Monday, July 30, 2012

Dressing down to save your soul.

It was my first bus ride to college. Just as I entered the DTC bus, I noticed over fifty pairs of eyes (all male) staring intently at my legs. Perplexed, I looked down wondering whether I had scribbled some unsolved equations on my legs.

I learnt my lesson on dressing appropriately the hard way. After that day, I never wore short skirts to college again.

Last week my daughter moved out of home and into college. The first thing I did was to shop for her wardrobe. Obviously she cannot be wearing skimpy outfits to college. So we went shopping for tees that hide and not reveal. She also got her first pair of salwar-kameez from Anokhi. As she twirled around in her all new ethnic avatar, I wiped silent tears for my baby ready to fly the coop.
 

Children grow up, mothers don’t.

The feminist in me was feeling like a hypocrite. Wasn’t it me outraging when Mamta Sharma cautioned women to be "careful" of how they dress because "such incidents (sexual assaults) are a result of blindly aping the West"? Don’t we all know, what you wear is hardly a deterrent for a man with rape on his mind. A beast’s mind knows no reason and follows no logic.

It is sad that women are unwittingly made custodians of Indian culture while their male counterparts strut around behaving like uncultured brutes! According to HT columnist Halarnkar "Men abuse women in every society, but few males do it with as much impunity, violence and regularity as the Indian male." Indian women not only have to deal with libidinous males but apathetic lawmakers who tend to blame the victim rather than the perpetrator. If she gets raped it must be her fault. If she’s reporting it, she must a prostitute who didn’t get paid. A society watches silently from the sidelines as a young girl gets molested by a group of men. If she’s out at night, drinking and wearing shorts, she deserved it.

I’d hate to have my daughter deal with a sick mindset that worships female goddesses but heaps the worst atrocities on its women. If she rejects advances from her suitors, she’s thrown off running trains, acid is splashed on her face or she’s publicly humiliated. We’ve had a woman prime minister and a president, yet one of the greatest tragedies in our country is that women are on their own when it comes to their own safety. In the metamorphosis of Bharat to India, in her evolution from nari to babe, it’s always her dignity that’s at stake.

Sadly even the media portrays the modern sexy woman as a trophy rather than a woman with feelings.

As long as we have separate rules for men and women, things will not change. As long as women are looked as responsibilities, they will continue to get exploited. Protecting her does not mean you curtail her freedom and convince her, it’s for her own good. A friend recounts her very first lecture by Dr. Aruna Broota from her Delhi University days. She said “When we have children, those of us who have sons should treat them the same way as their daughters. If there is an evening curfew for the girls, there should be one for the boys. Mothers who let their sons roam in herds at night to prey on women are the ones who should be held accountable for their son's actions”. Make him aware that men and women are entitled to enjoy exactly the same kind of leisure activities. A socially conscientious mother will bring up a son who respects and cherishes women around him, instead of looking at them as mere playthings.
 

A strong woman is the foundation of strong values in a society.

Passing new laws against sexual crimes will help only if the police is willing to implement it. Right now the system does its utmost to either delay, deny or subvert justice. Even if half the crimes against women get exemplary punishment, it will be a deterrent.

The feminine body is god’s most beautiful creation. It’s a pity if we have to hide it. Wear what you want but for a civilized gathering, where men know how to appreciate your beauty. And if you want to assert your freedom to choose what you want to wear, you should stop caring about that gaze that lingers on your cleavage and if you do, have the guts to ask him to fuck off! Till our men learn to respect our choices, we have to learn to protect ourselves. Every shove, every brush, every pinch deserves a retort. Yell, create a scene, prick him with a safety pin – do anything but tolerate it. Keep silent and rest assured there will be a second time.



Courtesy - Facebook

The skirt may have become shorter, the dress tighter but we are still stuck with a mentality that prefers subjugating its women. The emancipation is up to us.

Till we evolve as a society keep the Kali alive in you. Cover up if you have to but don’t cower down.

