every negative there is a bigger positive. It all depends on how we see it. Thanks for sharing. 😀


        • I just wish my Spanish was as good as your English.

          Attitudes only change when people are aware there is even a problem. Then, they have to decide whether to change or not. A bit like health promotion and drinking, smoking, eating, exercise.


  5. I look forward to your post about teh menz. ;P
    Eve Teasing is new to me. I love the term immediately. Reminds me of the Republican I read about last week. He said that women who breastfeed in public are giving him permission to grope their breasts. Such a lovely human, yes?
    Off to read…


    • I should prob ask Arb to write it for me. Male perspective and all that.

      Indeed. A fine way to describe men’s rights to ‘tease’. Mrs Fringe up above wrote about him. She was equally unimpressed with him. Moore, I think? Not so much less is more, but rather we could do with less ofMoore. Republicans never fail to amaze. Nor do they let us down with their profound statements.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you “RoughSeasInTheMed” for sparking a lively discourse on an unfortunately universal topic of harassment. Every time nonsense like “breastfeeding in public is asking to be groped” is challenged is a step forward.

    There was a dinner party some time back in which one guy made the mistake of saying women aren’t really harassed and couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. Every single woman in that room turned around and trounced him with tales of a lifetime of being subjected to unwanted attentions. He was completely shocked… and hopefully educated… just a little.

    PS Small thing – Carissa not Clarissa 😉


    • Not a small thing at all, and I do apologise. I wonder if it was predictive text. Regardless, my fault, I’m sorry and I’ve corrected it.

      I’ve written about harassment before, as have other blogfriends. Sounds like a good dinner party! But yes, who amongst us hasn’t got at least one tale to tell of physical or verbal harassment? And, in some cases, rape 😦

      I wrote about it because I was fascinated with a term that I’d not heard. And clearly I wasn’t alone. I was also really interested to read about it, and the legal measures put in place. Looking at the timing (according to wiki), and given my references to Bandaranaike and Gandhi, I wondered if Eve teasing was a backlash against women perceived to be in power.


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