Friday, August 11, 2006

Should We Hire Dr Watson?

James Watson, the man who co-discovered DNA, whipped up a storm a few years ago when he said, at a guest lecture, that dark-skinned people had a stronger sex drive. “That’s why you have Latin lovers. You’ve never heard of an English lover. Only English Patient,” the Nobel Laureate said, expounding on his theory that exposure to sunlight enhanced sex drive.

Now, sunlight is abundant in India. Does that mean Indians... tut-tut, let’s not talk about that. We Indians discuss such things only when nobody is around. But there’s one question which we cannot escape, and one wonders whether it has anything to do with Watson’s theory: why is India so unsafe for women?

According to WHO, every 54 minutes one woman is raped in our country. The Centre for Development of Women’s Studies hikes the figure to 42 rapes a day. And in most cases — 85 percent, according to a study — the rapist is known to the victims. What’s wrong with our men?

Ours is one of the few countries where women — if they are alone — don’t like to venture out after dark, because that’s when evil creatures creep out of their dens. Where else is it commonplace for a woman to be dragged into a car and raped by a bunch of men and then thrown out?

Daytime is no better. You will find them outside girls’ schools, women’s colleges, at bus-stops, inside the buses. They ‘pass comments’, they heckle, they whistle, they pinch bottoms, they nudge. And who are they? Ah, there are so many ways of describing them — loafers, rowdies, roadside Romeos, eve-teasers... Where else in the world do you hear these words more often, or hear them at all?

‘Roadside Romeo’ and ‘eve-teasing’ seem to be purely indigenous expressions. You don’t find them in the dictionary. You don’t find any of the Western papers using them. And ‘eve-teasing’ is so common that we don’t even capitalise the ‘E’, even though Eve is a proper noun. Eve-teasing is such a menace that worried police commissioners set up women cops in plain clothes to nab offenders.

And then there are offenders who are above the law — the VIPs and the semi-VIPs — whose misdeeds occasionally creep out of the closet into the newspaper columns and create sensation.

But there are millions of other deeds that go unnoticed — deeds of men who would like to keep their wives and daughters under lock but who, the moment they step out of their homes, eye the women on the street, their secretaries or the seat next to that woman. Women, for them, are purely sex objects.

Does it have anything to do with Watson’s theory? The sunlight is abundant, but the societies are closed, so is the extra drive being channelised into leching, raping and eve-teasing? Worth researching. Should we hire Dr Watson?


Naveen Roy said...

Well, have to agree.....we are such a repressed society!!! And nothing ever gets out of the open discussions on these wonder we have so many "eve-teasers"!!!

Visithra said...

You know why they have their wives and daughters locked up? Coz they know if they leer so will others! Sighh

there are pros n cons to travelling in india - the con is definetly the leering - but most of the time you do meet friendly people who aren't about to rip you off with their eyes

i think it has more to do with the opportunities to mingle with women - the less they meet them the more they leer

Usha said...

And then what about all those stupid so called Comedy scenes in youth films that are usually dependent on such teasing. Don't they give out the message that it is "cool" to do such things?

Anonymous said...

Calling an Eve-teaser 'Romeo' is such an insult to the poor man who loved only once!

Unknown said...

today i got the reason why delhi has maximum eve-teasing cases....with 8-9 months of hot, sunny days wht else u can expect(sorry just kidding)......obviously we can't blame nature for something which is men-inflicted.....