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115 comments:

  1. Fantastic post ! Its high time we stop being scared of these lecherous men and teach them a lesson. I had the same problem in College – the worst was travelling by bus – that’s when I learnt why a safety pin is really called a safety pin! :P

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    1. Women should be allowed to decide their rights and wrongs.

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    2. i've been around a lot of women who wear shorts.. shorter than those i ever wore.n i dont know about delhi, but in mumbai, short shorts are absolutely the in thing.
      and my point is this.. leching is wrong.. but an appreciative glance.. in deserved cases is usually rewarded with a smile. call me cheap, but when i wear anything, i like it that people notice..

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    3. We all love to be appreciated/noticed but for the right reasons :-)

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  2. Hmm...a highly debatable topic. But agree to your point that there should be equal rules for everyone.
    It is not just men but society as a whole is crazy. I have seen women shed tears on learning that they have given birth to a daughter while their husband rejoices. Still, agree that boys need to to be taught from an early age.
    But I don't understand how, sharing a pictorial chart of a few martial art moves, will teach a lady self defense. Also, what is Step 7?

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    1. A strong woman begets a son capable of respecting women and their choices.

      What do you think I should have done? Uploaded a video of me attacking a male?

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  3. It is unfortunately, the faulty upbringing and teaching very little values at home that is the result of this sad plight of women. Adding insult to the injury is the blind, mute and deaf system which fails to deliver on all fronts!

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    1. But that needs to change. Things are getting worse and are showing no signs of improvement!

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  4. Briliant post. Women should definitely not cower down, but hit back at these perverts. Parents need to bring up sons better before they impose restrictions on their daughters. Do read my post on this..

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    1. Parents need to bring up their sons like daughters.

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  5. I guess we all believe in appropriate dressing because we live in a society which is evolving and includes men from different strata of society. I see several young girls in shorts these days in my apartment. Good. But when I see the security guards and vendors staring at their bare legs, it makes me very uncomfortable. Nobody has the right to molest because of the way one is dressed. But when did we live in an ideal world?

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    1. I am not debating that. What I can I wear in Goa is a big no in Ghaziabad. If women are out their on their own, they need to "dress down" for survival.

      But the "filth" lies in the eyes of the beholder! Just because she's wearing shorts, doesn't mean you start pawing her.

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  6. Hi Purba, great writing as always. As much as I enjoyed reading this, I have to say there are parts that I'd like to rebut with the caveat that these rebuttals, in no way, are meant to defend men or their boorishness.

    1. Emancipation does not have to be equated with short skirts or tight shirts. There are many avenues to emancipate oneself. One of the most effective ways to liberate women is to focus on getting women into positions of power - in government and in the private sector. I have this theory (with no data to back it up) that if all the countries and companies of the world were to be led by women, most of the problems we have today (wars, scandals, corporate fraud, etc) would be less frequent or non existent. And, when I say "women in power", I mean women who have risen to power for the strengths that the female of the species brings to the table, and not for emulating masculine behavior and proving that they are "one of the boys".

    2. On dressing "however you feel like" - here's my take. All behavior, male and female, is a result of millions of years of evolution. This is not an excuse to behave a certain way. But, the fact remains that evolutionary forces are very strong. A woman dressing a certain way (this way or that) has been taken as a 'signal' by men for millions of years. The goal of evolution is to ensure procreation. And the men you find today are the ones who have the genes which exhibited "winning behavior." In a way, you could say nature is on their side and has favored their behavioral patterns. Since these are powerful forces you're battling, it is worth being cautious as a woman and be very aware of the 'signals' that you may be transmitting. By exercising prudence, you're not bowing down to the boor in the street who wolf whistles when an attractive woman walks by. By exercising caution, you're bowing down to nature herself.

    Long (winded?) comment, I know. Hope they made sense. cheers.

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    1. No, it made perfect sense.

      But sexual assault is not about lust. It is usually a premeditated act of violence. Blame rape on what she wears and you end up reiterating what the law-makers think - she was asking for it.

      A gentleman may get excited by skin show but will know, where to draw the line.

