Published: 29th December 2021
JNU removes 'tangible line' part of sexual harassment counselling literature after being called out as misogynist
The move comes a day after National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma sought withdrawal of the "misogynist" circular issued by the university
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has modified the language of its public invitation for counselling on sexual harassment and removed the line "girls are supposed to know how to draw a tangible line between them and their male friends" that drew the ire of the students and the teachers.
The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the university had uploaded the invitation on JNU's website saying that it will organise a counselling session on sexual harassment on January 17. It also said that such sessions will be organised on a monthly basis. Under the subhead "Why is this counselling session required", the contentious point has now been replaced with, "Boys will be counselled to clearly distinguish between friendship and behaviours that may be considered sexual harassment. Girls will be counselled on how to avoid sexual harassment."
The move comes a day after National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma sought withdrawal of the "misogynist" circular issued by the university. The subhead earlier read, "ICC come across a number of cases where sexual harassment takes place among close friends. Boys generally cross (sometimes advertently, sometimes inadvertently) the thin line between friendship's bantering and sexual harassment. Girls are supposed to know how to draw a tangible line (between them and their male friends) to avoid any such harassments (sic),"
According to the public invitation, the purpose of this counselling session is to make students aware of what constitutes sexual harassment. The invitation states said that students are being counselled during their orientation programme, and at the inception of each academic year they need to refresh their knowledge about the same from time to time.