When does a look stop being an act of appreciation of beauty and start becoming harassment? Growing up in India with all the taboos and cultural stupidity regarding the opposite sex, this is not an easy question to answer. Oh our culture teaches us to treat women with respect. Oh most women are very happy in their marriage, just look at the low divorce rates. These statements confuse me a lot. What does it really mean to treat someone with respect? Let me try to understand it with the help of a couple of characters.
Hot girl walks into a bar hotel
'Level headed' guy, 'Confident when with friends' guy, 'Thinks he is better' guy and 'Will play people for fun' guy are sitting at a table. They are very different people but united in their complete lack of guts when it comes to talking with girls.
We allow for a moment's silence where everyone at the table takes in this new development. From top to bottom, lingering at the curves a while longer. Only the 'Thinks he is better guy' does not join the others in doing this. Yes, of course, because he thinks he is better.
Confident (when with friends) guy is the last to break the eye-body contact. He blows a low whistle or offers a few expletives to set the tone. Looking at this reaction, (thinks he is) Better guy realizes that in his pride he has missed something quite unmissable. For the rest of the conversation, he will be focusing on stealing glances and opportunities to stare at the aforementioned object. Confident guy is continuing with description of her breasts and how tightly her clothes were hugging them. (Will play people for) Fun guy ventures that he could clearly make out the outlines of her bra, and that it was silk for sure. Level headed guy is silent till about now. He, being level headed and all, makes a rational assessment of the situation. With a rack like that her boyfriend must be f***ing her at least twice a day, he summarizes. Further expletives are let out by the Confident guy, partly in anger (directed towards the yet unseen boyfriend) and partly in pleasure (imagining the twice-a-day event).
Fun guy, strategically shifts the conversation to why is it that such girls tend be not with us. Specifically, he adds, what is stopping any one of us, from 'getting' this particular hot chick? Level headed guy suggests the receding of their hair lines or advance of the waist lines as probable causes. This is generally ignored. Better guy forwards the age old wisdom of beautiful girls being so dumb as to choose stupid partners. This is very well received by the audience resulting in downing of beer glasses and ordering of a fresh round.
Meanwhile fun guy ploughs on with his instigation, covertly directed at the Confident guy in order to get some action going. 'Degree hain, job hain, bike hain, l*** hain. Aur kya chahiye sa** ko!'. In fact some of the guys around the table have amassed much more than that - like a wife and kids. But that is quite understandably left unsaid. 'Look at the way she is looking around, I bet she is ready to f*** the first guy who goes up to her', Fun guy continues. This finally has the desired effect and Confident guy brings down his empty mug with intent. Others smell blood. 'Abhi usko ja ke hi bol de', level headed guy chips in. Confident guy gets up and pushes his chair back. But the confident feet have other plans. They wobble and the confident body sinks to the ground for the lack of chair at the said location.
Let us pause and come out of the bar/hotel for a moment. What has happened so far? Have they treated the girl with respect? Maybe they have not treated anything so far, except their eyes perhaps. Thoughts are only a problem when they get converted into action. Right?
There is very little chance of action here (much to the disappointment of fun guy). As mentioned before, no one at the table has the guts (or the balance) to go trouble the girl anyway. But what if they were not in a busy place. What if there was no one except them and her? If it was late night and no help was forthcoming? Would that have emboldened them? Probably. Now, if they had done something stupid (otherwise perfectly nice married guys) who is to blame?
The thoughts? So are thoughts really harmless? Or perhaps we would just say that being at such a place, at such a time, in such a dress, the girl had it coming.