criticalvoices

On issues that matter …

Jeans and the politics of women’s suppression August 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Srirekha @ 12:20 am
Tags: ,

Why demonize the Taliban for their inhuman suppression of women in Afghanistan when we have variations of the same tribe in our own country?

Alright, I won’t generalize, but there are enough men in India who like to remind women of their secondary status in what predominantly is still a patriarchal society.

Yesterday, Jharkhand Mukti Sangh – decidedly a motley band of regressive men – issued this ridiculous dictat that girls who wear jeans or forget to wear their dupattas would face acid attacks in Ranchi, Bihar.

While I am tempted to issue a counter warning that all men in Ranchi who are caught wearing pants instead of dhoties would face a similar fate, I am plain irritated that men can actually get away with making such anti-women or rather anti-social proclamations in this day and age.

This could just be a rag tag bunch of fringe elements out for their 15 minutes of fame, but I find it appalling that such mindsets not only exist but seem to be proliferating.

For organizations such as the JMS, preserving the cultural sanctity of Indian society, which in some weird way seems to lie in women’s choice of clothing, is hardly the motivation for asserting themselves. Rather, it is a warped attempt at establishing political clout by wielding power over soft targets.

 I hate to refer to women as soft targets in post-liberalized independent India of 2012. But then they are the least assertive of their rights in a country full of special interest groups. A majority of them are still “not allowed” to decide on their education, whom to marry, whether or not they should work. So big deal, if men, as society’s primary stake holders, decide what kind of clothes women should wear. So long as women “allow” men to dictate their lives, it’s easy for men to… well, just be men.

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