Street harassment: The blame lies with you

Published: May 11, 2012

When one talks about street harassment in Pakistan, an interesting question that is raised by most is,

Whose fault is it exactly?

In my quest to find some answers, and ask women about their views on this issue, I went to Jumma Bazar near Khayaban-e-Ittehad.

It was an interesting and eye-opening experience to say the least. To begin with, it was difficult to convince women to talk in front of the camera. We literally had to chase after a few, be extra polite and add an ‘aunty please’ after every sentence to make them answer our questions.

I asked them if they thought street harassment was common in Pakistan and if they had ever been harassed. Most of them had a story or two to tell about how men frequently create problems for them at places like bus stops and bazaars.

“Men deliberately bump into women in the market place,” said one woman.

Their solution? Beating them up and not shying away from creating a scene. One woman bodly accepted,

Mai ne chamaat mara kheench ke

(I slapped him very hard)

However, what I found a bit disappointing and disturbing was that they blamed their own gender.

“Some women ask for it by dressing improperly,” they said.

“Men can’t be blamed all the time; women can be at fault too,” was another answer.

How unfortunate that they feel this way.

If a woman has a dupatta wrapped around her, does this guarantee that she will not be harassed in our country?

Will no man stare at her then?

Does every man lower his gaze when he sees a modestly dressed woman?

Read more by Madiha here.


Madiha Saeed

A business graduate who enjoys literature and arts.

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

  • geeko

    Of course they should slap them hard! Generally these creeps are so aware of their own moral decadence that when they do get a ladoo on the face, they get stuck in time, don’t move for few seconds before continuing their routine.

    And the lady who basically says that it’s a woman’s fault represents everything wrong with our country.Recommend

  • Erum Naqvi

    Men in Pakistan are NOT distracted by anything, let alone a mere dupatta!! They are ‘unbiased’ (with regard to the shape, size, age, attire etc etc.) when it comes to harrassing women!Recommend

  • kazmageddon

    dear writer, you are looking through a lens of personal opinions and wish to culminate a conclusion. there are culprits on both the ends, besides going to jumma bazar.. really? how unfortunate that your overtly feminist mind can not fathom the fact that in a highly chromatic city you would find a thousand different POVs that would not resonate with what you are trying to shove down our throats. ask me, and id tell you instances where women do whatever it takes to get whatever attention they can.
    there is a fine line between being a journalist and a shover.
    you are neither.

  • sutta

    lol^^ agreed.
    Jan k aman pa k if I can ask why they set up 3 layers of make up when gng to Jumaa or watever bazaar? will somebody tell me, why? dont answer me its personal, duhRecommend

  • saima

    at this jumma bazar, almost all of them complained of being harassed by men, and how many of them did you see dressed immodest?Recommend

  • Erum Naqvi

    They are *unbiased*Recommend

  • Mo/CA

    people in Pakistan need to understand personal responsibility. It is the men’s responsibility to treat women as if they were their sisters or mothers irrespective of the way they dress. Just putting the blame on women because they are dressed immodestly is the stupidest thing ever. The way women dress has no bearing, and should have no bearing on how the males in the society treat them. Recommend

  • Zeeshan

    Ya Right. Recently a famous clip is surfing the web in which a girl slaps a man when he bumps into her as the bus stops suddenly. All the people start cursing and staring the man. And the next thing that happens is the Girl bumps into the guy due to the bus sudden stop. UR talking double standards sis. Similarly if you are dressed properly like in the KINGDOMS . I think the chances of getting harassed are very low. Choice is yours. Recommend

  • a

    there is a difference between what should be and what is
    of course it’s the man’s fault
    if a man is harassing a woman he is wrong
    and he is always wrong regardless of what the women is wearing
    men should not harass women, but they do
    i don’t think these women are blaming the woman
    i think they are saying that if you live in a society where men harass you for no reason
    and this is fact that you have experienced and do not care to go through again, then maybe you could take steps to keep that harassment to a minimumRecommend

  • Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

    @kazmageddon: So sad to know you think that way. Do you think women in naqab dont get raped? Will a mere dupatta save them from being harassed? It’s our moral fibre which has completely broken down. Women arent safe ANYWHERE or ANYWAY in the streets. Those ‘men’ who want to harass women will harass, regardless of their age and what they’re wearing. admit the real problem lies not with women…who in rape cases are often blamed of ‘getting raped’. I for one find that hilarious. Don’t think any women wants to go through that kind of an experience ever. Those harassers are roaming the streets without any fear, while the unfortunate women are deemed as ‘having brought it on to themselves.’ Disgraceful thinking.Recommend

  • Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

    So what you’re saying is women in this country should start living in fear of being harassed. And make changes to their lifestyle just because of some ‘low lifers’ who have as much moral dignity as i have a chance of going to the moon? Bravo man. It’s people like you and thinking like this which is ultimately going to take this country back to the stone age. So much for moving forward.Recommend

  • a

    @Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara:
    that is not what i am saying at all
    women should do what they like and wear what they like
    but men will behave how they like too
    i said before and i’ll reiterate: the men are wrong
    there is no reason to harass anyone ever
    but saying they are wrong will not get them to stop
    we should still say they are wrong
    we should write articles and make movies
    and show people the error of their ways
    but until they learn
    until they are able to fully respect women (which they should be doing now, but are not)
    what should women do until then?
    i would never blame the woman.
    if she is harrassed or god forbid something worse, then you are not allowed to ask- what were you doing there? why were you wearing that? why were you attracting attention?
    at this point you support her
    but the point before that -when you are going somewhere where you risk being harassed and you know it. isn’t it up to you to feel comfortable, safe and protected. Recommend

  • Big Rizvi

    A fact: More than 70% of women who wore a burka in the Middle East reported harassment. So, a mere piece of clothe will remain a piece of clothe. It is not a bullet-proof vest. Recommend

  • Dido

    “We are Pathan, you are Pathan we are your sisters, go n harass other Communities” wow! what a Idea Sir G!! Recommend

  • Shahram

    stupid articleRecommend

  • 12vengine

    I was wearing a chaadar when a guy grabbed me, I tried pulling his collar while he was on his bike but he got awayRecommend

  • Ali Raza

    When the signal turns red, try noticing all the men exploring the aunties and the young girls nearby to find any revealing areas in their dresses. I’m more than just being embarrassed to be a part of such society that does not value the dignity of the other gender.

    Though I hate to, but I also have to disagree on some dresses that my wife chooses, because of the x-ray enabled eyes our men have here in Pakistan.

    We are living in a free nation without freedom..Recommend

  • sultan mirza

    If men were more sane, If women were less insane, If only tears were laughter, If only night was day, If only prayers were answered, then we would hear God say; I will keep you safe and strong and shelter from the storm.Recommend

  • Ali q

    Sexual harassment is preventable if you dress more conservatively. Recommend

  • Hindu Indian

    @Author : Though this blog was in reference to Pakistani men, i dont much of a difference here in India, whether girls/women are dressed traditionally/modern men keep ogling. And the funny part is the ogling is irrespective of his social/economic status.

    And Ali q ji, i am not sure in which “parallel universe” you live in , but watever you said is not true in this universe.Recommend

  • geeko

    @Hindu Indian:
    Because it’s not a particularity to Pakistan, India or even the whole South Asia, but all societies where there’s sexual repression (gender separation) and oogling on the streets is perhaps the only way for these men to have a contact with foreign (not in the family) women.
    In Egypt, this phenomenon is now a national disease and sexual harassment is at its historic peak, you can nowadays even read reports in intl. media, and Pakistan/India/South Asian hasn’t reached that level…

    …yet. x)

    Isn’t it more prevalent in North India, though ? Where the culture is more “men friendly” (let’s say) like in Pakistan (Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, …) than in other parts of India.Recommend

  • ukmuslim

    why you think that, to treat women as sisters or mothers. this is not right.
    in my opinion, it need to teach that irrespective of religion, language, gender, caste, creed, age, sect or colour, every person need to respect other human.
    to teach them to control its testosterone as they live in a civilian society (irrespective of religion) and not behave uncontrollable as an animal.Recommend

