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Molestation: Reasons and some solutions

February 12, 2008

For some time now I have been thinking of highlighting some points from comments on my molestation posts (1 and 2) as about 200 comments tried to shed light on the issue. Many of them I think are not my regular readers. I have picked those comments which gave a reason as to why molestation happens and comments which offered a solution. I have taken tiny excerpts from the comments and anyone wanting to read the complete comment can click on the link given.

(Added later: By molestation I do not mean rape. I mean brushing against a woman, touching her in a crowd etc. According to the dictionary meaning, molestation can mean forcing unwanted sexual attention on somebody and/or to pester/annoy. Ofcourse at least half of these comments were written in reaction to a molestation incident which got out of hand and became a sexual assault and we have to keep that in mind when we read some of the solutions offered.)

These are some reasons offered to explain why molestation happens:

  • scipio said:
    If you ask me, one of the main reasons such stuff happens is coz the average Indian male just can’t accept the fact that women are their equals (in every way). Indian movies stand guilty of encouraging such behavior.
  • Supporter of girlpower said:
    I don’t think those men act like that because of being poor. In Nepal, they are also poor, but most men are very respectfull to women.
  • Ron said:
    The reason is a deadly cocktail of prudishness and promiscuity. Sexual scenes in films are acceptable only if they project rape! it’s shocking for a couple to kiss on screen while the heroine’s sister has been gangraped since 1970 without any let-up.
  • Saravi said:
    I would first blame the parents or guardians of these idiots. It is from our parents that we learn what is gud and bad.
  • krsnakhandelwal said:
    Moral fabric of the nation has been shattered because of masses shifting out of their ancestral places and who have become faceless to do such things.
  • Kumar Pv said:
    when i went to states or united kingdom i saw that all these western teenagers or men within the age group of 20-28 have had multiple relationships and have understood all the aspects of a woman. whereas asians of the same age just wonder looking at them thinking what wrong have they done no to be blessed even with a single women in their life. infact nearly 60 percent of indian men age group 20-28 have not had a single kissing experience…in india where nearly 60 percent of men lose their virginity while in their 30s when their testosterone levels has declined is only going to contribute toward more eve teasing or rape.
  • noumankhan said:
    Most Indian men don’t seem to notice the line between flirting/hitting on someone and stalking/harassing someone clearly uninterested and that is extremely sad.
  • Sahil said:
    Men being Men now (and Indian men are among the most virile men on Earth), they seriously don’t have anywhere to express their outlet to such repressed emotions. So the “best” they can do is hang out in crowds of 8-10 and make lewd comments on passing women. our Victorian prudery in Indian society is the number one reason eve-teasing problem exists in India. The North-Eastern states have practically no eve-teasing because their culture promotes healthy habits of sex.
  • KK said:
    The only way attitude of men will change is that women stop treating themselves as sex objects. I know not all women treat themselves as sex objects, but then not all men are perverts…
  • sapna said:
    I think somewhere we are also responsible for such molestation.On the 31st December many are in drunken condition so we should not wear such dresses which will attract others to you.
  • Amlan Dutta said:
    The Indian male has always been a sexually frustrated one…hell I myself didn’t have a g.f till I was 24 … never kissed till I was 25…and lost my cherry at 28 heh heh… but thats the way it is for most of us Indian guys.
  • SM said:
    It is independent of race, religion or color. So, therefore no one community or section of society can be blamed. – I work for a MNC in Mumbai and I have seen CEOs, VPs and peons / office boys behave like this at company parties…The keywords here are attitude and social consciousness: The reason most people will not reduce themselves to behaving this way is because of a positive attitude and a social consciousness. I never had a strong parental upbringing, neither did my friends, and we pretty much learned right from wrong ourselves. So stop blaming the parents. They play an important part in our lives no doubt, but they can only do so much.
  • subhradip said:
    The single most important reason for incidents like this are … LACK of ACCOUNTABILITY.. guess what.. we write and protest all when shit like this happens, but lets ask yourself… whats the animal inside us … if we were one among those 60 savage animals, would we have too went ahead and participate in that act ???
  • Rohit said:
    All this is to be blamed on the earlier generations and their stupid mentality of separating both sexes. Taboo on talking about sex or anything remotely related to it or hiding love affairs. I think it is way too much control. Whenever you try to suppress people from expressing themselves, they will get frustrated and vent out through some other medium. Please note that i am not justifying those molesters.
  • Aarnika Tiwari said:
    The root cause may not be so sex-starved men in India. There are just too many people, without work, obvious interest is peek nose into other’s business, and talk about some phantomlike great culture of keeping 50% population almost away from sunlight and even after sunset, just for being a women. There are crimes happening against women all over the world. But in India, that attitude of “I have no work now, got lot of time, why not go for eve-teasing?” is generally acceptable, even promoted in Hindi films, especially since 1980s.
  • Smruti said:
    Movies and TV are also the CULPRIT # 1! The heroines themselves live in guarded houses and travel by private cars but what they portray on screen, we women on the street have to suffer every day. The entertainment people need to be corrected first.
  • ravikiran said:
    The reason i think is beacuse that is the only way a male can get the attention of a female in India. They are not allowed to meet or have fun. So eve teasing follows. A LOT of successful love stories in India start with eve teasing.
    Normally if you say shut up strongly they leave you alone.
  • Rajni said:
    It not the question of what kind of clothes you wear or what make-up you wear or even what age you are. It doesn’t matter to an animal who just looks at a female as a object to abuse.

