ANAND PHILIP'S RESPONSE TO LOCUTUS83
Anand Philip continues the conversation started by Locutus83 in our blog post- GOT MAIL through his blog post . Anand describes himself as a 'lapsed Healthcare professional on perpetual vacation who writes in his mind regularly and on http://anandphilip.com occasionally.'
Anand and Locutus83's post are also hosted at our BN GUYS blog
Accidental Eveteasing and Other Mythical Beasts
first posted here
This post is in reply to the letter “Locutus83″ Sent to Blank Noise [Click here to Read it] asking some very honest and fundamental questions. I loved his honesty, openness and willingness to be wrong. This is also, partially, in response to the general riff raff and chit chat I have come across on various sites related to eve-teasing and street sexual harassment. And as Locust asks, have included a “guide to being a gentleman” as I cant think of anyone better suited than I to write such a guide.
Defining Eveteasing: Eveteasing is not a set of pre-defined actions. It is whatever makes women feel unsafe, powerless, predated upon and unwelcome. How you look, where you look, how long you look, what you do etc can serve as guidelines, but are not what marks eveteaing. However, terms are useful and necessary for awareness and education etc because discreet actions can be measured and evaluated.So also sexual thoughts are not eveteasing, nor are they wrong. Sexual thoughts are not disrespectful, they are natural, normal and in my opinion respectful. However, any sexual gratification that happens at the expense of another persons dignity, space and well being is inherently wrong, be it a thought or action.
How do women know? Women know because from childhood they have been preyed upon, its not sixth sense, its conditioning. From very young, girls are instructed by their parents, relatives and teachers to behave modestly, dress sensibly and mind their own business, and in the process hammering into their minds that being eveteased is their fault and it’s their responsibility to evade eveteasing. Men, on the other hand, have a free run, on the rare chance some girl stares back, snaps, or threatens to hit you with a chappal, it is laughed off and considered a small thing. So also, from childhood they are used to stares, looks, comments, whistles and so conditioned to detect and evade such behaviour.
Do they enjoy it? No woman, ever, under any circumstance whatsoever, enjoys being eveteased. This is not a matter of semantics, but a serious and fundamental issue. Eveteasing makes a woman feel helpless, powerless and dehumanized, NO ONE enjoys this. No sane person would expect women to enjoy rape (many insane people think they do), same way, no action, behavior or words that prey upon women can make them feel good.
Do women want us to stop looking? Blank noise and women in general do not want to stop men from looking, or staring, or making compliments, they want to stop harassment. This is not moral policing, not “neutering” of men, but of making them aware that preying on women is disgusting, illegal and will get their bottoms kicked.
Is it person dependant? Refer para. 3 What makes a statement/action eveteasing is essentially the attitude. So it doesn’t matter if a compliment comes from a poor man or rich, if respectful, appropriate, will be taken well. Guys who stand around the corner in groups and say “tamatar kya bhaav hai?” to passing women are not complimenting their breasts, they are being assholes.
Accidental Eveteasing. This seems to be the underlying question Locust and many others seem to have. In case the title of the article was not clear enough, and the first few points didn’t clear this misunderstanding, let me be very clear. You can no more eve tease someone by accident than you can mistakenly end up with your penis inside a cadaver. Comments do-not tumble out of your mouth and eyes dont automatically get glued to breasts.
But, occasionally, very rarely your look might be mistaken for lechery, this is not the norm but the exception. In such a situation, be honest, apologize, and look elsewhere. Women dont consider all men to be sexually deviant predators, they dont walk around looking for an excuse to use their pepper sprays. Mistakes happen, owe up and move on.
Guide for men.
There is no Guidebook There is no “do this, dont do this” list that you can mug up and follow. Actions matter, but attitude is what causes action. The basic quality is respect for women, not the fake, filmy, “but you are my sister” kind, but respect as will be demonstrated by you not talking to womens breasts, or whistling at them.
Respect is not conditional. Expecting women to fit into the stereotypes that history has handed down before respecting them is fake, futile and will result in your acting like a dick.
