A is travelling in a jam-packed metro, with no space for any kind of body movement whatsoever. Suddenly A feels something sliding down the thighs. A looks down only to find B’s hand there. B looks unperturbed. A thinks, may be this happened unintentionally due to the rush. After some two minutes, A is feeling something sliding again… this time, the slithering is around A’s crotch area, close to the zip. Its B’s hand again. A looks up at B. This time B is looking straight in A’s eyes with a smirk. A is dumbstruck. Terrified… and unable to move.
Do you think this is sexual harassment ? If I tell you that in the situation narrated above, A is a woman. It makes you angry, doesn’t it ! Let me tell you a truth, the situation was real… and A, the victim, was a male ! Are you still angry ? Do you still believe that the incident was a case of sexual harassment ? Or, are you smiling now ? Does the fact that the victim of sexual harassment in the incident narrated above was a male, made you laugh ? If it’s the case… you should really check that emotion.
Yes, the evil exists ! I was the subject in that incident. For some additional info, I am a strongly built six feet tall guy. Clearly not the one who can be overpowered easily. And I am a journalist. But the stigma of that incident left me fazed for a moment. A moment, which was enough for that middle-aged guy to escape. Some of my friends have also narrated me such incidents, where they were harassed by a random man. They were horrified and stunned when this happened to them.
Most of us believe that Men can’t be abused sexually. But the truth is, there are many dark sides to this ‘Manly’ world. I have come across a fair number of men who had a difficult childhood because of the sexual abuse they faced. Most of them couldn’t raise a voice. The ones who did, were not taken seriously… and were often joked upon. In my school days, there was a tailor in our colony, the only one who was good at making school dresses. While taking measurements for trouser, he especially focussed on the thighs and clutch area. To be specific, he used to grope the ballocks ! Many of us had started avoiding the street where his shop was. And to eliminate ‘Homosexuality’ undertones, he was Married to a Woman. And he had a son, who was my junior at school.
It’s not only my experience. Not to exaggerate it, but you can ask any ten men around you. You’ll certainly get more such stories from them, and may be someone would’ve faced such abuse himself. The sexual adventures, or Manventures as I call it, of Heterosexual males has left many men with a formidable experience. And the bigger tragedy is, men are not even supposed to be a victim of sexual abuse in our society. Though we have the laws POCSO and IPC 377, but they fall behind at several points. POCSO protects only the minors whereas IPC 377 can be applied only to the cases of penetrative abuse or sodomy.
Today, while we have various forums and discourses set up for the issues of gender equality and sexual freedom, the issue of Male-Rape should be addressed more openly and broadly. Its not only the penetration that causes mental trauma. Any kind of misconduct and harassment leaves the victim terrorised. Not many men, who have experienced sexual assault, talk about it. Patriarchy has been hard on women severely but it has not spared men either. If men talk about the sexual harassments they face, their masculinity gets taunted. This is one of the many ways, in which patriarchy operates. Sexual abduction should legally be codified as Heinous crime regardless of the gender and sexual orientation of the victim or the accused. I support the sexual diversity but when it comes to sexual interests Consent should be the keyword.