Dhruva Ghosh

Eve-teasing, per se, and street sexual harassment are not identical, as we have agreed, in the past. I think, of all the various axes the subject can be dissected along, one of the most important issues was, and continues to remain, the degree and nature of engagement of two individuals, on the street, against a social backdrop. Fact remains that sexual instinct is a powerful one. In the average human being where roughly 90% of all sensory stimulus is visual, sight (and therefore 'checking out' ) plays a strong role in reproductive behaviour. Therefore it makes it very difficult for one to draw a line where looking crosses the margin of the acceptable and becomes a menace. I have known men to ogle at women with or without their knowledge in several ways, and mean no harm. Yet I have also seen otherwise. The point of this monologue is this. Perhaps there is no uniform prescription. Only a certain awareness of the situation and an emergent resolution of the issue is the way out. No one really wants the trouble, more or less. The gap is merely one of communication. And this gap is widened by closed minds, differing currencies of sensibility, and misperception, amongst other things.

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