My problem with your staring problem

Published: February 22, 2012

My daily walk from my point stop to my apartment is nothing less than torture for me; not because I am exhausted after a tiring day at college and my legs are unable to bear that five-minute stress; but because the dear men of my beloved nation are suffering from the staring syndrome.

Whether I am wearing jeans with a shirt or am covered in a burqa, there are three points in that five-minute walk where I feel people eyeing me with extreme interest. The first is an under construction building, where poor and deprived labourers clearly get bored with their work all day long. The second is a showroom and its prolific guards who like to watch girls instead of thieves and intruders; the third is our area’s cobbler who I am sure has some serious vision problems because once his eyes get fixed at a point, they simply cannot deviate from it. And this is not it. Occasionally, an old toothless man or young, pre-pubescent boy walks by passing lewd comments.

I am sure half of the girls who are reading this are nodding or smiling by now  at the thought of similar situations that they go through. Whether it is a populated bazaar or a high-end mall, we all get stared and commented at by all sorts of men.  They could be labourers, shopkeepers, young boys on motorcycles with tight shirts and big shades or an occasional old man with greying hair and the works. You name it and we have it.

Most of us are used to the atrocious staring. But it really makes me wonder where we are headed as a nation. We don’t like to stand in queues, traffic signals are for losers, the police is shrugged off for a mere Rs100, staring at any person who looks different from us is the new rule, dustbins are outdated, and sorries, thank yous and pleases do not exist; these habits are reflective of a lack of manners. We make our own rules –  everything else can be easily disregarded.

Our nation is not progressing, it’s regressing – in terms of morals and civic sense.

However, the moment we get a ticket to somewhere else, we turn into the most well-behaved and respectable citizen of that nation. Traffic rules, dustbins and etiquette, all remind us of their existence with a bang. Voila! The fear of being kicked out of there is what straightens out the most curved of the lot.

It is sad how we take our own land, which has been a home to us for more than 60 years, for granted each day.

I realise this country has a lot of problems and many things are happening today which are out of our hands. We can’t do anything about them even if we wanted to. However I also realise that as individuals, we can do something to improve out basic morals and habits.

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Saba Fatima Ali

Saba Fatima Ali

A final year medical student at Dow Medical College.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • asma

    forget men… even some women do not have the decency to stop staring at other ppl. i know a female colleague who has this habit of staring and commenting on other girls if she is wearing something different or “modern” since she thinks she is beter than other girls coz she flirt with men while wearing shalwar kameez. men or women both in our society r highly ill mannered and hypocrite. Recommend

  • Maira

    One more against Pakistanis. Everyone will stare at you whether you will go to US, Maldives or Iceland if you will want to be stared. SimpleRecommend

  • Evolutionist

    This is evolution and Jungle law working. Humanity evolved only for sex. And this is it, ladies and gentlemen. At least let the innocent staring prevail since now these men cant rape and maim due to restrictions on evolutionary behaviors by the morality brigade. Recommend

  • Concerned Omega

    Firstly your so full of yourself, put a guy in a burqa and every one will be staring at him too. Idle curiosity, there is nothing wrong with fantasizing only the creative minds can do it. Besides most girls would enjoy the attention, next get over yourself. Nations fine just highly capable illiterates roaming around. According to you basic human morals need to be changed, ahh but just only in men. Your suggesting men should become gay or women, ironically most men are hardwired to think straight.Recommend

  • Alveena

    I have checked and experienced the staring problem by wearing Burqa with Hijab and jeans with kurta, and in both cases the result was same. Bold STARING, like they have never seen a girl before in life. Even in Shalwar qameez, with proper dupatta on head and body, they just can’t stop their selves. Even, some women and girls stare like you are looking ‘Alien’ among all. We just can’t do nothing except ignoring them and move on. Recommend

  • Bilal

    good article…..ya u r rite, its pathetic !Recommend

  • shahid nadeem

    AOA, its great to hav on this page,this pleasure for me, i am a member of team….Recommend

  • Tharki

    My eyes are my property. What I choose to see or stair at is my decision and right. as long as I am not howling at you or attacking you physically I have not interfered with your rights so SHUT UP and MOVE ON. Plus stop with this nonsense that “Pakistani” men are tharki.. Name a populated part of this planet where guys don’t check out girls??? If you find one, then go and live their and be happy Recommend

  • Islam Khan

    Islam gave solution for all gender problems 1400 years ago…women should not go out unless they have their brothers, husbands or fathers with them. They should observe Pardah as described in Holy Quran..and they will feel themselves radiating dignity and respect.Recommend

  • Saad Ullah

    Well written! But i guess just a “DANDA” can make our society civilized and force us to follow laws. Recommend

  • Tharki

    My eyes are My property. What or who I choose to stare or look at is my right. as long as I am not howling at you or trying to be physical I am not violating your rights so SHUT UP and MOVE ON. and stop with the nonsense that “Pakistani” men are tharki. Name any populated place on the face of this planet where men don’t check out women? If you find one, move there and be happy. Recommend

  • Saba

    now a days if we go to any rural areas there we find that women get respected we cant deny that women as well face tourture and abuse in rural areas but concerning staring at girls i think there are a lot of parhay likhay jahil in urban areas you see students you see some times professional but the question is how to avoid this answer is not education this is something to aware people and make them feel that its tourture and abuse Recommend

  • Madiha Faheem

    very true…these stares and comments are so common in our society and adding in this is a brief touch here and there…wherever whenever u get near…walking in bazars and on roads uliterally have to watch ur front back and sides to keep away such ullu people whose hands are just not in their control!! i even sway bags in my hand front and back to keep ppl from coming too near!! :))Recommend

  • Talha

    Befriend Maya Khan, no will dare look at you again.

