From Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s first novel, Amrita, published in 1955.
Amrita, a young woman, goes with her boyfriend and a friend of his to a café. It’s crowded, and they’re seated at a table in the middle of the room.
Amrita felt very much embarrassed. She did not dare to look up, for she knew she was being scrutinized from all sides; as was every woman tolerably young and pretty. Hari did not notice the offensive stares that afflicted her; he had been born into a society unused to disguising its interest for the sake of politeness, and considered staring at young women a perfectly natural reflex action. He did it himself without the slightest reticence.
“Reticence” is the wrong word, but never mind – you know what she means.
A few pages later, she is talking to someone else about the café.
“And I feel so embarrassed,” she went on; she rather liked confiding to him. “When everybody stares so, all the men, it is terrible. Krishna…will men always stare at us like that?”
“Until we are used to seeing you move freely among us.”
Yeah. Not there yet.