New Delhi [India], Nov.24 (ANI
): 'Sexual Harassment', the term by default has always generally been associated with women. On the other hand, the fact that men do also go through similar if not exact, form of harassment, has always been a concealed topic.
Men feel hesitant to come forward to talk about it, in the open public domain, as it is even more of a bigger social stigma for them than women because it is conceived as vulnerability or weakness and men do not want to associate them with such terms.
According to Kanishk Agarwal, Founder of law firm CriTaxCorp, in India, according to a recent report by one of the top media house, in big metros like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune 19 percent men out of a sampling of 527 people said they have faced some form of sexual harassment at office.
The fact that the society refuses to accept this grave issue lies in the society's negligence towards this topic based on gender biased notions. The gender biased and male dominating mind-set of the usual society refuses to acknowledge that males also get victimised from sexual harassment acts and the belief that only females can go through such harassment has led to ignorance of this issue. Such a mind-set doesn't necessarily mean that such incidents do not occur.
The issue is neglected to such an extent that even the Indian Legal System does not recognize the fact that even male can be harassed and existing law recognize only a female as a victim, as per Section 9 of Protection of Women against Sexual harassment (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 only an aggrieved woman can make a complaint under the Act and does not deal with sexual harassment of the male gender at workplace.
Laws should also be enacted to protect men from such an ordeal, in order to bring in a nature of equality. Sections 376, 354, 509 of the IPC deal with sexual assault, outraging a woman's modesty, eve teasing and rape and under all these sections only a woman can be a victim. Law presume that men cannot be at the victim's end of these crimes, Kanishk added.
In August 2015; everybody witnessed the in-famous 'Jasleen Kaur Case' in which Saravjeet Singh was accused of harassing Jasleen.
It later came to highlight in public that it was a defamation gimmick and publicity stunt.
But it is important to remember that it was not proved in any legal fraternity. Those media houses that had, without investigation, played the stories were fined and were asked to telecast an apologetic message dedicated to clean Saravjeet's name.
News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA)also said, "Broadcasters cannot condemn guilty person accused of having committed a crime or offence when the matter is still under investigation or where the court is yet to decided upon the guilt or otherwise of the accused."
Another anonymous example who shares his bad experience for consultation purpose by a working professional guy aged 22 who don't want to reveal his name in public is given below:
She grabbed me for sexual pleasure I wanted to slap her, but I can't because of my principle to respect women: Here is my experience.
I started working as a trainee manager in one of the top MNC in Gurugram in 2010, from my initial phase itself I managed to gain respect from my mentors and colleagues with my dedication towards work. Salin (name changed) joined my firm in 2011, from the starting days itself everyone knew she was the flirtatious type. Initially I took all the flirting in a humourous manner and she was like a fun making person for us but later, she started openly flirting with me.
It happened like I had become her target in office and it was very embarrassing. One day when I was sitting in the common area for making a call to my family, she sat along with me on the sofa and started coming very close to me. She was crossing her legs, leaning towards me and placing her hand on the safe near my neck. Her intentions were absolutely clear from her body language and her conduct and when she was started playing with my hair, making me feel awkward and disconnect call, I wanted to slap her at that moment but I couldn't because of my principle of respecting women. At the same time my senior and two other colleagues walked in and I was totally embarrassed.
We as a part of society with our biased perception that it can only be a man who abuses his power and suppresses women and that a woman can only be a victim and not the oppressor.The society's collective mind-set should be projected towards the need of accepting gender neutral rights and instead abolish the biased gender rules that we follow. I was so shocked and stunned that I actually couldn't understand as how to react. I never discussed it with anyone as no one would believe that a girl tried to seduce me and was harassing me. Going forward, I made sure that I made distance from her and not be receptive about any kind of flirting.
The society and law should recognize the gender equality and the change in the culture of the society. Nowadays, where women of our society are standing tall and going toe to toe with the men of the society, treating women as suppressed gender, who require protection should be discontinued. Laws to protect people should be made and not a specific gender. Woman are at as powerful position as men and one should respect that and not treat women as oppressed, venerable or weak. Also, the law of perjury should also be strengthened so that a strict check be put on the rising false complaints because the unprotected genre of women also gets a sting from police authorities as well as employers due to malicious complaints filed by some women to usurp their illegal demands. Perjury under IPC is dealt under Section 191 to 201 that attracts imprisonmentupto7 years however; it is not being implemented rigorously. Judiciary should place fear in minds of the people who registers malicious/false complaints, to such an extent that if it is proved to be a false complaint then the malicious complainant can be put behind bars. Lastly, there is a difference between a false complaint and an unproven complaint and perjury gets enacted in the former part only. (ANI