Women know their minds and are confident about going for what they want, but are they responsible about their newfound freedom?
Each time I write a column that indicts men for taking advantage of women, I am inundated with mails from men protesting at my onesided approach, ignoring the many women who target and stalk men.
To all those guys, I wish to say I do believe you and here is the proof. Yes, females stalk males too. However, I do think a woman’s chase of a man is very different from a man’s compulsion to chase a woman. While a man’s instinct is that of the hunter who enjoys the chase, a woman is more targeted at securing a comfort level and a secure future for herself. She does not chase for the heck of the chase. Also, when a relationship breaks, being the one who invests more in it, a woman finds it more difficult to accept it initially, and is likely to indulge in what may be construed as chasing, harassing or threatening behaviour.
When a girl is brought up fairly, and provided equal education and freedom as a man, she has every right and desire to choose her own mate, based on her priorities and inclinations. This is a freedom that educated Indian girls enjoy today; years later than their contemporaries in more developed societies. As a result of a deeply-ingrained value system, most women use this freedom with responsibility, but yes, some may go berserk.
And the worrisome part comes when a woman starts looking upon this new freedom not just as a means to choose a partner, but as a way to empower her. She feels a sense of power when she is able to ensnare a man, and the more unattainable the man, the more her feeling of victory. It does not matter to her if the man is committed elsewhere or married; in fact that increases the challenge and gives her a greater high.
A psychologist friend, Vichitra Dargan Anand, who works with educational institutes as a relationship counsellor, claims she deals with many more cases of men being harassed by women than earlier. “Twenty years ago, women would complain they were not allowed to keep in touch with their families. Today, I know many men who are not allowed to contact their families. I know of a Class V student writing suggestive letters to a classmate, who was scared out of his wits and complained to his parents. Another boy is being relentlessly pursued by a girl and has become suicidal.”
With freedom comes responsibility — towards your own self and towards those close to you — but it takes some time for that to sink in. Women today know their minds and are also confident enough to make a go for what they want. They believe in and execute the first moves. When they can do so in the boardroom, why not in their own bedrooms?
Men are increasingly raising their voice about harassment by women. Most male colleagues protest against offices having a sexual harassment cell just for women, particularly with an allwomen panel. It seems the issue of male harassment is either not big enough or not prominent enough to be dealt with on priority yet.
Enjoying their newfound freedom, it is true that some women may tend to go a bit overboard and forget about maintaining their dignity or the sanctity of their relationships. As an elderly gentleman pointed out the other day, “Look around in a café. You see most girls smoking, but hardly any guys doing so. There was a time when girls huddled in a corner and the boys were kings. Today, it’s the boys who are huddled into the corner and the girls rule the roost.”
Most men last only 2 minutes in bed
Question: My husband is the best man I could ever think of getting married to. He is very caring and loving. The only problem is that he is not sexually active. He never initiates any kind of sexual gestures and neither responds to any. I have tried seducing him but he avoids me in a very polite and funny manner so that I don’t feel bad. It’s been months that we have had any intimate moment and I’m getting worried. What should I do?
Answer: Thanks for your mail. There could be various factors contributing to your husband’s low interest in sex life. One needs to understand his perspective towards sex, his preferences/priorities, inhibitions, his levels of stress and his current lifestyle. He may have certain myths regarding ‘sex’.
Healthy sex is not just a physical act but also about mutual bonding, surrender, care and emotional involvement. Biologically, sexual desire in men is influenced by levels of testosterone (male sex hormone). Hormonal disturbances can contribute to low libido. Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation amongst men can also lead to avoidance of sex.
Sensate focussing (trying to stimulate certain areas of the bodies that are erogenous), without the pressure of performance of a full sexual act, can at times ameliorate anxieties or avoidance behaviours. Your reassuring stance shall be helpful. Positive comments regarding his appearance, his masculinity, his loving nature could help boost his confidence. I suggest a healthy discussion on the topic between you two and if the problem persists, a psychiatric consultation should be taken.