would you understand as a guy…

He: whats vishesam?

Me: Nothing really. Slept like a log and forgot to put the alarm.

He: So came in late?

Me: Yes, and then traffic sucked. Had to crawl to work.:(

He: Yes, I know. undersandable.

Me: Plus I was wearing a short skirt, so every hero on the road was staring at my legs.

He: You would have been more pissed if they hadn’t looked. So its ok.

Me: I like appreciation big time, but that does not mean I want every male to ogle. Esp when I am crawling in that traffic, and when I am taking 1.5 hrs to reach work.

He: What I am trying to say you would have been more angry if they hadnt looked through the 1.5 hrs journey.

Me: So, I cant even crib now?

He: About the traffic, you can. The other thing, there is no need to.

Me: Well, balls to you!:-) I crib if I feel like cribbing.

He: Do do. Njaan onnum parayinnila.

Me: Good…but you think I am being silly?

He: No, I think you are chumma showing jaada..that you are not bothered at all.

Me: mmm..ok..whatever..

He: ya

Me: Change of subject….

Jeez, have I lost it, or do I really have no right to get angry over the conversation? Or am I being too touchy??

To be honest, I was not really pissed abt the journey. In India you are kind of used to it, usually it does not really bother me too much. Note, I said too much , which means that I am a little bothered. I like appreciation. I like my legs, and if somebody else likes them too, I dont have a problem. I dont mind an appreciative glance, but not when your appreciative glance lingers through the whole length of a traffic signal change. I do have a problem when the appreciative glance lingers so much that I feel that I have feel a body above my waist. I do have a problem when you twist your neck at at unnatural angle from within the auto, and then turn it 180 degrees when I attempt to pass you. And I do have a big big problem when you do your appreciative glance thing for a while, then your eyes deign to travel to my face, and then when your face twists into a meaningful grin.

Having said all that I was not really bothered this time. What did get me angry was the conversation. The implication that if I wear a short skirt, I should be flattered or grateful or accepting even if it was not respectful.

Am I being too touchy? Or does the philosophy of ‘rapists rape because girls provoke’ hold true? Is it so difficult to understand that girl might feel flattered at certain kinds of attention, but equally repulsed at a different kind, be it a glance, outright ogling or groping?

16 comments for “would you understand as a guy…

  1. February 24, 2006 at 10:50 am

    There’s no way man can dress in a way that will ensure automatic and instant attention (from either sex) the way a woman can, so don’t rely too much on men’s capacity to understand the situation.

    I don’t believe wearing “revealing” clothing justifies rape or otherwise unwanted attention in any circumstances. However, men will look, and it’s too much to expect them all to agree unanimously where appreciation ends and harassment begins. Some will give you a quick once-over; while others will leer.

    Speaking as someone who habitually wears scruffy jeans and comfortably faded shirts to marriage receptions etc., I personally don’t understand what “dressing up” is all about, or why it’s necessary. I was mortified when I was forced, nearly at gunpoint, to wear formals for my wedding.

    • March 2, 2006 at 2:18 pm

      There’s no way man can dress in a way that will ensure automatic and instant attention (from either sex) the way a woman can, so don’t rely too much on men’s capacity to understand the situation.
      Tell me about it.

      Some will give you a quick once-over; while others will leer.
      I know. All I have a problem is that when guys want us to be so accepting of the fact. We are ‘accepting’, but when we are told that we should be in the supercilious way that I was, it gets on to our nerves. But then again as you said, I really shoudn’t expect too much on men’s capacity to understand this kind of situation.

  2. February 24, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    i don’t see a problem with men ogling at good looking women(regardless of how they’re dressed) but yes when it lingers for too long it does make cause to be alarmed. and no it is not sensible at all to consider it flattery at that point.

    megha, there’s an artist from shrishti school of arts in bangalore who did an interesting project on sexual harrassment in public. try and find out about her. don’t remember her name but it was a very interesting project she was working on. it came out in the papers.

    and despite this friend’s effort to sound liberal, its really not worth arguing with men about things like this. men are never at the receiving end of things like this and can’t really be empathetic about it.

    • March 2, 2006 at 2:20 pm

      men are never at the receiving end of things like this and can’t really be empathetic about it.

      I know.