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    2. We're talking about two different things. You're talking about punishment. I'm talking about prevention.
      By and large, law is designed to punish, not to prevent. Prevention is a burden that most societies have placed on citizens themselves. Sexual assault is wrong and should be punished.
      This one's a tough pill to swallow but women do need to protect themselves by exercising caution. That's unfortunately the reality. This is not to blame the woman when something bad happens. This is to simply say - please be careful.

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    3. Absolutely agree :-)

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  7. Those 8 steps are perfect. It time they start including self defence in the school curriculum. And it time we stop getting scared of the morons on the road.

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    1. I second that. I wanted my daughter to join some self-defense classes in college but there are none!

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  8. For a debatable topic , I would say I loved reading this.
    I can only say that we The Indian society are growing up , so It would take some time.

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    1. Keeping my fingers crossed that this is evolution but not regression.

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  9. I guess all that I wanted to say has been said by Alka and Srini very aptly. I will not cower, but I use commen sense and cultural sensitivity when I dress for the streets. I do carry a pepper spray. And, I do not equate dressing skimpily as a sign of female emancipation.

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    1. I second that thought, but skimpy is a personal choice. But should it serve as an invitation for rape?

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  10. women can stay out of trouble by not dressing provocatively. maybe i read it wrong. maybe that is not what you meant to say.

    the male gaze is not going to go away, it is biological and has to do with the survival of the species, it is not even a ethical/moral thing. i am willing to bet my last buck that even the most ethical/moral male has to struggle with his gaze. the only reason i would lose is because denial is overpowering. it is likely that civilized gatherings that you speak of have the most heinous of thinking going on.

    women dressing to showcase the feminine form is not going to go away either. it is biological and essential for survival of the species. even the most modestly dressed woman unconsciously invites evaluation. it is mathematical and chemical, and no moral construct is going to override it.

    what is needed is stronger laws that address abuse and harassment and making sure every woman knows the basics of self defense, like you have shared in the illustration. bringing perpetrators to justice will be an uphill task and will come with social repercussions, but the only way out of pain is through it.

    sorry for being so cold on an obviously hot topic, but these are facts, and the sooner we put laws in place that truly deters people from thinking of abusing women, and the sooner women take things - both dressing and protecting themselves against abusers - into their own hands, the better everyone will feel about themselves.

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    1. How we dress cannot be equated with an invitation for assault. This is just an excuse to shirk off responsibility for uncivilized behaviour.

      Yet, when it comes to my daughter I will play it safe. I feel if you can’t control what people think, you can certainly control what “might” trigger it. If I am out on my own in a public place, I will dress accordingly. What I can wear to a swish club, I can’t wear to the neighbouring market. The guy from Muzzafarpur who grew up seeing women swathed in layers does not know how to deal with a woman’s sexuality. Why just small towns, even the so called educated men from cities feel threatened by confident women. They deal with it by cracking sexist jokes.

      Stronger laws will help only if we have a police force willing to implement them.

      Delete
  11. Great essay, Purba!

    I recall an Indian American wedding I attended in the US a few years ago. There were a couple of American girlfriends of the desi bride who were her Maids of Honor. All the MoH wore identical sarees, and even though the sarees were tied just right, hair and make up all in place, there was still something "off" in the American girls' "look". I couldn't put a finger on it at the time.

    Years later, at another shaadi, this time in India, when I saw many young women dressed in sarees, I finally realized what had made those American girls different. It was what we Indians despicably call "haya". Most women in India, invariably, have a shy, demure style which somehow fit in my conventional thought process of how they ought to look in a saree. Those American girls were extremely confident young women, who walked and talked like their male counterparts. That gait and style, somehow, made them look strange and gangly in a saree!

    Having said that, there are many young women in India who are growing up with the same kind of confidence and attitude as their Western counterparts. They have plenty of support from their parents. That is a very good thing.

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    1. The Indianness in us is evolving. I am not my mother and my daughter will not be me.