  • Ali Raza

    @Ali q:
    the real issue is the sex patients .. not anyone’s dress. Recommend

  • Shadytr33

    Listen author, There are good people in this world and bad. Good people are no problem but how to protect against the bad. Prevention is better than cure. If you expect some woman to walk around in a street barely dressed and highly revealing, everybody will will see her, because she’d be an odd one out. “If you’re showing, then why saying not to see”.. Heck forget women, If some drives down a street in a Mercedes S class, everyone looks at that car because everyone else is driving a regular car. But if some woman is modestly dressed and she is not inviting weird acts, and that woman is harassed, then that man should be beaten up. Problems are not being faced women only, I’m a guy and every time I go out in KHI, i wonder if ill come back home with my wallet or mobile phone or even alive. So women please stop being pity-ing your self. Everyone is facing problems.Recommend

  • 1984

    I agree with you…

    The harrassment of girls is more prevalent in North India compared to South.It all depends on the people.
    Its the presence of armed gangs in north.And most of the eve teasers and molesters are part of the gang.So noone is ready to touch them..

    Whereas,in south,I’ve personally seen a man getting beaten up the other passengers in the bus in Chennai.
    The best place for women is Kerala,IMO.They stand in queue for bus.and the ladies seat in the front and men in the back of the bus.

    If all the men are ready to stand up for a woman who is being harassed.We will have less eve teasing.

    You know the worst part in these harrassment.The girls are so fed up of these men that they begin to think that all men are like that…There have been incidents when a man accidentally bumped on a woman ,but is mistaken to be a molester and thrashed.Recommend

  • chauvinistpig

    Fact 1 : men stare/ogle/checkout women
    Fact 2 : this a universal reality not confined to Pakistan

    The only difference is when its an attractive desi/gora doing it women get flattered/adulated and when its a poor truck driver or hawker doing they feel violated #doubleaStandardsRecommend

  • n00r

    Well in my opinion its the society that is to be blamed where you have so much segregation and non mingling of opposite sex any frustrated person will do the same. There are universities in Pakistan where you have separate footpaths for male and female students and whoever uses the other is fined ( I am amazed). Not only that men are taught at an early age that it is the women who is source of all evil , even Islam teaches modesty to both genders first and then ask women to cover themselves. These frustrated men will not allow their own daughters, wives or mothers to leave home but are more then willing to harass any woman on the street. I have faced similar situation in market place and I wished I could have slapped a few morons to teach them a lesson , quiet honestly you dont want to go shopping again after such incidents, I would never let my younger sister or daughter go alone unguarded to public places , I salute those women who are courageous enough to go and work alone in such a frustrated society. Not only do I blame men but I also hold our society responsible for it , to all the parents reading this we can individually make a difference if we educate our sons to show modesty and decency towards opposite sex and also teach our daughters how to safeguard and stand up for their rights.Recommend

  • Ashar

    modesty is the best policy to avoid street harassments. All the above personal experiences cannot ba summed up as a collective scenario while one thing is short in these is what you were wearing the time you were harassed.

    Above all, women cannot move in all kind of localities. It is a universal law.Recommend

  • Tariq Ahmed Karachi

    Women should stay in their homes and should not go outside without necessity and when does move out (when in need) they should cover their bodies and faces with large Chaddars or Burqa etc .This is the command of Allah and his Messenger peace be upon him and every muslim woman should obey it and the men of the family should also command and ensure the purdah of the house ladies. Recommend

  • fawad khan

    My request to all muslim brothers is to avoid the modern,college,university education for your daughters,sisters,wives etc at all cost and impart them islamic education instead.This is how they will become true knowledgeable and have haya,modesty and piety in them.Otherwise the modern education environment is extremely dangerous for the Haya and modesty of women folk and may result in regret afterwards.plz think over it.Recommend

  • Mo/CA

    people here that are making excuses for men are the ones at fault. It is ya’alls fault that you didnt teach these men manners, that you didnt teach these men tehzeeb, and you didnt teach these men to be open minded and have some common sense.

