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Welcome To The Real World

Welcome To The Real World

June 12, 2011

An open letter to India’s porn-spoiled wannabe Romeos.



Dear Cocky Young Thing,

What you see in pornographic ‘blue’ films is not reality. The Earth is not a playground for young men to behave as they please. I know you have learned a lot of lessons about how to get what you want out of society from those ‘blue’ films. I feel obliged to inform you, however, that you cannot accost women verbally or physically wherever you wish; you cannot degrade them at your whim; and you cannot behave as though the streets, and everyone in them, are beholden to your desires.

Not that my words are going to stop you trying. I see you every day strutting around the village, either passing lewd comments on female passers-by or cackling in response to such a comment made by one of your friends. I see you undressing women in your head as though it were a God-given right. I see you marching along with your mobile glued to your ear and a toothy grin glued to your face, half your mind on the ‘flowers’ in the street and the other half on describing them to an equally thrilled mate at the other end of the line.

You might say that women are there to serve you and please you, or that you were given a penis so that you might use it. I say that’s pure fantasy, beginning with porn movies and supported by the objectifying banter you engage in with your peers. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t look at beautiful women in public; everyone does that, and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s when your gaze is motivated by pornographic thoughts that it becomes a problem.

I must express some relief that I am no longer living in India as part of a couple. My days were constantly troubled by unwanted attention towards my companion, whose light skin alone seemed to imply her willingness to jump into bed with anyone man enough to make it happen. Though I remain relieved that I no longer have that daily worry about her safety, I have to trade that relief for the sad knowledge that you will only have moved on to someone else.

That’s because for you, it’s purely a numbers game. You don’t get women by forging a strong connection with one to whom you feel a particular attraction. You just blast through the streets, the railway carriage, the corridors at school – wherever – touching bottoms, passing filthy notes or cornering single ladies until one of them agrees to give up what you want.

I imagine the satisfaction you feel when you get what you want is powerful, that you’ve played the numbers game to its logical conclusion and won what you expected to through sheer perseverance. I’ll tell you what’s much more satisfying, though: a loving relationship with a base of mutual respect. That temporary, quantitative release of lust is nothing compared to an ongoing, qualitative connection through which you can share, explore, understand so many things you might never have dreamed of. (It need not even include sex.)

To those of you who for some reason end up reading this, I am well aware that you will likely ignore it with the same blank, distancing grin with which you dismiss anyone in public who happens not to be the object of your gaze. But here, as in those cases, I know that you are in fact paying attention. I know that you fool yourself into believing that the vicious stare from someone’s father or the harsh words from the shopkeeper have no effect on you. But they do. The safety pin remains the essential tool that all women travelling on buses must carry, and every time it stabs you when you touch something you shouldn’t, you know it hurts. Even if it’s just for a split second, before the thrill of what you’ve done takes over.

Like the pin, those judgmental looks and comments sting you. They bite into your moral consciousness. Your conditioned response to laugh and/or boast to a friend is impressively swift, but I know it’s accompanied with deep feelings of guilt and shame, so buried beneath layers of self-deception that you might not even be able to articulate them if you wanted to.

I say to you, let that guilt rise. Guilt is not an unhealthy thing, to be squashed and concealed from your attention. It’s a natural, internal indicator that what you’re doing is wrong. In this case, it’s the inverse of the anger you feel when someone passes an inappropriate comment about your mother, or your sister, or your cousin. Just as you give that anger a voice, so too should you give your guilt a voice, or at least a space in your thoughts from which it can bear influence on your actions.

Life will not always be so carefree, young man. Your youthful exuberance and wide, toothy grin, currently such valuable aspects of your lady-wooing arsenal, will fade in time. Fantasies always crumble in the end. The sooner you line your thoughts up with reality, the longer you’ll get to experience the fullness of life as it really is. You don’t have to tell anyone, or admit anything. Just make that change. We'll all be so much happier.

Photo credit: Kadoo at Deviantart 

53 Comments

  • Khadija Ejaz
    By
    Khadija Ejaz
    09.08.12 10:46 PM
    Fab!
  • Lakshmi VK
    By
    Lakshmi VK
    06.12.11 03:12 PM
    I'm surprised I did not come across this article earlier. I loved it.
  • Fake Indian
    By
    Fake Indian
    02.08.11 02:30 PM
    Interesting article, even more interesting comments. Harassment is unacceptable, but harassers are people like us.Yes, like you. Like me, too. So no capital punishment, but no condoning it either. I think the one thing missing in India is gender sensitisation, not just for men, but also for women. The respect shown for women within families is precisely because people have been sensitised to show respect for family members of the other gender. This respect is something sadly missing for strangers of the other gender. Nobody except for the other rabid dogs in the Indian male pack informs them about gender relations.

    People need to be educated, where does one learn how to interact with the opposite gender after all? There HAS to be a better alternative to porn, which seems to be the only "free and frank" source of learning of gender roles for Indian men.

    By the way, I would like to just to add an expert perspective (24 years of formal education, seriously!) on the issue of gender relations. This very important work on rape by Russell (1970 or so) had the hypothesis "more threatened egos lead to more rapes". Assuming that sexual harassment lies along a continuum that ranges from verbal insults, arranged marriage, dowry taking, on to rape and dowry murders; the "threatened ego hypothesis" works for India very well.