    This would only work when she is with you however.Recommend

  • saima

    @ tharki. ‘My eyes are My property. What or who I choose to stare or look at is my right. as long as I am not howling at you or trying to be physical I am not violating your rights so SHUT UP and MOVE ON. ‘ my tongue is my property so i should call you names and you are free to wear ear plugs.. my nose is MY property so if i chose to blow MY nasal secretion in your direction you are free to jump out of its way.. Recommend

  • saima

    if a woman is ignoring staring its because she can’t afford crowd’s attention by giving a shut up call to harasser. staring by one is still better than being stared by fifty filthy pair of eyes.

    secondly, if the same road or bus stop is to be used every single day, ignoring becomes the best defense.. any aggressive behavior on woman’s part will make her more insecure as the starer might turn in to a stalker and the crowd starts recognising her attaching identities like.. ‘wo kali chadar wali… wo PTCL ke naukri wali.. wo oonchi heel wali… usss ne is ko suna de the.Recommend

  • Syed Mohummed

    Assalam u Alaikum,

    A good piece of article. Females are not only the victims of useless staring but at time we males have to face staring from opposite gender for no reason & we end up thinking whether we aren’t properly dressed or she haven’t seen such a smart guy in her life before!
    So its not only men who are to blame nor women but its the human!
    RegardsRecommend

  • Muslim

    @Islam Khan you are right

    Islam has provided a solution to this problem:
    1. Women should be properly covered
    2. Women should have a mahram man with them.
    3. Most Importantly MEN should lower their gaze. There is a Hadith that men should not look at a woman for a second time (the first being an accidental glance). Gazing at women is against Quran and sunnah and the men who gaze at women should be prepared for a terrible punishment in the hereafter when their eyes will say that this man used us in an improper way and when burning iron rods are thrust into the eyes of the Men who gaze women with desire.Recommend

  • Kanwal

    @Tharki
    Your comment is slightly sickening. I live in London and commute daily. Is London some out-of-this-earth place where men do not stare? compare it with Pakistan? No way! Recommend

  • Yousaf Ali

    @asma: I agree, its like this.Recommend

  • Sameer Qadir

    One of the biggest problem our society faces is the menace of a dirty mindset most of the men, like myself have.We go on the internet, freely and unabated, watch pornography and then visualize women around us as being the same.We think that if a woman is dressed in tight fitting clothes, she is sexy and definately will respond to our lurid advances. If she is beautiful, we have dreams about being with her in one way or the other. If she has a good figure, we think she has loose character. If she dresses in modern Pakistani clothes, we find her of loose moral character. But one thing satisfies most men as respectful, a nice plump/fat woman ( with apologies to anyone overweight, I myself am too ). And why because, in most cases at least in the urban areas, the mothers tend to be overweight, and so a natural rounded motherly figure. So what are the choices for the women in Pakistan. Be nice fat and motherly, or escape the extreme harshness of the men with dirty sights by wearing Burqa’s which cover the face and body completely in loose fittings or simply stay in the four walls of their houses.
    Well there are other things that can be done to rescue the situation. One is to ban PORNOGRAPHY completely and make anyone caught watching it or marketing it face a stiff jail sentence. The second thing is to have sex education as part of the curriculum in all schools and colleges.And the third thing is to have open discussions with people from all walks of life about how to respect women in a more meaningful way. We need to open up our society a bit more by talking about our religion at all levels and the role of male/female relationship within its purveiw.Recommend

  • Mo

    @Sameer Qadir:
    Oh boy……….. SERIOUSLYRecommend

  • BlackJack

    This is not a Pakistani problem – it has to do with the false sense of modesty and hypocrisy that permeates the sub-continent and many other conservative societies. I live in the Netherlands today, and I am told by my female colleagues (who dress far more freely than women back home) that the tendency to stare at women is most often seen in Indians and Pakistanis – is it because they don’t get to see enough at home? All I could do is smile..Recommend

  • omer

    only if the gaurds and the cobbler and the labourers read the tribune your problem will be fixed. but somehow i highly doubt that madamRecommend

  • RH

    I don’t know what’s worse, the staring or the fact that some people want to emulate Saudi Arabia’s brand of Islam in Pakistan (“women should not go out unless they have their brothers, husbands or fathers with them”) where women are completely invisible and not even second-class citizens! Men, please make ‘lowering your gaze’ no. 1 on your list and leave the women to sort out their own issues.Recommend

  • Vasanth Pai

    @saima:
    Bravo, good retort to an upstart comment Recommend

  • Vasanth Pai

    It is the same here in India. You need to carry pepper spray and learn karate to save yoursel from these rowdies. No other solution seems to be available. Complain to police? They will give you more dirty stares than the person you are complaining about. So forget the help of law. Recommend

  • seriously?

