Monday, 23 June 2014

Clothing couldn't be the culprit, boy! Your thoughts were!


A young girl, wearing jeans and top often faces lewd remarks on the road nowadays. A girl at her home, wearing clothes that make her comfortable, is asked to take a dupatta when guests come. Why? The answer is very simple. The respect and modesty of a woman is lowered if she is not covered from head to toe. 

Apparently. In this present world when we are talking of advancement in all fields, our thoughts still need to change. A country where freedom is granted for so many things, we are still backward when it comes to the freedom of clothing for women. People talk about women empowerment, but do we all actually think the way we speak? Our thoughts are contrary to our actions and belief. We talk about respecting a woman and then make it taboo for her to wear desirable clothes. A woman whose dignity is compromised by molesters is blamed for her “modern revealing clothes”. Now the question arises, how could dressing protect her modesty? If a woman is not dressed properly then how does that permit a man to outrage her modesty? According to sources, in more than 60% cases of harassment, molestation, outraging the modesty of women in India, the women are alleged to have been wearing clothes which provoked men to commit such offences. Recently a 19 year old girl was stabbed by a youth. The people of the locality said, “The girl was the main culprit. She used to wear clothes which provoked the boy to follow her”. The girl protested one day and out of grudge the youth stabbed her with a knife. Here too the girl was blamed because she used to wear western outfits. It is true that wearing the right clothes at the right time is important. But why are western clothes considered to be inappropriate for some? Why do most of the Indians want women to wear Indian clothes? According to a survey on a social media site, 80% of the respondents (including men) considered that clothes don’t really matter when it comes to a woman’s status. The question asked was, “Do you think that a woman’s character can be judged by the kind of clothes she wears?” Majority of the youth respondents said ‘no’. “No, absolutely not. A woman can wear whatever she likes and that does not reflect her character”, said Tatini Das, a class 11 science student. Though there were people who said that clothes cast the very first impression on people but that does not permit anyone to commit any kind of crime against women. “Clothes form our first impression. And first impression is the last impression”, said Amita Tirkey, a school teacher. But when the question was reframed - “Does the attire of a woman earn her respect?” Many disagreed. “Clothes do form our personality, but respect is earned by the appropriate behavior. A woman is respected by her good conduct and therefore her character cannot be judged by her clothes alone”, said Paul Avijit, a former Executive Producer at the Bangla Talkies. The argument at the social media site was a prolonged one. But the response from the youth was positive. Our society will have to agree that women cannot earn respect by clothes alone. A women, inappropriately dressed, can protect her modesty if people around change their perspective. The only solution to this problem in our country is to change people’s thought with the daily changing world. The ultimate development of our country will be achieved if we, the Indians change ourselves. Our women will be given their due respect if we stop snatching away their freedom, even if it translates to the freedom of clothing.

By Jaismita Alexander

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  2. Not only boys but everyone should change their way of thinking....

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