Slut Walk. And how women’s bodies are different, so they need to be covered for their own safety.

“Why is that a man wearing only his ganji and shorts can sit around with the entire family whereas you’ve never seen a woman of the house sitting around in her undergarments. That’s how we function,right?” 

Women of the house did sit around and work wearing nothing on top until as close as 150 years ago. And still do in some parts of the world.

Women redo their saris after long bus journeys, right on the bus stops and nobody cares (and nobody should).  Cleavages, shoulders and bare backs show all over North India, nobody even gives a second glance. In Haryana, women cover their faces, while the torso is exposed, nobody has any problems.

Then how is it that a woman in T shirt and jeans risks being seen as dressed provocatively?

It’s simply a matter of a society getting used to women dressing in certain ways. And that too can, and does change from time to time.

Take a look at these two examples,

1. Women in Kerala 150 years ago.


Some 150 years back the women in Kerala launched a feminist revolt for the right to cover their breast, women in Kerala were not allowed to cover their breast; mostly this rule was applicable to lower caste women, when someone from higher caste would come she should show her breast to cover ones breast was considered a sign of immodesty. Brahmin women can cover their breast while venturing out but at home they had to be topless, Shatriya women cant cover breast infront of Brahmins and lower cast women couldn’t cover breast infront of anyone. The cloth worn on lower part couldn’t be lower than the knee.

I think in most of ancient India women generally were topless, there are some mention about this is Kamasutra. If you think about the climate in India, generally hot and humid most of the time, I would say being topless is the right way.
Coming back to Kerala, what lead to the change in the topless trend was apparently the contact with the Brits. Some people converted to Christianity and as per European standards started wearing upper body garments, the higher caste people beat the shit out of such women, slowly the contact with Britishers and rest of India made topless out of fashion, women started feeling ashamed of being topless, it made them feel inferior.

Coming back to Kerala, what lead to the change in the topless trend was apparently the contact with the Brits.” [Link]

2. Women in Nagaland today.

Mr Balvinder Singh’s experience in Nagaland shows making rules about covering up a woman’s body, is the beginning of objectification of women, to ensure ‘excitement’ does not ‘turn into monotony’.

The men wore only a loincloth and the females wrapped just a shawl below their waists. The women folk of all ages were seen working in the fields, carrying fire wood or hay for the animals, pounding barley, washing clothes at village water points, knitting on hand looms (almost every house had a hand loom where the women would knit shawls etc) or attending to other such daily chores of life, wearing nothing on top.

While a small cleavage visible under the thin dupatta or through the pallu of a woman’s saree is certainly a pleasant sight for any man worth his salt, without harbouring any malafide thoughts in the mind, but there in the villages of Nagaland it was an anti climax to see the dangling pairs of bare boobs, available to look at in abundance in all shapes and sizes. Initially they were a cause of some excitement, which was natural , but gradually the excitement turned into monotony. I was reminded of the words of a famous poet that the ‘beauty that is veiled looks more beautiful’.” [Link]

Did the women in the above examples face more sexual harassment than women today because more of their skin was exposed? They didn’t of course. But why didn’t they?

What do you think, was the society more civilised then or were the men just used to women being dressed that way?

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74 thoughts on “Slut Walk. And how women’s bodies are different, so they need to be covered for their own safety.

  1. Well, it’s simple. They prefer calling ‘provocative clothes’ to those clothes that are more ‘revealing’ or more modern compared to others. A flawed logic. But, they don’t need to stick to logic anyway.

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  2. In Nagaland and Manipur the elderly women still go around wearing nothing but a thin chunni on the top in summers and a shawl in winters. Honestly I have seen no one give a second glance to them. BTW sex is treated as a natural function in those areas. Virginity is not something to be desired. In fact a girl would not be proud of being a virgin or say it out as others may think there is something wrong with her. Promiscuous? Yes of course! But rape or suppression of women is something that is unknown over there. Khasis (tribe of Meghalaya) are a completely matriarchal society – again there is no violence or suppression of women. They rule the family.

    Perhaps we can learn from them

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    • @Ritu,

      Reminds me of a Family Guy episode where Lois Griffin says on live TV, “girls, make yourselves available.”

      At least in the US if you are 21-22, and still a virgin (men and women), then that’s definitely embarassing.