      We want more parents who are willing to give the same opportunities to their daughters as their sons :-)

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  12. I remember my entry into college quite clearly. I went and got myself a salwar kameez and felt so awful about it. Just when I made up my mind that college was going to be so much fun..

    Then I started liking the salwar kameez, they make you look so pretty! :)

    Also, I'm not sure I agree with some of the comments above mine, which talk about upbringing and sad plight of women. We're not in any kind of sad plight right now. We're independent and stronger than we've ever been. I think we've the right to wear what we want, as long as we know that we can protect ourselves. Thank you for this post, and pardon my ranting :)

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    1. It all boils down to accepting that a woman is free to choose. A woman is entitled to live the way she wants to, without fear stalking her mind.

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  13. fantastic!! But that martial art chart was uncalled for! A pepper spray is hassle free and more effective!

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    1. Why uncalled for? Shouldn't women be able to defend themselves?

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  14. Your post makes some sense.
    It seems to have come out of experience and a mature perspective.
    I've read a hundred posts on the same topic everyone of them seemed just blabbering without any depth.
    I simply loved the way u mentioned that it is no use following the 'modern' ways until the men in society are not ready to accept it.
    And also that the change has to evolve from the very beginning.
    Ah! What a post.

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    1. The Indian nari may have evolved, but men have yet to accept that :-)

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  15. Wonderful Post. I agree that a woman should have a right to wear what she wants. Like you, while shopping for my daughter, I went for more conservative tops and yes, there is a dress code in their college...no short skirts, no Capris, no shorts, no sleeveless tops. By doing this, they are planting ideas in the young minds.

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    1. Then why blame the police for blaming the victim rather than the perpetrator?

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  16. Wow Purba..
    very nice one. I feel nauseated when I see the paradox in Indian society. These days I severely appraise Indian men no matter where they are before I talk to them and before sharing any conversation. I am somehow getting a feeling that most Indian men are not trust worthy at all [sounds biased, but they asked for this!]- but there are men who are more trust worthy than some Indian women, but it needs a lot of filtering.

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    1. It takes a secure man to accept a strong woman with opinions of her own :-)

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  17. Very effective post. So rightly said 'Till we evolve as a society keep the Kali alive in you. Cover up if you have to but don’t cower down. '. At times, we do have to cower up, being extremely feminist is all good, but in a mob if you want to stay safe or keep your daughter safe, we do end up covering ourself, but we should never give in. Love the safety pin thing you have talked about!

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    1. Love the self defense strip that you have included. I had also posted a piece on self defense tricks and tips to be aware of. Have a read if you would like to. Nothing to lose. Here's the link

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    2. Mailed this post to my daughter, sharing it on Twitter. It's a must read for all women.

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    3. Your post got quite a few RT's. Expecting a surge of hits on your blog :-)

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  18. thought-provoking!
    But, that " as I dress in goa is a big no-no in ghaziabad" should have been in the post somewhere instead of the comments section!

    asking women to cover up doesn't mean she is considered a culprit, but it is more often than not, like "better to wear chappals than trying to carpet the whole earth."
    the lecherous men are wide-spread and with no fear of the laws it is difficult to tame them, so it is much better to dress sensibly.
    This is in no way defending the action of men or stating that by being skimpily clad, she's asking for it.

    Kudos for your post! Worth implementing! :)

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    1. It was part of my original post, had to edit it out :-)

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  19. I like your last sentence 'Cover up if you have to but don't cower down'. I totally agree with that. In dressing down, I think it is indeed better to be being cautious and to not attract unwanted attention. Few of us would go to the crowded market wearing a miniskirt, but the thing is, even girls fully covered up can be targeted by lecherous men anyway. It certainly will help to carry that big safety pin around!

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    1. A letch will target you, no matter what you're wearing. And you can always target him with a safety pin.

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  20. Women should wear what they like and carry a Taser all the time!

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  21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_rape

    It's sad that the legal and symbolic definition of rape has changed only in the last 40 years, as against a definition that had existed for more than 2000 years.

    I'm sad to say but human civilization (Indian or not) has a long way to go.