    One depressing consequence of this all, supported by considerable recent research is that increasing female equality INCREASES sexual violence ( I include 'eve-teasing' in this category). Oh, and to add something about the NRIs and foreigners bitching about India, it is something Georg Simmel called the perspective of the stranger, very useful thing. Also only by looking at the familiar through unfamiliar eyes, can change come about.
  • RD
    By
    RD
    26.07.11 01:17 PM
    @ Jimmy,

    A lot of times women dont speak up because in India its considered
    a) SHAMEFUL to be touched.
    b) the womans fault, what was she wearing, why was she alone, never mind if she was in a school uniform going to school
    c)theyre scared as ****
    d)no one to talk to about it
    e)Finally when you report this to police, they REFUSE to file a complaint
    f) if you scream out loud in a train people tell you to "stop making a big deal, he just felt you up, we have to get to work, dont waste our time"

    Maybe if we stop trivializing the issue, we will learn to treat it as a crime. And talk to family members about reporting such incidents
  • tys
    By
    tys
    24.07.11 09:15 AM
    i really do think that eve teasing is an indian phenomenon..its another inheritance which we need to address and remove..what Problem, said is correct...we need to understand where its coming from..

    where i come from is a matriarchal society..supposedly...

    eveteasting, i think is a courting ritual that has gone to seed..temple court yard was once the only place which was available for men to see of perhaps initiate a conversation or attention from a woman in the olden days...iam being specific to south india here..

    we even have an old couplet from the great poet/philospher kunjan nambiar, who passes a comment on the princess and her maid coming out of the temple pond , where he quotes : 'kathil ola, nala thali' which roughly translated means that the maid with the leaf stud in her ears is more beautiful...

    so it was there..

    this is perhaps why theres a chalta hai attitude to eve teasing amoung us...as if it was a harmless activity..perhaps it was once upon a time...now its not only abt initiating a meeting, it seems to be abt humiliating...it has become an attack...

    theres a long gap between admiration, courting and humilation...

    not everything need be an import..we are quite capable of creating our own filth...
  • Problem
    By
    Problem
    23.07.11 05:17 PM
    @Maya,

    That is actually a very interesting point. I bet you could probably trace the rise in this type of behaviour and perhaps the increase in rapes and so on to the increase in western sexualised tv and newspaper content (has anyone looked at the TOI online lately - some of the content is quite racy - and that is supposed to be a quality newspaper?) coming in to the country. Perhaps someone should do a study!

    The difference is that in India, unlike the west, the outlets are not there since people tend to be a bit more conservative in relations between sexes, so it leads to a problem of repressed sexual tension leading to this type of behaviour.

    I guess the solution then is to try and stop the content coming in (good luck with that!) or perhaps freeing up the kids of India a little bit.

    It is somewhat unfortunate that it has to go that way. It is a sad facet of life that virtually everything in the west is sexualized to a large degree, including kids. Look at the rate of teenage pregancy around the western world.

    The ideal, in my opinion, would actually be to desexualize (if that is a word). Sex isn't everything!
  • maya
    By
    maya
    23.07.11 11:58 AM
    @Jimmy, see, but that's where the situation differs. As a guy, you have the option of fighting back. You got satisfaction from bringing your tormentors down. Sadly, most women in India don't have that option. They just have to put up with it. Imagine how helpless and frustrated you'd feel being on the receiving end of something so demeaning when you step out of the house, and not being able to retaliate.

    @Problem, I think you are right that the issue of male behaviour in India comes from repression. Guys in the west grow up seeing legs, arms, cleavage -- so it's no big deal if they see a woman in shorts for example. Where as in India, they'd be falling over themselves in response to the "forbidden fruit". Plus, not many males in India have an outlet for their sexual desires. They are tantalised by skimpily dressed women and sexual activity on western TV (and yes, I have to mention it, porn) but what can they do?

    Of course, all these guys would probably behave much better in the family environment -- hence the saying: "don't you have a mother or a sister?" to guys who behave inappropriately to women when they're out.
  • Pundit
    By
    Pundit
    23.07.11 03:51 AM
    Methinks he doth protest too much. Faux nationalistic fervor...willful ignorance of what the I in NRI stands for...random ad hominem accusations...minimizing the seriousness of the issue by broadening the discussion beyond the scope of the article...deflecting away from the misdeeds of men and instead of focusing on the culprits, blame the victims for not being fiery enough in their response...senselessly demanding women of all ages, schooling, backgrounds, exposure, and temperament to conjure up a uniform reaction to a violation of their privacy and their bodies and their dignity...YAWN. Low IQ+EQ+life experience alert. Wrong gender, too. Not worthy of the energy required to write full sentences. And that's all she wrote, folks.
  • Jimmy Varghese
    By
    Jimmy Varghese
    23.07.11 12:50 AM
    @The NRI: Respect, man... that's what I have for you.. Thanks for your kind offer.. maybe someday I will hold you to your offer... maybe... ;-)

    @Everyone: As demonstrated in the video, assaults happen in the western worlds as well.. I am by no means condoning such incidents, neither am I advocating us to be satisfied by what we have accomplished so far.