      Of course that has no real effect on rape stats. There is a lot of rape in the States too. And there’s also a lot of rape going on in conservative islamic societies where women wear burkahs. So no, dressing has nothing to do with it.

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  3. You know, there is a point where all of this nonsense about “appropriateness” and “decency” and “provocativeness” in clothing just completely breaks down and starts to sound like something that a bunch of wonky old blokes made up while they were stoned to glory.

    Denims are provocative but not sarees. T-shirts are provocative but not saree blouses. A closed collar with a tie is appropriate business attire, but T-shirt with a round collar is not. It’s okay for women to have long hair at work but not for men. It’s okay for men to wear shorts while jogging but not for women. Why? There’s no logical reason that this should be so.

    The whole clothing schtick is very arbitrary and very nonsensical. I think people should just mind their own business and stop thinking so much about what everyone else is wearing. Seriously

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  4. This is so true. IHM, I remember reading somewhere, about how the sari and blouse in the current style was a gift from the British. Our topless, wanton ways apparently was not compatible to the Victorian British that landed on our shores., So slowly, we adopted their ideas of appropriate clothing, by adapting our dress code and covering up.

    As you say, it is all about what one is used to. The more people see jean clad women, the less outrageous it will feel. Just as bare backs and cleavages are part of life is so many parts of India.

    Countries where women are completely covered up, still have their share of crimes against women – which just goes to show that what a woman wears( or does not) makes no difference. If a person is out to commit a crime, he still will. Which is why Slut walk is so important – to bring the focus on the crime doer, and to stand up for the victims – because no one asks for it.

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  5. Well at least in southern Kerala today, wearing jeans/t-shirt is not considered dressing like a slut. In fact most conservative young women wear salwar/kameez or t-shirt/jeans as it covers most or all of their bodies (except for their faces and lower arms).

    What older people (mostly parents/grand-parents) frown upon is when they wear shorts or skirts that are not full-length. As for saris, I don’t think anyone wears them anymore except for very special occasions like weddings.

    Eventually men (and women) get conditioned to how people dress around them. In Indian cinema, we have the mid-riff based sexuality where an exposed flat belly/navel is supposed to delight the male audience. You will not observe this in any other culture (except in the middle-east where showing hair is considered to be dressing like a slut).

    So perhaps, had Indians continued the old ways where women typically remained topless like men did, then breasts would perhaps not have been a tantalizing part of the female body. I would not use that to judge whether a generation was more civilized than another since it really does not establish anything on those lines.

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  6. It depends a lot on the upbringing… if a guy has been educated to dress decently in front of his family .. the same way a girl is asked to cover up …. we would not see guys with micro mini shorts in public… …. But as long as our society takes pride in telling that their son has never done household chores or entered the kitchen this would not happen….
    Talking about the topless women of the past, I don’t think that they enjoyed it and were not exploited.. they were forced into doing it and those who protested were ill-treated.. Sexual harassment was there then and even now. The ladies who were harassed then, were poor people and knew that if they voiced their opinion, they would only be further harassed or perhaps killed. Further, women were divided into upper class and lower class… There were upper class women who saw their husbands using these low caste ladies for their own pleasure, but again they could not protest.
    At least today, with the gap reducing between castes, women stand for women and talk for women… This can be seen as a good change…

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  7. Beautifully written, and as always you asked the perfect question – were those women targeted more? Guess not, because it is more about men being civilised than women covering themselves up! This notion simply HAS to change that if a women dresses differently or exposes parts of her body, it gives men the RIGHT to touch/molest/rape her!

    When women see a topless man strutting around in a pair of shorts, we don’t assume we have to right to touch/molest/rape/have sex with him, do we?!! So if women can respect men, and respect their sense of dignity, then why can’t men do the same?

    (P.S: This does not apply if the topless man in question is Hritik ;-))
    (PPS: Just kidding! He’s married :-()
    (PPPS: Seriously kidding!)

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  8. I don’t care what a woman wears, how she wears it matters. I will be a good boy and never complain about a attractive pair of legs in denim shorts or Geeta Basra in a baring sari :):)

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  9. To the point as usual IHM! What one wears should be one’s discretion. Considering comfort to self! Don’t know why people get worked up with what others wear! Read somewhere, say u see a saree-clad woman with jewelry and she is dressed like any Goddess, will people respect her & fall at her feet calling her hey Mata Durga or something? She probably might be ridiculed for her dressing and sent to the loony bin or investigations on how she got so much gold will be started. So be it a short skirt or a sari, if she is not respected as a person, crimes will be committed against her many unreported!!

