Why do a few Indian men stare at the girls walking on the road like they have never seen a girl before?
I am a tall girl.
People used to stare and I got used to that.
So much so that I had become blind to people staring (like most girls).
I was a pretty outdoorsy person and travelled in buses, local trains, on foot at weird times and to new places without a care in the world.
Got stared at in buses, on roads, while sitting in autos, trains, ticketing queues of trains, pubs, discs (everywhere? I dunno)
No matter what I wore, who I was with, what I was doing. Got stared at.
If i stared back, some would look away, some didn't.
I eventually got tired of bothering and grew immune to it.
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I always used to wonder, what is there to stare?
I wasn't 'that' pretty.
I wore 'proper' clothes, by choice.
My hair wasn't out of place.
As a young girl, I had convinced myself it was because they hadn't seen many tall girls.
Of course, I always called out people when they touched/tried to touch but I didn't have the bandwidth to deal with staring people.
I was living in Mumbai then and frankly things weren't 'that' bad. Only a 'few' people stared/touched and several times other men/women joined in the creeps-bashing when I pointed them out.
Then I moved to Gurgaon.
I am not that outdoorsy anymore.
I loved walking and in my first week there, I thought I will go to a supermarket which I was like a 15-min walk. That one walk opened my eyes.
There were so many cars slowing down by my side while I was walking on the footpath, sometimes honking, sometimes coming to a halt. I was crossing roads and some cars just sped up to me as if to scare me and get a kick out of it.
I never went even to an nearby ATM alone.
Once me and my girlies were returning late from a movie in an auto. And at a signal, we had to stop. It turns out it was near a liquor store. And can you believe this: there were some 10-15 people around the auto and they started tapping on the auto. I don't know what the hell it meant but we got out of there asap.
Then I got married.
And my husband told me not to wear my low cut top once when we had plans to go around town.
The feminist in me was outraged! How could he! He had no right to tell me what to wear. I fought with him and I wore what I wanted. The neckline wasn't even that deep anyway.
Then we went out and he was fuming on the way. I thought he was still bitter about the fight, so I brought it up again and he told me that he hated creepy guys looking at me.
I was stumped. "What guys?", I asked him.
"The ones we crossed on the road", he told me.
I never noticed any and I told him so.
"Are you blind?", said he.
I was. I never noticed anyone staring. I used to just look past everyone by default. Now I don't and it makes me realize that in this case 'Oblivion is bliss'
And that is why I have asked my husband to refrain from getting into arguments over this or staring back at such creeps because it is just not worth it. Especially because it won't make any real difference to their psyche. And moreover these days we hardly go ever use public transport or such places or may be because I have again grown blind, no one seems to bother me.
I asked him this same question that you are asking here and he told me the following:
"Most guys are frustrated."
The society of India and it's machinery only fuels this frustration.
1.Sometimes, ironically, by withholding everyone within it's 'traditional' (post-wedding) shackles.
2.Sometimes, by justifying crime against women, as just being men being men.
Where does this frustration channelizes?
Groping in a crowd?
Staring at women in movies and women in real life.
Is it a surprise then that a recent UN sponsored study found the following:
Indian films topped the chart in sexualised portrayal of women onscreen. The study also states that 35% of female characters in Indian movies are shown with some nudity, the study reports. That's not all. The study found that female characters in Indian cinema make up less than one-quarter of all speaking roles! This isn't the first time stereotyping and sexualisation of women in Indian cinema have been talked about; however, the fact that it has ranked so high on an international survey has come as a surprise.
Ranjith Kumar, I am an Indian
This answer was written when the question did not mention "few" and threw a blanket statement that "Indian men stare...".
One can say 'Indian men stare at girls' only if:
- Only Indian men and men in no other country stare at girls
2.All Indian men (implies 100% of Indian men that you come across) stare at girls.
Tell me that at least one of the 2 statements made above are true and only then can you go about generalizing that "Indian men stare at girls". It's really irritating to hear it time and again that "Indian men" are like this or like that.
Do you know how girls who come from other countries to study in India feel safer here than in their home-countries?
Are you so sure that this 'staring' issue is present only in India and nowhere else?
When you raise such a question on a public forum like Quora, you malign the character of all Indian men. So you need to take caution while framing the question.
P.S: The reply might seem harsh but please understand that generalizing such negative things to all the men is truly not acceptable.
P.P.S: While the question earlier did not have the word "most" mentioned in it, it was just a few days back that the question was edited to "Why do most Indian men stare at......". Does it reduce the blame that you thrust upon the Indian men by including the word 'most'? I doubt. Say a girl is walking on a street which has say 100 men. Well, if more than half of them 'stare' at girl, then you have every right to say "most Indian men stare at girls".
Dont get me wrong. I am not trying to downplay the issue. Such men do exist who make girls uncomfortable by catcalling, eve-teasing etc. Such idiots need to be taken to task. What I want to say is that this issue is not endemic to India. And again, not most of the Indian men are like that.
The question should have rather been "Why do some men stare at girls walking on the road like they have never seen a girl before?" Why do you drag 'India' into the question?
Subham Dutta, I observe humans :3
We are a large proportion of Indians. We can and will stare at you to your death for our reasons.
FYI, the reasons vary:
(1). You're wearing a short skirt or a super-tight jeans. We can't help, you see. You're 'asking for it'.
In this matter, we can be anyone.We can be almost every random guy person on the street.
We can be those uncles in your locality whom you've seen right from your childhood, whose 'view' towards you suddenly changed the day you hit puberty.
We can be those aunties.We think it's okay to show our unproportionate belly because we are wearing something traditional; saree, for instance.We will give you that 'cover your legs' look!
