Flix Friday, January 16, 2015 - 05:30
Monalisa Das| The News Minute| July 23, 2014| 8.30 am IST What happens when a girl walks around the city? This is not a question we ask, but a video that was uploaded by Sortedd TV on July 21 on YouTube. With over 84,000 views, it is needless to say that the video is going viral. The video claims that it is not a social experiment, but a real incident, not a staged one. The video highlights how women, much to their discomfort, are often ogled at on the street by all kinds of men; here a woman is seen being stared at 21 times in just about 10 minutes as she walks on Connaught Street in Delhi. In the end, she says every time that she leaves the house, she feels like she is on an exhibition “It is like getting mentally raped by every single person”. Because, in our country, the clothing of the woman matters more than any discussion on her, we’d like to mention that the woman is seen wearing shorts in the video. Before you are tempted to say, she was asking for it, please hold the thought and read further. The video is likely to strike a familiar chord with a large number of women who have to deal with such staring day in day out.  However, one look at the comments below the video, there is a common feel of disagreement and anger brewing among the men, who term the video as bulls**t. It is only fair to give everyone their share of defense.  Like these comments point out, it is only natural for men to stare at women. Reason being most men find women attractive, and the reverse holds true. Women too stare at men. That cute guy in the metro, remember? Looking at a pretty face is not a crime after all. As one wise person put it, “right, This is so ridiculous, will the girls not stare if John Abraham or hrithik walk by? you rightly pointed out that they should not cross the line, staring is in human nature.” True that! If only women could understand that simple a logic. Another pertinent point made was generalizing men was unjust. Of course there are people who stare, but not all men. And some of them are just what you could call harmless stares. That stares could kill is taken way too literally by women these days. We too believe that the race of good and decently behaved men do exist even today. It would also be unjust not to mention that the girls’ shorts were also a matter of discussion. But it is a tired topic and we shall save it for another day. Crossing to the other side of the ceiling, although getting stared and ogled at is a daily phenomenon for thousands of women in the country, at what point does that very harmless stare turn into a harmful one? This one is difficult to answer as the lines dividing both are blurred and more often than not it depends on the perception of the stare-r and the one being stared at. The law is clear on this one, if the woman feels the stares are making her uncomfortable, she can file a case.  A contributor to The News Minute once famously said, “My face is above my neck, not below”. Many a times those lecherous stares are combined with mesmerizing winks, melodious whistles and if you happen to be lucky, a smooth brush over your buttocks. In a popular Bollywood movie, the female actor asks her male counterpart “tumhari aankhon mein koi x-ray hai kya jisse tum kapdo ke andar dekh sakte ho”. (Do you have an X-ray machine in your eyes with which you can see through the clothes)? To which he cutely replies “kaash” (If only). These are complex issues falling in the gray areas. Blaming all men is not the answer. But neither is blaming feminism.
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