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  10. Good Post. Let me try to answer your 2 questions.
    //Did the women in the above examples face more sexual harassment than women today because more of their skin was exposed? They didn’t of course. But why didn’t they?//

    I am not sure about Nagaland but in Kerala,150 years ago Women faced more harassment than today. But it was not because their skin was exposed but because of their gender status and class/caste status. Status of females were more lower than it is now and the lower caste women faced the brunt of harassment.

    //What do you think, was the society more civilised then or were the men just used to women being dressed that way?//

    Society was less civilised than now. Yes the men were used to women being dressed that way.

    Here are 2 links to the women’s struggle to cover their bosom in Kerala.

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_cloth_controversy

    2. Another link.

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  11. They call others slut, because their mind thinks like a slut . Who named whom slut ?
    Don’t you think the name caller visualised everypossible thing in his minds eye and now because he cannot get his hands on her , in his helplessness, he has called her a slut. PERIOD.

    Womens bodies have the finest curve , that I saw one today and was marveling at it . Now that is god’s creation – perfectly made, can be adored everyday without tiring. Did that make her a slut ?

    sneha

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  12. I cant say if 150 years ago women were less likely to get raped or sexually harassed or they felt safer in those days. Yes maybe what they wore or for that matter what they didn’t wear was not as major a factor as it is today. But the very act of rape, I’m sure, was committed even then governing various factors like frustration, poverty, etc, that Nupur has mentioned in her post already. What I do believe is that in those days rapes and molesting never came into the fore as much as they do now, thanks to the empowerment of media. Today we are more aware and in a better position to report such crimes. I mean , today itself, of the 10 flash news that I saw on TV, atleast 3-4 of them were rape,murder,molest-related. which is deeply saddening and frustrating, nonetheless!

    Having said that, I do feel at times that these days when such crimes are reported , they tend to get politicized and focus more on snubbing the ruling party or the govt than focus on the victims’ plight and the need to punish the perpetrators for their hideous crimes.

    As for slut walk, I totally support it for the cause behind it. Its high time we stopped blaming the victims and shifted focus on getting the perpetrators punished.

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  13. I think it was definitely a case of monotony and not cos society is/was more civilized.I know of a guy who went to one of those European baths, and was shocked to see that the women and the men completely naked. But the others there were completely blasé about it cos it is the norm for them.

    Society in Kerala and Tamil Nadu is now SO patriarchal and SO terribly biased towards men that it’s difficult to even walk out after dark (or even in broad daylight) without getting commented on, and buses and trains and rampant with men who try and grope you every chance they get. (I specifically talk about these two states as I’ve experienced it while I lived there. It could be true of other states as well, but I didn’t experience this in Delhi, though Delhi is decidedly more dangerous, with chances of serious bodily harm higher in Delhi than in other states).

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  14. IHM,

    Have you seen today’s Times of India?
    There is an article on the Slut Walk by Anil Dharker.
    The Bangalore Edition has it on Page 12
    Just thought this may interest you and other readers.
    Regards
    GV

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        • I have problem with these bits,
          //After all, there is something like ‘sluttish’ or promiscuous behaviour, which is hardly commendable. The male equivalent ‘womaniser’ is equally pejorative, and after recent high-profile cases like that of the IMF’s disgraced chief, no one — man or woman — looks upon womanising with an indulgent eye.//
          1. Men’s womanising is not taken as seriously as women’s. (Do we really need to state this?)
          2. Promiscuous behaviour is no excuse for sexual harassment. A woman has a right to choose who she wants to be ‘promiscuous’ with.

          //There is also something called ‘provocative’ behaviour, or to use a less loaded word, ‘inappropriate’ behaviour. You don’t dress in beach wear in the main market square; you don’t don party wear to the workplace; casual and minimal clothing acceptable amongst your circle of friends may not be right for a locality where the dress code is conservative. These rules, which most of us accept, apply to both men and women. //

          1.The standards of appropriate behaviour and dressing are not something that can be relied upon (even if a woman decided to try to this) because even two people in a family may not have the same standards. Some people think jeans are provocative, some think shorts are fine in summer, some others have different rules for different ages, occasions, hour, location and women.
          2. This sounds like threatening women with sexual harassment if they do not dress, work, walk, laugh, socialize, drive, travel, live, marry, divorce, have relationships, talk etc.

