Indian dudes to Indian dudes: Respect women

The World

What do Indian guys think about men who harass women in their country?

"Stereotypically, Indian men are known to be complete douchebags," comedian Abish Mathew told the Across Women's Lives team in Mumbai. "I — I think so too." 

Stereotypes are shaky ground, but it's true that women in India still fight for many of their basic rights. Education, the right to exist, the freedom to simply walk down the street without being harassed — or worse — by men, these are all daily struggles for women.

After speaking with a group of young women in Mumbai about their lifelong experiences with street harassment and sexual abuse — for some beginning as early as age 10 — we wanted to know what's on the minds of Indian dudes in regards to the topic.

How did past generations teach them to treat women? How do they feel when they see fellow men harassing women? What advice do they have for fellow Indian men?

Some blame Bollywood's gross tendency to present stalking as courtship.

"One of the biggest reasons for this misogynistic, regressive, patriarchal mindset in this country — and I'm surprised nobody is talking about it now — is Bollywood," said Daniel Fernandes, a stand-up comedian based in Mumbai. 

These dudes are sick of the sexism, and believe it's this generation's duty to educate young men and boys to respect women.

"I think it's high time older guys start telling younger guys — it's not cool," said Sumedh Natu, local filmmaker. 

This video was made in partnership with BuzzFeed India.

Have you experienced street harassment? Join our Across Women's Lives Facebook group and tell us what you think needs to happen for the world's streets to be safe for women.

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