    @tharki grow the hell up. your eyes are your property so you can stare wherever you want?
    how would you like it if a man you knew was gay came and started staring lewdly at you like he was undressing you with your eyes. sharam o haya bhi koi cheez hoti hai. if a girl is making an effort to stay covered then you should have the bloody decency to keep your stupid gaze lowered when she passes by instead of staring at her like she’s the last thing you’ll see. Recommend

  • Asma

    @Maira:
    Not really agree with u…in other countries this is regarded as offensive and u can b actually punished for harrassment even if u smile or give unusual friendly gestures to any adult or child. Recommend

  • Tanya Baig

    @Maira:
    Starring is not part of western culture because western society is very open and sexuality is not a taboo. I live in west for 10 yrs now and I can see the difference. I feel more comfortable walking alone in NY than in Karanchi Woman feels safe even when she is in bikini in west. Starring more prevails in Asian culture.Recommend

  • Uzair

    As a male I am ashamed and embarrassed by the attitude and behavior of my fellow Pakistani males, who, like “Tharki” above, feel it their birthright to stare at any woman. Have lived in the West, I have seen how the caucasian males DO NOT stare, but Pakistani and Indian males DO.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @BlackJack

    You could tell your female colleagues that Indian and Pakistani men are true men unlike the western impotents. However being a man means that you have to control your desires and gazes, in line with the commands of the Creator. Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Blackjack

    on a light note, the population explosion in India, Pakistan and the subcontinent proves how manly Asian men are. The lack of population in Europe shows the capability of their men!Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Muslim

    A Muslim man’s duty to lower his gaze arises given the Muslim woman is Islamically dressed – that is, fully covered including her face, hands, and all other parts of her body, and her walk, mannerisms are modest enough not to invite attention from men. Women can’t create difficult, provocative conditions for Muslim men and expect to be respected by the latter.

    Besides, as Blackjack has suggested – the conditions are the same in India, and as Maira has informed Pakistani women, things are no better in the United States. Recommend

  • http://www.scribd.com/asifameer Asif

    @kaalchakra: “things are no better in the United States”

    This is false. I have been to Pakistan and I know how men stare at women. Constantly staring at at anyone here in the US is considered rude. And is a very uncommon sight.Recommend

  • Awais

    What if a boy gets stared at? In lahore I did get stared at by people, quite abit but not as much as my sisters were stared at. I would give a mean stare to the person looking at them and hold their gaze until they looked away, if they did not then I would take a couple of steps towards them and still hold their gaze, if not then go up to the person and stand very closely face to face and ask them what their problem was.

    But that would make me a hypocrite because I have stared at girls whether its in London or Lahore, not enough to make one feel uncomfortable but if their brother or father were there and caught me throwing glances their way, they would not like that one bit the same way I wouldn’t.

    Me and my sisters dared my mother to wink at a man who was intensely staring at her then put her foot down, drive away. Memorable times in Lahore.Recommend

  • AH

    @RH:
    All my applause to you for the wonderful reply.
    Why do not men want the Islam be implicated on them as much as they WANT it to be implicated on women??
    If you being not an extremist, read the quran and sunnah in an unbiased manner, it clearly states that whatever restrictions are put on a woman, a man is equally put on them too!Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Muslim:
    Dude – sorry to trash your party but there is no correlation between the number of times a guy has sex and the number of children he has. Recommend

  • farigh reader

    first of all i used to do the same.. but if u think just for a moment a second put your mother ,sister in the position of the girl ur staring or just think that you had a daughter being stared or to be a bit blunt stripped down virtually and on the burqa story all i would like to say is that burqa is of no use if u have it all tightened Recommend

  • Parvez

    Great topic choice and nicely put.
    First the men must acknowledge that they have a ‘staring’ problem and they do. The reasons for this must be many, from the mother fixation to stupid restrictions in our society, this is a subject for social scientists. Short term solution would be to ignore it, for the more you acknowledge it the more he stares and the more upset you get. In short, you have to educate him, it sound illogical and unfair but then many things are. Recommend

  • bp

    This problem if you will is no the preserve of women. I’m a man and I’ve on at least two occasions in the last five years felt uncomfortable because women were totally checking me out! Small wonder then that I can totally empathize with the girls. All I can say to female humanity is that you will be what you make yourself to be. Those people will always sit on the sidelines staring at those that move onwards and upwards. Make yourself the second kind!Recommend

  • Hina Fan

    At least on this one issue the men of Pakistan and India can unite … we love to stare.Recommend

  • Haya

    Have you tried the niqab? It works wonders. Just saying.Recommend

  • sana

    i went thru the same situation while getting home from where my uni point used to drop me. i was always properly covered and even started doing naqaab to tackle the situation bt to no avail. in the end i used to put my head phones on under my naqaab and put on the track IN THE END by LINKIN PARK and walk down the path thinking to hell with u all! i live in london now and while commuting on the busiest of tubes and trains have been surprised time and again how no one touches or pinches or stares even when we re standing centimetres away!Recommend

  • Haya

    “Men, please make ‘lowering your gaze’ no. 1 on your list and leave the women to sort out their own issues.”

