We evaluate women and their morals, attitudes and sex lives based on what they wear! It’s time to stop.
How often have you heard remarks like ‘par kati auratein’, ‘dented-painted women’ and ‘sau tunch maal’ and cringed at it? The politicians of this country have very often ridiculed women and labeled their choices as being modern…and something to be looked down upon.
The question to be asked here is, what is wrong in being so called ‘modern’? What is wrong in expressing your choices and doing what you feel like doing? Why are women put under the microscope all the time? Even if you take a small thing like nose piercing, depending on where you live, the presence or absence of it can label women as loose and characterless!
Rewind a few years, and look at all the grandmothers around you. I bet ninety percent of these women would have had nose rings and that would have been considered ‘traditional’ and not immoral. Did you know that the art of nose piercing has been around since the 16th century? It is extremely popular in India, Pakistan, Nepal and South Asia and has gained popularity in the West beginning from the late twentieth century.
In India, the left side of the nostril is most commonly pierced as Ayurveda associates this point with the reproductive organs. It is believed that piercing this point makes childbirth easier and helps in lactation. It is also the way of Hindus to honor the goddess Parvati, considered the goddess of marriage. I’m not sure how many women really knew about this but nonetheless continued the practice as a tradition.
So, what has changed in the last couple of decades for the perception to have taken a one eighty degree turn? Why does society generalize women based on their choices? Is it because the West has adopted this concept and the advocates of ‘Indian’ culture have to oppose anything that the West does, irrespective of the origin of the practice? Is it because in the West, a nose ring is considered a mark of rebellion? Could be! Unfortunately, much is made of these inconsequential matters and as women (and many of us mothers of children), we must refrain from adopting the hypocritical ways of the society as mentioned below.
Most of the traditional would-be mothers in-law would insist their daughter-in-law to-be to have a nose piercing keeping up with the tradition of their community. This is most common across the states of Punjab, Haryana, UP, Maharashtra and the whole of South India. But, the same mother-in-law would look disdainfully at her son’s girlfriend if she wears Western clothes and sports a nose ring. Why?
A married woman getting inked will be considered a display of love and even devotion towards her husband. But, a young unmarried woman wanting a tattoo will have to take the permission of her parents. Most of the conservative or let’s say ‘risk averse’ parents will convince their daughter to postpone her decision or think about it. Some may also just say that “Do whatever you want to do after your marriage, not now!”
A woman in most parts of rural India will go through the process of nose piercing by the age of 16. But, the same 16-year-old urban girl is considered to be heavily influenced by the West and as being ‘wild’ if she does that.
Gold is considered auspicious and holy. India is the largest gold consumer in the world and this comes as no surprise as gold is considered a woman’s ‘dhan’. However, silver is not given the same treatment as gold.
If a woman opts for silver or sterling silver jewelry, she is tagged as being ‘Westernized’. Thankfully, we see this trend reversing with many women openly declaring their love for silver. Bollywood actresses like Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Vidya Balan and Deepika Padukone amongst others have worn silver jewelry and this has opened up the shackles of many women still stuck with gold.
So, ladies…break free of these meaningless shackles if you are still bound by them…teach your sons to respect women for what they are and not for what they wear. Teach your daughters to be comfortable in their skin!
As for you, go and get that nose piercing done if you have wanted to get it done but are shying away from confrontation!
Image of woman with a nose pierced via Shutterstock
Ruchi Verma Rajan is a woman on a mission of self-discovery.
An avid reader since childhood, she grew up in the idyllic world of Enid Blyton and went on to devour the age old read more...
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This strange love story reminds me of Princess Diana when she gave an interview about Prince Charles - "There were three of us in this marriage!”
This love was flawed and broken the way only we humans know how to break things with our ego, pride, insecurity and complexities!
Where do I even begin to tell the story of how deep a love can be, how it transcends time, place and people. Perhaps this is a story about how women are their own worst enemies. Either way it is a story that tells us how frail, fragile and fraught we are as humans and how much we hurt each other.
This love story began when I was two years old. Growing up in India in a culture that wove love stories like Laila Majnu, Heer Ranjha and the epic symbol of love, the Taj Mahal, into the very fabric of our existence, love was always an integral part of our lives.
One such love story was of a boy and a girl who were neighbours. The boy, an athlete, artist and a poet, found his muse in this shy, thoughtful and in her own way poetic girl, who seemed to worship the very ground he walked on. Her face could be found in all the paintings he created, and her name in every poem he wrote. The girl called him Sagar, which means ocean, symbolizing his all-encompassing love for her.
Everything thing was going well; their wedding date was being finalized, till the boy’s older brother who was a doctor in the same little town, got accepted into Stanford Medical School to do his MS.
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“Arey! What is there to do in making dal roti? Put a handful of lentils in the cooker and let it whistle and make two rotis. After all, how long will it take?” A handful of dal (lentils) and two rotis! This is the story of every woman and no one seems to understand.
Some time ago, after a shopping spree, my husband and I entered the house, exhausted. I had just about kept all the bags aside, when my husband said, “I am very hungry, can you make something.”
I looked at my husband in amazement and thought, ‘He had just had food, how did he get hungry again so soon?’
My husband, as if he had read my face, said, “Arey! You know that my stomach is not filled with outside food. Just make dal roti. What is there to do in making dal roti? Put a handful of lentils in the cooker and let it whistle and make two rotis. After all, how long will it take?”
‘Is this the way dal (lentils) and roti are made?’ The thought came to my mind. ‘After all, I also went along and now I am tired too.’ I was also getting angry at myself that after all, I had spoiled the habit of everyone in the house.
Men telling women what to do, how to dress and smile and look and talk and walk - that is the only thing most people seem to be keen on. Keep your nose out of our lives!
Men telling women what to do, how to dress and smile and look and talk and walk – that is the only thing most people seem to be keen on. Keep your nose out of our lives!
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Take the recent WT% remark by the Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Tirath Singh Rawat, who described a woman he’d seen in a flight.
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The movie shows the ugliness of the society and how we place a woman’s identity entirely on her physical appearances. Thanks to this, some men believe that attacking this appearance will scar their existence. The movie focuses on the gruesome reality of the increasing number of acid attacks in the country.
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