“Eve teasing”

What? What’s that?

It’s a fun game in India and Bangladesh: stalking and/or taunting women. It has a funny jokey haha name, so obviously it’s totes harmless, even though some women kill themselves to get away from it (silly bitches) and some people get murdered trying to stop it.

Young women often face verbal abuse and taunts in Bangladesh, and sometimes stalked by colleagues at school or other young men.

Some young women, unable to bear the repeated insults, have even gone so far as to commit suicide.

The High Court last week asked the government to take measures to stop sexual harassment and stalking of women after a number of suicides and killings related to the issue in recent weeks.

Activists say more than 24 people, most of them young girls, have died because of bullying and harassment since the beginning of this year.

In recent weeks, some of those who spoke out against sexual harassment have been murdered, causing public outrage.

A 50-year-old woman died after a motorcycle was driven over her when she protested against the bullying of her daughter last week.

A college teacher who spoke against bullying was also murdered. The killings led to a series of protests across the country.

That was November 2010. A year later, in Bombay

…two men were attacked and killed after they had defended women from harassment outside a restaurant in Mumbai (Bombay).

The public abuse of women – called “Eve teasing” – is rampant in India.

A Facebook campaign calling for justice for the dead youngsters has picked up tens of thousands of followers.

I just joined that group.

…a small group of young people had left a restaurant together in a smart district of Mumbai.

Outside, some of the women in the group were harassed by men standing nearby.

Two of the women’s friends confronted the men, who fled. But shortly later they returned and attacked the pair.

The two men who came to the women’s defence, Keenan Santos and Ruben Fernandes, received injuries so severe that both subsequently died.

Apparently the right to bully and taunt women is so important that it’s worth killing for.

Valerian Santos, the father of one of the two dead youths, said he was proud of his son and urged more men to take a stand against the public harassment of women.

“I have another two boys and I have always maintained that if a woman or someone is in trouble, don’t look at your life – go and help that person,” he said.

“These people, they don’t realise it until it happens to one of their loved ones. Then they will cry for help.”

“Eve teasing” makes life miserable and even dangerous for women who go out in public and who use public transport.

Oh come now, BBC, talk about something important. The mere “teasing” of women can’t possibly be important enough for a serious news article. Get a real job.



  1. says

    Brendan O’Neill must surely write a piece about a lot of hypersensitive women going all mimsy and girly-whirly and Victorian-with-smelling-salts over such harmless banter.

  2. Mr.Kosta says

    May I quit humanity now? Because I don’t want to belong to a species capable of such aberrations anymore.

  3. Stacy says


    “Those who are teased do not like to go to school and sometimes guardians do not allow them to go to school for their safety and honour. So the drop-out rate of female students in many schools is increasing,” Mr Nahid said.

    “Another negative manifestation of the problem is the tendency of parents to push underage daughters into early marriages so that they can escape Eve teasing.

    Excuse me while I bang my head against the wall, repeatedly.

  4. Sir Shplane, Grand Mixmaster, Knight of the Turntable says

    Why? What possible benefit could this provide to anyone? How is torturing women making the lives of the assholes doing it any better whatsoever?

    I mean, I can sort of, almost, understand the type of sexism we have in America, because the entrenched gender roles help the stupid pricks in charge remain in charge. But this is just dickery for the sake of dickery. It’s pure sadism. What purpose does it serve?

  5. skmc says

    What purpose does it serve?

    Keep girls and women out of school, out of public spaces, into early marriages and staying home?

    I mean, for the individual “teasers” it is, as the saying goes, “for the lulz”–but it serves a larger social purpose of keeping women lower on the power scale.

    For The Lulz: not as harmless as lulzers keep insisting it is.

    I guess it’s the fault of those silly eves for deciding to be offended.

  6. turtleseverywhere says

    Only the one example is from November 2010. It’s still going on.

    I wish that the news wouldn’t use that asinine little nickname “eve teasing”. Call it what it is.

  7. Ray Moscow says

    I heard about ‘Eve Teasing’ when I worked in India 25 years ago — from young guys who thought it was all good fun — but I didn’t realise how destructive it was. I never actually saw it since I seldom used public transport.

    I suppose it’s ‘fun’ to those who don’t care about women’s suffering, humiliation or even death.

    Perhaps it’s a (meager) sign of progress that some feel able and willing to stand against it, even at the risk of their own lives.

  8. says

    Mark, the bit about “a real job” was sarcasm. I and other women have been hearing a lot of “worry/talk/blog about real problems” whenever we worry/talk/blog about various forms of “Eve teasing.” I think this story is exactly the job the BBC should be doing (and does do – with all its faults, it does do a lot of reporting of this kind).

  9. Svlad Cjelli says

    I hate it when a group doesn’t even have some general information-page. Or does the Facebook layout go out of its way to hide such things?

    Either way, I suppose I will join on your word.

  10. Mark Mitchell says

    Oh, sarcasm. That’s NEVER misread.

    (end sarcasm)

    I’m glad you like Nidhi’s work. She’s extremely dedicated, as are most of her colleagues.

  11. says

    Actually it was hearing this article on the World Service two days ago that prompted me to search for “Eve teasing” – but I didn’t find this particular article, which I wanted to, so thanks.

  12. skmc says

    I suppose it’s ‘fun’ to those who don’t care about women’s suffering

    I don’t think it’s so much “don’t care about” as “do enjoy”. “Don’t care” is too neutral here IMO. The women’s negative reaction is what causes the positive peer reaction that drives this homosocial activity. So, women’s suffering is key to the whole thing. The harassers are not just thoughtless. And whether they think it through or not, they are in fact drawing off the women’s suffering, rather than being neutral/indifferent to it.

  13. S Mukherjee says

    I’d wager that nearly 100% of women in India (where I grew up) have faced this terrible persecution whenever they are out and about. I am furious whenever I think of the daily harrassment I and my friends had to face. One of the first things that struck me when I went to the US was how freely I could walk around without anybody shouting insulting comments at me. Of course, the US is not perfect, but the situation in India is something else altogether.

  14. says

    S, I had the same experience in Paris (yes Paris!) as a teenager decades ago – I was harassed whenever I was out and about (which was all the time, because that’s what I was there for). I realized what a luxury I’d had before, without realizing it.

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