    In Saudi women cant drive because its haram, and yet Hazrat Aisha RA led an army into a battle, This zeeshan guy says that parda and burqa are important parts, and yet no where in Quran does it say that these are requirements. Go read the quran first, it only says that a women and MEN dress modestly, and remain in the bounds of modesty. This radical thinking of people will day drown all of us. I know I am over reacting a little bit, but c’mon who doesnt see hypocrisy here when they say that women should be the ones to dress in a chadar, and live in a chaar divari so that men do not go astray…

    Let me tell you, if were educated by fine women namely our mothers and sisters, and teachers etc., we wouldn’t go about the street and holler obscenities on other women who are also wives, mothers, sisters, daughters of someone. Recommend

  • Mo/CA

    @Tariq Ahmed Karachi:
    do you mind giving referrences Tariq Saahib that do not include your gali ka maulvi without any formal education in theology, and islam.
    Bibi Aisha RA led an army into battle, prophet’s other wives served as care givers in times of war, and you over here are dictating for women to live in a chador and chaar diwari. Do these women not have wishes like you do, do they not wish that they also see the sunlight, the beaches, the sunset/rise, the cars on the roads, OTHER PEOPLE, the fountain on sea view… cmon yaar… dont be so selfish to keep all these things only for men… women are also people, try to respect them just the way you respect yourself. If you are content on living in the house 24/7 then do it, why do people like you force this kind of jail sentence on 52% of the world (meaning women).Recommend

  • Mo/CA

    i agree with you completely, but do you realize that most in our society do not actually understand human rights, and not care for anyone outside their chaar devari… thats why to drive the message close to home I wrote that women in society are mothers, sisters, and daughters… I meant no disrespect in any way… just wanted to drive the message into these zealots… Recommend

  • Mo/CA

    @Ali q:
    “Sexual harassment is preventable if you dress more conservatively.

    do you have any proof of that, or is it just your personal opinion.

    Someone quoted a research here in this thread where it said that 70% of conservatively dressed women in the middle east are harassed… try to be open minded sir, and call spades a spade… stop sheltering our brothers (men in society) that do such ghattiya harkat. Recommend

  • Pollack

    There are many societies in the world like Pakistan and India where segregation of the sexes causes men to grow up without much normal interaction with woman as friends and people. This can even be seen in some less developed regions of some societies which are considered to be more developed. Unless this segregation of the sexes changes, these sort of behavior from many men will continue. First start with the schools. Absolutely no segregation of sexes at school. Absolutely not! If we do this, maybe in another twenty years society will experience the positive effects of this.Recommend

  • Umar Nisar

    Why to lower our gaze??????? Isn’t it an Islamic order for men……and if women don’t want to be seen by men then why to look appealing…I bet if they wear simple clothes then they will surely get a hell much less stares as compare to an appealing woman….Recommend

  • wahwah khan

    If you are right then there is nothing wrong with the world.Recommend

  • Imran Con

    I pity the man who really does accidentally bump into them.
    Who’s at fault isn’t really debatable. People control their mouths and actions. It doesn’t matter what they see. It’s just that simple and anything deviating from it is just a poor excuse. Recommend

  • ahsan


    Your comment highlights the crucial problem with this entire issue. By defining people as inherently good or bad you are calling the good ones uncorruptible and bad one irredeemable. The only difference between the good and bad person is opportunity.

    Secondly, i give you an analogy… cell phone snatchers have been snatching phones for quite some time now. why not stop leaving the house with your cell phone? after all we have been doing it before the telecom era… prevention is better than cure right? you need to also stop using wallets and start using modest means of keeping cash and cards. the bulge on your back pocket that a wallet makes is highly enticing to robbers. we should stop tempting the poor souls. they are human after all…Recommend

  • alicia

    First of all in the video all women except one was wearing head covering and shalwar qameez. I have no idea what else classifies for a modest dress. Islam asks you to cover your chest and according to some ulema your hair. All women in the video were doing that yet they still reported harassment. So why are all these comments saying that if they were modestly dressed they wouldn’t face problems? What else do you guys want them to do?