    This comment almost made me smile, because there was a time not so long ago when I too used to think like that. But reality is a whole 360 degrees turn from this philosophy. We often find ourselves “hating on the men” because of the prevalent western feminist philosophy of women rights over and over and over again being fed to us in the form of media, movies, and books since we were little girls. But we are not separate. We have to work as a team. If we really need to get some results, all three of the aforementioned things (as mentioned by Muslim) have to be carried out i.e.

    Women should be properly covered
    Women should have a mahram man with them.
    Most Importantly MEN should lower their gaze.

    If we start selective implementation, then we will just end up where we began. So the effort has the be focused on both sides. THAT plus girls should realize that although it appears to be a man’s fault, but dressing does play an important role. So the blame should end at both sides. Also, girls are the ones being affected by this situation, so we SHOULD take an initiative and do at least our part of the deal if we really want to see some results. Recommend

  • Haya

    @kaalchakra

    If that’s the attitude one is to have then sadly nothing would change. IF a woman waits for men to lower their gaze, then we know that is never gonna happen because there will always be some men who stare, and also some who are not even Muslims. Similarly, if a man is to wait for a woman to dress modestly, then given the kind of society we live in that would just become a rather blunt excuse to keep staring on, wouldn’t it? Recommend

  • saima

    i don’t get the point of defensive debate of men here.. DO NOT STARE. Islam or no islam.. repression or not.. is that asking too much???Recommend

  • Pervert

    Men are all perverts and even if they try to stop being one, they can go from being HIGHLY pervert to being LESS pervert. At times they can’t lower their gaze and at times they can (read respective to the former sentence). But being a pervert doesn’t stop.
    If they are not watching a girl passing by they are gonna spend some ‘quality’ time on the internet once in a while hence enhancing their pervert skills.

    Just wanted to correct you: my problem is not staring, it’s being a pervert. Wouldn’t stare if you weren’t a girl. Right or wrong…live with that and move on.Recommend

  • Nobody

    @kaalchakra:
    I don’t know what version of Islam you are familiar with but the one I know doesn’t have an exception to the lower your gaze rule. Have I misread or does the verse actually say lower your gaze but if a woman is not dressed modestly, she’s fair game so leer away….??? I didn’t think so.

    More to the point, the people defending the creepy ‘starers’ saying it’s human nature to check each other out, yes it’s human nature to LOOK, but ill mannered to STARE. There’s a difference between looking and leering. Hell I can admit as a young woman I look at my male counterparts if said male catches my eye, so I’m no one to bash the ‘lookers’ because we all do it. However, leering is something else and doesn’t typically happen in civilized societies. Unfortunately, I don’t see any resolve to this neanderthal-esque behavior in Pakistan/India and other Asian countries, at least not anytime soon so til then, try to ignore it, or if you’re pissed enough, stare back (although be warned, that almost never helps). Cheers! Recommend

  • BLing BLing

    I can understand why a man would stare at woman but the way even random 40+ aunties stare at you, you feel mentally raped! It is sickening, how they stop doing whatever they were doing just to stare at you until you disappear. I never wear jeans in Karachi unless i know i will be in the posh areas where people will act more normal. I do not want to think what they would do if i started wearing jeansRecommend

  • Kimberly

    For the people saying it is no better in the United States – have you ever even been there? This is not a problem at all in the US. I live in a populace city (Washington, DC, and have lived in many other cities), and I take public transportation and walk through busy streets all the time. I can’t even think of a time where someone stared at me. I think mixing of the sexes is just so common in the West, men are used to it and don’t have the need to stare. They don’t hold women up on some pedestal as these creatures who are responsible for their honor and their families’ honor. Women are just fellow humans, and not something to stare at. The gender segregation and veiling of women are the root CAUSE of the staring problem, because it’s making women taboo.Recommend

  • Jehanzeb

    Men’s lewdness and ogling is not a universal trait. Ask a Pakistani woman who has had an experience of living in a western country, she will tell you that she feels far more comfortable in moving around without harassment outside Pakistan.

    In Pakistan working women are automatically pigeon-holed as of loose morals and thus considered free for all. It is not a reflection on our women, but it speaks volume about men (who act as if we are barely out of stone age).

