There has been a lot of debate these days about how a woman should dress to look ‘respectable’ and ‘moral’. There are two sets of views one stating let the women wear what they want to wear, teach the men how to control their desires. To which the other side promptly answer that ‘that’s how men are!’ or ‘if you offer fresh meat to dog, he will BITE in it” or “She had shown her place in the society” or better still “She was ruining the family’s izzat and crossing the line of maryada‘ etc But, my point is, when did clothes become such an issue anyway? Long ago, before clothes were invented, how did the women manage to protect their izzat and maryada and not get raped? Or where they raped every other day? Even after the advent of clothes, Indians, specifically the Aryans, used to wear a cloth on the waist. This was done by both men and women. You can see the early statues for the reference. How did we manage to change from this(our ACTUAL ‘traditional dress’) Or even if we see the statues of women that was made around that time, we see: This clearly shows that during this time, a woman would drape a cloth just over her waist. Even if we see old statues and paintings on Goddesses of that era, we see them attired in the similar fashion, meaning that women who wore such attire were respected, why else would they be Goddesses? So, the very basis of the people who say that a woman, who wears ‘revealing’ clothes is bound to get raped get negated as the above women wore even more ‘revealing’ clothes, to an extent that they did not cover half their bodies, never got raped. Then the dressing evolved into something like this: Again, a sari without a blouse was a standard dress for majority of Indian women. This never hurt any sentiments during that time. But, coming to the 21st century, there are women, who after their marriage are forced/brain-washed to wear this: And still, there is a very high chance of getting raped and what’s more the rapist can easily claim he was ‘provoked’ as the woman did not have her Ghunghat properly or other equally stupid reason and get away! Coming to men’s clothing, heck, no one ever question’s men’s clothing to be provocative to anyone, so no debates there! It’s like as time passed, Indian women were taught to be ashamed of their own bodies and that too by making them believe it in the name of false ‘tradition’. I remember when I was in School, there was a movie, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam where the characters were debating about what all guys do, girls can also do. And in that scene, to end the debate, Salman and his gang of guys remove their shirts and proudly show off their bodies while the women all become shy and run away. And even at that time, I felt something was terribly wrong not with the movie but with the society. At that tender age, the first question that came to my mind was WHY? Why do guys get to get away with that while girls are made to feel ashamed of themselves so much so that they have to keep themselves covered in various layers from head to toe? I remember that when I was 10 years old studying in 5th standard when we had a two-day trip to Lothal. It was damn hot there and the guys conveniently took off their shirts. I was jealous, I could not do that. Because society has told me that my body was to be covered at all times, no matter how hot it was. It was not at all modest if I do it, I would have been termed as an immoral person, but when guys do it is just normal, no big deal. How did this happen? Am I the only person to see a progressive society turning into a highly regressive one? I really have no clue! Do you?
- A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like” (indianhomemaker.wordpress.com)
- Does what I wear really matter? (acaptivatingcardinal.wordpress.com)
- Study finds 98% of India rape victims knew their attacker. (indianhomemaker.wordpress.com)
- Dangerous Attire. (withthesunshine.wordpress.com)