The customers of these stalls include men, women and eunuchs. Since female undergarments are a taboo in Pakistan, these places have become a recreational spot for a lot of men. It becomes a very daring endeavor for a woman to make a purchase when she can feel hundreds of eyes on her. Many of these men start loitering around hoping to catch a closer glimpse. To make matters worse, the story does not end here. Most of these stares follow the woman back to her home. Being the victim of many such occasions myself it is easy to relate to the feelings of anxiety and embarrassment. I vividly remember one such occasion when a teenage boy started taking keen interest in the bras that were on offer and was eventually hushed away rudely by the vendor. Upon asking the reason for this the vendor confessed that a lot of men and college going boys come to his stall every day asking about the prices and buying nothing. He believed that such interest stemmed from fetish of bras instead of genuine need.
The female breast is the most misunderstood part of the human body. Some psychologists believe that such behavior among men is found in segregated societies which gives birth to mental and physical frustration. I personally believe that media is also responsible to some extent by portraying women as sex objects. The constant portrayal of the breast as an object instead of a natural part of the human body hammers the image of breast being solely for sexual gratification. This causes temptation and since there is no way for men to vent their frustration, they resort to such behavior. I sometimes wonder what it is about the breast that makes it vulgar, a sex object, a taboo. The primary function of breast is to feed the offspring and there is nothing more natural than the sight of a woman feeding her child on breast milk. What do you think encourages such behaviour? How can such behaviour be turned around?