Of uniform code ethicists and tameez of kameez

shivangi-narayan

Shivangi Narayan | June 2, 2014



It has almost become a trend now to hear strange, sometimes bordering on the insane, advises on ‘how-to-escape-rape’ from intellectuals, sages, politicians and in this case, erstwhile feminists after the country has witnessed a horrific rape incident. We heard it from Asaram Bapu last year, after the December 16 Delhi rape case, who said that the girl should have begged the men to leave her, projecting her as their sister and should have chanted the Saraswati mantra.

Madhu Kishwar, erstwhile feminist and scholar, has a more practical thing in mind. According to her, the most ‘safe’ dress for a woman is a ‘Punjabi style salwar kameez’. She said, “Safest and most convenient dress for women is the Punjabi salwar/ churidaar kameez. Efficient, yet feminine! Suitable even for air hostesses.”

Of course by ‘safe’ she means safe against such assaults as rape and molestation. However, it is interesting to note how Kishwar thinks that women’s attire is synonymous with inefficiency.

Kishwar should know, as a woman’s rights and Dalit rights activist, that there are no statistics to prove that women in salwar kameez are raped less, but one thing is for sure: show me one woman raped in a mini skirt and I will show you five who were raped in a burqa.

When girls as young as six months old are raped in India, can we really have a dress which is ‘safe’ for women?

However, we do know that many people agree with Kishwar’s prescription. The outrage against her tweet on Twitter also has certain people who think she is right. This is because Indians have been taught since forever to read a lot into what a woman reads, eats and of course wears. “Oh she smokes,” they say, “she is of course game for a fun night.” “Oh she wears a skirt, her morals are definitely down!”

Kishwar draws her inspiration from a culture of people who caricature a woman into the “girlfriend material” and “wife material”; into the “good girl” and the “naughty girl” on the basis of her dress and food (consumption of alcohol or smoking).

With the load of the reputation of the entire khandaan (family) on her shoulder, a girl is constantly under scrutiny. Salwar kameez and later the saree then become her armour of choice. A symbol to tell all that she is a law abiding thing who will not flinch an inch to do her husband’s bidding, which is what is most important anyway.

Kishwar confuses this less-than-adequate living with ‘safety’ of a woman. Of course, Ms Kishwar, salwar kameez is safe, but at what cost?

Comments

 

Other News

After its withdrawal from Meghalaya and Arunachal, is it time to review AFSPA in other areas too?

After its withdrawal from Meghalaya and Arunachal, is it time to review AFSPA in other areas too?

Togadia, Sinha and anti-Modi prejudices masked by empty rhetoric

There is an uncanny similarity in the pathological opposition to prime minister Narendra Modi by two members of the right wing, Pravin Togadia and Yashwant Sinha. They come from a diverse social and political background; yet they share a common strand that shows an unmitigated hatred towards

“We are becoming American digital colonies”

Data is the new oil; and it needs to be protected. In an interaction with Governance Now, Lionel Baraban, CEO of Famoco, talks about how the French tech firm is developing secure business devices to safeguard data against going to other countries. What are the major roles o

Goa Shipyard and MTU, Germany to manufacture MTU engines in India

Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and MTU, Germany have agreed to cooperate in the  local manufacturing of technologically-advanced MTU series 8000 engines in India. Under the agreement, which was signed at India’s leading defence trade show Defexpo-18, the companies will manufacture the 16-

ONGC employees bag 13 medals at the Gold Coast CWG

ONGC sportspersons outshone other participants in their respective categories in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. ONGCians bagged 13 medals including 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 5 Bronze, contributing to the 66 medal tally of Team India. ONGCians Ragala Venkat Rah

BHEL bags renovation and modernisation order

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has bagged an order for the renovation and modernisation (R&M) of electrostatic precipitators (ESP) at Ramagundam super thermal power station. The Rs 137 crore-turnkey-order envisages carrying out R&M of ESPs of three units of 200 MW each at Ra

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter