We live in the 21st century. We talk about being modern, being liberal, and accept our present. And at the same time, we talk about old uncles and the neighborhood aunties and about how backdated they are. We talk about gender equality, and then we talk about women’s empowerment. Now the question is – How modern are we really?

“Eve teasing will be fair for all the flirty flocks if your sister can bear all your dirty jokes.”

-Ecriture Noire

And do we mean what we say? Or everything is just for the likes, comments, and social media appraisals?

Social media is full of posts about gender equality and women empowerment. We talk about women being equal and talk about respecting them. We don’t really find people saying against this on social media. So? What does that mean? Are women safe? Are they safe in India?

 

The reality is that they aren’t. Women aren’t safe in Indian streets. And one of the main reasons is that they face eve-teasing daily. This has forced many women to sit back at home. How often do they face the courage to travel alone at night? This wasn’t supposed to be like this. Why would an entire gender fear the other? Why do they need to face eve-teasing? It’s frustrating and depressing. Don’t think that things are going to change anytime soon. Need to accept the reality and move on. Here are some tips you can opt to fight and stop eve-teasing –

10. Carry a pepper spray

As they say – the best defense is the offense. Carry a pepper spray in your bag whenever you go. The thing looks small but is effective. We hope you don’t need to use it, but still, carry one. Whenever you feel uncomfortable or feel someone is following you or you get bad signs, just take the spray out and let it do your job, spray in the eyes of the offender.  Indeed, this is not a solution and it might be difficult and one might face trauma to carry a weapon with her everywhere she goes. This might put you in more fear and make you more alert. But it is what it is. You need to accept that it isn’t safe for women outside. Make sure that the spray is rechargeable and you have enough of it so that you can use it whenever needed.

9. SOS apps

Another way to deal with eve-teasers is to have SOS apps handy in your smartphone. With technology so much improved, there are a lot of SOS apps that can help you in case of emergency. You can fill in some details with the person you can trust, who can come to your rescue. You can also add contact numbers of Police in your area. The advantage of having an SOS app on your phone is that, just by pressing a button. The app sends your location and a message ( which you are supposed to add before ) to the people you have added. Make sure you add people who can save you and be quick, who stay nearby.

8. Shout for help

We do live in a patriarchal society. True that. And most of them will try to take advantage of yours. They would harass you or molest you if they get that chance. But it is also true that we still have that humanity left. There are good guys out there too. If you ask for help or scream, you might get help or two. Staying quiet or allowing the molester and bearing the pain is unacceptable. You don’t need to, even if you are in a public place, don’t be shy and scream for help. You will get people for help surely.

7. Having a company is good

Having a friend with you whenever you go out is also effective. Be it a girl or a guy. If you go out in groups, there are fewer chances you will face eve-teasing. This isn’t a concrete solution too, that’s understandable. You might like to travel alone. Have someone close to go out with you – someone, you are comfortable with. You can also team up and make your gang. Even if someone offends you, your friends will protest. That is encouraging.

6. Stay alert

This isn’t possible always, but do keep an eye on the people around you or the stranger sitting next to you. If you find someone who makes you uncomfortable, steer away. Sexual harassment and molestation cases are increasing as we speak. It’s sad but you need to stay alert as much as possible. And it is harsh that boys don’t need to do this often. But you have to. Even if you are doing some work or you are engaged in your phone, use that third eye of yours and watch out. If you are using a cab or rickshaws, you can always note the number or share your location with a friend.

5. Avoid clear streets

Avoid going places where there are no people around. You might not get help if someone harasses you. Try going out in public. Most of the harassment cases are when there are not many people on the scene. When you are in public, you will get help, if needed. Stay away from poorly lit trees, or isolated alleys especially if it’s night. Use public transport more often.

4. Keeping emergency numbers on speed dial

This is important. Always keep emergency numbers on speed dial. Take the information about the cops at your nearby police station. It’s better if you can somehow save their number on speed dial. And keep your family and friends too. It’s true that most of the time, we panic when attacked. That’s why having some numbers saved on your speed dial is important.

3. Your body language

It might sound weird but your body language is also something that you need to remember about. You indeed have the freedom to behave as you like. But sometimes, you also need to be careful when you are in public. You need to be decent and confident. Even if you face any such situation, try not to panic and let the offender think that you are scared. Bring confidence in your eyes, your voice, and your body language.  Look at the eve-teaser in the eye, don’t hide or get nervous.

2. Self Defense

It’s always recommended that you get some self-defense training from a professional. Irrespective of your gender, you should take the classes and prepare yourself for any such situations. This is even for boys, they should also put them up in such training. Also, this trainings can help you be more confident and abled. With the rising number of rapes and sexual harassment cases, this is a must for all the women around.

1.    Never blame yourself

Whatever or however the situation is, never blame yourself. This is seen that the person being teased is blamed most of the time. With all the points being mentioned above, remember that it’s not the dress, the place, or the situation. It’s just the cruel world and all those toxic persons. It’s never you, it is never your fault. The person responsible is to be blamed and punished. If you face any such situation, the one thing you need the most is self-love.

Forget it if anyone blames you, remember it by heart – it could have been anybody. It would have been someone else because that eve-teaser would have done it to anybody.