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    1. The more she tries to be an equal, the more vicious the attacks on her become.

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  22. Purba,

    Totally agree! I was shocked when I heard women being blamed for wearing mini skirts..?! Are we in a civilized country..? I just don’t understand how they come out with such statements, and get away with them!! I wanted to tell that broke that it is totally men’s responsibility to restrain their desire!
    One can only pity them...sic

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    1. I always thought, self-restraint, respect, empathy, constitutes civilized behaviour.

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  23. I like how you have best summed it up...dont cower down!!!

    We should teach our sons better all the time..coz our daughters are doing quite well by themselves!!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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    1. A woman who teaches her son well, lays the foundation for a strong society.

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  24. Purba,

    I agree with you on each and everything you said. How I wish I could really contribute something to awaken masses to this evil! I do speak about it but that is not sufficient. I really wish I could motivate girls to form DURGA VAHINI to teach such characters in their own ways.

    Take care

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    1. Pepper spray...training in martial arts...reporting such offenses!

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  25. i think even most of d policemen hv mentality dt wearing a mini skirt is a sin or an invitation by her....
    absolutely absolutely agree wid "you should stop caring about that gaze that lingers on your cleavage and if you do, have the guts to ask him to fuck off!"

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  26. As usual, no one could have written this better. Sometimes I feel ashamed of being a man in this society and every such heinous act accentuates my shame and fills me with angst and anger. Nobody can or should pass comments, opinions or judgment about appropriate dressing. I think it is ridiculous and just escapist mentality. Men do not commit these heinous acts because of a woman’s dress. It is their rotten and perverted minds that induce them to indulge in such lowly crimes. Now as long as the men (and a few women) in the society do not understand this basic psychology, a rational and effective solution to the problem can never be found. And till that time let the Kali inside render some much needed justice.

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    1. Quoting Gloria Steinem - We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.

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  27. I have always wondered why the skimpiness of the dress is considered to be directly proportionate to a woman's emancipation. Isn't there some other yardstick to measure it? Or am I being a dinosaur here? I agree with the first point made by Srini and also with Subho's observation that there can be sick minds in 'civilized' societies too.

    And of course the bottom line for girls in our society is: dress sensibly and be cautious.

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    1. What you think is skimpy may be perfectly normal for someone else! It's a matter of perception and choice. But till we learn to accept choices a woman makes, it makes more sense to be cautious :-)

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  28. I seriously dont understand the logic of people who say that women dressed in modern attires deserve it ! And what do these cultureless rapists deserve? What a stinking society we have! And the ones who have a say and are responsible to enforce the law are the worst. Even the time before 1947 with the British guys would have been better.

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    1. It's an easy way out to absolve yourself of guilt.

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  29. Most people in the urban context jump to assume that given the freedom, a woman will want to dress skimpily. To a married woman in some parts of our country, freedom would mean to be not dressed in a sari all day and night. Maybe just be able to slip into a comfortable nightgown for the night. Many don't even have that!

    Unfortunately, we believe that clothes truly represent culture. If that was the case, the modern version of sari and salwar kameez are defintely not our culture of even a hundred years ago.

    Attractive, provocative, promiscuous are many different things for each of us. None of them are asking to be groped or attacked. All my experiences with groping have been someone taking advantage of oppotunity in crowded public places. In none of the occasions was I scantily clad.

    I still believe it is important to be sensitive to our surroundings and see that we don't stand out as provocative. It might save you some minor versions of harrasment. It will still not deter more serious criminals.

    Lastly, from a justice point of view none of this matters. A crime is a crime and even a prostitute cannot be raped.

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    1. An extremely well-balanced point of view.

      A crime deserves no justifications, only punishment.

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  30. I don't understand this whole concept of dressing down. I'm against it. I'd like to tell people to teach their sons how to not rape, instead of teaching their daughters how to cover up.

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    1. Till that happens, train yourself in martial arts. In this country, your safety is your own headache.