    Every societies have their own share of good and evil.. Aping the western world and under-cutting our Indian traditions is NOT the solution.. you are unknowingly wishing for some more monstrous crimes..

    As sung by Daughtry- "Be careful what you wish for... coz you just might get it all.. and then some that you don't want.."

    Nowhere in the Indian culture/tradition is eve-teasing condoned.. miscreants and mischieves exist in all civilizations.. As I pointed out in the start, this article should be directed at "ALL" men who eve-tease and not just "Indian" men..

    I rest my case..
  • The NRI
    By
    The NRI
    22.07.11 11:50 PM
    Jimmy, thanks for understanding our position. Just to prove our policy of inclusiveness, I am happy for you to pen a piece for us - working title: Why do NRIs always whine about India:)

    What say?
  • Jimmy Varghese
    By
    Jimmy Varghese
    22.07.11 11:36 PM
    @Keri: Kudos... you have really brought the essence of what I've been trying to convey all along, with that single video.

    I would be extremely happy to see Indian women come of age and stand for themselves. And I would also be the happiest man with the peace of mind that my woman knows how to handle herself and is truly empowered.
  • Keri
    By
    Keri
    22.07.11 11:27 PM
    Pleas watch the video to see how a woman in New York handled a pervert. Sometimes you just have to be LOUD and UNDETERRED.

    Caution: objectionable language, please don't watch if that offends you
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/22/subway-flasher_n_787117.html
  • Problem
    By
    Problem
    22.07.11 11:24 PM
    Well, yes that's right the Kama Sutra came from India. Somewhere along the way, Indian society has lost its way. I think an obvious factor to blame would be the 1000 year colonization of the country. Clearly that affects a nation, being under that type of rule for so long. In fact, it is entirely possible that the lack of pride that Indians have in their environment could be traced back to fear of showing any pride for fear of having it taken away from them by a stronger, more powerful oppressor! Perhaps it is easier not to show any pride so you can't lose it.
  • Jimmy Varghese
    By
    Jimmy Varghese
    22.07.11 11:23 PM
    @The NRI: Thank you for your very kind comment and ability to appreciate a different opinion. Thank you for changing the picture as well. I do not consider your web-site as anti-Indian at all. I'm just merely tired of this NRI lot who, within months of landing on foreign shores have a 100 things to say negative about India. And to whom do they complain? The white-skins who are the most culpable of these acts.

    @A Singh: Paedophilia is more common in the western world than in India due to the societal structure. Most husbands and wives hardly stay together for less than 5 years and children are often exposed to "step"-dads and "step"-moms. I wish I could pull up some global statistics to show you the disparity. However the numbers do not exist on a global scale. The local news in the US and Canada is filled with abduction of women and other more heinous acts. Try googling "Josef Fritzl". In India, crimes occur to satisfy human needs like poverty, hunger, sex etc. The western world is a civilization where people commit these crimes as a hobby.

    "start accepting reality man – eve teasing (I f**king hate this term) is a predominantly asian phenomenon compared to western countries. " -- You are absolutely wrong A Singh, you should check out the assaults that happens in undergrad schools in the US. Google "frat parties", "date rape drugs", etc for your kind info. These guys have taken eve-teasing to the next level.

    @Maya: With regard to "first-hand experiences", why not? Do you think only girls get molested? How about small boys?? I have had my share of distasteful memories as well... I've had the delight of pulverizing some of those idiots and also some of those guys who have publicly assaulted women in my vicinity. It was truly a satisfying experience.

    What I'm merely pointing out is that the real change will happen only when the victim stands up and fights for their own rights. None of the Indian laws condone such acts. So use the legal apparatus. Else try pepper-spray, judo and like-wise. The key here is self-determination. Throughout human history, nobody "gives" your rights, you have to "take" it.

    To me this whole issue is very similar to the issues of women's reservation. If you want equality, stand up and fight for electoral seats. Any victory by winning a handicap match is not a real victory and will not usher the real change that is needed in our societies. (Now that's another can of worms opened up for you, let the personal attacks begin).

    @Tys: I appreciate the objectivity you have offered discussing this issue. I just hold a different opinion. Rights should not be "given" but must be "taken".. I appreciate and practice your request for interference..

    With regard to judging people. This article began by judging people. So as a response, I found it fair to adopt the same demeanor while responding.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    22.07.11 11:18 PM
    Sure repressed sexuality is a factor. Interested in your opinion about how much of this is down to outside influence, specifically that of prudish Victorian Britain. India after all was the creator of the Kama Sutra.
  • Problem
    By
    Problem
    22.07.11 11:05 PM
    Confrontation is a first step, but I really do think alot of the problem is repressed sexuality. That is a problem, in my opinion, in India. There are very outdated and outmoded views of sex and having boyfriends and girlfriends etc. Often, these types of topics are not talked about and kids have to sneak around and so they can end up with strange ideas about women and a strong libido with no outlet.

