I took a one month intensive course on Film Appreciation that is conducted [every year] by the very reputed Film Institute of India, Pune [FTI] last June and one of the professors mentioned this 'male gaze' in one particular film and how it coloured the whole picture as it ran through the story line.
It was thought provoking and the recent rapes that have surfaced/surfacing made me sit up.
This one line was born out of all this!
I just twisted it here, to bring it into my own world!
Haiku is good when it opens out to various interpretations. . . and I think this does!!
The male gaze is an old thing, and I learnt a lot about the female gaze because my early employment history was with a pre-dominantly female work force. We put ourselves and others under intense scrutiny pretty much all of the time.
The case in India, and I've been a consultant for conventions in India in the past, and surprised at how much lack of respect for women of all ages has been about for certain types of men, is one that I've made known across social media platforms for over a year now.
The haiku in question is indeed universal as we often inhabit a world full of judgements, and is a disruption of our prehistoric origins. Some humans have evolved beyond those constrictions, and some alas have not moved on. We are constantly only a day or two away from complete anarchy. I know only too well as I've been involved in a few State of Emergency situations where thankfully it didn't so far as giving fully automatic weapons over to traffic wardens, which is a very scary thought.
Also my wife, when she needed a walking stick, was not only under 'male' scrutiny at train stations, but I had to bring back my personal security skills and be a minder, as often her stick would be kicked, and sometimes her ankles. It taught me that we can never quite relax in this world.
I can relate to all this so well, Alan. I remember when my mother learnt car driving in 1960 at the age of 30, men drivers used to edge her out on the road. In Chennai in 1960 there were very few woman car drivers.
Things have changed a lot & woman have become bolder now.
But, I agree with you about this lack of respect for women with certain types of men.
But, thanks. I'm happy this little one line ku is creating so many ripples of thought.
Interpreted as social commentary, what an important statement you make for women with your poem. Violence against women continues to be a global problem. We all need to take notice and “square up our arms” to work to end it.
Thank you so much for your comment!
And a double thanks to the you all – the editors of tinywords to have picked out this poem.
Previously I had submitted it to a few journals but it came back rejected :(
I love your line — We all need to take notice and “square up our arms” to work to end it.