    And not every house has a male figure. What if a woman has no brother or son? They have to go out to buy grocerries, clothes etc. don’t they?

    @tariq ahmed

    Well like the other person said to u Aisha(R.A.) led an actual war where she actually went out to participate. women used to feed the injured during ghazwas so your point does not actually hold true.

    @Fawad khan
    should men get modern college education? wouldn’t it make them besharam as well or are such measures only for women?Recommend

  • Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

    I find it really amusing that Islam talks about equality between men and women. Yet, in this present society and supposedly the ’21st century’, Islam is probably one of the few religions/the only religion with THE LEAST AMOUNT OF EQUALITY for opposite genders. If men are allowed to do things like going out, then why should women be deprived of that? As some people have mentioned on this blog, Hazrat Aisha led a WAR and actually participated in it. Now that’s what I call equality among opposite genders. And women in Saudi Arabia aren’t even allowed to drive cars. Wow. I absolutely hate this type of radical thinking. All the Islamic countries will be left in the dark ages if we dont change our way of thinking and be practical. IF a woman wears a provocative dress, still NO MAN has any right to even touch her. He’s not an animal, he’s a human being who has a far more advanced brain and can control his actions. Only he is accountable for his actions. Do you think on Judgement Day…when Allah asks him why he harassed/raped a woman, he would say ‘Because i could see her arms in a dress’. That’s utterly laughable. Im ashamed to be a part of such a society.Recommend

  • Shadytr33

    Well you do make sense and you are right. But we as a nation first need to correct ourselves first instead of crying foul and blaming others for the problems, and when we blame others for something, the first thing that happens is that we stop improving ourselves, our self development is stopped right at that point when we start blaming others.

    The best thing to do is to make ourselves responsible, then only we will act responsibly. This way nobody will get a chance to put the blame on us for any objectionable act. Then we ourselves will know that we and the rest of the world that we are not at fault. Recommend

  • M.I.A.

    According to me, women should bear in mind their surroundings before deciding what kind of clothing to wear. That being said, it is still very much probable that you will be harassed because for some men, the fact that you are a woman is reason enough to have an ‘innocent accident’. And this can happen anywhere and everywhere. It has absolutely nothing to do with intentions of the woman. I have watched men ‘bump’ into women at the holiest of places.
    To everyone who says that women should not look appealing as this is what causes problems, what is your definition of ‘appealing’? To a man whose wife is wearing a niqab, a woman wearing a hijab would be appealing. To a man whose wife is wearing a hijab, a woman without a scarf would look appealing. There is simply no end to this.
    The biggest mistake here would be to NOT educate people. Both men and women need to know that it is NOT, under any circumstance, alright to harass someone, neither verbally nor physically. It is also very important to speak up if such an incident takes place. Silence will just give that jerk the sense of satisfaction that he got to you and you’re too afraid to even acknowledge it aloud.
    Today, it is harassment. Tomorrow, it could turn into rape.Recommend

  • http://birmingham elementary

    @fawad khan: I have been thinking over it ,but did not get it. How is modern education “dangerous” for women ,perhaps you would care to elaborate.And if it is dangerous why is it only dangerous for women and not for men.Recommend

  • http://birmingham elementary

    @Tariq Ahmed Karachi:
    I can only bow to your greater wisdom.Recommend

  • wisdom

    about the segregation , unknown or mysterious is more intriguing. that is the case with those 70% harrassed burqah women.!!:DRecommend

  • Troll-face

    LOL – As if women don’t stare good looking man while passing. A failed attempt to make woman ‘kainaat’s most innocent creature’. Good and bads are in both genders. Can’t blame one specific gender based on one bad experience.Recommend

  • Huma

    all the ones criticizing this article are being deliberately stupid. women in naqabs are raped. ppl go INTO other ppls house and rape the women there. little children boys and girls are raped. no one asks for it! no one! and none of the ppl referred above are dressed in any way to attract… because hey! they arent in a public place! its not the clothes… its your ‘nazar’ which has to have ‘haya’.Recommend