(2). Enjoying the hell out of your poor bra strap that may have become visible through your dress by any fortunate chance.Your bra didn't sign up for this life,we know.
(3). Exactly what your ugly boyfriend did to get you in the first place?
(4). Your food.
Besides this, we can be those perverted perverts who doesn't even stop at staring.We will record your legs or that tiny part of your cleavage on our phone while pretending to do some serious stuff on it.We upload it to porn sites though,if you're asking.
This is not about supporting those pseudo-feminists. It is nothing wrong for a girl in India to wear whatever she wants. It's just that a vast majority of my country people aren't ready to grow a pair or grow a mindset that accepts this
Ashutosh, lives in India
I have the answer. It might sound a bit naive.
Why do few Indian men stare at the girls walking on the road like they’ve never seen a girl before?
Because no one’s stopping them.
Their parents never told them not to. They hold conservative beliefs that all women should dress modestly. They know that in this society, Men dominate Women. No women would dare stop them. And the men wouldn’t bother.
They falsely believe that women wear certain clothes for them to see, and not because she’s doing it for herself as she feels comfortable and trendy in it.
Some men continue staring at women, even when the woman makes it visibly clear that’s it uncomfortable because they just want a few more seconds to stare at her body.
These are men who believe it’s okay for guys to wear anything. But a woman shouldn’t. There’s patriarchal control over women, and then there’s a lack of respect especially for women who don’t wear what they want her to.
It’s a cultural disaster.
They aren’t capable of putting themselves in her shoes and acting likewise.
Priyanka Snell, MBA, M.S.(Statistics)
I really have no idea and I've never been able to figure this out.
I just thought about this some time ago. A few months ago, at my previous company (not in India), I was in a meeting where a woman’s loose top seemed to have slipped a bit too low and part of her bra was clearly visible.
We were the only two women in a conference room filled with non-Indian men. Not even one man looked at her twice or made her feel weird about it.
I pinged her and told her to set her top right and then it was all okay. But really - nobody made a big deal of it.
When I got out of the meeting, I thought about what would have happened if we were in India. People would've gossiped about it for days.
I remember when I was studying in India and we had this lady professor who was once wearing a t-shirt with a zip in the front. The zip had somehow opened up a little and a bit of her cleavage had become visible. It was a “"talking point” for guys in my class for months.
I honestly do not know what makes people in our country think this way. They have all the freedom that they'd otherwise have in another country - so I'm honestly clueless.
Bhuvana Rameshwar, Relationships nuances
Some men are born creeps. They do this for the instant gratification it gives them. They are worse in crowded buses where they do everthing except sleeping on you. How often we hear women screaming in bad words at an unknown man in crowded trains and buses in peak hours. Some men come at that time only for physical satisfaction from unknown women flesh.
Staring at women or girls if given a chance is another time pass. This oggling is to strip you mentally. It is a kind of male chauvanist behaviour to make you feel so uncomfortable that you will hide in your house forever. This is a dominant bullying behaviour of the uncultured male species. They cannot tolerate women coming out as equal as men.
Once I was in the orthodox city of Madurai, way back in late 80s. I was in the railway station, Madurai junction, standing in a normal queue to book my Chennai ticket (Madras those days).
As I stood I felt somebody was staring at me. I looked to see an oldman in dhoti and a dirty shirt, standing next to a huge granite pillar of the entrance hall. Since he was only an old man, I thought he was harmless and looked his direction once again after sometime as the queue moved . As I looked at him he signalled with his hands “come to me”. He looked old enough to be my grandfather. That's the dark side of the world for you.
Me and my friends are one of those 'Indian men who stare at women'.
Here's something interesting I recently read which is related to this topic.
Broadway is one of USA's most fashionable street. Everyday, thousands of beautiful women walk on this street.
Even 250 years ago the situation was the same. Beautiful women used to walk in their long frocks.
Back in those days there were no good roads in USA. Every time it rained, puddles used to be formed on the street. In order to avoid soiling their pretty frocks, these fashionable ladies used to lift their frocks by an inch, while crossing those puddles, thereby exposing their ankles for a second.
Now here's the fun part - American men used to gather around puddles just to get a glimpse of their ankles.
Men will be men.
Ashok Ramesh, lives in India
I believe it is because the way Indians raised. In India talking about sex is a big taboo. Sex education is considered offensive. In classroom, boys and girls are not allowed to sit together. Parents are very protective towards girl child. Marriage should be arranged by parents. Dating is still not acceptable here. Prostitution is illegal. Recently go nment added oil to the fire by banning porn.
All these things jointly made guys a bit lonely. Same applies for girls too, but girls do have advantage. They can easily find a partner, which is not always the case with guys. This may be the reason why guys stare at beautiful girls or girls in certain cloths.
I am not saying, staring is right. It is wrong, offensive and downright as they don’t do anything other than staring, one should ignore and move on.
Lingeshwaran, studies Economics at Loyola College, Chennai,Tamil Nadu
Well most of us stare at women,I have come across a lot of men,whom I thought never had such intentions for women do stare at them like they have never seen one.
To be honest,even I sometimes stare at women,because I want to…..;-D
Look,And I don't stare at every women who are walking on road but I watch only the ones who drags my attention.And guys,I look at them,because I admire their beauty.
First I thought, what I was doing was wrong but later I figured that I don't see them the way the other men do,like with all such corrupted thoughts running through in their minds,intimating intentions and so.Whereas me on the other side,I just admire their beauty.
You see,I perceive myself as an artist,who loves art,an mere admirer who commends the god's beautiful creations.
And come on girls,admit,confess cause even women checks on men nowadays.I literally didn't know that women do these kind a things,I got to know that when started I receiving such attention;-p
So…..yes, I wanted to mention this because,not every men sees women the way this society thinks.