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What makes our men do such things?

Twenty-three-year-old Karuna Mehra is one of the thousands of Delhi women who suffer abuse as a matter of routine. Vidya Krishnan finds out why.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2008 04:42 IST
Vidya Krishnan
Vidya Krishnan
Hindustan Times

Twenty-three-year-old Karuna Mehra travels from Janakpuri to Noida every day, changing two buses to get to her workplace. Karuna is one of the thousands of Delhi women who suffer abuse as a matter of routine.

“I consider myself lucky on those rare days when men do not pass a lewd remark or stare lewdly at me. I have failed to understand what kind of a kick can a man possibly get out of groping, pinching or staring at women,” says Karuna.

The Capital’s women suffer: be it lewd remarks, gestures, brushing against them, touching, grabbing or pinching. Why do men do this? “This is a bizarre manifestation of the ill-understood traditional power equation between man and woman. In simpler terms, this is one of the ways through which men in our patriarchal society are trying to assert power over women. This happens in families and offices all the time. Molestation and eve-teasing is one of the dimensions of a patriarchal society which is spilling over on the roads,” said Dr Jitender Nagpal, Senior Consultant Criminologist at VIMHANS.

According to experts, men indulge in such behavior because there are sure that they can get away with it. “The case in point in which a mob attacked two women late in the night proves that the men knew they would not be singled out. Those people were hidden in a mob and by doing something unacceptable they had a big sense of arousal. And when so many people are doing the same thing, they are basically reinforcing into each other that it is okay,” said Dr Samir Parikh, Senior Consultant, Max healthcare.