Eve teasing is the term that is more recognized now than it was earlier, not in a good way though. Every female be it a girl or a woman have to witness the male eyes hovering on her body with lust. Unless you are clad in a ‘burkha’ nothing will change. Every girl experiences eve teasing at least once in a day and if she is lucky enough then that is the only thing that happens to her, it does not advance into something more serious! Yes, eve teasing is not a serious thing for any of us anymore because it is a part of our routine, something that is natural and obvious. We have accepted it as an inevitable part of our lives since that is the gift we are given by the male dominated society on taking birth as a female.
When a woman leaves for work she makes sure that she is wearing nothing that attracts too much of attention since her house is located in a secluded place and there is no male to escort her. Even then when she hails a cab to work, the driver gives her a once over and if he did not get his daily dose of entertainment the previous night he might just try to get cozy and initiates a conversation on how unsafe the world is for ladies these days, ‘look who is talking’ she thinks but nevertheless she gives a half smile as she pretends to get busy on her phone.
While giving him the fare for the ride she steps out but not before sending a glare his way when he touches her hand in an inappropriate manner. Because that’s all one can do since touching someone unintentionally as it seems is not a crime! Now, that’s not the only experience of the day, is it? While she meets her clients and they shake hands, when the other one squeezes her palm giving her a tentative smile, she covers her grimace with words as she says ”nice to meet you too” and drops his hand with force. When she is aboard a bus with groceries in her hand after a tiring day at work all she has to do is stand and wait for her stop but even then there are a few jerks whose life lacks enthusiasm as they stick behind her back using crowd and rush as an excuse feeling her over. She digs her elbow into his ribs which makes him scowl and back off.
As she gets down at her stop, she starts walking when her phone beeps with a text message from her husband stating his aunt and uncle are coming over for dinner! A sigh escapes her lips thinking about the last time when they came for dinner. The uncle had purposely poked her in the waist as a way of calling her and no one had noticed or they were ignorant. God alone knows what his plans are this time. She prepares the meal, freshens up and changes into a proper salwar kameez that does not expose much of a skin and avoids any makeup or perfume.
When the door bell rings she drapes the dupatta over her head and opens the door. He is still a jerk she concludes when he stops her midway while she bows to touch his feet and he hugs her instead saying bowing is the traditional way to greet and we are modern. He hugs her tight so as to feel her front and leaves her when he notices her husband coming their way; he rushes to hug him too. She is left behind with that aunt who is either blind or ignorant. The aunt shrugs as if she did not see anything and chants the usual blessing “sada sukhi raho, safal raho or suhagan raho” (stay happy, successful and married) when they greet each other.
He was not wrong when he said we are modern, yes we are modern but with a traditional mind set. Because even today when a male lacks character it is blamed upon his wife that she does not give him enough love so he goes after other woman or it is the woman who did not dress decent so she is inviting the male attention. When the woman keeps quiet so as to not sabotage her close one’s reputation, it is taken as a sign that she enjoys it.
Even today every female has to dress up keeping in mind that there are scoundrels out there waiting for a chance to touch her wherever and whenever they can. “O prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies (when outdoors). That is most convenient that they could be known as such (i.e. decent and chaste) and not molested.” (Quran 33:59). Because we are in search of a better tomorrow even though our present still lurks in the dark shadows of unpleasantness. No law implemented can ever improve the situation until we ourselves are ready to reflect on what ideal is supposed to be!