  • Mo/CA

    its dangerous, because these bechara men fear that if the women are educated they will put these animals back in their places.Recommend

  • not impressed

    come on ET, stop publishing this seventh grade class project stuff already.Recommend

  • MEI

    @Umar Nisar

    I’ve been groped while performing tawaaf in Mecca. I was wearing a hijab and abaya and minding my own business.Recommend

  • Big Rizvi

    @Troll-face: U jelly women of Pakistan? …. On the second thought you are very right, women do not bath in milk that they are the golden petals of flowers from heaven.Recommend

  • Zalim singh

    this is a sad phenemenon even in India.Recommend

  • I am a responsible and civilized citizen of Paksitan

    Women should dress properly and then then they should ask the question, “Now when we are dressed properly, will men stare at us?” Asking this question while dressing improperly doesn’t make any logic. You(Women) do what you are supposed to do, Allah will guard you from these beasts(Unrefined Men).Recommend

  • http://karachi HH

    Honestly speaking, and no offence to anybody, my observation is that the street harassment is not as common in Karachi as in Lahore, Islamabad etc.Recommend

  • Lioness

    @Ali q:

    What a STUPID comment. Sexual harassment is surely preventable if men are taught to truly respect women and stop blaming women for the bad actions of men who engage in such behavior. How do you explain women who are sexually harassed, molested, or raped even when they are completely covered up and dressed very modestly? Fact is, you CAN’T, because these barbaric behaviors have NOTHING to do with how a woman is dressed and everything to do with idiotic, backwards thinking coupled with an insatiable need for control. Get a clue and come out of the 7th century. Recommend

  • kazmageddon

    @Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara:
    o sidharta, why would you take everything to that extreme?
    all i see is that whenever such an article surfaces, the common conclusions are MEN DO THIS MEN DO THAT. nay, i say. stereotypical people are not journalists, we call them EXTREMISTS. And as i said earlier that we are NOT, i repeat, we are NOT talking about rapists here so please dont jump on that wagon. I agree that women are being looked upon that way but meray aziz dost, urban Pakistan is a LOT different than you think. As for being safe… in case youve been living under a rock, youd know that NO ONE IS SAFE, regardless of gender. Please stop spreading these sholay aag topics to get attention and views… what are you turning these blogs into? KHAWATEEN DIGEST?Recommend

  • kazmageddon

    o sidharta, why would you take everything to such extremes?
    we are defiantly not talking about rapists here, we are talking about everyday harassment that women face, (hence jumma bazar). yes i agree that women are looked upon that way but meray aziz dost, we are talking about urban Pakistan here, where things are a bit different… where moral fiber is something that is sold on billboards and displayed on streets. Friction makes fire, You cant just conclude a similar bottom line every time, Men are this, Men are that.., o bhai, thats a personal bias,… thats not journalism, its extremism. These shola aag blogs should be published in KHAWATEEN DIGEST or EVENING SPECIAL, not here.
    As for being safe; let me break it to you: in these times No one, i repeat, No one is safe, regardless of gender.Recommend

  • I am a responsible and civilized citizen of Paksitan

    Good short-video Madiha Saeed. The problem lies both in men and women. Talking about the solution is more complex. Perhaps educating people, running awarness campaigns and emphasis and articulation of Islamic teachings will minimize the problem but that also can’t be achieved in short-run. Rigorous programs are required for it. Recommend

  • Boorie

    The problem is MEN! I’m currently studying in UK and take a hijab and EVEN HERE men harrass you; whether you’re wearing skin tight clothes or wearing a hijab!
    Afghani men, were the worst…I literally had to tell one of them that if he tried to harrass me again I’d call the police!Recommend

  • Red

    //Fact 1 : men stare/ogle/checkout women
    Fact 2 : this a universal reality not confined to Pakistan

    The only difference is when its an attractive desi/gora doing it women get flattered/adulated and when its a poor truck driver or hawker doing they feel violated #doubleaStandards//

    You chose your name aptly. Firstly, sexual or street harassment is more than a mere look. Staring at someone is the height of bad manners, no matter who does it and in which country in the world. Try staring at a man like that and see how that works out for you. It is also more than staring: it is groping, cat-calling, whistling, passing lewd remarks, making repeated, unwanted passes, throwing numbers, stalking, crank-calling, following, revealing male genitals in public, etc. The list is long and it is all quite indefensible but go ahead and try.

