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‘Adopt stringent measures to curb women harassment’ ‘Eve-teasing rife in Gulf, subcontinent’

According to Al-Rai Arab daily, a Western “woman, whose identity has not been disclosed” filed “a complaint with” a police station, “accusing a man of harassing and attempting to molest her.”

The woman “told police the suspect had been following her and entered a commercial complex and tried to give her his phone number”! The victim “refused to take the number [and the culprit] allegedly touched her body and escaped” (see Arab Times April 11, 2014).

What is bizarre in this case is that “giving the phone number” refers to eve-teasing; a particularly rude, anti-women, and unfortunately rather common behavior in some Middle-Eastern societies. Stalking, irritating and following women in public places and malls represent common Middle-Eastern and Eastern anti-social behaviors.

The culprit who practices eveteasing expects his female victim to become his girlfriend as soon as he “gives her his phone number”! However, it happens that most young women, from all nationalities, who fall victim to eve-teasing ignore such pesterers. Sometimes, however, the victim of eve-teasing accepts to take the culprit’s phone numbers just to get rid of his pestering and his petty irritations. Good and decent Kuwaitis and expatriate men do not bother strangers in malls through harassing them or attempting to give them their phone numbers.

Attempting to force a young woman to take the phone number of an eve-teaser is intended to establish an immoral relationship with the female victim.

Such odd and creepy behavior usually occurs in some Eastern societies; the Gulf, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan, according to one source. (See Wikipedia-Eve-teasing). It is sometimes difficult however for a typical Western mind to fully understand the implications of eve-teasing in the ME.

For instance, in Western democratic societies, sexually harassing women in public is a punishable crime.

However, in the Middle East, there is a tendency to use euphemisms to describe some antiwomen behaviors. For example, some media sources in the Gulf region tend to rephrase sexually harassing women in public through insisting in describing such behaviors as eve-teasing. It is inappropriate though to make light of sexual harassment: attempting to force the female victim to take the phone number of a sexual predator is nothing other than a crime against the human dignity of potential victims.

According to Wikipedia; Eve-teasing is “a form of sexual aggression that ranges in severity from sexually suggestive remarks, brushing in public places and catcalls to outright groping. “No one has the right to harass, stalk or tease women in public places. In civil, democratic and well-organized societies such anti-women behavior is criminalized.

In Western societies any form of suggestive sexual behavior or potentially violent action directed against women is outlawed and severely punished.

We in Kuwait need to increase the punishment against any individual, youth or adult, who follows and harasses women in malls or in public places.

In fact, why not establish a sex offender registry to list the names and follow the movements of those who are caught eveteasing other human beings.

khaledaljenfawi@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter @khaledaljenfawi

Khaled Aljenfawi


By: Khaled Aljenfawi

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