Things we do, Things we can do….

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Some of my old readers might remember a two part post which I did some time back, “It happened “ and “couple of good news . It was one of those posts where some of the people were disappointed at my behavior, and some excited as to what might follow. The part 3 of that story never happened and till today I never saw that girl/woman again.

Why did I think about that incident?, you might wonder. I see a lot of campaign going on TV these days, saying stop leching. I have read numerable blogs which talk about the subject eve teasing, incidents related to molestation which seem to be finding headlines in Indian media almost every other day. People at mall’s being groped and comments of sexual nature being passed at, passers by. I totally agree that these forms of crime against women should not be tolerated; more importantly should be dealt with bigger punishments. Women today are being subjected to this kind of nonsense, and high levels of humiliation, is this making smaller crimes like looking/staring acceptable?. Firstly is looking/staring really a crime.

I have to admit, I am a little confused when it comes to the difference between looking and staring. I did what I knew best searching for it over the internet

star•ing: To look directly and fixedly, often with a wide-eyed gaze. See synonyms at gaze.

look•ing: employ one’s sight, especially in a given direction or on a given object: looking out the window; looked at the floor.

So from this, it appears as if “looking” is just having a glance where as, starting is to have a prolonged and wide eyed look. So how often men/women are guilty with this?. I mean we all look at things around us, and people of opposite sex happen to be around us, so we do spot them. So may be looking is not that much of a crime. Moving onto the staring part, after one has had a look, if he/she continues to look with deeper interests, in a fashion making the person of interest conscious, that would constitute a “stare”. Now is that bad?. I feel yes in most cases.

There have been numerous times, when I am really angry and have given wide long stares at the other person, Instead of yelling out abuses or even breaking into a verbal fight. So I do know consciously when I want to stare, how to do it. If one has really bad intentions, he/she might end up indulging in “staring” for bad reasons. However when the intentions are not consciously bad, when one is genuinely looking when it turns into a stare is a difficult line to draw. How many times have we caught ourselves staring at something or someone without even realizing? So when that happens, does that constitute a crime?. Going by the approach that, a murder committed unconsciously still constitutes a crime, this as well might end up in such a bracket. All it calls for is more self control.

So coming back to the twin incidents, was I guilty?. May be yes for looking, and definitely no for staring, not at this case atleast, mainly because if I know me, you can relate, when I say that, most of my staring happens in the “mind”, where I tend to think about things which matter to me the most in a person. Infact one of the most common problems I face in public places is when, I kind of get lost in my thoughts, my eyes drifts unknowingly to a distant object, mainly towards sky, or a distant gate in view, or the most commonly window by the side, at this moment if someone is sitting in the line of sight, I have ended up being conscious of the fact that someone might mistake that I am staring at them.

I don’t claim to be a hermit, I do look around, and very rarely continue to look at people from opposite sex, but it needs a very good mood. I mean normally I am never in good mood. When I walk around the city, and chose to walk with my head down or up towards the sky, I have imagined many a times, that girls around me might think what kind of a fool I am to do that, or whats wrong with him.

I recently came across a project called Blank noise”. . I had seen this couple of months ago, and was wondering how men can contribute to such projects, today got to read some sections in the site, mainly to understand what really bothers women, and how bad is the situation. Looking at the statistics there, the situation seems to be really bad. So we do need more of us to contribute. So made me wonder how I can contribute. What we can all do is first consciously avoid doing simplest of things, even things like starting or avoidable ‘looking’. One might be really good, but if his/her friend tries to indulge in such things, or even try to glorify it as achievement, be quick to point out how stupid they are to think that as achievement. Atleast try and discourage people around you who try to whistle or pass comments. We can do atleast this much cant we?

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13 responses »

  1. I have never conciously thought about these things. If people are rude than I just ignore them but I actually didn’t came across it a lot. Ignoring would be my best approach and a little staring doesn’t harmas long as it is discreet. Who says that there is something wrong behind it

    Hmm nobody says there is something wrong, but you get a feeling of guilt, when you do that.. so I guess somewhere its us who consider that wrong
    -Rambler

  2. A very sensitive post and it’s good to hear things from a man’s point of view. I’ll tell you one thing from a woman’s point of view. It’s not the actual looking/staring as much as how a man looks. A woman knows it instantly. Whether it’s leching or simply admiring. No woman minds only the former. A man may but glance at a woman but his look may be distasteful to the woman while a man’s eyes may linger on a woman for a few seconds but what one sees there is simply admiration or maybe it’s a gaze of pure love but ofcourse it has to be a subtle look. When you looked at that girl, it was a gaze of a romantic and I found it really very romantic!
    There are some men however hard they try, they lech! 🙂 And there are some men however hard they try can never lech!
    So don’t try. Be yourself.

