Everybody in India believes they know exactly how an Indian woman should dress (and eat, walk, drink, talk, laugh, work etc). Even random strangers. Some sing songs, some throw acid, some defend criminals, some impose dress codes…
Controlling a woman’s choices is, in fact, romanticised in Indian movies.
What do you think made this guy think he could walk up to a stranger and tell her how she should dress?
How would you have reacted, if you were in her place?
Just wanted to share something an experience with you, since this one experience is part of a greater cause which both of you and I believe in, and its deeply troubled me.
This morning, I got into the metro to go to college. this train was just about to leave as I entered the station, so I ran and quickly got into the general compartment. It was really crowded, so I figured walking till ladies’ didn’t make sense. I stood there, read a book, listened to music on my phone, sorted out my hair. The usual.
As I left the train, this man came upto me. he seemed to be in his mid twenties, educated, English speaking, wearing a shirt, trousers, belt and tie. He said, if you don’t mind, can I tell you something? I said, sure. He said, “You’re a very beautiful girl, but don’t wear such clothes, everyone in the train was staring at you.”
For one, I was shocked out of my wits. I looked down to see what I was wearing, which was tights, chappals, and a SLIGHTLY low necked tee shirt. I said, who are you to tell me that? And he walked off.
Walking to college, i realized that I get stared at no matter what I’m wearing. but today, because some random men could see beyond my collar bone, one of them thought its his moral right to control my thoughts, and instruct me about decent clothing.
I’m still in shock. for one, I never thought an educated man would do this. also, I can’t believe how he or anyone else on the street can have the guts to tell me what I should do with MY body. Just because he’s a man, he knows better? Just because he’s a man, he has a right over every woman’s body, regardless of whether or not he knows her?
Also, I wish I could have told him, that my clothes aren’t the real problem. Mindsets of men like him are. while a man can dress exactly how he likes, I have to worry over what is accepted as decent, or non-rapable, as one of my friends jokingly call it..
I’m hoping you can put my experience on your blog (its also okay if you can’t, I just had to share it with you anyway!) I want to know if more people have had experiences like this. I also want to know how to handle such a situation, when you want to punch someone in face.
Hope all is well at your end.