These are the solutions that have been proposed:

  • Harit said:
    I think women need to be more equipped to fight abusers. Carrying a loud personal alarm that attracts attention is a method used in several western countries. Ads need to go out on television educating women on how to deal with these situations.
  • Prash said:
    The Indian judicial system should come down heavily on these ‘psychos’. Fear of severe punishment should be so be etched in their minds, so that they would not ..ever, think of doing it…In fact they should be flogged/lashed in public.
  • krishna said:
    That molester should be hungout like Sadam Husen. Ladies should get chance to walk as their wish.
  • saumya said:
    …u need to a male to terrify another male..and the problem is not jus a criminal one, its a social one and needs a lot of social sensitisation and almost revolutionising male mentality.
  • syed raafeuddin ahmed said:
    …and hence i am a supporter of death penalties like here in saudi arabia. Behead some of those criminals in public and all the things will be alright in just 6 or 8 months…. also girls should not intermingle with men because there is a devil in man … all are beasts.
  • Anil said:
    In my view this will go a long way then commercialising pepper spray, why not button knife or stungun.
  • Sue said:
    If you follow some basic guidelines — always carry enough cash for a cab ride home, telephone cab number to the place you are going (loud enough for cabbie to hear), wear appropriate clothing (i.e. covered legs mostly and not very low necks, although this is not necessary in some areas), don’t take a cab with more than one person in front, be prepared to scream if hassled in public transport etc. really, stuff you would do in any city…
  • vasukrishnan said:
    I think we should have a regular column in newspapers describing the plight of our women. After reading the stories repeatedly people who don’t think or talk about the problem might just start to do that….Every father and mother should talk to their kids about this. We have to make the boys realize that girls are human beings too. Trying to make them learn that once they are men is going to be difficult.
  • DC Vaz said:
    This is Why I support the DEATH Penalty. They should hang these guys who have no shame about thier Mothers.
  • rawal said:
    Pictures of the accused should be broadcast in media with address and names…
  • starsiege said:
    the punishment for crimes like these should be life imprisonment without parole
  • Manoj said:
    Only if the women are courageous to open their tops and show everything to the staring person and give a shock treatment, only then this menance will stop. It is the non verbal communication of the sex starved person so you have to deal with it.
  • Kenneth said:
    …the family of the men who did this should disown them. A public apology should be made in front of the entire nation.
  • Amlan Dutta said:
    Please don’t blame pornography for molestation…I think legal porn would be some sort of release, and also legalising prostitution.

Such varied and diverse opinions! I haven’t done justice to all, because the main idea was to avoid clutter. One thing that emerges strongly from these opinions is that sexual repression is an important cause. I think it could be too. Women being looked upon as sex objects cannot be a cause, because even if a man does see a woman as a sex object (or she sees herself as one) that is no reason to molest her. Any rational human being has to admit that even a prostitute or a bar dancer has dignity and one should touch her only with her permission.

Why should a woman who is to all eyes a normal woman going about her work be molested then? It cannot be because she is seen as a piece of meat, for the above reason. It cannot be because she is wearing a bikini because then all the men in the west would be busy playing Mr. Grab and Mr. Grope. It cannot be because the woman represents a certain class because a molester can be from her own class.

So what is the reason then? In my view an underlying cause is deep sexual repression. Isn’t sex a primal human need? But then everyone does not behave the same way if they are sexually starved. Finally it boils down to the character of the person. Plus, no fear of punishment. Here is what mariacristina said:

They say you can judge the character of a person by how he behaves when alone, and I would add how he behaves when under the cover of a huge crowd.

How many us would commit a crime if we knew that no one would ever find out? It’s not just molestation, it could be rape, it could be cheating, lying, stealing…anything that we dare not do because of a fear of being found out.

Any other views/disagreements welcome…

Related Reading: Molesters and eve-teasers attitudes can be changed
Why is eve-teasing accepted in India?

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46 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2008 8:17 am

    Women being looked upon as sex objects cannot be a cause, because even if a man does see a woman as a sex object (or she sees herself as one) that is no reason to molest her.

    Nita, not sure how valid this statement is. Without a comprehensive study, it’s difficult to come up with concrete reasons for rape in India. If you look at the statistics in the US, those are pretty high and one of the highest among the countries that report such statistics. I’d think that objectifying women could play a role in the US, given that sexual mores in the US are much more permissive than in India.
    http://www.rainn.org/statistics/
    http://www.pcar.org/about_sa/stats.html
    http://sa.rochester.edu/masa/stats.php

    From what I’ve read, rape is more about exerting power than simply sexual gratification.

  2. February 12, 2008 9:00 am

    Amit, thanks but I am not talking about rape. Sure, rape is about power and probably so is molestation, but rape is different and molestation (brushing against women is an example) is different.
    Perhaps in the west the term molestation implies that a woman is attacked in some way but in India somehow the connotation is different and I think I may have miscommunicated. The molestation that I am talking about are things brushing against a woman, touching her lightly, grabbing a breast in a crowd etc.
    After your comment I realised that many of those who don’t live in India might think I am referring to sexual assault or rape, but I am not.
    I will now mention this in my main post.

    Also I have written about rape in a post titled the psychology of a rapist, and mentioned about rape being a lot about power.

  3. February 12, 2008 9:30 am

    Nita, gotcha. Sorry for the confusion. I was going by the “sexual assault” meaning of “molestation.”🙂

  4. Natasha permalink
    February 12, 2008 10:05 am

    The main reason for increase in molestation is combination of several factors like social hypocrisy leading to sexual repression and frustration, inability to accept woman as a equal social counterpart and of course brainwashing by bollywood movies, what you see you believe…

    Solutions: Don’t impose moral police. Give people freedom to express their sexual feeling, pre-maritial sex should not be social taboo.
    Woman is equal to man, she has equal right to dress, freedom to walk on the road feeling safe as man in democratic country like ours! we are not animals like islamic extremists, who treat women as slaves. Women too are born in democratic country and have equal right to freedom!
    Have extreme punishment for molesters! make their info public so that no one will give them jobs, they should be treated like social outcasts! Our Police should not take molestation as lightly as they take now!

  5. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 12, 2008 10:11 am

    Nita,

    // It cannot be because she is wearing a bikini because then all the men in the west would be busy playing Mr. Grab and Mr. Grope. //

    I find this argument specious, if not outright sophistic. I think the focus of this thread is on Indian males, not western. Western society has different norms than ours about what constitutes the acceptability or otherwise of male behaviour (especially physical contact) with women. Even in the supposedly more “permissive” societies of the west, the messrs. Grab and Grope do exist; and even in those societies their behaviour is frowned upon. As you rightly point out,

    // Any rational human being has to admit that even a prostitute or a bar dancer has dignity and one should touch her only with her permission. //

    This, to my mind, is the critical difference between Western and Indian attitudes. Women who do not conform to the “Sati-Savitri” stereotype are considered to be of easy virtue and, by extending that logic to an abhorrent conclusion, fair game and easily available.

