Men love to stare at women. But this is often disconcerting when you are with a dear one. How do you react when this happens? The best reaction I have heard is of my young friend which happened a few years back. He was walking with his girlfriend along Brigade Road in Bengaluru. She was walking before him, gleefully checking out all the stuff on display. He was walking behind her when he noticed another person coming from the opposite direction staring at her wide-eyed and open-jawed. When the person was nearer to him, my friend smiled and exclaimed "My girl", thereby giving out a strong message clearly forbidding him to trespass even with his eyes.
Recently, a friend of mine visited Tunisia. He sounded disappointed with the whole Tunisian experience when he returned.One of his disappointment was the way in which people stared at his girlfriend. His girlfriend has traces of different nationalities in her heritage and the subsequent looks from the merging of all these cultures make her look indigenous to these parts of the world. But, what interested me was his comment. "It may be because of me people were staring at her. Even the Tunisian girls were wearing the same kind of clothes my girlfriend was wearing. But, none of the guys were staring at her. It is probably because she was holding hands with a white man that made all these guys stare at her... If they know her as someone's sister or wife, then they probably might not even stare".
Thinking back, I feel sorry for him. At the same time, his statements are true on two accounts. The first is the curiosity about an inter-racial couple. Last week when my friend turned up with his date who happens to be a non-Indian, the rest of us were constantly watching their every move. In our case, we were not staring at them thereby unnerving the girl and making the guy uncomfortable. Of course, we wanted to make the guy uncomfortable in a playful way with a tiny pinch of malice. As years of experience has given us "double vision", we can look straight but still observe carefully through the corner of the eye. The second factor can be attributed to fear, respect or combination of both. When we know the background of the girl like a boyfriend, a brother or the father, we maintain a respectful distance.