Seek Respect, Not Attention

It’s a fact that universally, men look at women more than the other way around, at least evidently. It’s again a fact that men gape at women while women stare mostly when they know they’re not being stared at. But, have you heard about a man gazing back at a woman because she ogled at him first? Not that it doesn’t happen, it’s unlikely to be routine.

Women look at men, but there’s patience and permanence with which they process their image. Men’s processing of women might be quick as though they have more images to capture. But, why do men goggle at women even after they know their gaze is not welcomed? Worse, why do they wait to be asked to mind their eyes?

Sometimes, he may be looking at her bag or hair clip, noticing how stylish or clumsy it looks on her.

When we wear captioned t-shirts, are we prepared that people will read us? If my t-shirt says something and a woman reads it, taking her time, I may not – am not supposed to – be offended. But if this happens the other way, is that a sign of lechery? If a man – wearing a formal suit and lust in his head – reads it, she might ignore him; but, if a shabbily dressed man with purity in his thoughts reads it?

Apparently, how you dress and think are two different worlds. I don’t read captioned clothes. Are they meant to be read?

image(2)
My t-shirt

I remember an incident in a restaurant where a good-looking man, sitting alone in a corner, was harassed by a group of women, frolicking in the adjacent table. They stared, giggled, and prattled about him – which was not harmful- but what was not was the extent to which they went, for example, showing their middle fingers to him in drunken unison – forcing the man to realize that he was now a tool of their taunt for no fault of his other than not giving them his attention. The haunted man appeared to feel hunted with the group’s growing viciousness which had come well disguised as women-partying. He was offended, but didn’t react.

How grossly inappropriate it would be, rightly, if a group of men did this to a woman. The point being that not every man can ignore being ridiculed.

When we step out of our homes, we take in images and multiple moods, irrespective of gender. The outside world is full of faces and expressions: some faces are alluring; some expressions are not. But it’s easy to be trapped in its varied lure.

We might fulfill what we set out to do in a day, but plenty of exterior flashes drain and dare us along the way. How somebody’s anger, joy, lure, and lust can effortlessly become ours. The only soul we might look at without offending is the one we see in the mirror; where, though neither is piqued hopefully, it’s in our control to decide whether the person grins or frowns.

But: men’s eyes flutter at women more than they do at their smartphones; and though it’s not a crime to feel attracted to the other person, she should not be uncomfortable in your presence.

And, since most culprits are men, there’s a saying to which they might want to heed: Seek respect, not attention, it lasts longer.

 

One-Way rarely works (Daily Prompt). Transformation is when you seek respect (Photo Challenge).