Why a woman is either a mother or a whore in India…

Just read that St Xaviers College – so far considered the bastion of bindaas in Mumbai – has turned into the Mecca of masculine myopia. A college every kid in the country aspired to get into for many reasons, has now banned its female students from coming to college in shorts. Only during the Malhar festival apparently – for security reasons of course. Girls in short attire apparently cause crime. This crime, namely “eve teasing”, rape and assault has nothing to do with the boys who perpetrate this crime. The boys who come in shorts themselves, leer, scratch their private parts and pass comments with no worry of punishment. The onus of purity is on the girl child you see.

And now that it’s a rule, not just in khap panchayats in rural India, but premier educational institutions in urban India too, the boys can go one step further and punish the girl/girls who disobey the no-shorts rule. The “your flesh is my weakness, so cover it up or be consumed” rule. There is no rule that tells the boys that if you misbehave you will be punished, banished or thrashed. No rule that teaches the boys that a girl’s body is her body and what she does with it is her choice.

For those who argue that this is a result of the religious fundamentalism of the new BJP regime, or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – whose chief continues to roam around in shorts while imposing all sorts of bans on women’s clothing and conduct – I disagree. While bans are as synonymous to the BJP as marijuana to Woodstock, this is a problem much much deeper. Its roots are primordial, historical and cultural. Something so ingrained in the psyche of the Indian male that he does not question his non-questioning of it. A thought process that makes him believe he is the entitled one. That a woman who does not grant him that lopsided privilege of superiority or conform to his notion of a woman being his inferior (and this is largely perpetrated by our history of invasion, our religious mythology and our antiquated laws) is entitled to punishment. Rape, acid attack, physical abuse and randi misogyny.

Remember the rapist in the Nirbhaya case saying had she not struggled or fought back they may not have felt the need to punish her to death? She could have saved her life if she had complied to feed the monsters and demons, rather than protest?

Remember Asinine Bapu insisting that had Nirbhaya cried out to the rapists as “bhaiya” and asked for protection from them as brothers, they would have not been provoked to this degree? Yes the same self-titled asinine, fake godman Asaram Bapu – now embroiled in a rape and land scam himself with witnesses dropping dead left right and centre – had blamed Nirbhaya for her own rape. These are the people who dominate our headlines and influence thought.

Most questioned why a woman was out so late, that too in the company of a male friend.

Not just godmen, even ministers and lawmakers – even so called champions of female rights, like women’s commission leaders like Asha Mirje have issued statements like a woman’s dress invites rape, and a minister calling rape a mistake and pleading for the rapist boys to be forgiven! And the icing on the cake was Abu Azmi who said women who are raped should be hanged for inviting rape! Why are these people not behind bars for their inflammatory and flagrant outbursts?

Rape is at least recognised as a punishable offence. The law remains largely silent on acid throwers and their likes. Who gets away with maiming and punishing women fatally for their own sense of vindication? The Bollywood culture of “tere husn pe itna kya guroor” is a whole sub genre in itself. It is as misinterpreted and convoluted as Islam has been by the ISIS terrorist group.

Somehow every crime in India is attributable to women. It is the “mere paas maa hai” syndrome. If that seems like a strange analogy, let me explain. We are a culture that sees a woman as either a mother or a whore. Not a person. Not an individual, but a cog in the wheel of the lives of men. The morality keeper or the lust satisfier. A facilitator in the larger world of men who dare not have needs and desires of her own.

After all, we are a nation that turned a foreign porn star into one of India’s highest paid actresses and fell apart when spiritual star Radhe Maa wore a dress. We got our freedom from the British by a naked torsoed man in a loin cloth who admitted in his own memoirs to sleeping naked with his nieces to conquer his battle over the sexual urge. He became Mahatma – those faceless women were never asked what they felt or thought about it. No one even remembers their name. Compliance you see… that is the only Indian feminine virtue than Indian women have been allowed to celebrate. But not any more…

Because the Indian women is now refusing to accept the role of being the gatekeeper of men’s morality. The catcher of his fall, the restraint behind his rashness. It’s high time the Indian male took responsibility for his own actions without blaming the woman for it – her dress, her conduct her body her mind.

I cannot wait for the day when the most celebrated dialogue in Indian cinema will no longer be “mere paas maa hai”. It will instead be “mera baap MCP nahin hai”. Yes, this is a revolution that needs the compliance of men. Good men. A few good men is all we need. Who will free us from the shame of our own cultural misogyny?

So dear newly -appointed principal of St Xavier’s College – why ban girls from wearing shorts in your college?

How about making hard-ons illegal instead.

We do have a female human resources development minister you know, or haven’t you noticed the tokenism?

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/st-xaviers-college-rape-sexual-harassment-nirbhaya-case-eve-teasing-asaram-bapu-radhe-maa/story/1/5705.html

One thought on “Why a woman is either a mother or a whore in India…”

  1. “ashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – whose chief continues to roam around in shorts “… classic 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *