Gone are the days when women accepted rules that were patriarchal in nature owing to the mythical belief that those rules were intended to protect the dignity of women. Women today are stronger and full of self respect. We understand our good and bad and do not want to be dictated about how we should lead our lives. Talk of these things and the society starts accusing you of being extremely feminist. And it is the same society we grew up in which leaves us with two options - bow down to the rules and be accepted or take a stand for yourself and for womanhood at large. We talk of women empowerment but blame a girl for wearing provocative clothes that excited the sick-headed rapists. Some are of the view that it is vague and hypothetical to say that women can dress anyway they want. Are rules really needed to restrict what women should wear and what not?
1. A rich businessman wearing gold rings and bracelet gets robbed of his jewels and money by a bunch of robbers. Do we blame him for provoking the poor robbers, showing off something they wanted but could not have? We don''t. We don''t blame the victims of murder, robbery and other crimes. If a rich man can by all means flaunt his assets because they are his to do with as he pleases, why is a beautiful woman blamed of flaunting her body with dresses of her choice?
2. India is no more in the stone age and people have to stop being hypocrites if they realize that gender equality is necessary in a nation with growth motto. These people who stop women at their homes, or their community or society from wearing western clothes are the same people who heartily accept models and actresses wearing them. If modesty for a woman is about covering herself from the eyes of men, is it not modest of a man to lower his glances instead of peering at women and making them feel uncomfortable?
3. At times when women are rising above the zone to which they were confined, there is no reason why a woman should be judged by her clothes. Norms and rules that categorize women should be done away with. A working woman is still expected to look all traditional once she steps into the confines of her home. The double standard in our society is utterly dictatorial to women and has been subjecting her to prove her dignity right from her appearance to her dresses and expressions.
4. The confidence with which a woman sets her foot into the corporate world is half shattered when judgemental heads of the society raises questions on her dresses and deliberately makes her realize the westernization stigma attached to it. For all they know, the woman could be someone struggling to make her identity in a world full of male chauvinists. She could be the sole bread earner of the family. She could be a troubled mother fighting to provide a better future for her children. Surpassing all these attributes, what society sees is the way she is dressing, allegedly to lure men. We surely wouldn''t want this kind of a society where our daughters would grow up, not do we want our sons to be a part of this kind of low thinking. This has to stop once and for all.
5. Traditions of most Indian families cite that a girl who is about to meet her prospective in laws and husband should be dressed in ethnic clothes to make them like her and select her. Is she worth liking only in ethnic clothes and not in her regular casual clothes which she wears more often and would continue wearing them in future? Woman must put their foot down on this one too. Like her the way she is originally rather than expecting her to be a mannequin who would put on anything and everything that pleases you.
6. If she dresses up too moderately, she is regarded as someone who has no sense of dressing at all and should hence be subjected to rejections. If she dresses a bit too bold, she is someone who is solely responsible for generating evil thoughts and ideas in men. It is an unsaid rule that women have the responsibility of curbing the sexual desires of men who could go wanton and she would be blamed for it anyways.
7. It is still thought that women dress either to lure male attention or to make other women envious. Her sexuality and rights to look good for her own sake is regarded a vague concept. You look good and you feel confident and good about yourself only applies to men if our almost-patriarchal-yet-fighting-for-women rights society is to be believed.
1. Restricting women from wearing some types of dresses is not always about freedom of dressing or objectifying her. Women these days are truly allowed to dress the way they want. Society could do the talking for all they want. It doesn''t stop her from wearing what she wants. But this has its consequences. In a country where most men are obsessed with sex and have it in their gene to objectify women, pass lewd comments at her, and think of all sorts of ways to humiliate her, it naturally comes down to women to protect her dignity from these animals. Freedom here could have a price to pay.
2. In countries where wearing bold clothes is common, men are eventually used to seeing women in them. The same cannot be said about our country. We have long had the veil system where women were required to keep their faces covered, forget about sleeveless or short dresses. Men here are naturally more obsessed with sex and do not understand that dignity lies in the eyes of the beholder. Tourists in India have been known to undergo a lot of mental and sexual harassment merely from the eyes of men.
3. It is utter nonsense to say that a woman was raped just because she was wearing provocative clothes. It is the rapist who should be blamed and punished and not the woman who should be tormented to prove that she was modest. However, we cannot forget that it is not just one or a hundred of these kind of men on loose. The entire race of them is out there free to do what they want. They are untamed animals. When there are untamed lethal animals on lose, the safety of women becomes her own responsibility.
4. Both men and women are confined by laws regarding their dresses. Men are also not absolutely free to wear what they want. Can men go to offices in causal shorts? No. Can women go to offices in short skirts? Yes. Look at the differences between men and women sections in departmental stores. Women have a larger and more enhanced sections always, hence more options and choices.
5. There are some places in US where roaming about topless at beaches is absolutely fine. Can the same be said about all the beaches in US? No. Women are not allowed to sunbath sans bikini everywhere even in the same country where at some places it is allowed. It all comes down to following the laws of the place where you are at the moment.
6. When one is showing off, it is definitely her choice. Not restricting her or stopping her for we have the much hailed freedom. However, when you show off way too much than common at a place, you do get uninvited attentions. You cannot expect them to not look at what you are showing off. Psychologically, it all depends upon the mentality of people in that region. Go to remote villages of Rajasthan and people will stare and drool at you even when you are wearing simple top and denims.
It is justified to say that women should have freedom to wear whatever she wants to wear, given that she adheres to the rules of the locality and the dress codes in formal settings. Both men and women are bound by laws but objectifying women in regards to what she wears is absurd. Our society would never get over this issue unless and until it is addressed. If society thinks that rapes happen because of the way women dress, these men should be blindfolded whenever they set foot out of their houses.