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      • I couldn’t help but laugh at the author’s suggestion that the walks be called “Sanguinetti Walks” Hello! Women were told they “should avoid dressing like sluts” not “avoid dressing like Sangunetti! So what’s the point of naming the walks Sanguinetti Walks?? How will that serve the purpose??!

        //After all, there is something like ‘sluttish’ or promiscuous behaviour, which is hardly commendable.// says the author.
        But forgets that when women dares do something different from the traditionally and culturally accepted, which is not necessarily “sluttish” as the definition of the word goes, then too, she is branded as a slut. Wny?? That point is conveniently overlooked in the article.
        Whatever the author says, women being referred to as sluts is NOT viewed in the mild and indulgent manner as men as womanizers are. If the author thinks so, its wishful thinking. Anyways, a slut also has rights.

        //There is also something called ‘provocative’ behaviour, or to use a less loaded word, ‘inappropriate’ behaviour. You don’t dress in beach wear in the main market square; you don’t don party wear to the workplace; casual and minimal clothing acceptable amongst your circle of friends may not be right for a locality where the dress code is conservative. These rules, which most of us accept, apply to both men and women// says the author.

        Makes me sick when I hear people mention about ‘inappropriate’ clothes and being ‘practical’ and such stuff. HOW MANY of us ordinary people, the majority of us women, walk around in the so-called inappropriately dressed form?? Who actually wears beach wear in market square or party wear to work place?? So why cloud the issue with such unnecessary talk?? Like I said in an earlier comment, 99.99% of women move around ‘appropriately’ dressed. So I don’t understand why such examples should be brought up. The inappropriateness in dressing that we see in India is actually of, being over dressed and piling up of jewelry!
        As for rules applying to both men and women… Well, I think the author is talking through the proverbial hat.
        I am sure in most traditional homes a man can walk around in a bermudas and sleeveless tee. If he feels hot, he takes off his tees as well and goes bare chested. But however warm she feels in this tropical climate, will a woman be allowed to take off the yards of cloth foisted upon her and sit around in minimal clothes?? Ha, rules apply to both men and women indeed! What a b***** joke. And one that will not even make you laugh.

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  15. The finest clothing made is a person’s skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this. ~Mark Twain

    yesterday on train saw two girls who had boarded from bangalore in jeans and top, change into salwar suits before their station (same as mine) came. Their parents had come to receive them. It is sad that many of us also do not dare to rebel this view and find it easier to conform to such rules.

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  16. I feel blaming a woman’s dress sense / character is just an escape route for people who are very ill equipped in taking responsibility for the wrong-doing or acknowledging the prevalance of such crimes.

    If any woman irrespective of what she wears can be violated in public, then that implies that the society is very deteriorated. Gawd! that is such an awful thought. it makes people feel uncomfortable. So they go hunting for excuses for the crimes.

    Oh it cannot be that the society is so unsafe. It just cannot be. It is such a fearful thought.
    Lemme go find some reason which will put me at ease about it.
    Oh it’s the woman! her dress. She is a seductress out there to mislead the innocent men. She asked for it, She got what she deserved.
    Now I know. Now the only way I can protect the women in my family is to make them cover themselves up. Simple, isn’t it?
    :/

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  17. please check out this video of the auditions of a adventure reality show very popular among the Indian youth of today. There’s this young and bright girl who is about the join the Indian Army, who believes that women who dress inappropriately(!) have no right to complain if something untoward happens to them.
    There are 3 gentlemen out there trying to convince her that the woman cannot be blamed for the perverse minds of others, but she strongly believes otherwise.
    It’s sad to see how some women themselves buy into such lame patriarchial tools.. to see the apparently smart girls of today being so blind to the fact that it is nothing but victim blaming.

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    • Really sad. That’s why we need these discussions. 😦 These guys are amazing!!! I have never seen this show, maybe I should.

      The last line is so true, “You might have converted three guys into molesters.”

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      • “These guys are amazing!!!”