    I think the real key is being a bit more open about it within families and there being alot more mixing between boys and girls in social environments. Obviously, there are limits to this, but a bit more openness would be a start. Also, just having more care and concern for society and the environment in general would help. I really think the insularity of Indian families is what causes alot of the mess and dirt that you see in India. Nobody cares about anyone outside of their family or social circle. There needs to be some pride in the community and country as a whole. When people respect their country and their fellow citizens then these types of behaviour should be greatly reduced, in my opinion.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    22.07.11 10:57 PM
    @Problem - I agree there is a bit of a paradox here. I come from a punjabi background, and in many families in our community, the woman is not just only equal bit often a dominant figure.

    I think this is a problem that has just exploded over time because of the ease of committing the assault, and minimal chances of any comeback or consequences for the attacker.

    The sexual predator must rely not only on the weakness of the their prey, but on the basis that no-one of their own size will intervene. There must have been a time when they would scan the immediate area to determine if a passer by would step in. Now I doubt they even bother as they know the drill - even if others don't condone this behaviour, no-one wants to be a hero.

    One time I was travelling on a crowded train when I observed a young guy, who I suspected was going to get a cheap thrill, sidling up to a female passenger. As he scanned the carriage I met his gaze with a hypnotic stare. He then moved his position away from the girl. Either he was psychic or my eyes successfully conveyed my thoughts - that I would bash him in front of everyone if he tried to make a move.

    Tys is right, men en masse need to start getting serious and acting to protect their Indian sisters. What do you think would happen to the frequency of this behaviour if even 50% of the time, a bystander would confront the eve teaser?
  • Problem
    By
    Problem
    22.07.11 10:42 PM
    I actually find this whole thing a bit of a puzzle. All Indian women in the families that I know are treated with respect, honour and love by their relatives of all ages. If you look at how they are treated at work and how they generally do quite well in all facets of Indian life, this "eve-teasing" as it is called doesn't make alot of sense and seems incongruous with my, and many other people's experience.

    To my mind, respect for women is strongly inculcated into Indian boys from a very young age, at least the women in their own families.

    Perhaps, the fact that mixing between girls and boys is not encouraged till marriage leads to a stifling of urges and thus an unhealthy expression of them in an outward manner. Maybe this is the issue that needs to be looked at.

    I think what puts people's backs up is that this article has not mentioned how much love and respect women are shown within the family unit and thus provided a counterpoint to the negativity.

    Clearly, it is a problem. Trivializing it by calling it "eve teasing" is nonsense - it is outright harassment for sure. But it is still a puzzle, as I say, given the utmost respect that women are afforded within the Indian family unit.

    Perhaps it is the same problem that allows Indians to make their streets dirty but keep their own houses and bodies scrupulously clean - there is no regard for anyone or any place that they do not consider to be their concern.
  • noneofurbeezwax
    By
    noneofurbeezwax
    22.07.11 10:13 PM
    I am really glad someone decided to shed some light on this demoralizing and humiliating matter. I will admit I have lived in India and another country and that's when you realize guys "gawking" is not the norm; should NOT be the norm and is rather insulting. Perhaps people dont need to necessarily have a doctorate degree to learn respect. It is something that should be drilled in guy's head since elementary school when they should be taught "thank you" and "sorry". Along with this there should be a sense of "respect" that must be taught (for all humanbeings and especially women) and it really begins at home. Unfortunately though where people seem to learn and lead by example; it is perhaps an impossible task to break the chain. However, I applaud the author for bringing this some much neeeded attention!
  • tys
    By
    tys
    22.07.11 08:04 PM
    @jimmy : god forbid...patronizing? ...read again buddy...the change has to come from men, becoz its us doing the damn thing...first accept the problem, then identify the perpetrators, then do something...its a simple formulae...but here the ones commiting the act is a man..so if we can learn, or be taught or reminded with certain consequence to keep our manhood inside our pants, then woman can get from point A to point B in Indian without having to protect herself from humilation or worse, each time she steps out...

    iam not into male bashing...like i said dont apologize for being a man but do apologize when u refuse to do something about it..iam not saying here..this is just talk...but out there when u do see it happening to someone..please for heaven's sake interfere...kick some collective arse..screw equality and patronizing...protect them...give them the normal respect and rights which we take for granted...

    jimmy, u misunderstand whn someone asks for equality...its not ours to give it to them...its a very subtle thing..what is being asked is for us to stop being the reason for inequality..thats it...we stop..not rub it back in their face..

    iam not implying u r like that...i dont think u are....but i think u are trying to see intent in people's acts...that is a very dangerous thing since your perception will be colored by urself...so u will judge another by ur intent...thats kinda unfair dont u think..
  • The NRI
    By
    The NRI
    22.07.11 07:25 PM
    I forgot to make one further point. The terms “Eve Teasing | India | Sexual Harassment | Pornogrpahy” to which you refer, are entries in the field of Custom Title Tag which aids search engine optimisation. Anyone with a website would understand this process. I think you would accept that all the terms are relevant and representative of the content in the article. I do not choose to highlight them on Facebook. It is their system that pulls them out.
  • The NRI
    By
    The NRI
    22.07.11 07:18 PM
    Jimmy, as Barnaby suggested, I was the person who selected the image for the post. You were right to flag up our use of the original image and it as now been changed.