    The worst part is that Western women, who do not HAVE a Sati-Savitri stereotype to conform to, are all looked upon by many Indian males as being cheap, vulgar, lewd or any other denigrating adjective you’d like to select. Hollywood unfortunately plays a role reinforcing such attitudes.

  6. February 12, 2008 10:23 am

    Amit, yes, but I molestation can lead to sexual assault as happened in Mumbai on new years eve. So it is a very difficult distinction to make I guess. Not all molesters will go on to assault a lady, but amongst say 50 molesters, one will! Just a guess.

    Vivek, yes you are right. we cannot compare what is acceptable there and here. But my main point is that even if a girl is wearing something unacceptable, how many western men will grab and grope? I think far less than in India, that was the point I was making.
    But to my mind, a molester does not equate a normal everyday kind of woman with a prostitute. He cannot be so stupid. He also knows that if he touches a prostitute and if she doesn’t like it, she could give him a slap or call her protecter/pimp/bouncer to beat him up. So I do not agree with it when you say that a molester thinks a woman who is not a sati savitri is ‘fair game.’ He knows she is not, but he also knows three things:

    1) he cannot buy her services so he might as well try it on the sly. In other words he knows she is not available!
    2) She has no protecter nearby.
    3) No one will find out.
    These to my mind are the real reasons.

    I know there are a lot of articles on the web which say that white women are considered easy and therefore a target, but this is a complicated subject and I don’t know the answer to it. I have read several articles about this, about white women considered easy and perhaps some men of a lower intelligence do think so…

    Natasha, thanks for your response. I agree with what you say. there seems to be an inability on the part of molesters to accept women as equal human beings.

    • July 14, 2014 12:50 am

      Nita,
      the three reasons you mentioned here are at the reasons for the act to happen. However, it doesn’t say abt the reason for developing such an attitude

  7. PRAX permalink
    February 12, 2008 10:40 am

    interesting post and lot of hard work for nita
    🙂

    Thanks Prax, actually you are right. this took a long time, particularly the links! – Nita.

  8. Raj permalink
    February 12, 2008 10:47 am

    Nita,

    Thanks for trying to analyse why molestation takes place.As you mentioned,there is no single reason so there is no single solution that can put an end to this menace.

    We must get to the root of this problem.I think the primary reason is because men and women are not treated as equals in our society.Right from a very youg age,boys and girls are treated as different and are usually segregated.This has got to stop.

    Boys and girls should be allowed to freely mix from a very young age.The practice of having separate educational institutions for boys and girls must stop immediately.If boys are allowed to mix with girls from a young age,they will learn to respect women when they grow up.Of course,there will always be exceptions,but then the problem is because men who do not have a healthy attitude towards women are in the majority in India,and not exceptions as it is in the West.

    In some societies that have strict segregation rules according to religious beliefs (and I do not just mean Islamic countries),the problem may not exist because of very stringent punishment.But in many of these societies,women are unfortunately treated as second class citizens.No one wants such a thing to be replicated in India.So this is not the solution.

    So the main solution lies in treating men and women as equals and making sure that they understand this from a very young age.

    Also sex education should be made a part of the school curriculum for all standards (or classes or grades) and the contents may vary as is appropriate for that age group.This will also help in preventing paedophilia to some extent,but that is a different topic altogether.

  9. Raj permalink
    February 12, 2008 11:15 am

    Vivek,Nita,

    To a certain extent,I agree with what Vivek said about the division of women into “sati-savitri” and “easy virtue” types.

    This division is sheer nonsense.Unfortunately most of our literature praises women of the “sati-savitri” type and seems to treat others as being of “easy virtue”.

    I am not going to criticise what was written a long time ago,but I think this should STOP immediately.Women of the “sati-savitri” type SHOULD NOT be viewed as role models at all.This is not fair to women.

    Women should be treated as equal human beings first and then given the extra respect that they deserve as women.This would also help in putting an end to so many women (and some men) suffering as a result of bad marriages (“forced” or “arranged” or “love”,usually “arranged”).

    Unless we treat women as atleast the equals (if not more) of men,there would be no end to such issues.

  10. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 12, 2008 1:07 pm

    Nita,

    //…a molester does not equate a normal everyday kind of woman with a prostitute…//

    I wonder if a molestor (who, as far as I am concerned, is a psychopath) knows or recognises the concept of “a normal, everyday kind of woman”. Is it any surprise that in traditional [north Indian, ergo Indian] culture, a woman qualifies for respect only when she is seen as a “ma” or a “bahan”. Surprisingly, not even a wife qualifies for that kind of status.

    And the sick custom of making a “rakhee-bhai” out of any male who seems too-friendly-for-comfort-(as perceived by a girl’s parents or brothers)-but-not-convenient-to-show-the-door, is nothing more than an institutionalised but crude signal that says “thus far and no further”.

    And yet, within all these hypocritical conventions, young Indian women in traditional society not only manage to create their own spaces but also to outwit the system. An excellent example of this can be found in Dharam Vir Bharati’s story in Hindi, “Sooraj ka Saatvaan Ghoda”, whch was made into a very watchable film by Shyam Benegal, but does not seem to have received the attention it deserves.

  11. ulag permalink
    February 12, 2008 3:30 pm

    I definitely think that sexual repression is a major reason. The hormones peak in the 20s for men and at that age most of them have not even had a girlfriend as some of those comments point out. But they see the complete opposite on TV and movies where in the world of make believe the guy runs behind the girl, sings romantic songs and does daring deeds to win her heart. For some reason when its shown in movies it never affects anyone but if you see in reality a guy following a girl and singing romantic songs it appears so lewd and vulgar. People think that just because they have seen it in movies and it looks good there they can repeat the same thing in real life.
    Also seeing so many sensual scenes in the movies and tv and newspapers only serves to increase prurience in some people who then look for ways to satisfy it in the most revolting manners. Its mostly due to sexual repression during their youth. Its said that crimes against women in Scandinavian countries is very less because the society is very very liberal in matters or relationships…emotional and physical. Incidents like groping and others occur in relatively closed societies with a lax police system. Such incidents are not so high in countries like USA and UK because there the society is liberal and the policing is strict.

    But i dont think sexual repression can be the only cause for all types of crimes against women. Because most of the harassment of women takes place in their workplace by married colleagues and bosses. Sexual repression is hardly a valid reason there among these “married” people. Why would a man having a family indulge in harassment? surely not repression…. Is it because some men see a woman as someone whom they can take advantage of easily and get away with it? The media is replete with stories of how some of the companies don’t even take action against the erring men because they’re in high posts in the organization.

  12. February 12, 2008 5:34 pm

    Ulag, thanks. There is one point I want to bring up here and I will try to approach it in a delicate manner. If sexual repression can bring out the worst in some men, don’t you think the same goes for women? What do you think happens when a woman is sexually repressed? What do you think happens when a girl (like a boy is) is told that sex is dirty and to be not talked about. In addition she is told that her body parts are shameful and sinful? What kind of psychological effect do you think this will have on a girl and what will happen when she becomes a woman and gets married?

  13. February 12, 2008 5:49 pm

    Interesting. But I think we are still digging at the symptoms here.

    Attitude towards sex (hence, the effect of sexual repression) is still an effect in itself. The cause is the idea behind the civilization we have built for ourselves – our moral ethos.

    I did a post on this – http://blandspice.blogspot.com/2008/01/tu-kaun-hai-tera-naam-kya-seeta-bhi.html

    I feel our society structure is still feudal – the way we see our religion reinforces our feudalistic beliefs. In a feudal society, sex is not a right, it is a weapon.

  14. February 12, 2008 6:04 pm

    BlandSpice, I agree the root cause is our society. It’s a society that does not question those in power as much, whether it’s the ruling class vs the dalit, or the male vs the female.
    Thanks.

  15. ulag permalink
    February 12, 2008 6:58 pm

    Yeah i agree with you there Nita, that its a closed society even when it comes to women. But we don’t find women indulging in such behavior do we? Fact is men and women have different natures. Just like how we know that a woman is emotionally stronger than a man. We just wont find women stooping to that level. But as i said before repression is not the only cause. Theres more to it. Like i said its in a way a man showing that he can be dominating because he knows that more often than not the woman wont make an issue and he can get away with it. Women dont make it an issue because society frowns upon these things and the police system is just not good enough.
    But what we need to rid us of this menace is some good education. We need good moral values to be inculcated in people in their schools and families. Respect for women needs to be emphasized.

  16. February 12, 2008 7:11 pm

    Ulag, I am afraid you didn’t get my meaning.🙂 Sorry, but cannot explain it here explicity. Will send you a mail.

  17. Ravi permalink
    February 12, 2008 7:26 pm

    Women – Their behavior is same everywhere whether they are from US, UK or INDIA. For a guy to make a girl fall in love or at least to have sex with him The-List-Of-Things-To-Do are the same irrespective of the place, race and color. Here is the problem with most of the indian guys. We were taught in our movies that being cocky and funny is something a guy should rub against a woman or push her into the crowd and its more like touching her in the worst possible way in public. Movies have tremendous effect on public mentality and thinking especially on illiterate men. If they show that women hates touching them in public and even slaps a guys’s cheek to swell whether its amitabh or rajnikanth then even an illiterate can understand that its not a good thing to touch a woman. All indian movies must show their favorite actor slapped by a girl who tries to touch her in public without her consent. No woman likes to be touched with out attraction even if that guy is too good looking. I think this could be a possible solution.

    All indian men must be educated on how to behave with women in public. Not that every man behaves indecently but small fraction of population does that and media is making hue and cry of it. I believe molestation has nothing to do with the women being treated unfairly or not having equal rights. If somebody thinks in that way Oh! please cut that crap and let india advance. Definitely women are more respected in india than in any other country. There are men who see his sis/mom in elder women at the same time there are guys who hate to go out on the eve of raksha bandhan like me🙂 Nobody wants to act like a brother to a hot chik. Its ok to celebrate rakhi festival among bro’s and sis’s who share blood relation and what’s wrong with the people who encourage all the hot chiks to tie rakhi to neighboring guys. OMG! it only leads to frustration of that poor kid who lives next door to that hot chik.

    In western world women have equal rights and they get these privileges out of courtesy but its not required by law to show courtesy. India is different and I don’t think any women in india wants that to happen. EQUAL RIGHTS TO WOMEN MEAN NO COURTESY FROM MEN.

    All we (guys/men) is little bit of education related to behavior in public. Thats it!

  18. wishtobeanon permalink
    February 12, 2008 7:29 pm

    Nita, thanks for posting this. Yes, in my mind, sexual repression is definitely the cause though it shouldn’t be an excuse for such inhumane actions. Sex is such a taboo subject that many young adults don’t really know what it is until they get married (not nowadays though, I’m guessing!). Though I am a little embarrassed to admit, I have been a silent victim in my young teens and this inspite of wearing traditional clothes – maybe salwar kameez was a little too foreign for these people. The crowded buses in my home state are notorious for such acts(groping) that women usually travel around with a pin/sharp objects or umbrella to protect themselves. Unfortunately, such incidents go unreported and I hope the publicizing of such incidents will help curb the molestations and eve teasing.

  19. Ravi permalink
    February 12, 2008 7:31 pm

    Hello Vivek Khadpekar! What’s goin on? Good to see you here.

  20. Ravi permalink
    February 12, 2008 8:00 pm

    White women are not easy, I don’t think so. Like girls in india choose to love guys by their caste, region and religion here they choose their partners by their looks and their sense of humor. It has to do a lot with the culture than race. Culture here is matured and a white women can fall in love with any guy if he sounds good and behaves nice to her unless that woman is a red-neck.

    Here its ok to have premarital sex both husband and wife are pretty sure that they are not virgins. On the average a guy meets more than 50 women at the peak of his mating age typically 17-35 and then he gets married to that woman he things she is the one. But there is also women who is like this they usually meet at least 70-100 guys during their mating age i.e. 13-30. So premarital sex has nothing to do with one’s marriage. There is an exception in southern parts of US which is typically called bible belt. Here people get married at an early age like 17 for a girl and 18 for a guy like olden days in india. So that they live together for ever and statistics show that divorce rate in south is far less than other parts of US and its really rare to find single parents. Unlike in india, south in US is considered backward.