        Yes, they are!
        I’ve seen another audition episode in the past where one guy from (Kolkata, I think) got emotional over the question “what would you do if your sister were to run away with another man” and answered that “he’d kill her for honour’s sake”

        That was it! The trio erupted like a lava-spewing volcano and reduced him to tears in a matter of a few minutes. It was such a joy to watch 🙂 he deserved every bit of the treatment (irony of it all was that he himself was a man in love with another lady)

        But I am not sure if such people get the message at all, at the end of the day. The ‘values’ are instilled so deeply in them that logic always takes a backseat, I suppose 😦

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    • Dear Usha,

      Just the way you have the right to voice your opinion, so does this young girl.

      Your remarks are directed at her thinking differently from you, but then, that’s her right. If you feel she is wrong, the feeling is mutual.

      You folks are blogging pointlessly. THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO SORT OUT GUYS WHO EVE TEASE/ MOLEST/RAPE …EXEMPLARY PUNISHMENT BY THE JUDICIARY ABLY SUPPORTED BY A FIT AND FAIR POLICE SYSTEM.

      All this nonsensical talk about changing mindsets is of no use. Once the judicial sysytem gets cracking, ten years is all it will take to get things in track.

      Adios

      Anirban.

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      • @Anirban

        And dude how do you think the reformatory laws are formed??They find roots in similar open minded discussions which go on to become public debates and sometimes result in revolutionary changes. People like you, I and the super bloggers here help such causes.

        Had Raja Ram Mohan Roy found discouraging the sati pratha in public platforms nonsensical, still women would have been victims to that ridiculous system lauded by dim witted, ignorant masses.

        To voice ones opinion is a courageous act, keeping quiet and saying, ‘well I think differently, no point debating’, is escapist

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    • Usha and IHM,

      I saw this clip.
      It was interesting.
      I have never watched this program on TV
      The girl was good and so were the two bald boys.
      (They looked like twins to me)
      The one with a lot hair on his head did not have much to say.

      As regards the real issue being discussed, I have said enough on this subject and would like to say no more.
      I am commenting here just to ask how to embed a video inside a comment as you have done.

      I would similarly like to know if it is possible to embed a short audio clip or a simple sketch

      Regards
      GV

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      • Type in the url GV – for You Tube videos.

        Why did you think the girl was ‘good’? She thought conservative clothing was the way to control sexual crimes against women, do you really believe that if all women wore clothes that covered them from head to toe there would be no ‘eve teasing’? Just now, my 70 year old mother was listening to me (had to be pressurized 🙂 ) to hear my post today and she remembered how when she 15, she was wearing a salwar kameez with a cotton dupatta and walking with a friend, walking back from school, when she faced street sexual harassment (flashing) in 1956, in Delhi. And later around 1994-95, she was 54 and traveling on a rickshaw in a sari, when two men cycling behind kept passing comments. She was conservatively dressed both the times, my grandfather did not even allow her to style her hair with a parting.

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  18. IHM, I know your point was about how showing a fair amount of skin could be socially acceptable depending on context but the Kerala example just goes to show the opposite. Forcing women not to wear blouses was a means of humiliation and control. They were barechested or had to show their breasts to Brahmins because they were there for the taking sexually by the upper castes. Apparently this still goes on in some villages (Brahmin men having sexual access to lower caste women, not sure about the bare chested thing). The Brahmin women going barechested at home would be sign that they were available to their men, but not other men, while the lower caste women were supposed to be available for anybody. I guess this explains why people are so concerned about women showing skin – because it has a caste imputation too; if you show a fair bit of skin, as a woman you are indicating that you are available or of lower caste. Even more reason for us to nip it in the bud.

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    • Are you sure? I did not realise this is what the rules were created for! Yes, that’s shocking… and yes that could be the reason for skin showing being seen as being available. But older women remained topless too?

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      • Trying to read up more on this IHM, but definitely lower caste women going barechested in Kerala was not a sign of ‘freedom’ but the opposite, which was why they fought it.

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      • All women went topless, older ones too. My great grandmother whom I have seen as a little girl left her chest bare too. Great Grandma herself used to say, on seeing my reluctance to go to her when she called, “See, she does not want to come to me because I have not covered myself”
        I remember my old Veena teacher (she belonged to a higher caste) telling us how the elders (men) of their household would not let her mother wear a blouse (wearing which was thought to be impertinence on the part of younger ones who wanted to accept newfangled ideas). When she went to serve food wearing one, she was scolded and sent away to remove it pronto and return bare chested.
        The reason lower caste people had to go topless was perhaps different.