    Nita, I think I agree partially that women know instantly if its leching, it also is important for men to not over do it, I mean who knows when I cross the border and start leching.. so should a man be cautious?.
    I think I understand what you mean by distasteful.
    Oh being myself is dangerous, what If I belong to the first category 🙂
    -Rambler

  3. I stare when I’m mad but it’s more like a glare…you know that I’m really mad but i’m biting my tongue sideways glare…lol
    My hubby looks and so do I (at the men for me of course;p), if I see something nice, I’m going to look at it. if I don’t want to be looked at, I’ll go shopping like a bum if I’m dressed up then I expect looks, looks and life, so be it…lol
    What I don’t like are those men that sit in a row, in a group and shout out things…hey sweet thing, shake it for us! ….irritates me to no end, l would love to know enough karate to go over and kick some butt…lol

    JJ, hmm looks like you are more liberal towards your hubby 🙂
    -Rambler

  4. I’ve lots to catch up on, and look forward to some reading Rambler!

    I’ve often wondered about the next chapters in this story. To me, this could be an endless conversation of what is acceptable and what is not, for everyone’s tolerance and view is different… what I found so incredible about what happened to you, was how moved you were by seeing this girl, not once but twice… How this girl awakened something in you… there is no crime in that. Had you pursued her against her wishes… had you approached her and asked her to go for coffee and she said yes, with a mutual attraction lighting in her eyes… it could all play out in a myriad of scenarios… Sometimes when I’m driving, I get ticked off and give a nasty stare and then realize that I do so, just because I don’t know this person, or think I don’t!!! Imagine if I sat down that night to a dinner party and there was the person I was so nasty to earlier!!! Would I just smile and not stare, or say I was the unsophisticated person in too big of a hurry to see the person at who I was objectifying…

    great post Rambler…

    Lea, Welcome back.. great to see you back. so there are so many if’s in life isn’t it
    -Rambler

  5. hmm u dont deliberately need to make any effort…we girls understand…its not as bad as it seems and yes we definitely dont overreact (though it might look that way to some esp when not at the scene)…but its usually the type of ‘look’ or ‘stare’ which matters/offends…
    so u dont worry…im sure, going by the type of person u seem to be, most girls would be flattered 🙂
    take care!!

    “going by the type of person u seem to be,”… pri I am very deceptive 🙂
    -Rambler

  6. I realised I made a typo. I mean ‘A’ woman and not ‘No’ woman…guess I was planning another sentence and changed it halfway!

    Nita, that line did make me wonder 🙂
    -Rambler

  7. i totally agree with Nita. its not about looking or staring.. its about what the type of look.. wht it coveys -lech.
    i don’t think avoiding looking at women will contribute in anyway. men should be more forthcoming and help any woman in distress.

    quite a sensitive post thr.. 🙂

    so again I am back to square one. so whats leching 🙂
    -Rambler

  8. There is a difference between staring and looking.
    Looking is tolerable, staring is not.
    Like all the women have written above, the difference is actually quite easy to catch, especially if you are a woman 😛

    CR, you say tolerable, does it mean its bad, but still ok?
    quite easy to catch?.. It thinks its difficult .. may be because I am not a woman 🙂
    -Rambler

  9. leching is more like a ‘visual rape’ so to say.. when a woman feels violated even from a glance.

    SSNAB,
    I think its too subjective to define 🙂
    -Rambler

  10. was talking to a frnd earlier and was reminded of this post of urs. she says, when a guy stares, why should i lower my eyes with shame? i dont. i stare back, and most of the times, the guy does not have any other option but to lower his head in shame. 🙂

    interesting. she has a point. why shld girls lower their heads in shame when a guy stares? after all, she is not doing anything wrong.

    Priya, I totally agree with your friend, and I like her confidence too.. why should a girl/women lower her head..especially why in shame…btw why should a guy stare at the first place.. and more importantly to me, how can I make sure I know the difference between looking and staring 😀
    Coming back to her point, she is definitely not doing anything wrong, its the minds like this which know what they are doing which can change the society easily.
    -Rambler

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