    I need to generally respond to one of your criticisms as we have faced it many times. We are unable to show balance by showcasing problems with other countries and cultures. As is probably obvious to you, this is a magazine that relates to India and Indians. Therefore we can only publish material that has an Indian link. This is in fact the only criterion for publication. As far as contributors, commenters or readers are concerned, we place no restriction on who can interact here. We welcome all.

    We are not anti-Indian, and this would not be a fair accusation. To date we have published just shy of 500 posts on a range of different subjects. Many of these posts are very positive about India, and the majority probably neutral.

    Like India herself, we are a broad church. Barnaby and others should be as free to discuss India and aspects of life there, as you are to make your comments. Both of you will find people to support your views and equally, many others will disagree with what each of you say.

    Of course, it will be too much for some people and that's fair enough. Our general policy on this is best encapsulated in a recent post we ran.

    http://www.the-nri.com/index.php/2011/07/fanaticism-and-censorship-in-india/

    Anyway, thank you for your contribution. I hope that some of the views expressed in the comments does not discourage you from putting your point of view forward in the future.
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    22.07.11 06:28 PM
    "More than eve-teasing, what is more common in the western world is CHILD-MOLESTING..."

    What a joke! Where did you get this evidence. Paedophilia is an international phenomenon. You have just made an assumption based on nothing. I would guess it is as prevalent in India as anywhere else. As with many other countreis, it may be less exposed with a much lower rate of reporting by victims. I have personally worked in the area of investigating child sex offences. You do not know what you are talking about and in an effort to not concede any point that has been challenged, you are digging yourself an even deeper hole with this nonsense.

    I can concede that women are vulnerable in many other countries, but you have to start accepting reality man - eve teasing (I f**king hate this term) is a predominantly asian phenomenon compared to western countries. Why don't you just accept the truth. If you were venting your anger at an outsider's perception, and their hypocrisy, of India on another matter, e.g. culture, religion, etc, I would have more sympathy with you.

    I do not need to twist your words to put you in a bad light - you are doing such a great job yourself.

    I don't know what you have been drinking. I am happy to concede that the rest of the world has its problems and that India has so much going for it. Although an NRI, I am too really really proud of my Indian heritage. Just probably not by your narrow definition.

    I have no problem with where you live or the temporary nature of your NRI status. You do not need to explain yourself to me. I do not think that by living outside of India, you have less right to espouse your views. It is you who is dictating who can do what depending on their background, as well as advising other educated readers as to what they should do. I am sure they can figure these things out for themselves.
  • maya
    By
    maya
    22.07.11 05:17 PM
    Jeez, it makes me laugh when a man comments on how women are treated. Really, Jimmy, what would you know? If you haven't had any first hand experience going out anywhere as a woman in India, where is the credibility in your comments.

    Plus we all know that India is a land of extremes and contradictions. For every statement that's true, you can often be sure that the opposite is true too (just like India has the richest people in the world, it also has the poorest). You say:

    "There is absolutely NO frickin society in the world where women are treated with the utmost respect as in India… PERIOD."

    In that case, the opposite: "There is absolutely NO frickin society in the world where women are treated with the utmost DISrespect as in India… PERIOD."

    This many be taking it a little to far but you get the point.

    I'm a woman and I've lived in both India and the west, and I can tell you that the behaviour of the category of men referred to is very different to the behaviour of men in the west. It is a very real issue, and it feels sickening to be on the receiving end of it.
  • MM
    By
    MM
    22.07.11 04:57 PM
    "The decline that I refer to is some of the posts in this thread by men trying hard to diss themselves to score brownie-points with women."
    Your SCUM and just another erotically charged perv with a narrow minded approach to this.

    Jimmy Varghese just the fact that you miss the point and make it a patriotic issue shows how insecure you are as an Indian. What the writer has shared is his personal experience and as mush as it happens in India im sure it happens in the west. Its funny how people such as you start ranting when pointed out by a foreigner while you do the exact same thing all the time. SHAME on you and your pride. Go choke on it for all that we care. Khaak Thhuu (Thats mucous of a not so proud indian. We are known for that too as you know :)
  • Jimmy Varghese
    By
    Jimmy Varghese
    22.07.11 04:33 PM
    I stand corrected.. I'm proud to be an Indian...
  • Barnaby Haszard Morris
    By
    Barnaby Haszard Morris
    22.07.11 04:29 PM
    Jimmy,

    “I’m just too frickin proud to be an Indian” has the same meaning as "I cannot be Indian because I'm just too frickin proud". That is what you are saying. I might say, "I'm just too frickin two-footed to be a quadruped."

    Anyway, don't feed the etc.
  • Jimmy Varghese
    By
    Jimmy Varghese
    22.07.11 04:22 PM
    @tys: With regard to your beef about "manliness"..

    The decline that I refer to is some of the posts in this thread by men trying hard to diss themselves to score brownie-points with women.

    I'll keep my definition of manliness simple. Just call a spade a spade.
  • Jimmy Varghese
    By
    Jimmy Varghese
    22.07.11 04:10 PM
    @tys: I disagree with you...