    Its very common to start a conversation with any single woman at a night club/bar and pick her up shooting a couple of cheesy pick up lines. Not every woman fall for these pick up lines and there are associations who did research and published books on How-to-pick-up-a-girl. So its obvious that a guy can only pick up a girl if he is nice to her so he doesn’t have to brush her to get attention or to get her attracted. He will be at his best in attitude and behavior to get laid for that night. So Its more like a tradition to satisfy cordial needs by behaving nice to a woman. And the woman never lets a guy to take control of her and there is a very good chance of her dumping a guy if he misbehaves. Mutual respect plays a big role in these kind of relationships and I think its good for everyone when they have hefty 40 working hours in a week.

  21. Raj permalink
    February 12, 2008 8:00 pm

    Ulag,

    //…But we don’t find women indulging in such behavior do we?//

    //…We just wont find women stooping to that level //

    Sorry to disappoint you Ulag.

    Women may not indulge in “such” behaviour and they may not stoop down to “that” level,but sexual repression in young women can at times,lead to “adam-teasing”.

    But unlike “eve-teasing” which is a euphism for some filthy behaviour,”adam-teasing” is mostly teasing and is not very noticeable.And sometimes,even women,usually middle-aged and travelling alone are victims of “adam-teasing” themselves.

  22. February 12, 2008 8:45 pm

    Raj, I agree with what you say, in both your comments. Yes some women do tease men. However what I mentioned to Ulag was another evil effect of sexual repression, and I guess I need to put it down diplomatically here, otherwise no one will get it! The effect is lack of interest in sex which affects married life. This effect seems to somehow effect more women than men, as a result of sexual repression.

    Ravi,
    thanks for your response. Let me clarify however that no one on this forum has said that white women are easy. Vivek K did mention it, but he said that there were some Indian men who thought so. He didn’t think so himself.
    And yes, bollywood movies where the hero keeps chasing, stalking and touching a heroine against her will seems to send out wrong signals to people. I think all actors should refuse to play roles like these, unless they are villains.

  23. February 12, 2008 8:59 pm

    Wishtobeanon, I am not at all surprised that you had the bad experiences. I don’t think any woman in India has been immune unless she is locked up at home. Even then one hears of cases of relatives abusing kids.but don’t you take any of the guilt because of what you were wearing!
    It can happen while wearing a saree. It’s got nothing to do with the way one dresses.

  24. wishtobeanon permalink
    February 12, 2008 10:21 pm

    Yes, I agree it’s(molestation) not because of the way one dresses- somehow, my comment turned out to suggest that – Its the lack of civility among some men and the thought that women are sexual objects rather than a thinking, living, breathing human being.

  25. February 13, 2008 6:13 am

    Nita🙂 looks like lot of work sorting out comments and linking them.

    Few things on this :
    1. Comparing with west, Education on sex starts at level 5-6-7 and others. Do we have this….. shhhhhhh noaa…
    2. Women and men starts wearing skimpy🙂 clothing from their childhood, not just when they turn into 20’s
    3. Sex starts at the age of 12-15, might be bit early but compared to India.. far ahead.

    Things like this makes a lot of difference…

  26. February 13, 2008 6:15 am

    ANd yes may be we need to let everyone read, Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus:

  27. February 13, 2008 9:09 pm

    Vishal, thanks for your reponse. Yes you are right over there in the west people are not ashamed of their bodies and do not try to hide them like over here.
    About Men and Women being different, so true!

  28. Monica permalink
    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm

    Bollywood can’t be blamed for the actions of these pigly men, it was up to their parents/guardians to instill them with morals. Bollywood’s job is to entertain, and that’s it. It’s not Bollywoods job to teach the Indian population about morals, it’ the parents of these people. Also, I have not seen one Bollywood film where the rapist is celebrated, if there are any, let me know, because I surely haven’t seen it.

    Although there is no excuse for such bad acts towards women, I feel the taboo put on sex is partially to blame. If one is smart about protection and birth control, and is faithful in a relationship, I think so much restriction should not be imposed. Indian’s in general need to start feeling more comfortable in their bodies, and improve their self-esteem. I know married couples that are to scared to do anything interesting in their sex life, and that’s wrong. By all means, both spouses should experiment with each other and make each other comfortable. Women should be taught to be comfortable and confident about her body, and should recieve some sort of sex education prior to any relationshio, so she can be smart and responsible about it. Men also need some sort of sex education, and also be taught about good/bad sexual behavior.

    But that’s still no excuse for molesting anyone. Strict punishment needs to be put in place, and all rapist should be made an example of.

  29. monechee permalink
    March 12, 2008 5:02 pm

    Hello All,
    I came accross this article , where I belive its an attempt on Moral policing by outsiders(consevative indians) on the youth of shillong . Some of the problems like Drug abuse highlighted by the article is true , well for alcohol its also true to some extend and I think progressing to softer alcohol like beer or wine would be appropriate then hard alcohol .But we have a tradition of brewing alcohol and I donot think that it should be stopped.Drinking in moderation is always welcome.
    But I resent the way the article somewhat condems mixing of the sexes.Its very importing that sexes mix to have a healthy society.
    I can recount one incident in Guwahati where the police SP who happened to be from North India raided popular youth joint and arrested young people who were dating (They were kissing ) under immoral act. This is sad that some main land people are trying to impose cultural rule.
    More so I think we should not try to stop mixing of sexes as consequences could be dangerous, we might end up like rest of India were mixing is not encouraged and fustration of young men is high.

    http://iussp2005.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=51855

    Thanks for the link Monachee. I agree with you, the writers are extremely biased. They blame the migrant students behavior on the local culture…actually the reason for the migrants students behavior is suppression in their own home states. India has become very very sick Monachee. Suppressed and sick.
    The people of Shillong should drink in moderation (as you yourself said) but not stop the free mixing of the sexes. Their society will regress if they do that. Hold on to your healthy values!! – Nita.