    And those who throw in religion into every debate, please note: Your religion is like your underwear; you don’t wear it on the top of your clothes when in public.Recommend

  • Man on street

    Agreed: Staring is not polite. having said that. it is sad how women are willing to hand out the control of themselves to be offended my strangers to them, at the drop of a hat. One glare and there is an offence. Stop getting offended. You are better than that. You want to give it back to them? Do it literally. Stare back! (Just do it confidently, or it might me mistaken for a suggestion.)Recommend

  • Man on street

    @Kaalchakra: If that’s what a muslim man must do, lower his gaze, then that’s what he mist do, regardless of how a woman is dressed. Stop pinning everything on ‘oh-so-immodestly-dressed-woman-that-i-must-judge-to-be-a-whore-unsparingly’ females. Brains are bigger than balls!Recommend

  • Man on street

    @ Tharki: Touche’Recommend

  • Cynical

    @saima
    You rock.
    What a reply @tharki.Recommend

  • PakTiger

    Poverty+ Lack of Education = Starring, terrorism and the list goes on ……. standing against men is useless….. stand against poverty and lack of education!Recommend

  • PakTiger

    i love the comments of Paki’s living abroad…..having an excess of something makes you bored….. so u want Paki men to bang someone everyday? ….. try to understand guys…. comparing west with Pakistan or as a matter of fact asia is something idiotic……by the way someone has just exagerated including the whole region i.e. “Asia” here :)…..Recommend

  • m.

    @ Maira and random other people who are giving examples of places outside of Pakistan.

    I live in Singapore and have been to quite a few places in the world. From what I’ve seen, the ‘taaru’ problem is the worse in Pakistan. Lets take South Asian examples. Dhaka – used to be part of Pakistan, Muslim population, large female workforce…..I didnt see anyone staring like I’ve seen in KHI. Delhi – I’ve seen women go in groups of 2 or 3 to a midnight movie show that ended around 2.30 am. They were wearing clothes ranging from skirts to shalwar kameez with a dupatta, went home in a rickshaw, alone, without a ‘mehram’…………..Nobody stared.

    Singapore is amazing, I’ve seen women in Burqas on the beach, a hindu priest with about 20 piercings on his back riding the train, wearing a loincloth and I’ve seen eastern european girls wearing the smallest clothes possible……guess what, nobody stares!Recommend

  • PakTiger

    @ “M” the things u are advocating abt certain places……can you pls explain this video….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRck-5fmRpA

    Now c’mon its a southasian phenomena! poverty and lack of education at its peak!Recommend

  • Red

    @PakTiger

    Fine. Desi example. I dressed in jeans and tee-shirts in Hunza. I have been there twice. No one stared at me, to the extent where I starting feeling comfortable going out alone in what was, to me, a new, strange place. You and everyone else here who think biology is to be blame is seriously ignorant. Staring, making cat-calls, passing lewd comments, trying to touch a passing woman fall under the category of sexual harassment and are liable to be prosecuted under the law in many countries. I would say it falls under gender discrimination and persecution since it curtails the free movement of women. I can’t walk anywhere in Lahore without cars slowing down, men following me, having numbers thrown at me, the list goes on and on. It is painful if you have to do a chore that involves going outdoors and is designed to stop women from being comfortable in public spaces.

    Oh, and how much sex a man is getting has no bearing on sexual harassment either. Many of the harassers are married. Nice try though. I wonder what theory Pakistani men will come up with to justify their pathetic manners. Manners which, as the author has pointed out, do seem to magically transform into a semblance of civility the minute they take the first step in a country which has zero tolerance for such behavior and where, instead of being supported, such behaviors are considered shameful and can have you socially ostracized.

    @Maira
    Try to step out of the country sometime. I sincerely doubt you have been to Iceland. Did you just come up with that because it sounds faraway? Do you know Iceland is one of the leading nations in the world when it comes to gender equality?

    @ConcernedOmega
    “Besides most girls would enjoy the attention”
    You did not just say that. How many women have you talked to? Did you talk to the women in your family? Do you have female friends who told you they like being stared and groped in public? Or, are you, a male, trying to tell us females how WE should feel?

    @Tharki
    No, I will not leave my country. It is MY country as much as it is yours and I have the RIGHT to live here without being harassed because of my GENDER.

    To all the men invoking religious dressing:
    As already mentioned by several women that you chose to ignore (I feel like writing this in caps!), what you wear has no bearing on sexual harassment. The only thing that matters is gender. And no, just in case whoever was positing this theory was being semi-serious, being round and fat doesn’t stop many men either. My kaam wali is quite matronly and she still faces harassment in the street. I have faced sexual harassment in a group of 8 women, two of whom were my mother and khala. The behavior is absolutely sickening and cannot be justified on any grounds.Recommend

  • PakTiger

    @M delhi city has the highest number of reported rapes and other crimes against females………
    pls see the link below…….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIjnS9-rfC4

    your traveling experiences are so vague….were u dreaming????Recommend

  • Chulbul Pandey

    @Haya: This comment almost made me smile, because there was a time not so long ago when I too used to think like that. But reality is a whole 360 degrees turn from this philosophy.

