Sunday, March 11, 2012

The coding of dress

Another women’s day has passed and I wonder how many women around the world has yet again been asked to adhere to codes.

The other day had the opportunity to watch a bit of an open air debate hosted by a Malayalam TV channel. Since the channel was switched on, only towards the end of the discourse, I am not sure of either the subject of the debate or the identity of the main speakers (all females). I started watching when this middle aged woman from amongst the audience (there were only a few females) said something like this. “If this female was the centre of attraction because of her dress, then there needs to be a dress code to avoid harassment, rape etc.” and there was loud clapping from those gathered around. There was only this young man to shout back thus: “We have rape cases from a 3 month old to 70 year old woman and is it because of the lack of a dress code?” Obviously the lady had no proper reply to this valid question.

This was yet another instance where I couldn’t help telling hubby that it is the woman who is the greatest enemy of woman. I maybe wrong since in this case there was no proper representation of women amongst the audience. Hubby was only telling the truth when he said that a dress has nothing to do with losing control; those who lose control want no reason to do so. And today’s news points out that rape conviction are falling down. If rape continues, it is only because there is no proper punishment given to rapists and not because women are not covering up.

Shameful figures

In 1973, when the National Crime Records Bureau first published nationwide statistics on rape, 44.28% of perpetrators — almost half — were being convicted by trial courts. In spite of years of hard-fought struggles by women's rights groups, and landmark Supreme Court judgments, the conviction rate has fallen to 26.5% — just about a quarter. The decade-on-decade conviction rate has been in free fall: to 36.83% in 1983, 30.30% in 1993 and 26.12% in 2003.

Then there are some who evoke religion and says that the religious text tells that women ought to be dressed modestly so that men are not tempted to sin. How weak it sounds! If men are such weaklings then is it not better for them to banish every woman from their world and live in a world without them? And why does the onus of protecting such weaklings rest with the so called weak woman? How can the men depend on a weakling like a woman to save them from sinning! The strength of man!

It was only recently in Kerala that a lady standing in queue at the beverages outlet was manhandled. She it seems was forced by her alcoholic husband to do so. But the outraged morality of a few got out of hand and this poor lady along with her husband was beaten. There was none amongst them to protect this woman’s modesty. As for those who were buying the elixir, I am sure most of them are wasting their hard earned money while the families back home keep praying that the nightmare will stop one day. They have no qualms in driving their children and wife to desperation but their depraved sense of morality rises up when they see a woman standing in queue. Should women start drinking along with their men folks to get them thinking in the right path?

Anyway, let me wind up this rambling on Women by wishing the very best to Madhurani Tewatia, the wife of IPS officer Narendra Kumar who was killed by the mining mafia. I hope this nation stands by her in her fight.

“I will ensure it reaches a conclusive end,” Tewatia, a 2008-batch IAS officer, said.


  1. superr!!! post

    You notice something odd? women give birth to men, they look after their counterparts and still get to hear the same rubbish humiliating words from them.

    Dont expect morality from Animals, they aint educated or think like human beings. If a 3 months old is subjected to rape, then it is only because we are worse than animals.

    The more they get educated, the more are they getting worse. I am hopeful that there would evolve a civilization that will treat humans equal independent of gender.

    1. Thank you Abhi! Missed you on my blog.

      Was much disappointed when I heard this lady say so. Guess it would take a longer time for women to get out of this mentality. There is no used blaming only men. You who grew up outside Kerala can see the place in a better light. Hope things shall improve and the same rests with the younger generation.. but those in the audience were from that generation!

  2. Precisely the reason for the audacity to molest and violate woman is borne out of the lackadaisical and weak law and pliable law enforcement agencies. This together with the fraternity of lawyers who have no qualms or ethics in branding a rape victim as of loose morals has been the only reasons for the increase in outrages.

    Well if dress and clothes are the reason, then let all women in India wear the full length burkha and go back to the ages of the Arabian and Islamic culture.

    On the contrary I would suggest that men wear blinkers so that the weak minded ones may not see a woman who may provoke him.

    1. If burkha was the answer then there would be no rape or assault against women in these countries. .but statistics proves wrong.

      Your suggestion for men to wear blinkers can be tested but instead let these weaklings get themselves treated for their weakness or locked up if they are not treatable.

  3. nice post
    woemen is the enemy of women.
    agree with you and no female is responsible for the rape even if she walk in any tpye of short or see through dress.
    society and laws are responsible for the rape.
    as well as dirty mind of males.

    1. Thank you SM..

      This is what most men admits; the way of dressing of a women has nothing to do with rape.

      Society and laws are responsible for rape..

  4. If rape continues, it is only because there is no proper punishment given to rapists and not because women are not covering up.

    This is so very true. Swift and severe punishment for rapists is necessary.

    Also society needs to change its mindset. The rapists should be ostracised by society, not the victim, as frequently happens.

    1. Manju: Yes society needs to change it's mindset.. while the rapists go scot free, the victim is shunned by society for no fault of hers.. and if she seeks justice, judiciary is seldom kind to her as Anil mentioned.

  5. Good one...

    Well, we all know that dress has nothing to do with harassment or rape. Molestations don't happen because the woman has dressed in a particular manner. That will be too simplistic a reasoning.

    Such aberrations in behavior happen because of the man's psyche which is perverted. That happens probably because of the way he has been brought up, or because of the circumstances in which he has been brought up, or he is living. That's no excuse for the deed, but a reason, so that such horrendous atrocities can be avoided.

    Coming to dress code.... I think we all should dress to the occasion. Women don't need a dress code, because they always dress appropriately and to the occasion. It's often the men who have no sense of dress. Often, many occasion warrant a dress code. There's no harm in that. A little bit of discipline is okay for harmony. I don't think any of us have any objection to that.

  6. Thank you Pradeep..

    There is nothing wrong in dressing to the occasion.. but discipline seems to go only in certain directions and that is when behavior also moves in the same way.

    There is no scope for change!

  7. Happy Kitten, you have brought up something valid. many women talk without much thought about other women and are happy to judge. Its only when we are forced to walk that particular path, our eyes are opened.

  8. Kallu: Yes... we judge without knowing the facts... If a woman cannot empathise with another then why blame the men?


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