X - X-Ray Vision


You know, some powers are not limited to James Bond or mutants alone. And well, not only to machines too. Some people have an X-ray vision, such that, if you stare at people for long enough, you would be able to see through their clothes. And more often than not, these people put this power to test. 

Jokes apart, have you ever felt a man's gaze fall on you so much, that you begin to feel naked? Or a lady staring at you in such a way that you might as well as be naked? Man, at times I am so tempted to gouge out the eyes of such people. Everyday I face this harassment as I wait to board an auto to my office. Thanks to the Bangalore auto drivers, I need to stand on the street for at least five minutes before I find an auto that will drop me to the office at the meter price. Those five minutes are living hell to me. I'm usually dressed in formal pants and shirts, or salwar kurtas. Yet, eyes scan me like I am standing stark naked on the street. Although its mostly men who stare, there have been quite a few ladies too. They look at me from top to bottom and some of them seem to be amused by my toe rings or the vermilion on my forehead. Yet, they continue to stare.


Its not about wearing revealing clothes these days, the rule seems to be that if it is a girl, you need to stare. Not only me, I have seen so many women and young girls going through this harassment. Eve teasing is something else altogether, but leching is really disturbing. Its makes you feel like an object displayed in a glass box. Some men look at you in such a way that you can actually feel the undressing going on in their minds. Brigade road of Bangalore is one street that I hate to visit because of this. There will be a thousand women out there dressed in various attires, and everyone gets stares from a different person in a different way. A girl with a shirt and jean will get the same looks as that of the lady in the micro shorts. Its disgusting if you think of it. Just because you wear modern clothes, people would stare at you. And who defines the term modern by the way? I have seen men lech at saree clad women too. So who is supposed to draw the line here?

Such people are disturbing. I remember feeling almost naked when I was in Delhi. I was wrapped up in a stole in peak summer, just to avoid those lecherous stares. And yet, it did not stop. I was wondering if they were looking at me because I was an outsider, read alien, or because I was a girl in general. The stares creeped the hell outta me. My husband had to create a barrier around me with his hands as I walked the lanes of our national capital. The others girls who were being stared at did not seem to mind much. Some made faces that clearly told that they were used to such things by now. Maybe this is the scene everywhere, every state and in every city. But what do the people who are staring, getting out of this?


Its not like you scan me from top to bottom and I jump into your arms the next minute. So what exactly are those people getting? Am I expected to remain a filament of their imagination within their minds? Don't you think that is more scary than it sounds. I feel icky every time a random stranger states at me. Some people don't even look away when you catch them staring at you. That gets more creepier. Sadly, we do not have a solution to that. Because of course, you can't pick a fight just because someone is looking at you, can you?

How do you think this can be handled?

~ Soumya

32 comments:

  1. I too have experienced the same and there seems to be no solution to it. No matter how you dress you will find people who stare at you. And it's so irritating!

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  2. I used to think Hyd was better but it's the same in every city. What's worse is they don't look away when you catch them staring. Some of them are arrogant enough to even wink or smirk at you. It makes me want pluck their eyeballs, peel their skins and hang them. But there is nothing you can do.. and like you said you can't keep picking a fight everyday with someone leching at you. Just not worth the time. But it makes me so so angry.. Arrgh!

    The troubles I go to for finding locations to shoot for my blog with no people around is a different story altogether. Camera + girl posing = double the stares.

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    1. Oh I can imagine that! Doesn't feel good at all. Poor you!

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  3. Not all looks are wicked.It is natural for men to look at beautiful women and this be treated as a silent compliment.The reverse may also be true when a handsome six pack man walks along.But a stare or an ocular assault is different and is reprehensible especially when accompanied by a lecherous smile,wink and or a lewd filmy song.Unless one is accompanied by bouncers,it is best to ignore such vile person with contempt and the seething anger mollified by spitting on the road.

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    1. An appreciatie look is always recognizable. But the lustful one is not. Creepy as hell it would be.

      Ignoring is really hard, but there is no other way out!

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  4. Ah, the worst nightmare of the girl in the big city, there are eyes following you everywhere. While I used to hate this ever since I started noticing the grown-up world, now I tend to either ignore them completely or look pointedly at the starer till they look away. But in the long run, we can't do much about it. Learn to live with it until men and women learn some basic manners.

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  5. haaa... the worst kind of stares... at times I feel as if i am walking naked when they stare.. they scrutinize details of our body :(

    ~S(t)ri Writes

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    1. Disgusting it is. Damn, why can't we do anything about it?

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  6. As funny as it may sound only a couple of mins ago. I was in my building elevator and this man kept checking me out :|

    Richa

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  7. It's disgusting and highly uncomfortable.. Here in Kolkata I was travelling by bus once and a woman actually retaliated by saying,' Haven't you ever seen a woman? I mean what is so interesting Mister that you can't stop staring?'.. To which the man immediately replied,' You women.. If you are uncomfortable in buses stop travelling and stay in your houses!!' Absolutely disgusting..

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    1. Maybe that's the whole point. Women probably are expected to stay at home and not venture out!

      Disgusting to say the least.

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  8. I learnt very early not to look at anybody around; while walking that is. It has helped me live in a world where no one stares at anyone. Otherwise I would have had nightmares. Some of those piercing eyes are disgusting, very disgusting.

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    1. Lucky you! In India it is pathetic to walk without being noticed.

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  9. The auto drivers checking out from the rear view mirrors? That's another annoying thing!
    There is nothing we can actually do, other than ignoring. :/

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    1. Oh that too! They smirk and gape through the mirrors. I am freaking out now!

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  10. I am absolutely disgusted by such people. Many times, looking back straight in the eye of the offender has worked for me. They shy away under my glare. But still there have been a couple of creeps who had the audacity to leer or keep staring. For such cases, I have had no other choice to just glare at them for a few seconds to show my anger and just leave the place when I can.

    Seriously these people should have their eyes scratched out. It angers me to no end but there is very little we can do.

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    1. Very little. I wonder who can help out with this. Or we just need to wait for these men to learn manners like what PeeVee said?

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  11. I am used to this now. Kerala and its men love to stare...but I have felt it has lessened considerably!

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    1. I have had terrible experiences in Kerala. A sleeve less kurti almost got me raped!

      Lessened now? Wow, I hope.

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  12. I know how it feels. Every girl does. There's nothing much to do. Revolting further may cause problems because you don't know the man who's been staring at you is a psychopath or not, if yes, then to what extent!

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  13. There is a thin line between an appreciative glance and a lecherous stare. Sadly, the line is often crossed and breached.

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    1. More often than not. The line is a dot to some men!

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  14. Like the above comment, sometimes women look at other women appreciatively. And that, I like. And I feel good. But the stares u said, I know that its downright disgusting and there is NOTHING we can do about it. Yes, we can choose to ignore. Even that requires a skill.

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    1. That skill is hard to acquire. That's the sad part.

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  15. Kerala is notorious for this. There are people who claim to be 'moral police' ,who scan you from top to bottom and make you squirm in shame. Leave alone sleeveless kurtis, Sari is no better. Once the 'cleaner' in the local bus caught my upper arm while I was getting in, and I told him off then and there !! And the rest of them were looking at me as I was some museum piece !
    But as Red mentioned, it is getting reduced these days, mainly because women are reacting better !

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    1. Oh that's a relief then. It is getting worse by the day in Bangalore though! :(

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  16. I totally agree. I was once standing at Kanpur station and my train was late for 5 hours. Within half an hour I covered myself with duppata and shawl because I felt so uncomfortable.

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