Why is it that men indulge in eve-teasing?
Dubai - My location was the open beach along the Jumeirah Beach Road. Once a quiet spot, on this particular Friday, the beach was teeming with fellow sun dwellers like myself.
Fridays in Dubai can be spent in many ways. From hours-long brunches to loud family get-togethers, I've had my fair share of hectic ones over the past few months.
So when the hot and humid weather started to subside a few weeks ago, I decided a quiet trip to the beach would be the perfect Friday comedown following a number of endless not-so-quiet ones.
My location was the open beach along the Jumeirah Beach Road. Once a quiet spot, on this particular Friday, the beach was teeming with fellow sun dwellers like myself.
Not one for a bikini, my swimwear of choice consisted of a pair of shorts and a long sleeve top. It's safe to say I was fairly understated.
As I approached the water, I spotted a group of Asian men - probably six or seven - walking towards the water. As such, I walked further in until I was fully submerged.
With their phones in hand, the men, dressed in their local wear, started snapping 'selfies' on the beach.
But as they walked towards the edge of the water, I noticed they began walking within my eyeline - which was about 20 metres from where they were originally positioned.
Soon after, they began pointing the 'selfies' in my direction.
Maybe it was paranoia, but I was sure it was a deliberate attempt to get me in shot. But I carried on as was.
Not long after, the group began to expand in number, and as I swam further to the side, they too followed, snapping pictures - not so inconspicuously.
This continued for several minutes until I saw a woman dressed in an abaya signal to a lifeguard who then approached the men.
I'm not sure what was said, but the men quickly put their phones away and began walking along the shore, further and further away from me.
It was obvious they were ushered on by the lifeguard, but I couldn't help but feel slightly disheartened by the whole incident.
I felt sorry for the men, not myself.
Yes, it was fairly obvious they were snapping pictures of me, which would be uncomfortable for some, but I just brushed it off given the fact that all but my head was fully submerged in the water.
Like me, these men were there to enjoy their Friday on the beach on what is most likely their only day off in the week. But that was cut short.
Some may say it was deserved, but I felt a pang of empathy for them. After all, they are here alone, working away from family, so the sight of something new is going to be intriguing.
Yes, maybe they shouldn't be so deliberate in their curiosity, but I think we should empathise with why they are doing it, rather than simply chastise them for it.