Recent article in the Times of India (not that the paper is any great), but a very relevant topic of coverage no doubt. The Bombay High Court recently put out a declaration while listening to petition about a man touching a woman that “Only the Girl can decide nature of Touch“.
What was interesting was the number of comments on this post, with many getting personal, upset, upbeat, depressed and the works. Comments ranging from happiness to utter despair (this includes men on both sides) that the ruling was fair / unfair.
Now, leaving aside the technical aspects of the ruling, and science, where it states that when a man touches a woman, her body temperature goes up by 0.3 degrees C, this does bring about an interesting debate as to whether the ruling was in place or not. Why do I state this? Simply because all of us, men and women, live today in a society where we interact with each other daily, and in many cases, a number of times a day.
With the work force no longer being dominated by men, as it was a probably a century or two ago, and women being a similar dominant force as men, it is inevitable that both men and women do come across each other, where a touch may be part of a daily chore, a handshake, or even a meeting that may be associated with a hub, or a simple mis-touch between two people.
There is no doubt that a man when he touches a woman or a woman a man, they know the intent and the feeling that the touch infers. The fact that a man hugs a lady when he meets her or even vice-versa, is more the extent of comfort and trust that each have towards the other.. I have a lot of friends, who one would call large hearted, and we hug each other when we meet. There is no discomfort there, no distrust, no hesitation, but a simple greeting hug that each other share. The same applies when two friends having lunch or dinner or even having a conversation, would jokingly punch each other, on a laugh shared, on some thing one wants to share with the other. That again speaks of the trust that each share.
But what was more disturbing about the verdict and the one that got many men riled (including some groups that call themselves the preservers of men’s rights), was the one sided verdict that the Bombay Courts had provided in favour of women. It was more the decision that only a woman can determine a man’s touch.
Not negating the fact that in a country like India, women are the more oppressed ones, both currently and historically, but the decision was indeed a shocker. The fact that a woman solely and unilaterally decides how she infers a man’s touch is akin to proving a person guilty of a crime before he has even committed it. What this does put is, total power in the hands of the woman, who can now decide, that the handshake that any man has with her, has another intention or meaning to it. It implies, that if I am walking out of the lift and if the lady in front of me does not move and my hand rubs off hers, she can complain that I touched her intentionally and with bad intent. It implies that if a lady is dressed in a superb looking dress, and one looks at her, she can complain that the man looked at her with bad intent… And so on.
No doubt this is a land mark decision, but also one wonders if it is flawed and one sided? We do hear of cases where men molest women, but the reality also is that in a lot of places, men are molested by women. Now it may not be because of strength, but simply because of Power. A woman can be in a situation that she is dominating over men, and that power can also give rise to abuse to men, which probably the courts would not look at. There could also be situations, where women are more powerful than men (strength wise) and could abuse men.. Does the court take cognisance of this fact?
The saviours of the Men state that women oppress men 10 to 1 ( and I presume this is one of married oppressed men), with the other side stating that at least this gives Women the right to determine, whether she felt violated, insulted or it was a harmless touch. Society no doubt is split on this, society no doubt will be impacted by this, without a question, women rights needed more ammunition to counter the oppression by men, however this is the same problem that already exists..
You take power from one and give it to another. Whether this will be used wisely, intellectually, abused and whether the coming generations will be impacted only time will tell. I am no doubt divided on this, not sure whether you are!