Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Sin of Having Breasts

So, while my readers are wondering where I have been for the last few months, well, I was reeling over the present state of ourselves. Of how we have started regressing instead of progressing? Where we went wrong and such.

We often blame the men for where we are and what we have become. But are they really to be blamed? Can we, the women, take the holy water in our hands and swear to have done everything possible to accept fellow women as they are?

Picture this… A woman co-worker walks into work wearing a V-neck t-shirt. She’s wearing clean clothes, conforming to the official dress code. Her mistake? Well, she has breasts. The next thing we know, fellow “well meaning” women gesture her to pull up her top.

Another scenario, another woman. She is wearing a salwar-kameez, absolutely sanskari you would say. Her mistake? Well, she has breasts and unfortunately, she also wears a bra. Oh gosh! How could she wear that stigma of womanhood and afford to let the strap show by accident? Another set of well-meaning colleagues/friends gesture towards her to get rid of the evidence with immediate effect.

We’re aren’t unaware of or unknown to our well-meaning mothers, sisters, neighbourhood aunties and such, who on more than one occasion have reminded us to “cover-up,” “wear a jacket,” “wear a chemise” to hide the fact that there is a woman walking out there.

Oh! And then come girlfriends and wives into the picture. How quickly we dismiss the women around us by calling them too slutty to be chosen as life partners. Because, a life partner worthy “material” doesn’t walk around showing too much skin or speaking her mind, or doing both now, does she?

Have we ever seen a father tell his son to shave off his stubble to hide the fact that he is man? Have we ever seen men gesturing towards fellow male colleagues to pull up their pants as their underwear elastic bearing the brand name shows over the waist of their trousers? Did we ever see a man whispering into another man’s ears that he needs to go to the toilet, like it was against the ten commandments? I’m sure, none of us have seen any of that.


The list is long, and frustration pent up for decades… and the deeper I dig, the more I find women guilty of acting against women. Why do we have to snigger with perverted men when a joke is made about what a woman is wearing? Why don’t we just tell them to mind their own freaking business and let the other person be? Why do we have to impose a certain image of sanskari women on other women? Most of all, why do we even try to manipulate men in our life by slut-shaming other women? Are we so out of logical arguments? Or have we regressed so far that we’d exceed any length to achieve what we want, without giving a thought to how our actions are affecting those people?

1 comment:

Anuradha Sinha said...

It isn't a women-vs-women thing. It's internalised misogyny. This has been strengthened over generations of conforming to patriarchy. Men and women are equally conditioned to believe in the "rules" of womenhood as dictated by patriarchy. The internalised misogyny is too deep. Because we don't think. It is an extremely wrong presumption that women are not mysoginystic. Many of us are. And this won't go by fighting against them. This will go only if we enable fellow women to think. The battle is not against men, it is not against women. This is a battle between equality and patriarchy. This will be a long drawn battle that will be fought over the next few generations. Let's begin it. And it can't be won with weapons but only with a thinking attack. We have got to make everyone think. And this isn't going to happen overnight.

And such difficult battles can be won. Only a few decades ago, a handful of women won voting rights for women. Only a few decades ago, educating women was taboo. Things have changed. They will in future too. Only a handful initiate it. You are one of those handful. Don't lose hope, don't lose your cool, educate and make thinking viral. All the best to you and your ilk!

Behind the veil of tradition

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