I recently saw a post in which a lady figure was wearing different clothes- some deep necked, some really short, some very tight, one in a bikini, and one naked. And in the end, a very important line was written, “Rape is never the victim’s fault”. It is so true. No matter what a woman is wearing, whether it is the most provocative dress in the world, it is always the rapist’s fault, and nothing justifies the act.
When somebody justifies a gory act like rape, they state that she was asking for it because she was dressed a certain way. But it is just a justification and it is unforgivable. But whenever something like that happens, a question pops up in my mind- “Isn’t that what we are taught? Aren’t we told to take care of what we wear on streets because there are too many people leering at you even when you have covered yourself up?” Well, that is the case in India. We are told to cover ourselves up, from head to toe, women covering their faces with scarves, wearing long sleeved tops and loose jeans in summers on streets. Ask any commoner who travels via state buses. “I cannot afford wearing a sleeveless blouse when I travel in buses. It is bad as it is even when I cover myself up” said a woman when I talked to her about it.
There is always a feeling of guilt when a woman wears hot pants, or a tube top because of the way she has been brought up. It has been conditioned into her mind to think of her and other women through the masochist point of view. She has been taught to look at herself as an object, ready to be at their disposal. So when she wears something other than a saree, or salwar kameez, or half sleeved or long sleeved tops and a loose pair of jeans, she feels it is inappropriate and provocative.
The others, who have not been conditioned that way, prefer covering themselves up at least in the streets because they realize their state of insecurity and vulnerability. They realize that although covering them up will not prevent a rape, which is only because of some perverse mentality, but it will make her roaming around easy and fewer leers would be directed towards her.
It is the social bonds that a woman tries to break herself from, and this patriarch, chauvinist, masochist society breaks them down. Every child, be it a boy or a girl is conditioned to view women as inferiors, objects, okay to be grabbed at, fondled with. It is dirty and depressing. But it is the ugly truth. Once we start clearing out crap like that, teaching our children to respect women, see them as equals, perhaps we might as well have a chance to wear what we want to and roam around as freely and fearlessly as people in other countries do.