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.