Be socially appropriate. As I said, there is nothing wrong in appreciating beauty, male, female, tree or car. However, it is important to be wise in the way one appreciates. I dont believe in lists, but there are some things that you can outright cross off you list. What works in the movies, like stalking, songs, and displays of macho-ness do not work. Also the street is not really the best way to find someone to start a relationship with. In most circumstances, a smile, nod, quick look-over will have you safe. But you have to learn what is appropriate. Learn from the best Just because you respect women does not mean you can do no wrong. You can still do something stupid, tacky and clumsy. This has more to do with social skills than attitude. The cure for that is to have female friends, no one knows what women want better than women. (Not only will women friends help you learn how to behave around women, they will also help you inyour pursuit of becoming a better boyfriend with ample advice and first hand experience in shopping and suchlike.)
Dont be scared, women are not looking for an excuse to call you a pervert.
No means No
She is not asking for it. In fact, she never asks for it
To you, Locust, clearly you have no lack of respect for women, so i’d say you need to stop worrying about “accidentally” eveteasing someone, and go have fun.
LOCUTUS83- YOU'VE GOT MAIL
BN GUY Samar- Delhi
I won't ever forget this. A boy passed a comment at a girl and we grabbed him by the collar and whacked him. He said nothing except " What did I do wrong? everybody does it."
- It was a summer evening of 2008 at Central Park. That day the 12th std CBSE result had come out n a group of gals around 8-10 (Must be 12th pass outs) were enjoying at the Central Park, CP. They were just having fun along the artificial stream. I was sitting on the lawns. A group of boys 3-4 in their early 20s started crossing the way of girls, passing remarks and even splash water on them even without knowing them. The park was very much crowded though the act of the boys was very much direct and qualifies to be called as intimidation nobody took a notice of it. I was very much disturbed by observing this for sometime. By the time I made up my mind to intervene the gals replied back and warned the guys to slap and hit back if they again tried to come their way. Then the boys did not return. I was quite happy to c the unity of the gals.
- This is something I observe everyday in DTC buses, in Metro and in Sharing Autorickshaw- there would enough space but few people intentionally try to stand or take the seat closer to gals and brush shoulder with the ladies, jerk or no jerk in the moving vehicle. When gals complaint then they move aside. But complaint by gals is very rare. In each case the uncomfortable feeling is quite visible on the face of the ladies. I feel very much agitated in all instances but unfortunately can’t afford to intervene.
- What I’m shocked to see in Delhi is almost all the eve-teasing cases are committed by educated, college going, sophisticated stylish yo-yo type guys. The eve teaser is not necessarily be the rogue, down market, mowali type guy anymore. Even in Metro and other places where the guys are with gals they find it act of Macho to pass remarks about gals and what is most appalling is that the gals are appreciative in most of the cases.
- I’m a law student and to tell you that even my classroom in law faculty is also not free from this…we witness many everyday.
BN Guy Haresh
I took a bus from my residence in Sector 29 of Vashi. I was standing and a guy was standing beside me and there were two girls standing on the opposite side of the aisle. The guy was around 25-26 years at that time I guess. And I was 22. Then, after a few stops, that guy slowly went on the other side, right between the two girls even when there was a lot of space on this side. No one except me apparently noticed this. Slowly, he tried to hold one of the pipes in the bus to 'support himself' where he actually was trying to touch the hand of one of the girls. But, the girl soon became aware of this and she removed her hand from there. After some time, that guy brought his hand down and started trying to 'inadvertently' touch the other girl on and around her thighs. The girl was unaware of this. But, I told him loudly, 'Why do you stand there in the narrow space between two girls when there is enough space over this side and I've been seeing you for quite some time that you're trying to touch this girl on her hand and this girl on thigh.' The two girls and a few passengers around heard them and the guy started defending himself. He in fact argued, 'Is ladkiya kuch nahi bol rahi hain t tu kyu bol raha hain. Maine kuch nahi kiya'. I replied that they even aren't aware of it. I kept on making him feel ashamed. Eventually, he got down at the next bus-stop.
* "If the girl isn't saying a thing, why are you? I didn't do anything."
Location: A public bus (BEST?), Vashi, Navi Mumbai