WOW | What You Think

ABUSE KNOWS NO GENDER WHEN MEN ARE ABUSED

Compiled by: Anushka Shrestha
wow photo file © Ram Tandukar/Gokul Shrees/Sabina Mainali

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Gunjan Khanal
Freelance Researcher

Although we have reserved seats for women and senior citizens in public vehicles people are still obligated to travel in overcrowded buses and public areas in peak traffic hours. I have witnessed both men and women getting uncomfortable in overcrowded public vehicles. Hence, I assume that both men and women are equally vulnerable to molestation.

I suppose young boys and men are molested every day but people are not aware about it. The key reason for male molestation is the reluctance to raise their voice. Unfortunately, we still have a patriarchal mindset “chora manchey ho ni”. We still don’t consider male molestation as a social problem even though we know about it. If we look at the statistics, 87% sexual assaults including molestation are done by victim’s relatives and rest 13% by strangers. These stats suggest that the cause of male molestation and other sexual assaults exists inside our families and closed ones. Most of them are hidden due to financial obligations and the fear of losing relation with their closed related ones.

If molestation is considered as a crime by law, then justice needs to be served to both men and women. I think raising voices is one of the best ways to raise consciousness and awareness among people. In addition, these voices need to be heard and necessary actions may be taken to control them. The more these issues are oppressed, the more it encourages people to attempt it. So, the foundation to actions and implementation against molestation starts from raising voices and speaking out loud about it. The Crime and Punishment Act, 2027 (1970) amended on 2066/ 10 /07, Article 2 (g) considers insulting women in public place by molestation as a public crime.

However, the Act says nothing about insulting men and male molestation. It is evident that we need an inclusive law for criminalising male molestation and discouraging such acts.

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Jessica Richards
Yoga Teacher

I’ll be honest in saying that this is not a topic that has ever crossed my mind; we’ve come so far forward in society in regards to talking about this issue from a female perspective. Thinking about the situations we’ve been in, I’ve never thought to think about males being in a similar situation and how it affects them. I have never witnessed it happen, I know of friends who have shared that a woman touched them while dancing at a club when they weren’t “asking” for it. At that time, I guess we tend to respond with, “Oh you didn’t enjoy it?” or “Don’t you want women hitting on you?”

Of course, this is a stereotype we have created about men and something that needs to change. We as women don’t want to be “touched” unwillingly, so why would men want that? It’s hard to say whether men are safe because this can be on so many levels. I think one of main concern would be men’s mental health. I think so because men don’t feel comfortable talking about such issues. They tend to internalise it which can build up and lead to a variety of problems. We as women have become a lot more confident in this era to speak up about these issues, we find it easier to confide with our friends and I think that is where men tend to lack. It’s the stereotypes of what a man should be and how they should react that we need to change as a society to move forward and so that everyone, male and female can feel safe and comfortable to talk about such topics.

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Prof Dr Meera Bista
ENT-HN Surgery, Kathmandu Medical College

Though male molestation is not very openly discussed compared to females we cannot turn a blind eye to it. I think male child should be equally protected as girls. They might be equally vulnerable. Male molestation is the outcome of diseased mind, I guess.

“Males should be strong” and “Boys should not cry” – This notion in our society should be condemned and they should express their problems and sorrows to their peers or parents. I personally think a country needs a good mother not law to settle this problem of molestations and rapes. Every child should be reared in such a way that they are taught how to respect others and earn respect from others. They should have the virtue of differentiating good deeds from bad ones. It should be shown to them by words and deeds.

[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Sadichha Shrestha” ]

Sadichha Shrestha
Miss Nepal 2010

It’s sad that people are unsafe in the first place! Although, I have never witnessed a man being sexually harassed, I have seen women shouting and raising hands at men in videos which I think is also a form of abuse.
I believe men also should start raising their voices when they don’t feel someone’s attitude towards them is appropriate. Just because we live in a patriarchal society, it is not necessary that men have to be less emotional or stronger than women. If women today can get a job for themselves and earn a living for them and their family like men previously did, then why can men not speak about being harassed? But again we cannot only blame men for not speaking up about this because our society just cannot digest this. Of course, gender roles are slowly getting reversed but it will certainly take time for men to speak on this topic as openly as women do. We, as a part of our society should create an environment where men can pour their emotions just like women without having to give it a second thought.

[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Nikhil Thakuri” ]

Nikhil Thakuri
Business Development Manager, Bikers Nepal

A man being sexually harassed is very rare in our country; I feel men are much safe compared to women till date. However, molestation can happen to anyone, woman or a man, a child or an elderly. If such situation occurs, nobody should be scared to raise their voice.

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