    "the change has to come from you and me…the men…"

    Not at all, with that statement, you are inadvertently indicating that men are superior to woman...

    You are wrong, the change should come from women themselves as this is an issue of self-determination... When faced with issues like these, women should stand up for themselves and spill their guts out against such acts...

    By shielding/protecting/patronizing, you are in truth taking away the very "equality" that you proclaim for women.
  • tys
    By
    tys
    22.07.11 04:06 PM
    @jimmy : sorry...u got me started so please bear with me

    wht is ur take on manliness...or this man hood which u say is in decline? i really want to know...protecting my women is the only manly thing a man can do and that too if she requires it...most women i know are capable of looking after themselves..but its these swaggering manly, man hood brandishing men that bothers them...u see we are attacking them thru humilation...all women can stand up next to you and probably match you in everything..the only area where some might not be able to are in physical attribute...

    theres nothing manly abt being proud of something which u happen to be born as..u have no hand in it...but to use that to humiliate or subjugate is what u think man is about..

    the only manly thing i can do is beat the fuck out of anyone who does this in my vicinity..hell, its not even abt being a man..its just that i will probably do a better job than the woman who had to go thru it...probably is the key word here.

    is that man enough for u? or shud we continue this pissing contest like 'real men'?
  • Jimmy Varghese
    By
    Jimmy Varghese
    22.07.11 04:02 PM
    @Barnaby: Yes, I do realize what I'm saying by “I’m just too frickin proud to be an Indian”... it means that I'm really passionate about my country.. the choice of words used should not be twisted to negate my sentiments.

    "Jimmy, you’ll notice that I didn’t actually address “Indian men” but a very specific subset of Indian men." -- Let's try this again: Why is this a specific subset that of "Indian men"? Why not "all global men" who indulge in eve-teasing?

    If you do not still understand my objection against bring our nation into this discussion, why don't you post this link on your facebook page and see the key-words associated with your article? Let me help you - "Eve Teasing | India | Sexual Harassment | Pornogrpahy".

    Finally, with regard to the photo, this is still your write-up, you can't just wash your hands off and put the blame on the editor... how about showing some moral responsibility, preacher?

    @A Singh: I have women folks in my family who has suffered this "assault". I understand the gravity of the issue. What I'm merely pointing out is that EVE-TEASING happens in the western world also. More than eve-teasing, what is more common in the western world is CHILD-MOLESTING and the successful "liberalization" of women as sex-objects.

    Secondly, I have not in any words indicated that "a man your views are more important than a woman’s"... do not twist words and add new meaning to my posts.

    Thirdly, "But if you are consoling yourself than at least India is not as bad as these places then god help India." -- The places that you compare India with have had democracies since the 1700s. India on the other hand is a nation barely 65 years old. You should apply some rationale to your expectations while making such comparisons. As nation we have taken many strong strides in socio-economic issues. Acknowledge them as well when you spew your criticism.

    Finally, your personal attack on me regarding the "irony"... For One, I'm presently abroad to study and specialize in subjects which related to my career choice... Just because I came to study here does not mean that I won't return to my home... For Two, I'm not whining...
  • tys
    By
    tys
    22.07.11 03:51 PM
    @jimmy : my god, u really are too fricking proud, to be an indian...i wonder which planet u do come from...this excuse that becoz this happens everywhere so it shud be ignored becoz it will sully your engraved, gilted, framed version of india is so pathetically stupid..

    as an indian, i will be more concerned abt cleaning up my house rather than taking consolation in the fact that there are other houses dirtier...and when someone points it out, we could think abt doing something abt it, instead of being distracted by nonsenses like our image etc..

    sexual harrasement is a serious issue in india...it effects every single women I know...every single one of them..every single one of them has a their own horror story to tell..in one form or the other they have experienced it..and for that to stop, the change has to come from you and me...the men...not by apologizing in being a man, but rather learning to respect and see beyond a gender..

    and also beating the day lights out of the bastards who are slow in learning that..

    @A Singh : Bravo!
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    22.07.11 02:51 PM
    @Jimmy - you are so frickin proud to be Indian you have become blind.

    You appear to be criticising a white man for commenting (and possibly exaggerating) on an issue which you claim to be happening elsewhere in the world. What is more outrageous is that you have the gall to make your comments on a crime that daily affects a good proportion of half of India's population (well, less than half due to the explosion in gender selection) that you are not part of. I don't care that you are a mallu Indian. You are a man. You are not a victim of this crime. Other Indian women have supported the author's stance. Who are you to lecture other (educated) readers on what they should think. Do you believe that as a man your views are more important than a woman's?

    On to your specific point about equality of women. Yes, India has a better record than other countries in this general area. Even in supposedly liberalised western demcoracies that champion women's rights, women can suffer discrimination in the workplace and other areas of society. However, you need to focus on the EXACT theme of this post - eve teasing, the biggest misnomer in the history of mankind! This is not bird-watching my friend, this is sexual assault.

    If you think that this is anything other than a serious crime that has reached epidemic proportions, even (and especially) in metros like Delhi, you need a reality check. Oh of course, as a man you probably will not have had to endure being groped on public transport or on the streets.

