This may sound strange but being a woman ask yourself these questions: Do you worry that men in public places will masturbate looking at you, even if you are trying to avoid it? Do men masturbating in public make you feel disgusted?
I believe that if you have a confined place to masturbate, that is acceptable. But doing it in public is an issue.
After the case of Miranda House student who took her experience of sexual harassment to social media, during a concert in DU’s Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC),
I had an encounter of such a case myself.
On 12th September 2018 while walking back from Gargi College I encountered another case.
There was a cab that was parked near the footpath. I was walking alone heading towards my friend’s place. I heard a guy calling, “Excuse me”. There it was. The guy was masturbating in open and stared at me. I had to tell him to stop doing that in public.
The area might seem to be a nice one. But I think that the streets and footpaths near these colleges have become masturbating points. Every second day I end up listening to stories like these. It’s sad that no actions have been taken yet.
There was another incident that happened near Gargi College this year. There was a guy at the bus stop near the college. He tried to masturbate in front of a girl. He made sure that she saw him do that. It all happened in like 2-3 minutes.
What is the solution?
There is no specific punishment for public masturbation under the Indian legal system.
As far as any punishment is concerned, legal experts told that offenders can be booked under several sections of the IPC.
Among others, they can be tried under section 354 of the IPC, which deals with “assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty,” and section 268, which deals with public nuisance.
Masturbation in public is illegal in several countries. In Indonesia, the offense can attract imprisonment for a maximum of 32 months. In UK, it can lead to imprisonment.
Pooja Nair, a sociology student from Mumbai says, “Public masturbation is taken less seriously than other sexual crimes like assault or rape.”
My question is, “What are men getting out of it?”
Public display of genitals is in correlation with what psychologists call “exhibitionist disorder”. They say that it is a vengeful act. It is believed that the look of fear and being powerless appeals to men.
For some men, it seems, think of it as a novelty – or a harmless sexual proclivity. But for women, being masturbated at by a stranger can be highly traumatic. It is a tactic of intimidation and an act that transmits shame onto the person forced to watch.
Most of the men know exactly what they are doing while being in presence of women. It is to make women feel terrible.
The incidents of masturbation in public in India often find mention on blogs and social media. It is hard to find data on how many such cases are booked in the country because there is no specific law for this crime.
Image Credits: Google Images