Thursday, February 5, 2009

Long live noodle straps and tight jeans!

Ok, What's with the all the recent interest in what Indian women wear? Suddenly, everyone in India seems to have a say in what a 'decent' woman should wear. And they seem to be enforcing their views with despicable acts of violence.

First, there was the incident at a Mangalore pub where members of Ram Sena, a Hindu right-wing organization, assaulted women for dressing inappropriately. Then we heard about threats issued to women wearing noodle straps and tight jeans. And just today, I read about a man in Haryana who beat up his wife in public,undeterred by police, simply because she wore jeans to the market.

Reports of these incidents always seem to be accompanied by dozens of reader comments, several of them from men, also giving their two cents worth about what a woman should wear - Comments like 'good women should not wear jeans' and classics like 'Any girl who wears jeans is not decent because her mind is always on how to get the boys to look at her'! Sigh!

Its all pretty disturbing, but what struck me most about all this is how so many people seem to think that they get to decide what a woman wears. Shouldn't that be the woman's decision??? As a strong believer in a woman's right to choice, it always tics me off when people sit around and debate about what a woman should and shouldn't do, when really it isn't their call at all. Like whether women should work or stay at home, whether women should have abortions, at what age a girl should be 'married off'- women have always had men wanting to make their decisions for them. And now they want to decide whether she wears tight or loose pants! Come on! At least let that be her choice- not something dictated by a bunch of testosterone-crazed, saffron wearing MEN!

But, if this argument doesn't cut it and people still want to make rules about what is 'culturally permissible' to wear, well, then I have a few suggestions... for the sake of preserving our precious Indian culture, of course.

Rule No 1. Men with waists greater than 40 inches in width will not be permitted into water parks if wearing any of the following:
i. Tiny biker shorts
ii. Nothing but a towel
iii. And God forbid... speedos.

Rule No 2. Men with a excessive amounts of chest and/or back hair must refrain from ever taking their shirts off in public.

Rule No 3. (and this for our beloved South Indian makkal) Lungis are prohibited, at all times- No exceptions!


aham...Brahm...asmi...!!! said...

Yeah...i know...!
Ram Sena - hahaha...what would Lord Ram say to them - "wtf...guys...??! Are we not Men enough to nurture our 'culture' through things other than noodle straps and jeans..?!...
take a break guys and go fight some terrorists instead of women...!"

nivi said...

:) haha I liked the first two, though I think lungis are ok, as long as they are not pink or fluorescent in color!!

But i hear you. It irritates me when Men say what women have to wear. Makes me want to give them a tight slap. I hate these moral policing that has become rather popular. The govt should come down rather strong on them.

And ban noodle straps? Nobody seemes to complain when Mandhira Bedi was parading them in TV during the world cup!! Ofcourse not, cause that was TRP

passion@itsbEsT said...

ahh finally the feminist side of dhivya comes out...but hey dont attack our beloved towels and lungis!

Compassion Unlimitted said...

When few goons try to understand the culture thru their myopic vision , the result is Mangalore & several Other Mangalore to Follow !
While Our country has been at the receiving end for many centuries,perhaps our Value system has perhaps remained intact ,which is our basic strength

Karthik Ramaswamy said...

I is a gross violation of fundamental rights..the development of a country also depends on the mindset of its people..God knows when India will develop!!

மங்கை said...

ha ha ha...Good One Dhivya...

Add one more dear.. fourth point.

as vivek in one of the film will say.. பப்லிக்ல பிஸ் அடிக்கலாம்... ஆனா கிஸ் அடிக்க கூடாது... let these men realise...this habit has crossed all borders, economic status, educational qualification, etc etc...

(Sorry... I hope u can read tamil?.. Do drop in sometime...)

Dhivya said...

Well, I'm not so sure about lord Ram using those exact words :P but yes, I do agree with u :)

I know- Mandira Bedi was the first one that came to my mind when I read about this too.

Yeah you should be happy that I've written about it here. Cuz now this is one less feminist rant of mine that you'll have to listen to :)

Dhivya said...

Well, while it was just a few goons who actually attacked the women, it was amazing to read all the comments from the public- so many people share similar views about what women should wear- It was shocking and sad!

Yep, people's perceptions really need to change. We have a long way to go!

haha, def agree with u about that suggestion :) Classic Vivek comment!

Sowmya said...

I think I can add a few more:

1)Bellbottoms are not fashionable,people.Not for girls.And definitely not for guys.

2)Combing your hair with a little flourescent dog-brush type thing is NOT COOL. Cease and desist!


scmouli said... angry woman..

well I guess those who wear tight jeans would be less than 5% of the woman population. And who put on noodle straps would be less than 1%

it is a big question why these as#$@*%~ are bothered about them when there are lakhs who cant afford basic clothing and food.

In a democratic land they don't have any more rights than making an opinion. These people are nothing short than terrorists

scmouli said...

The topic of culture in India these days is more of confusion than something what can be concluded on. Men can never command what a woman can wear. But making opinions is kinda fine in the sense culture is evolving here. Salwar Kameez was something foreign in Tamil state 30 years back. Now it has gone official. There is this factor of hip that comes with Jeans and Tshirts which makes the woman inside it, look alien among the big subgroup Indian men are used to. The outsider look is appealing and special. Sometimes provoking as well. Big corporates too outline some dress code. Many of the Tamil mothers still resist teen daughters to put on Jeans. The same disturbing resistance is deep rooted in Indian men's mind as well.

having said...still Men dont have to command Women. Women knows what is a right wear and where.

Dhivya said...

I agree about the dog combs, especially the weird bright pink ones... but hey, there's nothing wrong with a good denim jacket.

Hey nice to see a comment from you. I understand what you are saying- everyone has a right to have their own opinion. But I was just amazed that so many ppl have such ancient opinions still... And this was on online forums and newspapers- so it's gotta be coming from the educated computer savvy class- with all this development and education, some perceptions just dont seem to change. Thats disturbing.

Harish said...

Are yaar. Its plain drama.

Everyone including themselves know that they do it for personal interests and not society's. When was the last time we had a leader in India who REALLY cared about people and virtues?

Let me guess. Oops....seems that ended with Mr. Gandhi. So...all these so-called culture's vultures are nothing but some stupid jobless idiots who have no agenda except to see themselves on front pages and headlines.

Ha! I wish I was Mr. India and I could make these idiots wear pink chaddis and make them roam in public wearing that. :P

Dhivya said...


Yep, certainly a lotta drama, these Ram Sena ppl have caused.

Keep visiting!

CM-Chap said...

Yes, you are right. Even having a debate of what is OK and what is NOT OK is wrong? Its about individuals choice. We as a society have to go a long way in such things.

BTW... lol at ur Rule for South Indian makkal

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Hi,have a post up after long time...please do drop in

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