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  31. Cover up if you have to but don’t cower down - love this pearlba of wisdom. And it is definitely more sensible to mix idealism with practicality. To think of hungry eyed, salivating, uncouth youth or older men staring at my daughter's assets gives me the creeps. Their mothers have GOT to teach them to be civilised right from toddlerhood.

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    1. Agree - survival needs a sensible blend of practicality with idealism.

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  32. I must save this 9-step attack pic!
    It's frustrating how men always go on self-defence mode and blame it on their irrepressible hormones after such incidents, bah!

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    1. Take a printout and paste it inside your cupboard.

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  33. "Cover up but don't cower down"- wonderful. Till we have women like Mamta Sharma, there is no light for us. Length of a girl's skirt is her personal wish and the law n society got nothing to do with it.

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    1. Exactly. It's all about respecting her choices.

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  34. Clearly, a man who does not hesitate to humiliate a woman has issues. Issues that were not dealt with during his childhood. In most cases, like you said, it has to do with the upbringing of the child.

    If the mother of the child is ill-treated by the father, the child could possibly interpret that women are either weak or that they need to be respected. Going by the centuries old perception of women, the former is what these psychopaths absorb.

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    1. Agreed. That's why such cases demand strict punishment and stricter enforcement.

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  35. I loved the last line. Intelligent and power packed post, yet again.
    I am very glad to learn that you are posting elsewhere too. Your posts are come as an awakening , esp on social issues and have a cutting edge appeal.You mock and knock off both the 'victim' and the 'perpetrator'.It is rife with irony and satire. I am honoured to be one of your many readers.

    The posts here are of the league as one may expect to read in a good editorial of a good journal, magazine or a newspaper. People like you are an inspiration.

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    1. I have no words to describe what I am feeling now. It's readers like you and your large-hearted appreciation that keeps the writer in me enthused.

      Thank you, I will cherish these words for a lifetime.

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  37. A very powerful post! I loved the honesty and you're sooo soooooo right! Wear what you want, but think where you're wearing it too as well.. But yes be brave to ask them to fuck off! :D . *kudos*

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  38. The issue and the way you have brought it up are commendable. I have written a lot on the subject. Because of my name, I am accustomed to look at the brighter side. I think whatever little changes are taking place are all for the good. We have reached such a rock bottom in our mentality, especially male mentality, that we have no other way to go but up from here. I am sure your writings and those of like minded people would help.

    Please remember that Jodie Foster's 'The Accused' about rape in the US was as late as in 1989. It was based on real life incident and the prosecution there too followed Mamta Sharma's contorted reasoning about women asking for it by dressing "provocatively".

    I was so amused by Mamta Sharma's that being called 'sexy' should be taken as a compliment by women that I did a post on that too.

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    1. Hey! my name means the cool easterlies.

      I must have watched Jodie Foster's "The Accused" over two decades back. But the movie haunts me even today. The accused, the spectators who egged the assault were all sent behind bars. A strong message for those who think, if a woman is drunk and flirts is easy game!

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  39. A strong woman is the foundation of strong values in a society...... very true.

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  40. Mothers will be mothers. All the best to your dotty, may she face life, brave :)

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    1. Yes, I would want her to take life head on! Only if wishes were horses :-)

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  41. So you speak up, and then ten men descend upon your for doing so. That's on the street. You reject advances of your boss, that's your promotion gone. You report him, and you're the female employee people want to steer clear from because clearly she's out to file law suits all the time.

    It's annoying. It's frustrating. It's disgusting.

    You're right, we should speak up. And hope the cost isn't as bad.

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    1. I can imagine. But punishing a woman for speaking up is just another means to subjugate her. Sadly when she speaks up, she's mostly on her own. I wish women could be more vocal in showing their support!

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  42. If the logic which says that 'scantily clad women cause men to rape' is true then robbing of banks should be blamed on their richness, death in accidents should be blamed on the lack of strength in car, murder should be blamed for carelessness, obesity should blamed on sumptuousness of the food and poaching should be blamed on threat of extinction to animals.
    It's all stupid and the people who (are supposed) to maintain law and order are saying it.

