Seek Respect, Not Attention

It’s a fact that universally, men look at women more than the other way around, at least evidently. It’s again a fact that men gape at women while women stare mostly when they know they’re not being stared at. But, have you heard about a man gazing back at a woman because she ogled at him first? Not that it doesn’t happen, it’s unlikely to be routine.

Women look at men, but there’s patience and permanence with which they process their image. Men’s processing of women might be quick as though they have more images to capture. But, why do men goggle at women even after they know their gaze is not welcomed? Worse, why do they wait to be asked to mind their eyes?

Sometimes, he may be looking at her bag or hair clip, noticing how stylish or clumsy it looks on her.

When we wear captioned t-shirts, are we prepared that people will read us? If my t-shirt says something and a woman reads it, taking her time, I may not – am not supposed to – be offended. But if this happens the other way, is that a sign of lechery? If a man – wearing a formal suit and lust in his head – reads it, she might ignore him; but, if a shabbily dressed man with purity in his thoughts reads it?

Apparently, how you dress and think are two different worlds. I don’t read captioned clothes. Are they meant to be read?

My t-shirt

I remember an incident in a restaurant where a good-looking man, sitting alone in a corner, was harassed by a group of women, frolicking in the adjacent table. They stared, giggled, and prattled about him – which was not harmful- but what was not was the extent to which they went, for example, showing their middle fingers to him in drunken unison – forcing the man to realize that he was now a tool of their taunt for no fault of his other than not giving them his attention. The haunted man appeared to feel hunted with the group’s growing viciousness which had come well disguised as women-partying. He was offended, but didn’t react.

How grossly inappropriate it would be, rightly, if a group of men did this to a woman. The point being that not every man can ignore being ridiculed.

When we step out of our homes, we take in images and multiple moods, irrespective of gender. The outside world is full of faces and expressions: some faces are alluring; some expressions are not. But it’s easy to be trapped in its varied lure.

We might fulfill what we set out to do in a day, but plenty of exterior flashes drain and dare us along the way. How somebody’s anger, joy, lure, and lust can effortlessly become ours. The only soul we might look at without offending is the one we see in the mirror; where, though neither is piqued hopefully, it’s in our control to decide whether the person grins or frowns.

But: men’s eyes flutter at women more than they do at their smartphones; and though it’s not a crime to feel attracted to the other person, she should not be uncomfortable in your presence.

And, since most culprits are men, there’s a saying to which they might want to heed: Seek respect, not attention, it lasts longer.


One-Way rarely works (Daily Prompt). Transformation is when you seek respect (Photo Challenge).

17 thoughts on “Seek Respect, Not Attention

  1. Excellent post, my friend!
    I have always thought that the glance attitude entrains mainly a sort of inner turning on when it comes to me… well I am talking about certain situations such as when you are on a bus and a guy looks at you… I can guess what he might be thinking… It is quite obvious… Read my mind!… 😈
    Nevertheless women also like to look at men and even fantasize for a while under random circumstances such as the one I mentioned above… the thing is at least in my case I don’t think I’d take it that much further… But I might try to imagine that guy naked, for instance ( she blushes 😮 ).
    As to a more philosophical approach I think that there is a sort of frustrated desire and voyeurist attitude involved…
    “You can see at someone but you can’t see beneath…”
    I think that your post is clever and thought provoking and this excerpt in particular is eloquent and a good way to sum it all up: “The outside world is full of strange faces and expressions. Some faces are attractive, some expressions are not. But it’s easy to be trapped in its varied lure”.
    Thanks for sharing… Sending you all my best wishes for a great week ahead. Aquileana 😀
    PS: Watching you! 💡

    • Thanks dear for your detailed comment. You’re funny, and I admire your honesty. Being attracted to is a natural response; suppressing it perhaps does more damage. Accept it and be respectful. It’s a short life – we can make it meaningfully attractive😄

  2. Your last words in the post about seeing respect are well put. I am not sure why many men are so overt in their staring at women but you’re right that happens a lot, atleast where I live in Canada!

    • Thanks Christy 😄 Appreciating beauty is understood, but when one crosses the line one becomes a bully, too. How absurdity then seizes his thinking making him unaware of how others are perceiving him.

  3. Excellent post Mahesh, there is simply no excuse for this kind of abusive behaviour, to poke fun at anyone, whether a man or woman who is doing it..
    There are different levels of flattery. And while some glaces may be, Some take it over the line and become offensive.. So as you have answered Christy, there are lines to be drawn..
    And excellent topic Mahesh..
    Wishing you and your lovely family well my friend, and Hope you have a wonderful Festive Holiday to come..
    Regards Sue 🙂

  4. I think there’s different kinds of attention but I like the way you say it as you should definitely respect the person rather than use it for attention. I wouldn’t like to be under scrutiny either because I’ve personal experience on this recently and it never fails to annoy me. I just don’t like to be singled out, I guess. Have you had any personal attention? It would be interesting from a guy’s perspective because like you mentioned, we wouldn’t hesitate to read off a guy’s t-shirt but may get different reactions if you do the same to a girl.

    • Great inputs, Sha. Thanks for sharing. The t-shirt (in pic) is mine and I have worn it a few times; and you are spot on here: “…we wouldn’t hesitate to read off a guy’s t-shirt but may get different reactions if you do the same to a girl.” I had read once, found the sentence funny, chuckled, but her reaction was furious and I learned a lesson. I still don’t know if they are meant to be read 🙂

  5. This is such a thoughtful post, and you are so right in pointing out the society norms when it come to two genders observing each other. I agree with Sha – there are different kinds of attention, and each of us feel attracted to different parts of a person, and also as Sue said, there is different forms of flattery. Whether or not gazing at each other is okay is not depends on contexts, namely where you are and what’s going on around you.

    Not sure if you have noticed, but women also like to look at other women in the platonic way. That is, some women like to stare at other women especially those who look put together, checking out the way their body curves, their attire, makeup, hair, and so on – and it’s meant to be a compliment. I’ve done it before as well – haven’t got a bad reaction and hope it stays that way but at the same time, I do hope I haven’t come off as creep.

    ‘How somebody’s anger, joy, lure, and lust can effortlessly become ours.’ This is such a powerful sentence, especially if this is a result of one glance at someone and their reaction/mood and your mood can change in a split second. Wishing you a wonderful end of the year, Mahesh 🙂

    • Thank you, dear friend, for your great inputs. Love reading them 🙂 “I do hope I haven’t come off as creep” – hopefully you didn’t, but that’s exactly what men, the decent ones, feel/fear for no fault of theirs 🙂 Happy holidays!!!

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