The society builds for its members certain kinds of frames in which everyone is expected to fit regardless of their features and their choices. The one who doesn’t, is criticized , tormented, made to be afraid and finally crushed.
Females are always told what to wear and what not. Sometimes I wonder, all that people see in a women is her ‘appropriateness’ ( like if they get sometime off from staring at their skin). It doesn’t matter if you are a girl next door or a celebrity like Priyanka Chopra. ( C’mon its her choice as to what to wear while meeting the PM and believe me she looked just perfect.)
We all are fighting and struggling with it, either in silence or through rebellion. Let me a share a small conservation I had with an uncle who leaves in my neighbourhood. This small talk gave me some sense of satisfaction and I could not help myself from sharing it with you all.
So the scene was that a few students were waiting for their bus in the morning. One of the girls was a wearing salwar suit ( for my foreign friends, its a an ethnic Indian dress) which is actually her school uniform. Her father, who can be perceived as a prototype of men overeaten by stereotypes in particular to “ideal way a women should behave”commented that girls don’t look good in skirts . So salwar suits should be the school uniform of every school. After all salwar suit is the traditional attire of India and we must preserve our culture. And this seemingly casual remark was followed by a long pathetic speech on how girls stand as torch bearers of the movement to protect our Indian ethics. Put it differently how some modern girls are contaminating our traditions with their inappropriate dressing styles.
As he ended there was a spark in his eyes like the one in the eyes of Manga characters. His ears must have been imaging a thunderous round of applause and cheers.
And there stood I feeling the warmth of my boiling blood.
His glance now caught my eyes. He was waiting an approval from my side. I decided to agree with him.
“Yes Uncle. You are absolutely right . Why not? But just one thing, if it’s such s noble task to preserve our culture, then why should we discrimante against boys? Let them also wear dhoti kurta to school. Because as far as I remember trousers and shirts are of English origin.”
And if the matter is something else, then please Uncle be kind enough to keep it with yourself. Thank you!”
His face made an awkward expression that reflected his distaste for my view point but I didn’t care.
Let me make one thing clear, through this post I don’t want to fight for a girl’s right to wear skirts or short dresses, but a girl’s freedom to wear whatever she likes and wants; freedom that she won’t be judged by her clothes. A girl wearing a skirt will not be seen as ‘characterless’ and the one wearing a saree will not be underestimated and disregarded as behen ji.
I am not restricted to my clothes…i am beyond material!
share your thoughts with me and with one another
stereotypes will freeze if we will not break the ice !