"It is not a very pleasant time to be a woman in India. You have to be constantly walking with your elbows out and looking over your shoulders to see who is trying to brush past you, who will make a comment which is nasty, dirty and disgusting", said the novelist, who has chronicled the changing urban India, on the sidelines of the Penguin Books Spring Fever Festival in the capital.
Speaking on the Delhi gangrape case, she said," not that it (rape) wasn't happening before. But today they can do it and get away with it."
On her personal experience she said "when I step out, I have to face eve teasing and dirty comments. If that can happen to me at 65, I definitely have a reason to be concerned about my daughter."
"It is kind of foolish in today's age to be telling your daughter to cover up when she wears short skirts, because its not what she wants to hear or what she should be told. But there is no other way, we have to be cope and deal with it in a way we can," De said.
However, she believes that there is an effort required from women's side also to tackle the patriarchal attitude of the society.
"It would become a different place to live, if women remember that they are women and they do not try to clone the male behaviour be it their leadership qualities or any other aspect," she said.
"What I have observed over the years is that women who acquire power feel obliged to clone the male behaviour and they become honorary men," she said.
During the programme, on being asked about the popular notion that sexual women dominate men is correct, Shobhaa said, "today women feel more comfortable with their sexuality and that is what terrifies men and they often misinterpret women to be dominating."