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    1. Nope, it's just trying absolve yourself of responsibility. Responsibility of behaving like a civilized human being.

      Delete
  43. There is not substitute to precaution, it is not that accidents happen to us everyday, but we still wear helmets, don't we?
    Provocation needs slightest reason and invitation and we cannot help what goes through the minds of anyone.
    If love and tender care fails to nourish virtues like respecting others liberty, the second option is to use the rule of the stick. But the law makers seem to be too hesitant in doing that. Sadly, that is how our culture has come to evolve.
    We cannot change the minds of the adults of today, but I think it is up to today's mothers and daughters, and their better-halves and husbands to be, to inculcate such values in their breeding. Or else, darkness is looming by and large, and 2012 is just the beginning of a long era of turmoil.

    Regards,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    1. The moral fibre of our society is disintegrating. We need to take such incidents as a wake up call. Or else we should brace ourselves for worse.

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  44. It is sad that women are unwittingly made custodians of Indian culture while their male counterparts strut around behaving like uncultured brutes!
    This is THE supreme truth today.

    It seems nothing has changed in DTU buses since i was in DU--Aruna Broota was my senior.Women have changed enormously,but social change is lagging behind.It is indeed difficult for girls to dress as they would like to;& be safe at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If he's uncouth, loud, brash - his behaviour will be attributed to masculinity.

      But if a woman behaves like this - she has problems.

      Delete
  45. We women in India have all experienced the double standard followed by our society. Change is not easy though. We talk about the pepper cans, martial arts etc. but what guarantee do we have that the opposite party will not make use of it. What if the attacker himself starts carrying a pepper can and spraying the victim before attack, or being an expert in Judo? It is a fact that men are physically stronger than women. It is only through good upbringing of children, especially the male child, can there be positive change in our society. Being a mom of a beautiful teen special needs child, makes me worry about her safety in our society all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can just pray that our girls are brave enough to take life by it's horns.

      Delete
  46. Well written. For some time I had also been debating on this in my mind - on one hand, we talk about freedom of woman and on the other hand should we really recommend wearing what they want in all the places? You have hit the point exactly - till we have an equal and fair society, our women have to exercise caution. A sad truth, which has a degree of hypocrisy interwoven into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you move around in a sedan with a bodyguard in tow - it's easier to do what you please.

      Delete
  47. I can completely relate to your post Purba.When my daughter dresses up to go clubbing with her friends,a part of me is worrying sick.I am up reading a book and sending bbms -reached?..all well?..who's dropping you?..left?..kahan pahunche?..I sleep only after she is back home ,tucked in bed.Training in self defence,never leaving your drink unattended,moving within a group of old trusted friends,making sure they are picked up and dropped by trusted friends ,are but a few things you can ensure.
    Little lessons to my boy have started already and he rolls his eyes and throws up his hands in despair but I know, drop by drop,it will seep in ..As you rightly said,parents are responsible more than friends and society in framing the mindset of a boy when it comes to responsible behaviour.
    ps-Will I ever learn to copy-save my comment before I hit 'publish'and the connection goes off at THAT moment?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's every mother's story! I get restless till she calls me to say she has reached safely. But I can't remember my Mom behaving like this.

      Pity that it's getting progressively worse for us.

      Delete
  48. What a wonderful post! And anyone who saw me reading this post would have thought I am going bonkers - couldn't help nodding vigorously and a few "absoloooootely"s that escaped me while doing so. But the truth is that WE created these monsters that roam the streets - we begin with the first time we display ant bias. Been writing on the same lines here : http://lafemmenirvana.blogspot.in/2012/07/why-this-guwahati-di.html

    I completely am terrified of when my daughter will be old enough to be out in the world on her own!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will definitely be looking at your link. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
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  51. Loved the article.
    Can I publish it in my blog with a very special and specific mention to you.
    I've always been wanting to write something like this.
    I guess i'l put my ideas and then in the same article put this also?

    It reflected the degrading Indian culture really powerfully.

    P.s. Do check out my thoughts @ www.lifethearsway.blogspot.in

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