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Video Explains What May Be Fun For Boys, Could Be Harassment For Girls

By Prachi Jatania

How do India’s youth feel about attraction and love – about wooing each other – about where the line is crossed between fun and harassment? From “kya item hain” to whistling and stalking, when are boys simply boys and girls not #AskingForIt. That was the thought that we at Breakthrough wanted to expose while filming this video “Boys Will Be Boys”.

Women and girls face sexual harassment on a daily basis especially in public spaces – while using transport, in market places, local neighbourhoods, even across online social platforms this is rampant. As part of our ongoing campaign #AskingForIt, using multimedia messages, we want to highlight the mindset and behaviour that is often looked at in a casual manner.

The video, through its ‘in-your-face’ content style touches upon the issue of how most young people across India are completely unaware of what constitutes sexual harassment. It is a fact that cat-calling, lewd comments, singing vulgar songs, even using social media to stalk another person are all ‘ILLEGAL’ acts, which means it is an offence to sexually harass, and I say this to reiterate the point that is often not evident to both young men and women. Another aspect we try to bring out is that the Film Industry has often perpetuated and encouraged harassment in varied forms in the garb of ‘wooing’ through many films and songs as you can see in the video. The thin line between what is ‘casual flirting’ and pursuing a girl to a clear case of stalking and harassing is more often than not blurred in our commercial films.


We urge all those reading this piece to share their thoughts on the video and our campaign and join in Breakthrough’s effort to address sexual harassment in public spaces. Log on to our Facebook page to comment and join in.

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  1. vaspri

    This video is offensive to me because it demonizes boys. However, in the spirit of freedom of speech and expression, you have every right to make it and post it on a public blog, if I get offended, it is my problem and not yours. I cannot use that to suppress your fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression. The question is whether you will afford that same right to those boys on the street, they are within their right to freely express themselves as long as they do not threaten or physically harm the girls in any way. Are they in any way less deserving of the same rights that you use to offend on line? The right to offend goes both ways, unfortunately.

  2. Dea

    I feel this video is one of the most accurate portrayals of the issue I’ve come across. Actually, I liked how the video does not “demonize” boys or show them as sub-intelligent, but blind to the consequences of their actions. The women were not placed on a pedestal, but are honest and open about how they consider these actions.

  3. Nisha

    This is a great campaign that genuinely does not victimize either side but literally places both opinions, of men and women in plain site. While some may not find it powerful enough because it doesn’t harp on the themes of consent and feminism, I think it is an apt position to take on a sensitive matter.
    It is a sensitive matter, not because the lines between right and wrong are blurred in this case, but simply because despite clearly understanding right from wrong we, as a nation have not been able to effect any change.

    This campaign is real, and might actually give some insight into tackling the issue. In terms of raising awareness amongst men who behave this way, and women who have now accepted this as the norm and might even play a part in perpetrating it, I’m not convinced that such subtle content will hit a nerve. In fact I’m worried it might only strengthen the acceptance of the norm further.

    So I guess the effectiveness of this campaign might depend on the audience you seek to reach out to.

  4. Sam

    First of all, this is not just happening in India. This is an universal problem faced by women all over world. We need to deeply analyse the situation here and find out the root cause for it. Whats the real reason behind this? Why only men feel like doing this? why they always take women for granted? is this the society that teaches us? is this something thats learnt or taught somewhere?

    Per my opinion, the real reason behind this is the sense of lack of fear. There are instances where even women harass men, reason same, lack of fear. Everything is taken for granted. What sort of fear is needed? fear of being ashamed! fear of being hurting others! I wouldn’t call it awareness because everyones aware. Everyones aware of everything. Only thing they would say ‘chalta hai’.

  5. Nandalal Sivadas

    I understand the whole issue of eve teasing and whatever repercussions that you are talking about. But, what about Adam teasing? Many years back, when I was just a teenager, I remember the day when a bunch of girls started passing comments on me when I was walking on the road alone. That’s was ok for me, I smile when I think about it. Then there was this day in college, a senior girl ragged me and included sexual abuse!! How about that? I was a very reserved kid back those days, was literally scared of the seniors dude!! But my question is, what’s up with all these posts popping up on my Facebook almost everyday? Girls, just relax. There are many untold stories!!

    This is an universal phenomena. Pick up a Hollywood movie, you will get to see many scenes where guys passing comments on girls and the other way around. How about our bollywood? Why are there item songs were the actress “dance” ?And mostly the camera will be running all over her body?! What’s the deal people? This is prevalent in Bollywood, Tamil, Telugu or many other regional movie industries. Why? Why the lady’s body is in focus? Interestingly, whoever is posting such posts are ok to watch these movies. Irony.

  6. Shreyash Lal

    What if a girl stalks me? What if she calls me everyday although I tell her not to? These things r bullshit… Only girls hv the right to cry over it… Nd they make unwanted fuss… Nd just because m a boy… I dnt hv the ryt to stop a girl who has been stalking me fr 6 months nd calls me daily at the middle of the nyt frm different nos.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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