    Sorry to point out but a 360 degrees comes back to the starting point :D May be, you meant 180 degrees :DRecommend

  • wtf

    western world or asia it is not about where you live.
    It’s natural to look at someone of the opposite sex as you are attracted to them. But it’s more about having values and knowing what right when you appear in public.
    I find it offensive to give pakistani’s a label of “immoral hypocrites” considering me myself, a pakistani.
    Where ever you go, there are people out there who are of loose character. So putting a label is not the right thing, even though there might be more people here that do it.

    education is the only solution to this problem. To tell what’s right and how to appear in public. Recommend

  • wtf

    guys staring? they should actually know when to do it? preferably when your out with friends. do you really expect girls to hit back when there shopping or with there parents? LOL i dont think so. ( trust me they prefer shopping over anything lol)

    aunties staring at youngsters? there actually being judgemental, based on your appearance and how and who you appear in public with. creeepy.

    girls staring at guys? if she just looks at you then don’t consider it a sign of she being attracted!

    guys staring at guys? ;)

    main thing is you should know how to appear in public and know whats right. making eye contact is fine but when it comes to staring? theres different situations good and bad ones. learn to distinguish when not to and when it’s acceptable. Recommend

  • Sahibzada Shabir

    @haya very well said

    by the way why can’t men “look” and “dont offend”Recommend

  • citizen

    very well written piece by author. its a common problem all girls face .But truth is you cant correct mentality of such awful men. The best way is to ignore and declare ” to hell with ”

    @ Tharki : disgusting and sickening comment Recommend

  • http://uptonogood.tumblr.com Red

    I wanted to add that according to any comprehensive definition, “staring” of the kind that Pakistan men practice on women, which is often accompanied by verbal comments and sexual innuendos or physical contact, is defined as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as violence against women under Article 2 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993. You know, in case, people really are unaware that it is a crime.

    Definition of Sexual Harassment: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf
    Sexual Harassment as VAW: http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/48/a48r104.htm

    Check out the examples in the first link in case you’re not sure what you are doing is sexual harassment. A Pakistani woman cannot step outside, much less work and study, without experiencing sexual harassment in one form or another, sometimes on a DAILY basis.

    If you are unaware of the impact sexual harassment has on women’s lives, their mental health, their self-esteem, mobility and ability to perform tasks independently, check “Hey Baby” Hurts in Psychology Today. Also, Google street harassment. Please educate yourself. Recommend

  • Londonboy

    @Kanwal:
    Okay I have got to comment since you’ve said men don’t stare in London.

    Where ever I have walked in London with my girlfriend, I have found men -regardless of caste, colour and ethnicity – staring at her, something which irritates me as much as it does any other woman. Checking out girls is a universally ‘disease’ men have. Now if you don’t seem to attract men’s attention well you’re lucky then! Recommend

  • omerulz

    Btw this syndrome is present in every part of the world! The only difference is that in west white men stare at women which women don’t mind. Here when a big moustache man stares, the girls find it rude; its racism not ill mannered. I have lived in UK for apprx 5 years and trust me men there behave the same way as men in Pakistan behave. Girls dont mind if a handsome man is staring at them; there problem is with the shopkeepers, rikshaw wala’s etc.

    Men will be men. I am not supporting men that what they do is correct; point is that this not only happens in Pakistan, its present everywhere.Recommend

  • http://www.hafsahmad.wordpress.com Hafsa A. Sial

    Thank you. Recommend

  • rafaz

    seriously, why do pakistani girls hate on Pakistani people soooo much man? The moment they leave their country ” hayee pakistan yaad araha hai-waapis jana hai waapis jana hai”

    Im done hearing the same complaints over and over gain. When they are in in their own homes and if the door bell rings, they will not go to see who is out there, oh no, no way in hell. Either they will shout at their poor innocent male maids or their brothers to go out and see who it is since they are ” poor helpless pakistani girls who get STARED at if they step outside their home”. But the moment they get a visa to UK, here comes independence.

    Like WTH man, Ive never seen more respectable guys in my life who respect women so much. Pakistani girls here take every good thing for granted. They think they are blessed princesses who deserve this treatment. From their maid to the rikshawalah to the security guard at their workplace, Ive never seen any of them being impolite or “staring”. They have eyes and theyre gonna look whats happening around them. They state at me too. Im a guy. You dont hear me complaining. Get over it.
    Do these girls get harrased by such men daily? NO. Never. They call them “baji ji” and are polite to them. Isnt this the highest regard of showing respect towards a woman? What else do these paki princesses want.
    You young ugly girls need to stop being so paranoid and debunk this myth already and get a reality check as well, you are not a perfected creature who has descended from heaven that people will stare at.

    Lastly, I agree. More than men, it’s the women who gaze at other girls. Plan a trip to Libery market, Lahore and open your eyes and brain. Thats the land of women and they treat the poor guys there as their slaves. Like, I think u ladies need to start showing some respect towards the guys at Liberty or your maali our your male maids.

    And staring happens everywhere. Ive been to Toronto. People there mentally torture with their silent stares. There, if you are “talking” to someone, people will stare at you. People notice there as well. They themselves have become zombies so when they see a “human” yawning, laughing or showing emotions, “they stare”. So, I think this situation if worse in developed countries than in Pakistan.

    Learn to thank Allah and be grateful for what you have.

