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The sexist narratives just don’t change, do they? The faces keep changing but the thoughtless and irresponsible words continue to emanate from politicians across parties.
Rahul Gandhi, the president of the Indian National Congress, and their prime ministerial face had said at a rally last Wednesday that Prime Minister Modi had fielded a woman minister to defend him in Parliament because he was afraid to face the House.
“The Prime Minister with his 56-inch chest did not come to the Lok Sabha for even a minute. For two and a half hours, Nirmala Sitharaman spoke. She could not answer our questions but Narendra Modi did not show his face for one minute in the Lok Sabha,”
“He ran away from the people’s court and he told a woman, Sitharamanji, that you protect me because I will not be able to protect myself!”
The context was the debate on the Rafale controversy in the Lok Sabha and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was answering the questions raised by the opposition on behalf of the government.
When the Prime minister hit back at Rahul Gandhi, defending the first Indian woman Defence Minister, Rahul G., tweeted a reply which included these gems. “Stop shaking. Be a man and answer my question.” Of course, the same old association between masculinity and fearlessness remains, with ‘hiding behind a woman’ being the ultimate insult.
The National Commission for Women has issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi for his misogynistic remarks against Nirmala Sitharaman.
In this poll year, where the battle for the top seat gathers full momentum, things are bound to get ugly, and such ridiculous and rhetorical platitudes will be dispensed by the second to gather eyeballs.
Even by those low standards, the irresponsible utterances by a relatively young party chief, (the same party which gave India its first woman prime minister) touch a new low!
If this is the locker-room attitude that percolates from the very top, what attitudinal change do we expect from the grassroots? Aren’t the leaders expected to lead by example, or is it too much to expect them not to be carried away by the moment, and think for a second before spewing silly?
Maybe I’m just asking for the moon. (After all, I am a woman, isn’t it?)
How many sexist battles do we fight?
Raise your sons right.
The daughters are already at the fight.
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Anupama Jain is the author of
* ‘When Padma Bani Paula', listed as 'One of the 5 best books of 2018 - Fiction', by readwriteinspire.com. It is a breezy novel about second chances of life and read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Trigger Warning: This deals with mental trauma and depression, and may be triggering for survivors.
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