“An anonymous user’s post on a social networking platform has gone viral. The user, who alleged that he was arrested for approaching a woman for a date, has set a debate going on the other side of the sexual harassment story that no one talks about. That it’s enormously difficult to approach Indian women within the constraints of a conservative society for a romantic liaison that is not pre-approved by her parents.
The authenticity of the post is debatable. But the points raised, even by a fictitious male user, have been discussed in earnest among social networkers, especially males, as valid guidelines on how to go about asking out a woman for a date without risking, let’s see, a police FIR.”
Read what happened to him HERE.
Arrested for asking a woman out? I’m having a lot of trouble believing his story. This is obviously his version of the story. Could there be more to the story? Did the girl feel so threatened about a coffee date that she wanted him arrested? Was she overreacting?
In ‘We are like that only…’ the guy blames Northie’s friend for over reacting since she’s Indian. So are we an irrational lot that overreacts for “silly reasons”? I know that these are two different situations, but I think we do have our reasons for acting out.
I’ve never lived in India, but I have experienced the ‘male gaze’ whenever I visited in India, even though I was dressed in a Salwar Khameez. So, no we cannot blame the short skirts. The male gaze and the attitude of the men in India has probably conditioned women to be a little afraid when a man approaches her like that.That being said, I do understand that in certain situation women in India do have an unfair upper hand that they do misuse. And maybe that’s what happened in this case?
In any case, the IBN article raises some interesting counterpoints to the man’s story:
- Assuming that dating is being discussed in the context of urban, independent, working women, the gaps in the personal security they are entitled to are too much to risk a casual encounter with a complete stranger.
- While overreaction is completely unwarranted, there are brutal crimes against women – in both cities and villages – being recorded every day. They have little or no access to police protection, calls of distress go unnoticed and mostly ignored and they face domestic violence.
- Most women have their guards up against any approach by a member of the opposite sex thinking perhaps that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- It will be sweeping generalization to assume that all women behave bizarrely when approached by men for a date. Or that you need to stay away from them because you never know what gesture of yours they will misinterpret as an attempt to ‘outrage their modesty’.
- India is still largely a patriarchal society and the guiding hands in matters of romance are often of the parents. You cannot wish that away. But the situation is largely changing as women from small and far flung cities and towns migrate in search of work and live alone in big cities, and make independent choices.