    Even in the middle east where a women could be prohibited from driving a car, or stoned for adultery, no man would dare lay a finger on a woman in the street. If he did, he would be jumped on by every other man in the vicinity - something that should, but rarely happens in India.

    There are a handful of places that might be worse than India, e.g. war torn Africa where mass rape is deployed as a weapon. But if you are consoling yourself than at least India is not as bad as these places then god help India.

    And finally - your quotes:

    "Barnaby, I’m a mallu Indian who is presently abroad but is really, really proud of my heritage…"

    "For Godsake, stop dissing India on silly articles like this… This goes out especially to the “NRIs” with endless complains… but who don’t have the spine to stay back in their country and fight for what they believe in."

    Oh, the irony!!
  • Barnaby Haszard Morris
    By
    Barnaby Haszard Morris
    22.07.11 02:32 PM
    Thanks for all the other wonderful comments on this post. Naomi, I'm back in NZ now and am really struggling to get used to the cold... but it's great how everything just works!
  • Barnaby Haszard Morris
    By
    Barnaby Haszard Morris
    22.07.11 02:30 PM
    Jimmy, you'll notice that I didn't actually address "Indian men" but a very specific subset of Indian men. And I wouldn't write something as strong as this if I hadn't witnessed it myself, countless times, in a way that I've never known before. As for the rest of your criticism, nobody actually thinks any person/place/country in the world is perfect, and neither do I. Maybe you were just trying to be funny? I can't really tell.

    The picture was chosen by the editor, not by me, but I'm sure he didn't choose it in order to associate those particular gentlemen with eve-teasing.

    By the way, I do hope you realise what you're saying when you write "I'm just too frickin proud to be an Indian".
  • Jimmy Varghese
    By
    Jimmy Varghese
    22.07.11 01:14 PM
    Can't help but implore to the educated men and women who are reading this blog...

    Please do realize that what happens in India, happens multi-fold times in other parts of the world... (I did not even bother talking about Africa and the Middle-East in my previous post...)

    For Godsake, stop dissing India on silly articles like this... This goes out especially to the "NRIs" with endless complains... but who don't have the spine to stay back in their country and fight for what they believe in. Be the change that you want to see else zip it.

    On a final note, I don't give a shit if you don't agree with me but I'm just too frickin proud to be an Indian.
  • Jimmy Varghese
    By
    Jimmy Varghese
    22.07.11 12:55 PM
    Dear Barnaby,

    First and foremost, I appreciate the motive behind your write-up. But I'd have really appreciated it one step further if you had written this "open letter" to "all men" and not just "Indian men"...

    Really? Are you frickin kidding me? You think that only Indian men 'bird-watch'? What about the Americans, the guys who actually made money and an industry out of this?? How about the Japanese or the Chinese, the guys who (at least in my mind) brought about BDSM? Not to mention the famous European gentlemen who made "orgy" parties a household name?

    Barnaby, I'm a mallu Indian who is presently abroad but is really, really proud of my heritage... There is absolutely NO frickin society in the world where women are treated with the utmost respect as in India... PERIOD.

    Let me tell you what is not fair in your article... The very first picture, of the 3 guys standing- did you really verify that these gentlemen here were passing lewd comments at women? If not, how can you preach morality when you have the nerve to post the pic of some random guys, frame them for a crime, and thereby slandering them?

    On a personal note, I sympathize with some of the "men" here who have given some really positive comments/confessions for this mistake of an article. My regrets to realize that manliness and man-hood is in a sorry state of decline.

    -Jimmy
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    21.07.11 06:47 PM
    @MM - Amen!
  • MM
    By
    MM
    21.07.11 04:46 PM
    nothing encourages me more than knowing there are other men who dont think it a birth right of sadak chhap velas to ogle amy female friends and think they're appreciating her thereby doing her a favor. Nothing empowers me more to know other men (even tho a minority) also do think it a BIG DEAL. Imagine witnessing mental gangrape and you cant do a shit coz its not yet manifested in the physical form. Imagine the stress a man goes thru also always trying to make sure his woman is safe at all times. I know what women go thru is perhaps 10 times the anxiety, fear of uncertainty. Men too have to think what time, what time how to meet without bumping into ugly perverse beasts patrolling for possible prey for 'time-pass'

    Also the writer must elaborate about not minding the 'looking' or 'just appreciating' as most play innocent there. Where were you looking? How were you looking? would be nicer to publish these articles in local languages for the benefit of these same morons and put up in public places. If these terrorists had internet access I'm sure they wouldn't be on the streets in the first place instead jacking off in private. SHARING Thanks
  • Naomi
    By
    Naomi
    06.07.11 05:06 PM
    Just happened across your blog. Ironically, I'm a Keralite living in New Zealand.
    Your words speak true. As a fifteen year old girl, I can claim first hand experience of having had to deal with the atavistic patriarchy that is embedded within Indian society. It's not easy, and visiting every year reminds me of how far we still have yet to progress as a nation in this respect.
  • Cutting Kahlua
    By
    Cutting Kahlua
    21.06.11 12:07 PM
    When I was about 9, I was travelling with my family in a bus in Kerala. And a man tried molesting my older sister (13), she started screaming and hurling abuses at him. I was so shocked and angry but I have never forgotten it.

