“We have sent a Man to the Moon, and Women walk around with Mace in their handbags”

Lets see what have we done.

We’ve come a long way. Man on the moon, Satellite in space, heart transplants, liver transplants, all possible.

And yet, when we walk on the road, we do not look at each other, nod and smile.

When was the last time you walked to the market and smiled and nodded to every woman you met on the way?

You simply don’t. Men have done so much street harassment that each woman walking on the street, going to work, driving to work, going to the market, going shopping or simply going for a walk thinks that the man coming in front of her will pass a remark or stare at her breasts or try to at least brush past her.

And it is not unfair to say that men have earned this tag of being synonyms of harassers. It is a badge we have earned over the years after having stared at the breasts of almost every woman we pass by on the street.

Take a minute. Read this. Sit down. Think.

When was the last time your wife/daughter/sister went on a public transport and came back without even a single strange male trying to touch her indecently.

When was the last time you yourself were on a bus/train and saw some random man try and get close to a random woman and you made an effort to raise a voice against that man?

Most probably, you just turned the other way around and thought to yourself this happens everyday.

When was the last time you stood in the aisle while in a bus or a train and did NOT try to peek inside the shirt of the woman sitting on the seats?

Men must realize that every action they do nonchalantly does hurt the sentiments of someone a lot. We have created this whole big mess for ourselves wherein just because we do not speak out against injustice happening on the streets in the form of harassment we too get stressed. Every time the wife of the daughter goes out she has a story to tell when she gets back home. We have started this. We must come forward together as one to stop it.

We must educate the boy child from the very beginning that it is not alright to stare at random woman on the street. We must teach them to respect the fairer sex as much as they would respect a their own mothers. It’s not alright to pass remarks to woman on the street/bus/train/park & everywhere else. All woman are not their honey/sweetheart/sweetie.

Walk on the streets like you would expect other men to walk when your wife/daughter/sister is out walking alone. Seriously men, women’s breasts are not museum exhibits. It’s not alright to stare. It’s not alright to stare down their shirts. It’s not alright to turn back while walking and ogle at their waists and hips. It’s not alright to whistle. It’s not alright to pass remarks. They are NOT your honey. And no, she will not suck you or have sex with you or sit on your lap. Please keep your organs inside your pants. If you cannot control your urges, go help yourselves. Do not expect every random woman on the street to jump in the sack with you. They are not your playthings. Come together as one, reach out, voice out against street harassment. A little effort from all of us can go a long way in ensuring the women can feel safe on the street. It has to be a collective effort. One man alone cannot do it.

But you have to stop staring and ogling. You have to start re-thinking your actions. There is a very thin line between a gentle flirtatious glance and a stare that would make someone uncomfortable. If you don’t get the difference between the both of them, please do neither and help keep some women’s sanity intact.

Do we realize what have we done to this world? We have sent a Man to the Moon, and the Woman walk around with Mace in their handbags.

I would suggest, let’s send all the men to the Moon. At least Mace would be able to concentrate on manufacturing other toys that kids could use.

@TbgDgc in Delhi, India

Visit his blog at: Desi Ghee and Coffee

This post is part of the weekly blog series by male allies. We need men involved in the work to end the social acceptability of street harassment and to stop the practice, period. If you’d like to contribute to this weekly series, please contact me.

3 Responses to “We have sent a Man to the Moon, and Women walk around with Mace in their handbags”

  1. Jen says:

    Thank you🙂 Great post! It’s difficult to explain to people how uncomfortable the intense staring that I experience almost every day is so upsetting, frustrating and anger-inducing. These men know full well what they’re doing and that the woman they’re ogling knows it too, but it’s pretty difficult to call someone out for ‘just looking’. Makes me feel sick and vulnerable every time it happens. Ugh.

  2. LS says:

    I send a deep thank you to our male allies and to the person who wrote this article. Thank you for understanding what women go through. This post reminds me of a conversation I once had with a man about male staring who didn’t get it. He said that if a woman is attractive, men are going to stare at her. He said it so matter of fact, not even considering for a moment how it felt to be the woman being stared at. He did not for one moment consider whether this is an appropriate or respectful way for men to relate to women they don’t even know (or ones they do know). Whatever happened to a simple smile or a hello if you are attracted to a woman? When did it become ok to just intrude upon women with these foolish stares? If only men knew how stupid they look while forcing their attention on women.

    Anyway, I confronted him and said that many women considered this staring intrusive, annoying and potentially threatening. I told him about all the times I’ve been walking down the street or walking in the grocery store and look up only to see 2 men staring at me walking towards them. I told him that this behavior contributed to me feeling deeply dehumanized, uncomfortable and awkward. It is beyond insulting and demeaning. I told him to for once consider that all of this staring is not an appropriate way to relate to women. It’s not a compliment, it is blatant male-dominance behavior coming from a sense of entitlement. I hate it and I resent the men doing it. It does not endear them to me. I despise them. I want nothing to do with them. I’m sick of these violating stares. I doubt the man I was talking to got it-all he did was continue to make excuses for men and their staring, probably because he did it too.

    And when women complain about this harassment, what do these men do? They call us weak. They say we act like victims when we file a complaint at work or call the police to assist us. I guess we should just suck it up, never complain, never hold them accountable for their actions and just take it. After all boys will be boys and we women should just accept that? Whenever I hear men call women who report harassment “weak,” what they really are saying is they want to be able to treat women anyway they want to, say and do anything they want to to women without us saying anything about it. They want to be able to freely harass women without consequences. It doesn’t work that way. The truth is, the vast majority of us experiencing harassment do confront the aggressors on our own because there is no one else there to help us usually. So we are far from weak. Many of us report these incidents because it’s the only way to get the harasser to stop and because we want to finally see these men get some real consequences for their actions.

  3. Lamont Cranston says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article, and corresponding comments. Quite frankly, it makes me embarrassed to be a man, when I see (daily) men lurching after their gonads like neanderthals-ogling women uncontrollably, staggering toward women like stalking zombies, harrassing them on light-rail and bus lines with stupid comments meant obviously to try to initiate an exchange of phone numbers with no intelligent conversation taking place.

    I understand male sex drive, but I also understand the ability of the mind, through discipline and use, to control bodily functions. Men do not urinate in public places when they feel the urge, nor do they defecate when they feel the sudden urge. Yet whenever they feel the urge to lunge after an attractive woman, they do just that –either through staring, drooling on themselves, stalking (which is following someone or approaching someone in a way they could find intimidating), stupid offensive inappropriate comments, or much worse.

    I see this every day, and as a man, it is sickening and disgraceful. I agree that it’s time all men who can think with their brains, take these other hydrocephalic “men” aside and try to instill in them at least some measure of propriety.

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