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Being a woman in India is still not the easiest task. We need to think before deciding what to wear, do or say. Do we ourselves think from the male perspective?
Even when a woman is fully clothed, people, including other women, will find a way to blame and shame her for exposing some part of her body (even if that part is smaller than a toenail). This may sound ridiculous but it is true, especially in countries like India.
Men can roam around the streets bare-bodied wearing nothing but shorts or something even shorter than that and no one gives a f**k. No one will call them a slut nor will anyone hassle them in any way.
But a woman would be subjected to some form of harassment regardless of what she wears. And if she makes the brave decision of wearing a garment that exposes even a part of her arms, feet, back, neck or anything else that society feels she should cover, the general public will objectify and slut-shame her.
Anyone can jump in and deem her dress inappropriate. Meanwhile, women are supposed to accept what they say and apologise for it.
We have a tendency of shaming the victim, especially if it’s a woman. And we end up excusing any kind of perverse behaviour towards them. We hold those women and their clothes responsible for it.
More often than not, the culprits are treated leniently and sometimes even let off completely. In some cases, they are even celebrated for displaying their masculinity, however toxic it may be.
It is very clear that most members of our society have accepted the sort of male narrative that looks down on women. And also allows them almost no freedom to express themselves.
They have no freedom over their bodies and are repeatedly subjected to the male gaze wherever they go.
They are expected to bear the consequences for being born (female foeticide), wearing the clothes they want (verbal harassment, molestation and rape), getting married (dowry, marital rape, harassment by husband and in-laws), or even speaking their mind.
We are not comfortable with reflecting on our thoughts and actions. We love to blindly follow our egos. We have habituated ourselves to follow a fixed chain of thought actively promoted by our friends, relatives or the media.
Now it’s your choice whether to be a part of this toxic male perspective or to question it.
Picture credits: Pexels
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