Am I Just An Object?

Eve-teasing. This is something we are all aware of. Both men and women. But for us women, it is worse because we are the ones who have to face it on a daily basis. Lewd comments, lecherous stares and grins, all seem to follow you wherever you go. You might be dressed in the most conservative attire, a salwar-kurta along with a dupatta.

Even that will not stop a pervert from staring at ‘them’ or admiring your derriere. And God save you if you are wearing a skirt (even if it is a knee-length one), or tight-fitting trousers, or a short tee; it is a Roman holiday for men then. Ogling at you, leching at you, even trying to feel you up and grope you; they will make you question your very own existence in this world and make your life miserable. Sometimes, you end up crying, or weeping, or plain thinking, “How I wish I had been born a boy!”

The mental trauma and unspeakable agony that a woman/girl undergoes each time she is teased or touched unwillingly cannot be described. No one can fathom the feelings that go through her mind when she is being looked at in an indecent manner. No one can understand my feelings when I am standing at the bus-stop, with all the men around me staring at me as if I have committed an unspeakable crime by standing there, or by stepping out on the roads, or by being born a girl. I have not invited those stares, I am dressed in a normal tee and cargos. I am not flashing, neither is my waist exposed to the view nor is my belly. But, I will be stared at, top to bottom. The gaze will start from my face, finally to sway over my legs. What have I done to invite this behaviour? I am just a normal college-going girl dressed in normal clothes. But even on a normal day, I end up feeling so humiliated, so victimised, so appalled at the vicious calumny and thoughtless behaviour of the menfolk around me. I end up feeling used, as if my body is the only way to judge me. I am just another female in the crowd out there, another girl whom men can look at and lech at and fulfill their sexual and perverse desires. It is appalling, it is shocking, and it is downright humiliating to be treated in such a manner.

I am not alone. Girls and women around me are used and humiliated, in worse ways, more brutally. I have come across such incidents of eve-teasing that have shocked me to my very core. The other day, one of my friends was walking towards the metro station. She was wearing jeans and a long kurta. Nothing to attract a guy’s fancy. But the kurta was sleeveless! That was the crime she committed! And she almost got pulled by a couple of guys on a bike, who were looking to get cheap thrills from groping and pawing her. They tried to pull her toward the bike. My friend, being a tiny, puny girl, resisted with all her might. Thankfully, nothing untoward happened and the driver, noting that they wouldn’t be able to use her, decided to drive away. Saved! Thank God! But what about the thousands of women who are not? I am afraid to even think about what happens to them!

Moonmoon Ghosh

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