Apparently, we all live in a very male dominated society that often underestimates the fact, that even men face sexual harassment and quite often.
Rarely do these cases get reported though and it is only quite recently, that a study revealed data of an increase in the number cases of sexual harassment of men. The study also stated that only 4% of men actually reported the cases of sexual harassment.
Pune365 decided to investigate and spoke to several men in the city including a few victims, who shared their stories with us in confidence.
“Whatever harassment is meted out to a woman is also tried on several men,” says Rutuj, a model.
It is just that our society assumes that sexual harassment is a crime committed by a man against a woman. Masculinity dictates that men should be strong. So, it becomes difficult to talk about it even if you think of seeking help from others. They just end up mocking your masculinity.
I have been working as a model for the past five years and I have come across many such instances, where men and woman try equally hard to have a sexual relationship with models.
This one time, A powerful man grabbed me in the interview and tried to force himself on me. I was scared, and like any other victim, I had no idea what to do. I made an excuse about wanting to use the washroom and fled from there.
“We have no laws or hardly any laws in the favor of men. There have been several cases of women who force themselves on us and if we refuse, they complain and behave as though they are the victim. ” adds Rutuj.
“Yes, of course, we face it. But the society fails to believe that men face sexual harassment too,” says Arjun Rathod, Techie.
This has happened with me too! She was my friend’s girlfriend and we used to hang out together. She had this habit of making lewd gestures, I never realised, that I was the victim, until once when she suddenly grabbed me, when there was no one around.
I had to escape from her clutches, yet, I couldn’t confess about this to my friends or anyone for that matter.
It is important to understand that crime isn’t gender specific and a woman can commit an act like this, being equal crude or vulgar as some men,” Arjun adds.
“I was working as an intern in her company, and almost everyday, she would keep me waiting beyond office hours,” says Deepak Dhadiwal, Social Media Executive.
This woman was in her 40s and divorced. After everybody left the office, she would come near my desk and try to touch me in different ways. Earlier I thought, it was just about affectionately complimenting me for my work, but later I realized that she was trying to force herself on me.
“We live with a mindset where people find it hard to believe that women approach men for physical relationships and often make men feel uncomfortable too. In my case, I had no idea whom to approach and I realised the law is so inadequate when it comes to men,” adds Deepak.
“My professor failed me in her subject and used to punish me for not responding to her texts and calls,” says Rohan Wagh, BMS student.
Can you imagine a teacher sending you vulgar messages, photos and constantly calling you for no reason? She was a psychopath. My friends tried to save me, each time they say me having a conversation with her.
“I tried a lot to take this up with the college authorities, but in India when it comes to rape, sexual harassment, it can only happen to a woman, or so they believe!
Nobody ever realises that men can be victims too,” Rohan adds.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents (names changed on request) and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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