Tuesday, April 04, 2006

what set me off...

I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT take this anymore. I know that I have been carefully restraining from writing anything concrete in this god-forsaken blog for fear of exposing my secret thoughts to the eyes of random strangers, but this I absolutely CANNOT TAKE anymore.

This post is for all those who believe that when a man sexually harasses a woman, he is simply giving outlet to a basic sexual need and does personally mean any harm to her…

Since all women I know, ranging from my 65 year old cook to my 15 year old sister, get sexually harassed in streets and public places, I would have to agree that most men when they sexually harass women are not really THINKING about the INDIVIDUAL woman as such, but are instead merely looking to enjoy a sexual experience and give outlet to their urges.... Infact, many of us believe that the reason for eve-teasing in India is the lack of an alternative, appropriate social code of expression of sexuality i.e. the concept of an unmarried couple dating is still, in many parts of India, a social taboo. This then “naturally” seems to be the reason why men make lewd comments at passing women, sing songs at passing women, whistle at women, make weird kissy-letchy noises at women, stare and undress women with their eyes, brush past women, rub themselves against women, grab women, feel up women...
all because there is no other appropriate social code for their sexual outlets. If this seems to be the case, then WHY DONT WOMEN SEXAULLY HARASS MEN IN PUBLIC PLACES AS WELL? If men have sexual needs, surely women must be experiencing them as well, otherwise the concept of hetrosexual lovers in a relationship would not exist. If men in India are forced to live in a socially restrictive environment that stigmatises romantic and sexual relationships between unmarried people, and are thus "forced" with no other alternative but to sexually harass women in public spaces, how come Indian women don't sexually harass strange/unknown men on the streets as well?

This is the reason why: Because sexaul harrasment is a crime, NOT based on a man's sexual urges that seek outlets in socially restrictive environment but about POWER.
In a comparatively MORE GENDER-EQUAL society (like Norway, Sweden, or the Netherlands, or the US, for instance) where sexual relations between unmarried people is an accepted social practice, incidents of eve-teasing are relatively less.
If the environment in India was more GENDER EQUAL but remained socially restrictive as regarding sexual relationships between unmarried people, WOMEN TOO WOULD BE ABLE TO SEXAULLY HARASS MEN IN ORDER TO GIVE RELEASE TO THEIR PENT-UP SEXUAL NEEDS.

Sexual harassment is a crime that gets condoned because it is based on the existing POWER RELATIONS in a society. It is NOT based on the social practice of stigmatising sexual relations between unmarried men and women which is believed to lead men to find "alternative" means for expressing their sexual urges by harassing women in public spaces.

Think about it.