    After high school, she again went to Kerala on a trip with her friends, and one of them got molested. When they raised an alarm, the man got off the bus, and threw a stone at the windshield.

    I think all these incidents, have made me grow up hating that place sadly.
  • Ginu Tharakan George
    By
    Ginu Tharakan George
    17.06.11 12:25 AM
    Again, well written article Barnaby! I enjoyed the syntax of your article but must admit that the semantics are an entirely different story. I don't want to delve into the details and start an argument hence I humbly desist. Keep writing mate. :)
  • BetterLemon
    By
    BetterLemon
    16.06.11 01:22 PM
    Thanks for this wonderful post Barnaby. I speak as one of these porn-taught young men that grew up. Your words could not be more true. I don't know the origin of these ideas,but the guilt, the shame, the peer pressure, the momentary pride of having been "brave" enough to molest someone...I can testify to the truth of your description. I still feel ashamed about what I and my friends inflicted upon Indian girls and women, and not just physically, but also the entire twisted picture of women that filled our relations with emotional violence.

    I wish I had the opportunity to read something like this back in the day, just so I could have known that the shame and guilt were my strengths, not weaknesses.
  • Cutting Kahlua
    By
    Cutting Kahlua
    16.06.11 01:38 AM
    The sad part is when these guys get married (arranged) to some poor girl, and make her life miserable after that. Drinking, beating....the story goes on.
  • Helen Back
    By
    Helen Back
    13.06.11 11:03 AM
    I am very proud of my son for writing this thoughtful and thought provoking article. However as Whoopi Goldberg said when questioned about her family's reaction to her novel 'The Colour Purple' "You're assuming they can read!"

    These young and not so young Indian men sound like they need the cyber equivalent of a large pin to prick their huge egos.
  • Ronald Morais
    By
    Ronald Morais
    13.06.11 09:50 AM
    @A Singh Well said
  • Anoop
    By
    Anoop
    13.06.11 09:35 AM
    Nicely written. I believe, even a woman who would have been at the receiving end of such uncouth behavior would not have managed to articulate, this effectively. Was circumspect if this would reach the target audience. But some of the comments above show that it has apparently hit the bull's eye. :D. Let me hurry and get my resume ready in case my schooling and education are questioned as well. ;)
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    12.06.11 10:02 PM
    @Aaro - what planet are you from?? Your comments make no sense whatsoever. The post is an attack on habitual sex offenders (no other word for it) that prey on vulnerable women on a mass scale throughout India.

    What exactly is your complaint? That the author should have been more polite in his condemnation of this despicable group?

    Read the post again. If you still don't get it, you are the one that needs to get an education...
  • Mary Joice Decosta
    By
    Mary Joice Decosta
    12.06.11 09:48 PM
    Attaboy.. Barnaby... it gives u more strength when u read this article especially when its written by a man who was at the receiving end of these creatures' lewd comments.when these comments are directed to your loved ones, it really stings ...like a bee.but one day someone will crush it..........thanks Barns for understanding our feelings and voicing ur protest.
  • tys
    By
    tys
    12.06.11 09:20 PM
    u do realise, my friend , as u will probably be told soon, that the problem here is not the men, but the women?

    why do they dress in such a way if they didnt want my lust filled attention?

    why did they talk nicely to be, be polite with me, unless they want to sleep with me?

    why do they not make a scene when i grope them in a crowded bus/train/place, unless they are enjoying it?

    why amnt i being stoned to death by the public, for treating a woman as an object of my carnal pleasure, if the society didnt agree with me?

    why amnt my consciousness telling me that this could be my mother or my sister or any of the people i care about, when i do such things? That means god himself permits it.

    Whatever it is , it aint my fault...iam like this only..

    like that fly which u can never get rid off...perhaps swatting will work.
  • Meera Sundararajan
    By
    Meera Sundararajan
    12.06.11 09:02 PM
    I hope some of those guys read this...! I have never understood what these guys get by passing lewd remarks at any woman they see. It is so shameful when we see the way they behave with a white woman- I have had to literally be a bodyguard when I go out with my white skinned female friends. I think no woman really looks at these sickos and so they do these desparte things...! Nice post - Refreshing to see men write about this issue.
  • Aaro Oraal
    By
    Aaro Oraal
    12.06.11 08:12 PM
    Who the hell are you to host such a website and post such uncouth matters. From which GOOD BLOOD Family are you from? What does your parents do? From where you got educated? Oops... Why Did YOU get educated??? Your parents wasted their money, your teachers wasted their efforts and your school wasted their resources by providing you education... FYKI... Use good words while posting matters in a website... Refer other good websites if you are not aware about this... You have low quality thoughts and life... If you have F***** with your life, do not try to screw the whole community with your shabby and vulgar language...
  • Ronald Morais
    By
    Ronald Morais
    12.06.11 05:51 PM
    Strong words Brans, but true. The sad part is many of them believe that that's the way they're supposed to behave. So I don't think there's any question of guilt.

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