A man masturbated while looking at me - and I hated myself for it

Where are the men who say they fight for women’s rights? What are you doing actively?

 |  5-minute read |   01-08-2017
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On my way to work today, I was at a red light. It was a lovely morning, with the perfect balance of sunshine and shade. In my head, I was brimming with enthusiasm and energy for a fresh day at work.

There were many vehicles on either side of me. I didn’t bother. I noticed a young man, maybe in his late twenties, staring at me. I looked away. From the corner of my peripheral vision, I could see him still looking. And when it made me uncomfortable, I decided to look back and give a “stink-eye” stare, hoping he would stop.

I turned my head to him and what I saw next made my heart, lungs and every other tissue in my body freeze in time for a couple of seconds. The man was actually wanking off his hard-on through his pants while looking at me. He actually had the nerve to do something as outrageous as this right out there in public.

Now, a woman like me, I pride myself in being independent, straightforward and being able to take care of myself. I always tell other women to stand up and speak up. Those few minutes at the red light, my mind was having a battle of what I should be doing.

The feminist in me was telling me to get out on the road and slap the daylights out of that mother-f****ing SOB. The dainty little persecuted woman inside me was telling me to imagine how embarrassed I will be in front of everyone.

The workaholic inside me was telling me to just let it go, because I have to get to work on time and I shouldn’t be late again. The Indian inside me was telling me “solpa adjust maadi”, this happens every day, and that I should just chuck it.

At the end, I just sat there, frozen for what may have seemed an hour to me, until the guy had his share of fun and left me in deep disgust. Tears cropped up. I thought to myself, after 25 years of life on this planet, getting sexually assaulted, groped at, leered at, stared at and cat-called at among many other things, it still hurts the same as it did the first time it happened.

And I asked myself, why? Did I wear a bit too much lipstick? Or did I wear something wrong? I mean, all I wore was a loose-fitting black t-shirt, with a deathly hallows pendant, nothing seemingly provocative. For some reason, I hated myself at that moment. I felt I was the reason this bad thing had to happen.

I reached my office, paid the auto-driver in auto-pilot mode, made my way to my workplace. I am the only female there and yes, I can vouch that the men treat me with a lot of respect and kindness. But every face I see with facial hair and testosterone oozing out, I cannot help but hate and despise.

men_080117073833.jpgIt is the men that need more education. (Picture for representation only)

I am fully justified in this. They are the reason women everywhere have to be scared and worried all the time. I sat in my office, just staring into the wall, despite having a million things to do. I thought about all the incidents similar to this, starting way before, from when I was a little girl.

I asked myself, what can be done to stop all this, when will all this stop. On the internet, after searching, I found many women have spoken about this. I read about many instances where brave victims have come out and faced the critics.

This came a day after Virat Kohli spoke about women’s safety. Kudos to the man for saying that. After all, he needed a reason to endorse his f***ing watch! After an hour of thinking and prodding my brain, I realised the truth; it will never stop. It will go on and on, because the men are never involved.

The victims have spoken. But where are the ambassadors for the gender with the ticking testosterone bombs hanging outside? Where are the men who say they fight for women’s rights? I have heard them commenting on articles, yelling out in public, speaking in stages and going from house to house (when they need votes). But what are they doing about this?

What are you doing actively? When a guy friend talks about how he peeped down his colleague’s cleavage, we are all sure you would have patted his back and called him a “man”. I’m sorry, not a “man” but a “maaaaaaan”.

When your brother tells you he wants to fuck the brains out of a friend and then dump her outside, did you not laugh and feel proud, that he is growing up to be a “maaaaaaan”? When you catch your father checking out a lady on the street and he winks at you, did you not think you had the coolest “maaaaaaaan” as your dad?

I’m sorry to say this, but being a fellow earthling, I can assure you, you all are not men. Women empowerment is a big thing today. Everyone thinks women need to be more educated, more sophisticated, more blah blah blah. In fact, it is the men that need more education.

You need education in the way you look and talk to a female. You need education in the way you approach a female. You need education in the fact that women share the space we live here. You need education that a woman is to respected and feared because her balls are safe in her body. Your shoddy ones are those which are hanging vulnerably outside at the moment.

Now, rationally, I know this will never be possible in the near future. Because let’s face it, we have been undergoing this for centuries.

Not like anything has happened. Again, the same reason; because half the world would rather talk about football, guns and votes rather than this. I can give a guarantee no one will even bat an eyelid. No one will even talk about it. Not one man will even care.

Because they seem to have lost their balls (figuratively, of course) because of lack of use. Not one word of this should also get out. Since I am an Indian, all I have to do is shush and remember “log kya sochenge?”

Also read: India no longer feels sick about rapes

Writer

Priya Christopher Priya Christopher

A sports psychologist and researcher, the writer works with minds and numbers.

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