  30. May 5, 2008 8:14 pm

    @ ulag – “Sexual repression is hardly a valid reason there among these “married” people.”

    Just because a man is married doesn’t mean he is sexually satisfied, especially in the context of Indian society which is better explained below. In any case, sexual repression by itself is not the cause of molestation in India, there is a whole can of worms attributed to the more conservative of Indian moral systems (aka ‘culture’)which would be too long to post here.

    @ Nita – “What kind of psychological effect do you think this will have on a girl and what will happen when she becomes a woman and gets married?”

    Be sexually inhibited, think of sex a a ‘duty’, learn to supress their unfilled desires and try to derive happiness through their children or ‘community’ activities. Why do you think so many Indian men are mamma’s boys and so many Indian mothers of adult men act like insecure 15 year old girls (as far as their son is concerned)?

    @ Nita – “Bollywood can’t be blamed for the actions of these pigly men, it was up to their parents/guardians to instill them with morals.”

    I completely agree with you. Blaming Bollywood for a problem that has its roots in Indian culture is shifting the blame, much like what politicans do when they are cornered for the failure a harebrained ‘project’.

    @ ulag – “Yeah i agree with you there Nita, that its a closed society even when it comes to women.”

    We are a closed society in every aspect of living. Where do you think religious intolerance, casteism, communityism, regionalism, cultural egoism, etc. come from?

    @ Ravi – “For a guy to make a girl fall in love or at least to have sex with him The-List-Of-Things-To-Do are the same irrespective of the place, race and color.”

    I’m afraid I have to disagree. What works for a girl in a socially liberal country like France or Czech Republic does not always work in a socially frozen third world nations in India. (I imply ‘nations’ because India isn’t a single nation, although it is politically correct to say it is).

    @ monechee – “I came accross this article , where I belive its an attempt on Moral policing by outsiders(consevative indians) on the youth of shillong .
    I agree with you here. I detest North Indians trying to impose their old world ‘morality’ and their narrow minded ‘culture’ on a part of India that is still untained by the social evils of mainstream Indian culture. Rather than making self-righteous remarks about China’s treatment of Tibet Indians should look at how they try to economically neglect, politically alienate and culturally dominate the ethnicities of North East India

  31. May 5, 2008 9:00 pm

    Aleksandr, I want to thank you for your comments on this post and the other one on molestation caught on camera. Your comments are comprehensive and I agree with every word you said!

  32. nehru mantri permalink
    May 6, 2008 1:28 am

    Nita,

    There is hardly any molestation in villages and small or even towns. It is the urban jungles’ creation from extreme repression.There is more sex in the villages than you may want to know. Hence they are liberated.

    Yes, I agree. Also people in villages marry early, at times in their mid teens. Even boys. – Nita.

  33. KFW permalink
    May 15, 2008 5:59 am

    If your goal is your pleasure and not your partner’s pleasure, it is either molestation or AWFULLY bad sex.

    The kind of person who can take pleasure from another’s DIScomfort at being molested – regardless of the “explanation” of such behavior, it is not necessary – or desirable – for society to TOLERATE it. It’s like wanting sex with three-year-olds – you just need to accept that if you’re born with THAT desire, you DON’T get to satisfy it this life. Too bad.

    Or to put it bluntly, SO WHAT if some men are sexually repressed and horny all the time? That may be an excuse for seeing a prostitute – it may be an excuse for seeing a prostitute daily. It is NEVER an excuse for forcing your attentions where they are unwanted, or where it is socially awkward for your victim to utter a clear, unmistakable NO.

    A woman has a right to do ANYTHING with ANYONE voluntarily and NOT have it affect her right to say no to anyone else, any other time. As does a man.

  34. May 15, 2008 8:57 am

    KFW, thanks. I too have been thinking about this and I agree that even if men are sexually repressed there is no reason to molest women. I think the root cause of forcing unwanted attention on a woman is the tendency to see women as sex objects without feeling. I had written about a study where men were put into a woman’s shoes and teased and harassed. They felt terribly humiliated and harassed and only then did they understand how a woman feels. So in a way I think its a complete lack of empathy with how a woman feels and again this is a result of not thinking of her as an equal human.

  35. Rahul permalink
    January 18, 2009 12:51 am

    Castrate the bastards . All of them . Every single one of em

  36. wourmis permalink
    March 16, 2010 11:35 am

    Great article Nita! Well it does point out the problems in a society that treats sex as “something sinful”, but stuff like eve-teasing(i think we should stop using this term and refer to it as SEXUAL HARRASMENT as done in the West) and groping women in public places is completely accepted.
    However i believe that the West had the same problems too a few decades ago. The Sexual Revolution started in Holland first and then spread across the world. In UK after WWII, the Victorian era morals were breaking as the youth were continually being repressed(as happening in India)so in the 60s they began a rebellious process to get their sexual freedom, same in US and rest of the world.

    What i can say is the more repressed the society keeps us, the more we explore and in the next few decades we can witness a great backlash at the conservative society by the liberal-minded society.

    “You can tell the condition of a Nation by looking at the status of its women”
    – Jawaharlal Nehru

    the above quote is soooooo true.

  37. Arhun permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:28 am

    Usually the girls have A LONG NAILS ON THEIR HANDS, use that to peel the face the men who try to molest you. That might be a better punishment to the bastards who try to molest.
    Even though it looks little bit funny, Its the nature to defend ourself using HAND NAILS.
    And Just learn some tricks to prevent yourself from the crowd. We can’t change these heartless bastards, but we can prevent ourself.
    Take care.

  38. May 11, 2010 5:01 am

    Nita, from your posts and replies to the comments it appears that you claim that while rapists (as you mention in your article on their psychology) have a very low-income and less intelligence. For this reason you associate their action with a sense of aggression. However, for molesters would it be right to think that you seem to say that anyone could be involved in this? I would almost agree with you if you say that because in my experience, molesters can also be students from the so-called “respectable” sections of the society. My girl-friend was once molested by her school-teacher’s husband and once by her own classmate in college. Molesters may also be businessmen and people with middle to upper-middle class income.