    Peace!Recommend

  • Asma

    @Haya: NO HAYA – IT DOESN’T!!! Recommend

  • Atif Ejaz

    O BB this is male psychology, tell me any country in the whole world where girls/women are not stared at, ???? why to single out Pakistan ? you just want to get your stuff published in a blog and …..Recommend

  • http://uptonogood.tumblr.com Red

    Why was my first comment censored? I think it’s about time ET came up with a clear censorship policy.Recommend

  • Sattar

    Dont like people eyeballing you then leave this land…we r not going to change our ways for anybody!!Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan

    True! when it will end? the moment the world stops treating women like an object of achievement or pleasure and treat her like a human being, this problem will automatically end. And yes women stare men too…way deep :)Recommend

  • Amber

    I just feel men in the west stare only when the woman is inviting.otherwise they mind thier own business and stay at a safe distance. Recommend

  • http://hrzblog.blogspot.com HRZ

    The main problem is the people are bloody illiterate.. No common sense, no civic sense, no traffic sense.. We don’t feel that we are living in a Islamic country..Recommend

  • sundus

    poorly written. find something new to blog about, why do people keep writing about the same known issues all the time? Recommend

  • Khurram Nasir

    First of All i want to say AOA!!! the thing which made me to comment is the “Highlighted Issue” which was raised by the writer. Indeed it is one of our society biggest issue and it is suffered by many of girls through out on daily basis it doesn’t matter what are the situations, but unfortunately it happens aggressively. It can be due to the desperate rate which can be found easily in our young generation!!! upto some point i agree with the writer that yeah it is happens alot and different ages of men involve in it. Whether the girls or even women are in veil (Burka) or in a skinny jeans or in tees all of them suffered either the working lady or the college students most of them suffered from it. But it is not that every time its a men fault or a fault of a group of fluffy teenagers or the wanna be boys in bike comparing their selves to filmy hero.. some time its often the mistake by girls I m not saying that all girls are same neither all the men. their are people who doesn’t want to be involve in this kinda “Stinking stuffs” but when it comes to manners and etiquettes defiantly you cant implement changes in the lifestyle, behavior or even rights of the people, the brought up of the child and the family backgrounds plays a vital role in it if i know that if will harrset any girl alongside the road by doing the all idiotic stuffs on the other hand it will happens to any of my family members.(according to muallhas term) but if i knew that the family backgrounds from which i belongs is not that i involve in that stinky type of stuffs neither any of my sis. But what are society thinks that the girl standing on the bus stop is waiting for some kinda attention. But in some case girls wanted to get noticed by those desperate eyes and them some people mark them like” Ohh wo deak yaar kiya bachi hai”. these type of slangs words they like to hear and considered their self as a Miss World.. sorry to say the simple way is to get rid of this issue simply donot give any damn attention ignored peoples and leave them into their own. Education really matters alot. atleast i m not the guy who want to involve in this type stinky stuffs bcoz i dont feel it good.

    P.S This issue cant be resolved in a flick, but indeed it should be reduced bcoz it making our society and culture more disgraceful!Recommend

  • jatt

    man was made to procreate. its in his genetic modification and cannot be fixed by moral/legal/social laws. regulated yes curtailed no.

    lack of recreation activities in poverty stricken society has direct correlation with advanced sexual misconduct. pakistan is one such unfortunate land of the (im)pure where opposite sexes do not interact in a healthy environment. result= sexual frustration.

    may god be with youRecommend

  • SMA

    Dear all,

    This is not the one side game that only women is the victim but the men also staring by the women, sorry but if you noticed once in while when the man gone through the crowd of girls, they give u remarks like men did in market or mall or many populated men areas, that time really feel embarrassment. Its not mean that the men habit is term in well behave, but I must say that don’t blame over only men. Recommend

  • asma

    pardah may be an option but its not the solution. how will non muslim girls deal with this and as a matter of fact i wear abaya wenever i go out but im stared at alot of times. hence the conclusion, men should treat other girls as they would treat their mothers and sisters.Recommend

  • sam

    why do girls have to cry so much , nakhra nakhra all the time..
    oo men stare me i dont like it,

    ooo men dont stare at me whats wrong with me?

    nut bagsRecommend

  • Ahmad Saleem

    Why you ladies dress in a manner which cries out loudly LOOK AT ME. WHY ? WHY ON EARTH?Recommend

  • http://humasattars.wordpress.com Huma

    Why did you have to make this a “national” problem. I’m afraid this problem persists in the best of countries as well; and has less to do with Pakistan and where ‘we are headed’ than the simple fact that men stare. Period. This is not an issue of women being suppressed. And it has nothing to do with Pakistan. You are right in everything except for the way you sweep everything under one rug. This is certainly an issue, just not the way you put it. Recommend

  • Silas

    @Tharki:
    This is my tongue and i will use it the way i like.
    And second, there is nothing wrong with looking. Everybody looks at others. Guys look at girls, girls look at guys. Nothing wrong. What is wrong is staring like a total creepo so that the other person becomes uncomfortable.
    Of course everybody checks out members of the opposite sex. But if you really want to look look in such a way that it doesn’t make the person being looked at uncomfortable.Recommend

  • Jordan

    Strange… Here in ‘The West’ where staring is not explicitly prohibited in the name of a crackpot religion, there doesn’t seem to be much of a problem… maybe further proof to the fact that prohobition does not work??! The problem surely stems from segregating sexes from early on which encourages treating eachother like different species rather than fellow human beings. Recommend

  • Zehra

    @ Jehanzeb
    Those who throw in religion into every debate, please note: Your religion is like your underwear..