        Going topless was accepted as the done thing. So wearing a blouse became the unwanted change the elders weren’t prepared to approve or accept. Opposing change is always THE reason isn’t it. It is not about covering or exposing. Change is what everyone fears.
        Among Nairs of old, both men and women grew their hair long and had top knots made of them. Both men and women wore ear-rings. But when young men of the day wanted to cut off their long hair and do away with the ear adornment, the elders made a big hue and cry about it being modern influence and neglecting of culture and tradition and all that song and dance.
        Doesn’t it seem funny?? Anyone who steps back and looks at things ought to see the farce. But unfortunately even many of those who call themselves educated insist on imitating parrots rather than use their brains.

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    • @The Bride, I read in a historical novel that men and women during the times of Asoka wore similar dress, a cloth tied around their waist with the upper part bare. That was considered normal dress, and only those ladies from Greece in his court covered their breasts. I don’t know it’s veracity. But considering that we see pictures and statues of Goddesses all bare chested, I guess it is true.

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      • I agree Shail. I remember a grandmother in a friend’s house in Jaipur was also always topless. She was called Amma-ji and we as kids never gave it a second thought then, though we thought she was a witch because she had a mole on her nose!

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      • Interesting Shail. What I read was about the Nadar women and it was documented that they were forced to go barebreasted not that they wanted to. Interestingly, they were landless migrants from Tamil Nadu. In fact, when some of them dared to cover up, upper caste men would forcefully remove their coverings, sometimes even storming their houses to do so. It was similar to how the women in your family were scolded, but worse. It was definitely seen as a caste marker though for the lower caste women. Also certain upper caste women though they wore blouses had to bare their breasts to to those higher up them in the caste ladder, as well as the king of travancore when he passed on his rounds. So it was a sign of submission to a caste hierarchy, though I suppose it became very normalised. As you said, it’s about control but I definitely think there was a caste element to the control. This is just what I have read on Kerala, I also came across something similar about Telugu dress – how upper caste women started covering up but did not want the lower caste women to do so.

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      • BTW, not saying that going topless couldn’t be part of women’s natural dress , just felt that in the Kerala example specifically there were other factors at play there.

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  19. There is one more article on this subject in Times of India Bangalore Edition today, Monday June 27 2011
    Author :Ratna Kapur
    Go to epaper.timesofindia.com
    Navigate to Bangalore edition
    Go to page 10

    I liked this quote from the article
    “Our culture needs to change- teach people not to rape not how not to be raped”

    Regards
    GV

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  20. Pingback: Slut Walk: Would women be in some ways empowered if they saw no shame in what they could risk being called? « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  21. Very much thought provoking here!!

    That’s so true how women were not allowed to cover their breasts in Kerala. But the question that did they have to face sexual harassment then is to be answered “yes” According to what I have heard, they were topless and helpless. Even the husbands of the lower caste women couldn’t protect them from the hands of the upper class men who came to their wives during nights to satisfy their “lust’. They were made to accept the fact and no body was allowed to raise their voice. As they were totally suppressed and as we dint have so much of media coverage those days they went unnoticed.

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    • @Cindrella, as far as I know the upper castes behaved in this manner to women of lower castes even in places where they covered their breast, and even after women in Kerala started covering theirs. Husbands of lower caste women were helpless even when their women were fully clothed.

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  22. I think its all about a the way women carries herself… even she is wearing mini-skirts and tight tops, but if she is able to carry herself elegantly, then its not “slutty”.

    But imagine a young Indian village girl wearing a jeans !

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    • @Shashank, I don’t agree with that. If someone can carry certain dress off, that is good. But that does not mean those others who cannot do that should not wear such dresses. What’s wrong with a village girl wearing a pair of jeans?? It may not look alright to your sophisticated eyes, but if she is okay with it, it should not be a problem for anyone else.

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  23. There is one more blog post on this slut walk, by Shobha De.
    Yes I believe it is THE Shobha De, the celebrity we all know.
    Guess what !
    She is opposed to it.
    I haven’t read her blog before.
    I never knew she was a blogger.
    Some time back she had admitted to being computer illiterate.
    May be she learned later.
    What surprises me is that there are hardly a dozen or so comments.
    I would have expected an avalanche of comments on her blog considering her celebrity status.

