Marking your territory

Driving to BKC today I saw 7 different men peeing on the side of the road. They didn’t even bother to try and find a secluded enclosure; they simply planted their feet firmly right next to their car or bike and generously turned away from oncoming traffic.

This isn’t something new in India. I’ve noticed this from a young age, always recoiled in disgust and shook my head. I attributed it to poor personal hygiene habits and a blatant cultural disregard for public places.

But yesterday I thought that these unfortunate incidents I unwillingly was privy to may symbolize something more than just poor hygiene. The only perpetrators of the aforementioned unfortunate incidents are men. Men who feel that public spaces are their spaces. Men who feel they can stare at, harass, and rape women in public places because a public place isn’t really for the entire public. Public places are reserved for men only and the men I saw on my drive were showing this reality. They were literally marking their territory by peeing on it.