If Looks could kill…

 Stares (Chupulu)
– Jayaprabha

Looks / From two eyes
Dart like needles / Roam freely on flesh.

The looks never / Look into the face
The words never come from the heart
They crawl on the body like white ants
Disgust every time I see them.

Those eyes / Belong to a million classes
But their looks are all the same.

Only one signal / In those looks
Hunger like a salivating dog’s
An ugly bear-fist / Chases you even in dreams
No difference between day and night
In this thick forest / No place at all
To escape these looks

On the road / In buses, classrooms
Behind your every step
Some part of the body / Looks tipped with poison
Keep pricking you

Frightened / I

 want to disappear
Into the distant sky, into emptiness
Escape is no solution
So I began to teach my eyes / The sharpness of thorns
To fight those poison looks

Now to chase away those eyes
I fight with my eyes / Timid eyes which
Cannot look straight / For two seconds
Run to the underworld

A day will come
When women in this country have
Not only in their eyes
But all over their bodies. 

The above is a poem about how insensitive men are and how uncomfortable they make women feel by staring at them, scanning through them ruthlessly. As a female, all of us have gone through this ‘ordeal’ of being stared at without any mercy. The Blank Noise Project may have had their way and stared right back at these animals but isn’t there a better solution to this than just stare back? Why do what they are doing? I am all for staring back; in fact I think it is one of the best ways to punish these gentlemen. But I have always wondered if there was a better way of dealing with this.

As a woman, my blood literally boils when I see a man staring right at me. It happens everywhere, all the time. In buses especially, the men just have nothing to do. In spite of us staring back at them, they continue staring at us. It just makes me want to hold them by their collars and give them a piece of my mind. When are they going to learn? What is going on in their minds? What do they get out of staring at us?

It is just plain insanity. Why can’t a girl or a woman be able to walk on the road without being stared at? How much ever we try to fight against letching, it is not going to stop. It is their eyes after all. They can look where they want to. There is not much we can do about that. We can sit all day and all night and talk about etiquette and every other possible thing. And these guys would have stared the life out of a hundred other girls by then.

Being a girl may not be the easiest task in this world because you are constantly under the scanner not just by people who know you but also strangers. The one thing I would like to do is extend a request to all the male members of society and tell them to do their bit to make us women feel at least a little more comfortable in our own skin.      

6 thoughts on “If Looks could kill…

  1. I usually do not relate to poems and other such “flowery” forms of expression, but this is one subject that is point-blank and truthful. This is truly an age-old issue that has niggled scores of women around the globe and it’s not a localized problem so I feel passionate about it. With a few exceptional people, Men have a fantastic genetic problem: their physiological malady is to have a roving eye which takes life of it’s own! unless of course, the person in question checks himself or has the decency to react to the woman’s hostility at such an obvious disregard for privacy.
    I suppose Nothing above physical assault would have an effect, because some of them even have the cheek (or extremelack of manners)to challenge our discomfort.

  2. very true indeed vaish ……… a very credible question u have raised regarding the Black Noise Project ……me too would like to join u to extend a request to all the gazers to stop if they are sensible enuf to feel the other side’s undergoings …..

  3. hey this letching issue is something which i have faced a lot of times in Delhi… you know wahat i used to do.. i used to lyp sync a hindi gali while staring back on them… or raising my eyebrows and askin – kya hai????

    But i agree that y these men can`t get this thing in their head that we are also a part of human race and not an alien whom they wanto to chk out thru their xray eyes

  4. This poem raises a feminine voice against those men who has no morality in them.
    Women get victimized by men through staring reducing them to a ‘body’. This evil act shows the lack of respect towards women. Staring is also another form of teasing and virtual assault felt in the minds and all women faces it everywhere they go.
    This poem questions the freedom of women and their identity as a human and not an object of pleasure. The poetess is made to fear by the ‘poison fangs’ like stares and therefore she wants to escape from the world but comes to realisation that ‘earth is mine too’ which demands equal place and status with men. She resolves to stay and wage war against those stares. Cowardly stares that cannot look into her eyes flee in shame. She wants to let men know how her body too reacts angrily at their stares. The passive role of women from the assualt of men’s stares will no longer be tolerated. Every women must boldly challenge against men who stare so that there will be no feeling of inferiority or victimization when every women reach their home.

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