#CelebrateingtheRainbow at the workplace – share your stories of Pride!
Politics in India is by default a dirty game riddled with sexist and patriarchal mindsets, that tries to keep women politicians 'in their place' over irrelevant things.
Politics in India is by default a dirty game riddled with sexist and patriarchal mindsets, that tries to keep women politicians ‘in their place’ over irrelevant things.
When in the 1960s Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka), Sirimavo Banadaranaike became the first woman to be elected as the head of a government, a revolution for women in politics was unfurled.
History has been a grand witness to the political resplendence of women, but even more so of their derision by the hands of patriarchy. In India, the prejudice against women holding power and the rigid notions of their position in society have been age old encumbrances for females willing to participate in the politics of the country.
The boys’ club within the political spectrum of India keeps women at bay when it comes to real decision making power and serving in a substantial position. There are 176 male MPs as compared to the 78 women MPs in the Lok Sabha and just 20 out of the 240 MPs are women in the Rajya Sabha. These statistics clearly show the exiguous opportunities given to women when it comes to holding electoral posts.
Women emerging on the political forefront have historically been met with unflagging opposition all over the world – from the police brunt and sexual assault faced by suffragettes of England, to the modern day world where female candidates are regularly met with unjustified moral scrutiny, objectification, dubiety, and are overtly attacked only for the virtue of being a woman.
Female politicians in India, as soon as they step into the political fray, somehow become the subject of attack by an insecure patriarchy. We as a society, became the axiom for hypocrisy when Mimi Chakroborty and Nusrat Jahan, both MPs from Jadavpur and Basirhat constituencies respectively, were put on a social media trial for wearing western clothes on their first day to the parliament, while Gautam Gambhir in his denims was comfortably overlooked, as no one criticized him for his choice of clothes. The incessant trolling and hatred did not end there, these women were slut shamed, were called out for having tattoos, and also for something as simple as clicking a picture.
This particular incident renders an understanding of the ingrained culture of our society, where ‘shaming‘ on these aspects is always reserved for women, especially for women in power.
An MP is a lawmaker and one’s appearance is not supposed to be the parameter of their ability, but in India, a woman politician’s clothing choices is directly proportional to her caliber as a public servant. When women join politics, working with integrity, and competence is not the only requirement, they also need to have an extra skill for bearing the regressive sexists remarks passed against them, and India is nowhere short of such examples.
According to a report in India Today, a male politician from a prominent party said that, Priyanka Gandhi was not as beautiful as she was projected to be and that there were prettier women leaders like Smriti Irani who could pull crowds and give better speeches.
It isn’t only male politicians who’re being sexist, even women politicians are entering into this pathetic political tactic. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati has always been a popular target for her looks. Once a woman spokesperson from a popular Indian party remarked that she does not know if Mayawati was a he or she – attacking Mayawati’s gender identity induced from outdated stereotypes of what constitutes ‘womanliness’.
When Smriti Irani was moved from Human Resource Development to Textiles, a politician allegedly made an insulting remark on her saying that “Good that she has been elected as the Textiles minister; it will help her cover her body.” The politician in question has since denied that he said this.
While male politicians are surrounded with debates about political issues and development, women politicians almost always have to bear comments about their appearance and their choice of clothes termed as a common political discourse.
Indian political framework has a penchant for misogyny, derogatory remarks, and inherent patriarchal entitlements, but until when will women have to rethink the idea of entering into politics, solely because this so called male bastion refuses to accept a woman in power? How difficult is it to accept a woman politician without being prejudiced against her gender?
20. I am pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. I come from Lucknow. 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.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Can you believe this bloke compelled me to wear only saris - full time at home- till the eighth month of my pregnancy?! The excessive heat coupled with humidity made my life miserable.
Recently when I browsed an interesting post by a fellow author on this very forum I had a sense of déjà vu. She describes the absolutely unnecessary hullabaloo over ladies donning nighties and /or dupatta –less suits.
I wish to narrate how I was in dire straits so far wearing a ‘nightie’ was concerned.
I lived in my ultra orthodox sasural under constant surveillance of two moral guardians (read Taliban) in the shape of the husband’s mom and dad. The mom was unschooled and dim-witted while the dad was a medical practitioner. But he out-Heroded the Herod in orthodoxy.
My supervisor introduced me as a valuable member of the team, emphasizing my skills and contributions rather than focusing on my gender identity. This simple act set the tone for my experience in the workplace.
As a transwoman navigating the corporate world, I had encountered my fair share of discrimination and challenges. Transitioning without the support of my parents and having limited friendships in my personal life made the journey difficult and lonely. However, when I stepped into the office, something remarkable happened, I left behind the stress and negativity, embracing a space where I could truly be myself.
Joining the marketing team as a graphic designer, I was initially apprehensive about how my colleagues would react to my gender identity. But to my surprise, the atmosphere was welcoming and respectful from day one. My supervisor, Sarah, introduced me as a valuable member of the team, emphasizing my skills and contributions rather than focusing on my gender identity. This simple act set the tone for my experience in the workplace.
As I settled into my role, I discovered that my colleagues went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and included. They consistently used my correct name and pronouns, creating an environment where I could be authentically me. Being an introvert, making friends wasn’t always easy for me, but within this workplace, I found a supportive community that embraced me for who I truly am. The workplace became a haven where I could escape the stresses of my personal life and focus on my professional growth.
Please enter your email address