I think that’s where the discrimination starts and in my opinion that’s the first thing we need to teach our boys, young and old. When a young teenage girl walks out of the school premises on to the street, I often notice my cab driver staring at her, checking her out top to bottom.
Yesterday I was at a reputed sports center and the coach was idling around on a bench. He had no better job so he was checking me out in full glory. I tried to stare back at him, I fixed my gaze at him too which is when he pretended to be looking some other way. But then the moment I turned he was back to starting at me, till the time he saw my husband come around and hold my hand.
WHAT is with this free ride? How do young girls handle this? They can’t change the world, they can’t change every man out there on the street, at the sports club, at the train station? So they learn to look down and walk away. They learn to ignore. The first line of gender discrimination is drawn. Are we really Independent?
Once I was out with my cousin for New Year’s picnic. We must be about 14 year old then. While our families were preparing for the picnic, we both were walking around mindlessly and chatting. It was a picnic spot, so supposedly quite safe. Suddenly two boys went past us on a bike and the pillion rider winked at us. The next I saw was my cousin breaking into a run, she held the boy with his collar and placed a tight slap on his cheek with all her might. The boys were startled, they probably had never ever imagined in their wildest dreams that they will be slapped and insulted in public for winking. We were swiftly escorted by my uncle when he saw the commotion. While our parents summoned us with “What was the need? Just ignore ” we felt elated to have taught 2 hooligans a life lesson. Hopefully they haven’t taken the free ride ever since!
My cousin who taught this hooligan a lesson grew up to join the army. She is a dirrent story altogether.
But how many hooligans can you change like this? Change has to begin at home. We need to educate our boys to respect the girls. And the first step in that direction is “DONOT stare at them, DONOT ogle at them”
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