    At the same time, even in India, it would be too naive to say that only women can be raped or molested, although I admit that women are easier targets for sexual crimes. I remember two cases from my own experience in India where I was man/woman-handled without consent:

    1. I was a young 19 yr old boy walking down home from my engineering hostel on a crowded Delhi road. A man stopped his car and in a seemingly sweet way offered me a ride and said that it seemed like I had a heavy bag to carry. Minutes after I got in he started feeling up my crotch and thighs. I asked him to stop the vehicle and he did not. When he saw that I could turn the steering wheel crazily, or pull the handbrake to get us both in an accident or caught by the police, he dropped me off quickly.
    2. This was when I was in the men’s room of the gymnasium of my office (Texas Instruments) and a female acquaintance of mine came in to the men’s changing room and grabbed my towel, felt me up and ran away laughing. The whole thing seemed like an act of fun and frivolous sexual flirting rather than something one would classify as real molestation. Just that the act left me in bad taste. This girl was my age (then I was 24) and had lost her father, brother and grandfather in an accident and could not get married to her boyfriend because he came to know that she suffered from a mild form of vitiligo.

    In addition to this, I remember being sodomized as a young 6 yr old child by an older boy with whom I used to play in the nearby park. I also have hardly heard of molestation cases in the US. It is either rape or nothing. From all this it might seem as if molestation is a milder form of rape and that this urge is somehow intrinsic to Indian men. I would think there is something peculiar about Indian social mores and attitudes towards male and female sexuality that causes them to behave this way. Since molestation is not exactly a classified crime in the IPC, I believe it is hard to say what causes it since there is no research or investigation. Would you agree that there is no real pattern?

    My suspicion is that while India is inching forward with social awareness and the average age of a marrying girl is increasing with increasing female literacy, sexual equality has not yet caught on with gender equality. My hunch is that Indian men are much more sexually frustrated than their western counterparts or even Indian women. The following is a list based on my understanding of Indian culture, not any reliable statistics:

    1. The society frowns upon couples expressing love in public. Consequently even a married couple cannot hug, kiss or pet each other in a relatively public spot, which is something both men and women would enjoy. I believe this would be rather common in western countries.
    2. The average Indian female marries around the age of 21 and the average male marries at around 25 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_at_first_marriage). My hunch is that the sexual divide is wider than this. I would guess the average Indian girl begins engaging in sexual activity at around 16 while the average Indian male does so at around 20 (accounting for pre-marital sex).
    3. A large part of the rural population that comes to work in cities consists of men that are vested with the responsibility of getting their sister young just pubescent sister married. This implies that their focus is on earning enough money to pay for the sister’s wedding. So the average rural Indian male is expected to live a life of celibacy or at least work hard to earn enough money while the average rural Indian girl is married off early on. There is definitely a huge gap in sexual satisfaction. The rewards of hard work does not merit anything particularly good to these men. I believe that the prospect of not being able to get a girl of their choice, love/date her, and having to maintain a life of celibacy causes frustration among men.
    4. Even among educated middle class people, men marry much later in life than women. So while boys go on for graduate education, work and prolonged career development (such as a PhD), girls rarely do so. The average age for middle class marrying men may be close to 26, but the spread is quite a lot more for men than for women. Most urban women are married around 24 and the outliers marry by 27-28. Rarely do any marry after 30. On the other hand it is very common to see men aged more than 28 still unmarried.

    • May 11, 2010 8:12 am

      Balaji, thank you for taking the trouble for the in-depth comment. You are right in your analysis mostly but I want to mention that rapists can be from ALL backgrounds too. It is just that when it comes to percentages then statistics have shown that more people from the poorer unemployed classes commit rape. These are just statistics from the USA and I do not have my own opinion on it. For all you know in India it may not be so and more well to do people might commit rape. In fact I strongly suspect that in India more affluent people commit rape because of the power they wield and the caste-system in the country. The rich poor gap in India is huge and gives rich people a lot of power. Sexual crimes are a lot about power.
      And yes more males commit rape than women and this is because more men commit violent crimes as compared to women, for various reasons.
      I agree with your analysis about molestation. I think that there is a sexual frustration in the population of India to a large degree because of society’s hypocrisy. Women too are sexually frustrated I am sure but women often turn these frustrations on to themselves and it can have mental effect. The psychology of men and women is different and how they handle frustrations is different.
      The solution to this problem is an open society where the sexuality of men and women is accepted and they are allowed to mingle freely with each other. Not all molesters are bad or evil people but yes they are aggressive and selfish people. Not all frustrated men molest. There are plenty of gentle sweet men around.
      I am sorry to hear about your experiences and thank you for sharing them.

      • May 11, 2010 1:54 pm

        Hi Nita, Thanks for your comments. I was just about to add to the statement that a sexually repressed society is the reason for the sexual frustrations of people. For example, I was reading somewhere that in Feb 2009 the Delhi High Court ruled that married men and women kissing in public cannot be charged for obscenity. This ruling was cited thrice in Mumbai and Chennai when certain married couples were arrested for similar things. This shows that people have been getting charged for such things in the past. (Actually I wonder if these reports are true. I have kissed my girlfriend in India, albeit not in the middle of a road.) I think Indian society really needs to wake up to the reality.

        The other outlet for sexual frustration is through pornography and that is banned in India. In every society where pornography is banned, we can find sexual repression. The new “Adolescence Education Programme” was rejected by the government on the grounds that “the social and cultural ethos are such that sex education has absolutely no place in it” (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/India/Parliamentary-panel-says-no-to-sex-education-in-schools/articleshow/4409307.cms) The committee decided that no sex education should be imparted until class 12th.

        First, we employ so much euphemism: why call it Adolescence Education when Sex Education is a clear term? Are only adolescents capable of sexual ignorance? The fact that a 6 year old child asks parents how they were born is indicative that the human curiosity about sex and the exploration of genitalia has already begun. Second, a government that thinks that people are not mature enough to handle such simple facts is not mature enough to govern.

