#SexismMustStop – Sorry, We Are Not Your Watermelons!

watermelon?
Image used for representation only

 

We are supposedly living in an modern Era where technology has given us cutting edge benefits and access to the best knowledge and information is a click away, yet,there still exists a set of people, who believe they can get away with anything, when it comes to targeting women…

Recent shocking reports of an Assistant Professor Jouhar Munavvir employed at a Kerala college, termed the muslim students’ dressing style as ‘un-Islamic’. The teacher, while addressing a gathering of Muslim families, had said that girls were not wearing their hijab properly and were deliberately exposing their chest , just like ‘slices of watermelons on display.

Students took out massive protest marches, holding slices of watermelon, against these sexist remarks and the social media timelines are crawling with comments on this incident.

Why are women being judged on their clothing and do men like this, have any right to pass sexist comments and get away scot free ? We decided to speak to leading authors and students alike to get a sense of what their reactions are to these unfortunate incidents:

Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral, Popular Author says, “ I believe a woman should wear whatever she desire to wear. It’s none of anyone’s business to tell her what to wear, be it a professor or anybody.

There’s nobody telling a man to wear Dhoti-Kurta or not to wander around in Western garments, so why do men, need to comment on women and their clothing. I think in situations like these women should not give any importance to all this, as its pointless.

When women are judged on the basis of clothing, I think it is a form of policing! It’s like  saying, that this is their limit and to confirm to their idea of what a good woman is ?.

As long as the woman is comfortable in whatever she is wears, she is not answerable to anyone, unless she has to follow a corporate dress code or college uniform.

When men walk out in vests and shorts women, don’t see them with lust. I believe clothing is not responsible for eve-teasing and rapes as, when a 20-year girl is raped, another 90-year woman is also raped somewhere.

 

An incident like this happens out of intent and opportunity, so one shouldn’t blame clothes. Also, if college authories issue a memo, or something stating that such behaviour will not be tolerated on our campuses, then I think, things will automatically fall into place.

Even in countries like Saudi Arabia, which are Muslim countries, wearing the Hijab is no longer mandatory, then why are we in India, still debating clothes,” she adds.

Vinita-DeshmukhVinita Deshmukh, Journalist, Author and RTI Activist says,” I am glad that the students in Kerala are protesting in a unique way. We are living in the 21st Century and I believe its time we shed all inhibitions and laws, which are absolutely archaic and the young generation now should be allowed to define their norms.

Even the students protest should go viral on social media to have an effect. And I think they should not just protest for a day, and they should go to the higher authorities of the State, and ask for some ordinance to to stop such nuisances and sexist comments.

There should be some penalty to make people like this realise, because going to a police station will yield nothing. 

“I think that the school or college management and HRD Ministry and the State Educational Authorities should come out with a solution, so that such professors don’t dare to comment like this again.

Cases of rapes and sexual harassment are usually attributed to a girls dress code. They talk as though a women wearing a saree, will never be raped!

This is just in the mind and most men have a discriminatory attitude towards women, because these men are very emotionally insecure and have an inferiority complex, when they see brave women and that doesn’t mean only the urban girls but also the rural areas where women are courageous.

Now, in all respects, our women are equal to men be it in the work place, or home, so talking about women clothing is just an excuse and I am not generalizing all men.

Also, I think that the parents should teach their son’s the right values from their cradle days, and teach them the need to respect women,” Deshmukh adds.

“I think women are answerable to just their parents, about their clothing. If their parents are okay with their style of clothing, I think they should not bother about anyone.

Samira Dutt, A student says, “I am also a student and I know how hard it is to stay away from home, managing everything, be it food or convenience and above all facing these sexist remarks from educated people is awful.

I have been eve-teased on the road, even when we had a traditional day at college and I wore a decent Kurti” says, Samira.

Vaibhav Patel, Student says, “Being a man, I have lately realized that women should fight for equality as they are far above us. Also, when men like this pass sexist remarks, it’s a shame for all the men.

I go out in tees and boxers often, but I have never seen strange looks from women, but when we go for parties and my female friends wear a dress or shorts, men stare at them weirdly and that is really shameful.

Asking women to change her clothing and allowing men to stare is quite pointless!

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#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.

Riya Kalwani

Riya Kalwani

Poetess, Dreamer, Free soul and a writer who is living to write her story in a better way. Dogs and cheese makes me happy.
Riya Kalwani

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