– First things first, I’m not saying this applies to “every” man in the country. There’s no statement that applies to all of us, never can be. I assume (and hope) you carry that sensibility on your own while reading this piece.
More often than not, an ‘average Indian guy’ approaching a girl won’t end up well. But that same girl would be flattered if a foreigner offers to buy her a drink in the streets of London, or say, Paris? Sorry to bruise your egos, but what we’re going to talk about now may not feel very good at first, it might hurt even, but it’s important to talk about. Indian men don’t make the best partners, or so everyone believes.
At a stage where the mind is the most impressionable, boys and girls are separated. Remember how, back in school, guys had lunch with only guys, and girls with girls? Remember how guys would prefer being only around guys? They were all sent to co-ed schools, made to sit next to girls, and yet, most of them never had any female friends while growing up. Some hadn’t even had any real conversations with girls all those years they were in school. Becoming friends with other guys came naturally, but even making eye contact with a new girl was ‘weird’. The gap widened, the discomfort deepened.
And that one guy who hung out with girls at school was laughed at as a kid, even bullied. He was reminded, time and again, that boys weren’t ‘supposed’ to talk to girls; that a boy would only be around a girl if he wanted to date her. A boy and a girl being friends wasn’t even seen as a possibility. It was okay to crush on a girl, even discuss her with other male friends, but ‘against the gender’ to walk up to her and just talk. They grew up seeing women only as objects of desire, not as people they could talk to, be friends with. They looked at her as a trophy they could get when they wanted.
That explains why some Indian men think it is perfectly okay to ogle at her even at the cost of making her uncomfortable and scared. It is okay to pass comments on her, discuss her with their friends, see her only for her heaving bosom and swaying hips. Of course, a man who sees her as a trophy wouldn’t respect a simple ‘No’. The concept of consent and respecting someone’s choice wouldn’t occur to him. He would either persuade her till she blocks him on social media, or follow her till she changes her route. Thanks to Bollywood, they think stalking her, intruding her private space, forcing her into something is how it’s done. Finally, if she doesn’t agree, he would slut shame her. She’s a woman and women are supposed to be around for men to seek pleasure. How dare she refuse?
What’s worse is that these same men who seek their friends’ help to hook up with hot girls at parties, would never even allow a guy near their own sisters. And this ridiculous Indian mentality is common knowledge. Women know that most guys hitting on them would never be cool with the idea of the women of their house being with men.
Go to any Indian gym and you’d find dozens of men ogling at that one girl stretching on the side, quietly, trying everything she can to avoid all that attention. They’d stare at her, make her uncomfortable for days, but never have the courage to go and talk to her. They would sit at lunch with other men at office, discuss women but never actually go and talk to one, something that could actually make them see women for more than their bodies and also help them understand what they like better! Even when they do decide to approach a girl, they do it disrespectfully, thanks to never having interacted with women properly. Sending creepy messages on Facebook is a very common affair. No points for guessing why exactly they get rejected every time.
Even when they do get a girl, they expect her to conform to the roles of being a girl – the submissive one in the relationships. It is, of course, obvious how the guy feels extra protective and possessive of the woman he’s dating. They find it hard to come to terms with the fact that their girlfriends can be more ambitious, stronger, more successful and famous or earn more than them. The ‘male ego’ is a brittle little thing, it’s true.
There’s also another section of guys who may not be as offensive, but equally inept at understanding women – the kinds who get ‘friendzoned’ by every girl they meet. It’s not always the girl’s fault. They fail to understand there lies a difference between a girl being friendly with them and dropping hints. They’ve never really had female friends, so it’s not hard to believe that they read the wrong signs and assume any girl who talks to them is interested in them.
Do you see how much harm that one invisible line of ‘difference’ that’s carved in our heads as kids does? It’s definitely a relief to see the present generation becoming much more open-minded right from their childhood. But it’s still going to take a while for men in this country to adapt to the idea of being around girls and maybe that’s when we can expect them to learn the art of approaching women and dating them.