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HT-C fore Survey: Indian males rear their ugly heads

Days after the Mumbai horror, almost 50% of urban men say if a woman goes to a bar, she’s ‘asking for trouble’, reports Sushmita Bose.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2008 09:38 IST
Sushmita Bose
Sushmita Bose
Hindustan Times

Consider the dichotomy. India, aspiring to be a global superpower. And India, where almost half its urban male population feel that if a woman is hanging out with friends in a bar, she’s "inviting trouble". Findings of an HT-C fore survey, conducted to map the male mindset just a few days after two women were groped by a mob as they came out of a five-star hotel in one of Mumbai’s poshest areas, tell another horror story.

<b1>The survey was conducted among a sample group of 500 men (upper middle class and middle class), aged between 20 and 45, from six major urban centres: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chandigarh. If 46 per cent men felt that women are "asking for trouble" by going to a pub with friends, then another 46 per cent (again, almost half the respondents), said that if a woman swore at them, they’d be tempted to get physical or aggressive: they would feel like hitting or slapping the woman.

The ‘ideal woman’, said three out of five men (almost 60 per cent) should be homely and not go partying; only 24 per cent respondents said that their ideal woman should be "independent, yet a good homemaker". Two out of three men (64 per cent) felt that if they made friends with a woman "in a bar", they would think of a one-night stand — never a meaningful relationship.

Four out of five men surveyed said they were part of a group that passed lewd comments at women (although a substantial chunk did say that they either tried to stop the others or weren’t part of the actual eve-teasing).

Which is the city with the best-behaved men? Delhi scores the lowest (9 per cent), Kolkata the highest (24 per cent).

Around 1.45 am on January 1, two women were molested by a 70-strong mob after they stepped out of the JW Marriott hotel in Juhu. Two HT photographers captured the incident on their cameras, triggering a blaze of outrage across the country. They also called in the police.