    Which brings me to your second “fact”. Street harassment is much more worse in Pakistan than in many other countries of the world. However, even if this were not so, even if it were prevalent in equal measure in every nook and cranny of the world, that would not mean it is not wrong. A wrong is a wrong no matter how many people commit the crime just a falsehood is a falsehood no matter how many people believe it or knowingly lie.

    Lastly, please do not presume to know what flatters women and what they find threatening. Let me narrate just one of many personal examples. I disliked attention from a good-looking gora in Lahore, not because I dislike white, handsome men but because he wasn’t backing off after I had made it clear I was not interested in his flattery. Pakistani men had to step in to make him stop. Who is harassing is completely irrelevant I assure you. It is the act that is despicable. There are ways of approaching and getting to know a woman or flattering her without treating her like an object whose wishes have no value and whose personal space has no worth. Never, under any circumstances, lewdly stare at a woman. If you try approaching her, check out her body language first. Does she look like she wants to be approached? A woman briskly walking, leaning away from you, reading a book, driving on her way to somewhere, etc, probably does not want to be approached. Respect that. If you do reach the point where you have tried talking after judging that she might want to talk, keep paying attention. If she is not acknowledging your presence, if she is giving clipped, to the point responses, if she is leaning away, checking her watch, telling you she has to go…if her body language or words in any ways tell you your attention is unwelcome, BACK OFF immediately. It is not rocket science. If certain men do not know how to talk respectfully to women or how to behave around them, it is best that they keep their distance till they know how to behave like civilized beings. Recommend

  • Dumbledore

    In Pakistan, where sexual repression is rampant and things hinting in any way towards sexuality are deemed offensive, it’s smarter for women to cover up, and not for men, but just so they don’t feel uncomfortable under the male gaze. But ultimately, that isn’t enough because it doesn’t matter. The fault absolutely lies with men and a culture of misogyny. I’ve seen myself that even if you’re covered from head to toe.. they will look. Unless men are somehow made aware of the fact that they can’t look at women and treat them like pieces of meat, this won’t change. Stop blaming women for dressing the wrong way or being somewhere they shouldn’t have been. This sort of thinking only perpetuates the notion that men are naturally horny animals and we should just adjust to it. NO.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Ali q: “Sexual harassment is preventable if you dress more conservatively.”
    Not really, if all women wear burqa they still will be harrassed in Pakistan. I said “all” because if half of women them wear simple salwaar kameez, women in burqa may be harrased less.

    If men lower their “gaze” there should be no problem. I am not saying “slowly lower their Gaze”…….Recommend

  • Zaheer

    Dear Author Aapaa…

    If the dates are covered well… the flys will roam about but not sit.. yet their are some experienced flies who manage to get under the covering… and these are the one which are bashed and tortured.

    thus I respectfully disagree to your statement “However, what I found a bit disappointing and disturbing was that they blamed their own gender”…

    in my opinion….these stalkers / harassers… firstly need a good spanking and then rehab (we all know they are mentally sick…)Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Ali Raza:
    If 100% of women wear burqa, sexual harrasemnent level will not decrease. Men’s imagination can be very creative.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @ukmuslim : Men or women can’t control hormones. What percentage of young Muslims in UK secretly date, a date that involves more then just meeting and talking. In US I have seen Muslim families (especially less educated ones) marry thier daughters to their cousins when they are 16-18.Recommend

  • rumaisa

    I am totally agreed with the statement of ;if you are attiring according to your surrounding then you probably would feel a great difference :) its the way of dressing and behavior that attracts a man.. :) Recommend