The Male Gaze

Smiling men having cocktails in club

Beauty lies in the beholder’s eyes, but the beauty of it is what truth the eyes reveal about the beholder. A heavy gaze often cannot hold the other’s eye and slips down to rest on the chest. (NOTE: this happens only if the person is from the opposite sex, while the subject in contention – the gazer – is clearly a male). Which woman, well endowed or ill-endowed, hasn’t faced it! The male viewpoint (no puns intended!) in case of the former is “It’s outstanding qualities just asked to be admired,” and the latter is, “Looking at what? We have to search for it!!” followed with a riotous laugh.

There must hardly be a woman who has not encountered such heavy a male gaze that constantly slips down from the face to linger on the feminine features nature has endowed the female of the mammal species with.
The query “So, how’re you, fine I hope?” from the open-eyed admirer is directed at the person, but the heavily beaded eyes have already slipped down. Feel like asking, “Hello! Whom are you asking … me or it?” Or is it significant of looking down on women.

Whether the burden borne on the chest is heavy or not, doesn’t seem to bother these … Ummm, bosom pals. Once in a while the creepy male eye would look up reluctantly into the face but like the spider in King Bruce’s story, slip down. The only difference here is, the spider wanted to reach as high as possible. For heaven’s sake, what’s there to stare? And how does one deal with this kind of visual abuse? Protest with “Look – don’t look there”? If a lecherous counter question comes in the form of a shameless “Where?”, an outspoken girl might say, “My tits,” the shier ones would shy away from the person even before the gaze rests you-know-where.

There was this girl who had gone to buy a pair of supports for her sister in a lingerie shop. “32 A” she said, the male assistant at the counter looked at her ‘there’ sizing her up and said, “36 B should fit better,” he offered helpfully. Crossing her arms protectively over her chest, she glared at him with, “That’s for my sister!” When this was conveyed to a male friend, “Hey, cool it woman, he’s just doing his job.” He restrained himself from adding, “Only too gladly.” The fascination for this curve knows no bounds; guys of all ages are attracted to it. “Hey, but those tight fitting numbers are just to attract attention, showing off their assets, you know?” would be a manly refrain. Would they know that whether tight fitting or baggy, the ‘asset’ often is a liability? And how does one convey without actually saying it? Quite embarrassing, these situations are. And if you think you can smartly divert the attention by firmly crossing your arms over your chest and turning away a bit politely, the profile seems even more enchanting to the lecherous eye.

Has it ever occurred to the male of the homo sapiens how uncomfortable it is to be stared at in “that way”, after all they are just glands that biologically categorize the animal species and distinguish them the oviparous, the egg layers?

There was this elderly person whom I have known for years, the neighbour of a relative whom we would meet only on vacations. Till I grew up, I never realised why he would not look in the eye and talk. Was he too humble or did he respect women too much to look into their eyes and talk? The way Lakshmana, from the legend Ramayana, was said to have addressed his reverential sister-in-law, Sita. The downcast gaze there was reverential, so the legend goes. Humility?? Pooh… It was anything but that, with this elderly gentleman… Should we call him that? The downcast gaze was with an entirely different perspective. Only when a worldly-wise cousin of mine told me that he was looking at “that” did it dawn upon me that he was a leering lech. The problem with these kinds of people is that they are sooooo nice to talk to, it is only their gaze that is faulty.

Unite all ye eves of the world and decide on this one agenda… The next time you encounter such an ‘eyeman’, deliver a blow below the belt by staring just ‘there’ constantly and make him squirm. That would be a fitting tit for tat. Oh oh, am I leaving the field open for more innuendoes?