  3. February 24, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    A little adding to that…

    I think women are happy with a certain sub-section of men and glances.

    1. Men above 60 are not allowed to glance because they then come under the horny dad category.

    2. Men who are not particularly “good looking” + “leching” are not welcome either.

    3. Men have poor optical aesthetics (not very good peripheral vision, hence they have to stare longer and directly.) Its scientifically proven fact that women have better optic abilities!

    4. Are very good looking men allowed to lech? Tricky question…

    Universal phenomenon. German women have confided with similar experiences. Although the men are much more well-behaved!

    Italians, Spaniards and other southern Europeans are very macho again and need to tease, stare and whistle (similar to certain places in India.)

    • March 2, 2006 at 2:23 pm

      Re: A little adding to that…

      Are very good looking men allowed to lech? Tricky question…

      No, they are not. Then they qualify as ‘good looking, sidey men’. I dont mind a good looking man coming up to me and saying Hi, but a good looking man, ogling and smirking is defly a big turnoff, at least for me.

  4. Anonymous
    February 25, 2006 at 4:05 am

    I’ll be frank here. Iam a guy and yes, I do stare at nice legs in a short skirt. Now, thats reasonable, aint it. And, if the girl in the skirt smiles back, I smile back. And as far as Iam considered, it should end there. May be, a decent girl like you who doesnt mind a little appreciation, ends it there. But the problem is with girls who do more than just smiling back. And the problem with most Indian men – they think all girls wearing short skirts are like that.

    And coming to the dressing sense, one should have the freedom of wearing what they like. I think it will take more time for Indians not to really bother about what others wear

    Anoop (anoopparlapalli.blogspot.com)

    • March 2, 2006 at 2:27 pm

      And the problem with most Indian men – they think all girls wearing short skirts are like that.

      First of all, I am not sure about the percentage of girls who do ‘more than smiling’, but that’s a different discussion. And as for believing that all girls are like that, yes, I know…stereotyping.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  5. February 27, 2006 at 5:25 am

    Women stare more!!

    Yeah man…wearing a short skirt can be a pain sometimes. I wear short skirts because I want to wear them…not because I want others to look. Anyway, I had a very different experience this weekend. I went to this corporate dinner wearing a short (formal, knee-length) skirt. The men did look and smile (which I was fine with…coz they all were a nice, corporate crowd)…but the women just stared and stared! They even gave me those condescending looks! What was with that I ask you? It was a not even a mini skirt…regular knee length formal one…but the women could not stop staring at my legs? At one point dreamywinky even thought that one woman was a lesbian coz she was staring at me so hard. Maybe they were jealous that they had turned up in boring suits, trousers etc and there I was in a short skirt…I don’t know…

    • March 2, 2006 at 2:30 pm

      Re: Women stare more!!

      women stare..because they stereotype ‘short skirts girls’ are of a certain type..I think. But men stare because of stereotyping..and..well, does leching have a reason other than normal male hormones?

      • Anonymous
        March 4, 2006 at 8:34 pm

        Re: Women stare more!!

        “does leching have a reason other than normal male hormones?”

        Mostly no. You see we men are helpless!!
        I see only one solution to the stare problem. More women should were short skirts and there are many many more legs to appreciate, so that the poor guy is not forced to lech the occasional leg 🙂

        Interesting post.

        • March 8, 2006 at 4:08 pm

          Re: Women stare more!!

          More women should were short skirts and there are many many more legs to appreciate, so that the poor guy is not forced to lech the occasional leg 🙂

          Interesting solution to the issue:-d. but seriously, I have a feeling that actually might work. You know..’legs’ being a normal thing.

          • Anonymous
            April 29, 2006 at 2:35 pm

            Re: Women stare more!!

            there is nothing like “enough” legs; i am getting ready to welcome summer and skirts ! will keep in mind not to look at your leg when i see you – prude !

          • May 2, 2006 at 4:14 am

            Re: Women stare more!!

            That you donks?:-)

  6. Anonymous
    April 29, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    shocked

    shocked shocked shocked !

  7. June 27, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    Nah nothing ‘provokes’ anyone to rape. That is an excuse certain men might use to justify their actions, but provoked? Why shouldnt I have the freedom to wear what I want? That is my question. 😀

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