Draping a saree over a swimsuit seems to generate a lot of strong sentiments in many women … Why is wearing a saree with a bikini top such a big deal? Why is that people’s pride and joy in their motherland is contained in someone else’s clothing? Why are women’s sartorial choices such a battle ground for those who indulge in moral policing?
Photos: Vincent Boyer (Say hi on instagram @vincetravelbook)
Apparently, wearing a saree with a bathing-suit top is vulgar, an insult to my culture/ religion and a way to completely destroy what my country stands for!
Seriously? Is the Indian culture just so easy to ruin and destroy?
Why is it that a woman dressed comfortably is vulgar and men dressed in much less aren’t? To those worried about ‘too much skin’ on show, I would like to point out all the Indian men with dad bods just lounging around shirtless or on the beach in their ugly ‘Rupa underwear/ baniyan’.
The severe scrutiny faced by women’s external attire and the moral policing of our bodies is not news to any of us. I call bull-shit on people trying this form of sexist disciplining on grown individuals like myself.
To the moral police, women’s bodies are a battlefield to hoist their flag of decency- body parts are provocative, female agency offensive, feminist actions an anathema and our collective living, breathing existence an abhorrence. Why?
I have no time for older women passing on the pearls of patriarchy to those of us who are viewed as younger or less modest. Let me remind all the ‘sankskari’ types who think all women should dress ‘modestly’ that there is no dress code defined by our culture or by our constitution. We are all free to dress however we like!
I wear what I like, go where I please, respond aggressively to sexism and misogyny coyly called eve-teasing, unlike the demure, quivering girl looking for a knight that patriarchy expects me to be.
Let me make myself clear, extreme forms of misogyny are flourishing in India, aided, abetted and perpetuated by the women who are self-appointed protectors of patriarchy.
And here’s my little message to women who victim blame, slut-shame or bully other women and police their choice of clothing or shove outdated ideas of modesty down other people’s throats: You are the cog in the wheel that is responsible for India’s rape culture and violence against women.