Am I looking weird? Is my face not clean? Hope my clothes are not too revealing… Is my innerwear visible through my clothes? Why the hell are these people staring at me like this? Oh god!!

Such questions race through the mind of every woman as she faces hundreds of eyes ogling her.

Eyes are the most interesting feature in one’s face. They get attracted to anything that is different from others. Actors and advertisers strive to catch maximum eyeballs. The entertainment industry goes to any extent to captivate the audience and their eyes.

But there is a difference between admiration and gaping.

Considering the rapes and eve-teasing incidents that happen in the country, last week the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation banned the display of lingerie on mannequins in shops. The woman councillor, who proposed this move, justified it saying that such sights excite men and encourage them to commit “wrong” acts. Again eyes are the main culprit.

If such display has anything to do with rapes and sexual harassment, then screening of movies such as Hangover and James Bond should also be restricted in India. Indian actresses should be banned from wearing skimpy clothes on screen. Those who are provoked can be provoked by anything and everything, all they need is a reason.

After spending considerable time in two entirely different cities, Delhi and Chennai, I can say that one can feel equally harassed in both the places. In Delhi, which has the dubious distinction of being most unsafe for women, ogling is taken for granted and men shelter their lurid intentions under this image of Delhi.

On the other side is conservative Chennai. So a girl wearing western attire faces hundreds of eyes scanning her from head to toe. It is no different as they harbour the same vulgar feelings.

It is not confined to just Chennai or Delhi. It is widespread throughout India. I have often heard foreign tourists saying, “Haven’t these Indians seen any foreigner before? Why do they ogle so much?”

And, it is not just about what you wear. And it is not just about the opposite sex ogling.

Women are as bad.

A lady sitting next to me in the train declared me of having a sleazy character looking at the cover of the book I was reading. The title had the words “lust” with “love”.

Women frown upon girls laughing in a public place or even just hanging out with friends.

Man or woman… everyone ogles. We all like to look at what is pleasing to the eye. That is normal. But when it is reduced to mere objectification, it is another matter.

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