    You can read her latest blog post on this subject at shobhaade.blogspot.com
    Note the “aa” in in her name

    I came to know of this blog post when I saw her printed article in “The Week” dated July 3, page 49
    Nothing to write home about .
    I enjoyed the contributions here a lot more.

    Regards
    GV

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    • I find Shobha De’s views very difficult to agree with, or even to take seriously. She thought the fact that Aarushi Talwar’s parents were not crying was an indication that they had killed her.

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      • I agree.In my teenage years when i used to read her columns and watch her interviews,i was impressed by her extensive vocabulary but as i grew older,i realised when all that rich-sounding language and the works had to be boiled down to its essence,it was just this-sophisticated tosh.

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  24. An excellent post and agree with the view expressed in this blog. In fact i had written a post quite similar to this one – “She is a slut, rape her” I hope you find it worth a read. http://tribr.it/plu9h

    Its high time India shed its hypocrisy and moved towards liberalism and logic.

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  25. I think the article missed the point. Covering ones Breast may have been “sluttish” or anti-establishment at one time, not covering it might be so now. This has nothing to do with the discussion. Basically, over the centuries, women did not have a right to determine what they could wear (or not wear). It was the men’s dictat. That is what the protest is all about and this article misses the point. Women were not ‘better off’ a century and half ago. The fact that they were ‘beat the shit out of’ itself speakes volumes. Get it????

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  26. I’ve read about Polynesians – how they lived before European invasion and after it. It occurred to me as though they’ve lived an Edenic life before their conversion. There are aboriginals around the globe who do not cover it all up even now wherever they are and they have no unwonted lust I’d wager. So it would appear the moment a community starts hiding its ‘privates’ it’s like the the fruit of knowledge of good and evil – because it somehow suggests it’s forbidden it becomes an obsession. That doesn’t mean clothing alone is and was the factor. Religion, hierarchy, caste, beliefs pertaining to gender, the lust for power and such have been causes of the plight of women were and are in.

    Since it’s not just about clothing, they (women) should stop fretting about clothes because they say it is and they say it because they don’t want others explicitly to know it’s about lust for power and control over the other. So instead the root cause(s) must be brought to light and dealt deservedly with. I don’t think I’m saying something new but I’d like to see, as any sane person would want to, the evil is uprooted and not merely band-aided.

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  27. Well as you say morality is something that is so culture specific. We have adopted some standards which are not in sync with our society. Besides what is not overt arouses more interest obviously. While this may not exactly be the right example but I think there are paralles- I have often seen girls who have studied in all girls schools go crazy when they enter a co-ed environment- it is just the mystification of the male sex that makes them that way…!

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  28. its just that we as a society is more curious and perplexed about things which cant be disclosed or things which have been formed as a tradition. There is an intense desire in us to break the current barriers and myths. Earlier when everything was open, people were used to being around naked people. But now in this oppressed society we are inclined towards these thoughts. The enigma drives us sometimes to do even wrong thing sometimes.

    Remedies, I think it all resides in brain, whether children or adults. So one can make self and the coming generations comfortable with nudity, coz its there inside us, whether body or mind. Respecting for what is there in mind, the free flowing thoughts rather than mere bodies. I don’t think rapes can drop to ground zero coz there will be sociopaths with disturbed histories and lifestyle problems but every single change would mean change in the whole society

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  29. Well, i guess the most has been said…what i would want to highlight, is the “Bhed Chaal” approach! We follow in almost everything, from following a baba to deciphering a trend…

    If some oxymoron terms Modern Apparel as VULGAR, 20 will repeat it on context of society and consequently 2000 more would wing the issue on the so called “Moral issues”. Sheer inanity!!

    till the time people stop pretending as “Society ka rakhwalas”, things are gonna be like half-baked potatoes… Difficult to digest, easy to crumble!

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  30. Pingback: “Only those sex-related materials which have a tendency of exciting lustful thoughts can be held to be obscene…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  31. Pingback: “Girls need to be little bit aware of the consequences. Men – will enjoy …” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  32. Pingback: Dad wears short shorts to teach daughter what she wears is everybody’s business and everybody’s approval proves her great worth. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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