After having worked amidst more number of men than women, I can undoubtedly say that I am more thick-skinned now than I have ever been. Gone are the days when I used to get offended and hurt at the drop of a hat, and hated men around for their impertinence and inherent trait of leaving no stones to degrade women whenever possible. Backed by years of good and bad experiences, my mind has been fine-tuned to be at both giving and receiving end, and accept and return scorns and scoffs with equal velocity and magnitude. I have finally learned the artless art of standing apart in the midst of men folk around me who keep boasting on their make-believe brain power and sensibility, while ridiculing women as senseless and brainless minorities. While I am used to bearing these trivial and imprudent arguments and attitudes, there’s one trait of men that continues to surprise me, as I am yet to decipher the reason why they remain addicted to that strange habit, irrespective of age. The strangest part of the story lies in the fact that this odd trait is commonly found amongst men in our country. Is there a hidden virus that we are yet to discover, or is there a genetic combination that our scientists haven’t noticed at, if not, what is that single reason that makes our men stare so shamelessly at women around them, no matter whether they are as young as five, or as old as fifty five? Being on the receiving end of someone’s ogle is not as peachy as how it is portrayed in some of the commercials that we get to see. The last among the ogling sessions that I have had was on Saturday, at the bus stop close by our hostel. In spite of draping me in a loose salwar which is far from sex, revealing or provocative, I couldn’t escape the stares of men who either walked beside me, or drove their way towards the bus stand. Shocking me further, a man almost forgot to blink his eyes while lecherously staring at me from a nearby building! While the stare-to-strip race went on with baton being exchanged from one to another, my bus arrived and I quickly boarded in, leaving behind the long line of ‘admirers’ around.
While it can be a fun hobby for some, lascivious staring can also result from hideous motives. Every time a woman walks past, the devil soon awakes to lure men to stare at her in the most discreet and pervert manner, while some extent further to the strip-mode. Despite the fact that I have never witnessed a ‘scary stare’ as of now, I can undoubtedly say that staring of all kind is annoying, no matter what the hidden intention is. If men believe in ‘complementing’ women through their incessant stares, they are yet to realize that no woman can accept that salacious praise open-heartedly. With that said I must also say that when women get offended, they often end up being victims of more intense, creepy and annoying gazes. Does that mean men use staring as a tactful way to attract a woman’s attention? Are women vulnerable to yelling at every man who desperately wants some attention back? I am not-sure, as it can never be answered without a whole lot of hard-core psychological reasons that I can hardly write about.
However, here is my thought on how to avoid getting distraught about annoying leers. Rather than displaying a distressing body language followed by a perturbed yell, if we shrug off the less offensive ogles, and tactfully save ourselves from the creepy and annoying ones, I believe that staring might never rise to become as bothersome as it is believed to be. While some of you might call this to be an act of cowardice, here is the reason that backs this thought of mine – when you can’t change something, it’s better to change your tactic and outlook towards the unchangeable. Doesn’t that sound sensible now? While some men intend to piss off women and some others carry streams of hideous thoughts behind those vicious stares, in both the cases, most of these wayward men are hell-bent on remaining the way they are. Hence, giving a piece of your mind would only make matters worse and never change them, especially in a country where raping or sodomizing to death continue to make headlines each day.
Whenever I come across men who instinctively turn their ‘lenses’ on lewdly, I also wonder whether such men really ‘inspect’, leer, and drool over every woman they clap their eyes on. I do feel they stare at most of them and not just the beautiful, petite or voluptuous alone, desperately hoping to get stared back. Much to their happiness and gratification, most women exchange glances, either out of curiosity or as a way of expressing their displeasure. Either ways, they make men happy in their triumphant effort to attract the attention of the women they choose to target for god-knows-what reasons. The reciprocations take men close to their second phase of staring, which is often ‘spiced’ up with lustful looks and lewd comments, making woman feel that intense puking sensation which erupts straight from the gut. This brings in my way of dealing with stares, good bad and ugly – thicken your mind and skin, ignore the glances and just move away. Because, most men are so intensely programmed to shamelessly stare at women of all ages. Though it’s ridiculous and annoying, they will continue to stare at women for many more ages to come. So why bother to irk your tiresome mind or rack your already worn-out brain, instead, why not shift to the impassive ignore-mode and save yourself?
Anecdote – Here is an interesting statistical data that I found on a leading newspaper:
An average man will spend almost 43 minutes a day staring at 10 different women.
That adds up to 259 hours – almost 11 days – each year, making a total 11 months and 11 days between the ages of 18 and 50.
Need I say more?