    You said it mate!Recommend

  • Islam Khan

    keep a man hungry for days..months..years..most of his life..and then ‘chain’ him but let him see all the delicious food is there to see..he will obviously get mad..its not a rocket science..we should either become Saudi Arabia/Iran…or Europe..its being in the middle thats causing headache.!Recommend

  • Rafe

    @ Tharki ,

    I think u r an unreasonable person..So no need to reply You at All.

    Very Nice article.

    I live in Dubai. Its best to live..no body can stare gals..very strong CID. Police control is best.
    its happen only in India n Pakistan.
    LAW n Order is only solution of this problem.Recommend

  • Shahbaz Younis

    @Saba
    I completely agree with you but staring problem not only applies to men but to women as well, some women, I even noticed many times stair at men, which is irritating for men who are reserved by nature Recommend

  • RAW is WAR

    good that so many people are wearing hijab /nikab in pakistan. or else there would be so many rapes cases around.Recommend

  • http://javeriyasayeed.wordpress.com/ javeriyasayeedsiddiqui

    this is so damn true! even though if your are covered from head to toe they stare! they stare all the more, like they have x-rays in their eyes! seriously this is so sickening! Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Ladies and gentlemen

    We can’t make up what is right and what is wrong. Some people may hate being stared at, others may love it. So an individual’s reaction while understandable, is no guide to appropriate behavior.

    We have to see what has been denied and what has not been denied.

    First, lowering of gaze etc is not and cannot be for all women. Suppose we are preparing to apply 100 lashes each to a group of unmarried woman who have had sex. Or imagine we are providing instructions to slave girls, or interacting with polytheist women. Muslim men obviously cannot fully exercise their rights if they had to lower their gazes. That is why the Holy Quran takes extreme care to specify that to be deserving of respect, a woman must be a believing (Muslim) woman, dressed and behaving appropriately. Recommend

  • Girl

    i’v been living in Islamabad for like 10 years and belong to a middle class family..I wear a burqa myself and feel extremely comfortable as NO ONE stares. Nobody bothers you as long as your not seeking attention yourself (even in a burqa) and mind your own businessRecommend

  • http://innerreflectionstranscribed.wordpress.com/ Sumera

    The problem is that staring in itself culturally in Pakistan/India and any of the other countries in the Indian subcontinent is not considered to be rude. And passing lewd or even complimentary comments to women walking by is harrassment, regardless of where in the world this may happen.

    It is very rude to stare at someone in the West- and the indigenous men who ogle at women are few and far between there. Thats not to say they dont stare at times, of course they do but its discreet, and it’ll only be a few men who openly do it – you only get mass staring from men in shops, walking down the street, on the bus, in the taxi, the lewd comments “Mash’Allah kya cheez hai” , singing bollywood songs out loud at you when you walk past etc and sometimes even pinching, groping etc in Pak/India.

    Sadly some men who migrate from these countries to places such as UK/USA engage in the same horrible habits of staring, passing comments and just being gross in general.

    There needs to be education and open discussion of these issues – women often feel too ashamed of attracting attention if they say something, so it just carries on happening. Recommend

  • Sad and Hurt

    sorry to all those girls who wear ABBAAYAS NAQAABS or HIJAABS to cover themselves from evil sick minded staring men but what about those women who try every effort to make themselves attractive and alluring they put on heavy perfumes deo’s cosmetics colourful clothes jeans etc. and still want that when they walk on streets and roads every men become MOMIN and lower their eyes stop breathing become a statue?? can someone explain for what?? YEH SAB NAAZ O ANDAAZ KIS KO DIKHANE KE LIYE KIYE JAATE HAIN?? i still does not support to stare women or girls but can’t understand those women who make themselves a walking source of appeal and attraction by their appearance. My point is that we must not educate only men about their behaviour and conduct but also some women as well as to how to move on in an under developed society where the illeteracy and crime rate is that much high. There should be some control on pornography and free access to porn websites which would also be helpful to control the increasing sexual crime rate and staring as well. AND PLZ STOP COMPARING KARACHI with LONDON it sounds so funny and unfair as well, it will take 64 more years for Karachi to be a developed city like London not only in staring issue but also in every aspect of a civilised life.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @KaalChakra
    Dude you need to properly study the Quran to understand Islam correctly. Chapter 24 verse 30 says “tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty”. So this means that muslim men have to lower their gaze (and guard their modesty) whether the woman is a muslim or non muslim, whether the woman is covered up or bare. Muslim men have to lower their gaze to ALL women. This is the command of the Allmighty as mentioned in the Holy Quran.
    There is also a hadith of Prophet (SAW) that a muslim man should not look at a woman (Muslim or non muslim, slave or free) for a second time. The first glance being an accidental glance. There is also a hadith that Staring at a woman with desire is ‘fornication with the eyes’ and has the punishment of fornication. So a practicing muslim man has to lower his gaze and when speaking to an unrelated woman, he should not look at her (in case he starts feasting on her beauty). Recommend