        I for example came to know about sexual intercourse when I joined class 9th (age 14) – quite late when considering the fact that girls that have their first periods are welcomed, celebrated and are already aware of intercourse. And guess what, I used to think that a condom is a pill taken to prevent AIDS until I came to class 12th (aged 17). And this was clearly because of the unclear way sex education was imparted to us in school. As far as I remember, even sex educators have a strange bias. Male sexuality is represented as aggressive, lecherous and promiscuous; never is the penis even shown in a diagram, while female sexuality is considered analogous to flowers, fertility, motherhood and celebration (another case of sexual inequality while trying to espouse gender equality). Furthermore, they talk of sex as if boys and girls aren’t thinking of it before they get married and restrict themselves to the disease that can be caused by the HIV virus.

        Sex educators need to talk a lot about regularly cleaning, shaving, disinfecting and deodorizing the genitals. Masturbation, use of protection while having sex, and oral sex (and other forms of sex) should be talked about in a very open-minded manner. I remember when I was 24 I broke a leg in a road accident and some nerves in my groins were frayed. An internal infection took place because I never got an erection for weeks but the testicles continued the production of semen. The vas deferens developed an infection due to infrequent masturbation and my parents behaved as if the genitals had no function other than passing urine. When the doctor prescribed some medication and regular masturbation, my father asked if masturbation could be replaced with some other medication!

        Talk about breast cancer, uterean cancer and prostrate cancer should also be included in sex education. Related activity such as drinking, smoking and taking drugs and their effect on pregnancy, fertility, impotence and other sexually transmitted diseases should be covered. And most of all, the sexual vulnerability of girls, and the kind of social problems they can encounter due to carelessness should be discussed in detail. In fact I don’t know why they teach about the different breeds of cows and hens to school children in urban areas at all.

        There are just so many problems due to these sexual repressions that it is hard to list all of them. But India needs a seismic change sexual awareness and openness.

  39. Avinash permalink
    October 18, 2011 2:50 am

    I think it is all controlling yourself in this matter. Men have a thinking or a doubt in their mind about the women they molest and also are facing sexual frustration. But I think women should be cautious in their attire. If molestation is due to groping, the dress is also responsible for that.Also roaming at late night doesn’t quite justify women.Why men go for buttock groping and breast groping?Why men molest the women with a male partner? Well, but questions arise in case of women also! Why women have to wear revealing clothes?Why women wear tight tops and tight jeans and leave the men staring at their butt and breasts or tight skirt?Sometimes the jeans are so tight that you naturally get distracted by the rear view. Why women go out with their boyfriends for late nights when they are supposed to be at home?
    Well, the sexual frustration of men can never be justified.But it is true that we are accepting the western culture that is taking us away from our culture.But woman have quickly adapted to western culture. Some of the incidences to be mentioned are the one in pune where I saw a women sitting on a bench getting oral on a man in a public park at late night.Then at ST stand a woman was caressing her husband’s crotch sitting on back seat.Also a group of two girls and a boy, all near class, where one of the girls was touching the boy’s crotch holding a book in hand. Everything is beyond imagination.

  40. Avinash permalink
    October 18, 2011 2:53 am

    Molestation is due to over sexual desires and not able to control oneself so the fact that education and movies should do the good work.

  41. Twizzler permalink
    July 25, 2012 7:32 pm

    Hi Nita, regarding those U.S. statistics, are those numbers based on convictions? I ask because I can tell you first hand that in U.S. rich men are just as prone to harassment, molesting and rape as any poor guy. In fact they feel entitled to get away with it, because they’re rich (and therefore “special”).

    There are some differences though in how things are done. Rich men can afford clever attorneys while poor men are at the mercy of the state- and this is applies to all crime, not only sexual offenses.

    Rich guys are perhaps more careful in their deviant behavior because they have “reputations” to uphold. They’ll do their dirt on the sly, all the while cultivating a “respectable” reputation. Now days, rich guys aren’t as likely to grope a woman on the bus, but they would definitely think about it, and college frat guys are not above various forms of lewd harassment- especially if they’re accustomed to having daddy rescue them from accountability.

    The wide spread incidents of “date rape” happening on college campuses is sufficient evidence that rich guys will indulge in sex offenses at the drop of a hat. (College in U.S. is expensive and flunitrazepam doesn’t come free.) At work, they may run their hand up a colleague’s skirt or brush against her chest, but they’ll do it when there are no witnesses. They may molest a neice, but refrain from doing anything to cause obvious physical damage so there’s no “proof.” By the time they actually get caught (if they ever do) the victim is often discredited with accusations of mental illness or “loose” morals.

    Poor men may lack the sophistication to be sneaky or simply don’t care if they get caught. The latter often applies to those who grew up in the juvenile criminal system, as they get accustomed to institutional life and can’t function in society. They don’t mind jail because it’s what they call “3 hots and a cot,” meaning three hot meals and a bed free of charge. Those who don’t want to go to jail will keep their hands to themselves but will brazenly gawk, make lewd comments and harass you for your phone number.

    The same hatred of women that exists in India is prevalent in U.S., but 2 things have reduced public groping:

    1. Efficient litigation. Countless lawsuits against cops and municipalities have forced police departments to take crimes against women more seriously than they would like to, and has forced them to stop sexually harassing/abusing women while on patrol. It’s also resulted in public transit systems now having their own security personnel, who have the same authority as cops. This still does not guarantee justice for the victim, but at least a rude, chauvinist cop is forced to show up and file your complaint.

    2. Female empowerment. The 1950s are over. American women finally got tired of hiding bruises and wallowing in shame and started fighting back. More women take self defense lessons and firearms training now. In cities where it’s legal to carry concealed weapons, women are packing pistols- and they know very well how to use them. Also, in the past couple of decades, more women have started teaching their daughters to become self respecting, assertive women instead of submissive doormats. Today a man who gropes on a bus in U.S. is more likely to draw back a wounded paw (and lose a testicle in the process) than in decades prior.

    With so many vile beasts on the prowl, parents who truly love and value their daughters should invest in martial arts studies instead of beauty pageants, singing and dance. If a predator attempts to molest or rape her, is she going to dance her way to safety? Of course not. Have the girl children master survival skills first, there will be plenty of time for frivolous pursuits later in life.

  42. Sunil permalink
    December 21, 2012 2:08 am

    I think we should use technology to curb molestation. All areas should be under camera surveillance.. This method has been applied in China and it has brought down molestation and crimes like pickpocketing down to a big extent

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