Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Art of Not Being Provocative

This post is in response to this post by Nimmy , which was in response to this post. This is just an attempt to answer some of Ms B's questions, please feel free to add your own views ...

Miss A : Hey hey,read what IHM has written about so called provocative dressing

Miss B: Yeah,I read it, she is talking about an idealistic society, where everybody is mature and is aware of one own responsibility. Idealism is good,but reality and practicality is different.

IHM: The post is about many different kind of people living in the same society. There will be modern and conservative families. There will also be criminals and anti social elements in a society.

We need to make sure all crimes are punished to set good examples. No excuses for any crimes, including those against women.

If the hormonal/testosterone problem is very severe I once read the French government suggested some simple hormonal treatment to cure such anti social men, who are just not able to control themselves from raping/molesting. (being sarcastic)

Sex crimes are a result of Provocation or Opportunism?

Considering how such men only get provoked when they are in cowardly gangs, on lonely roads, when women is are from poorer classes, when there is little chance of being punished etc, it sounds like it has nothing to do with seeing a good looking woman and suddenly being provoked into molesting.

Miss B: Any woman should be able to wear what she wants anywhere, and for that matter, so should men, but if we go by that ideology, then nudism should be perfectly acceptable in all spheres of society too. We should all be able to keep our doors unlocked when we leave home and also to keep our valuables on the table unattended while we nip to the toilet in a busy cafe too. However, human nature is unpredictable and thus we must always be on our guard. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”

IHM: Be on your guard by all means.

Learn karate. Keep a cell phone, keep pepper spray, take a friend along - but don't fall into this trap of believing that being dressed 'modestly' will protect you.

And do get out, do dress up, if everybody locked themselves in their houses, the streets will only become more unsafe, and then if you are forced due to some emergency ....

About Nudism? I don't know if this is relevant here but acceptable or not, even nudism is no excuse for a man to get provoked into raping a woman.

According to the law, even a prostitute cannot be raped.

Miss B: You messed it, In fact men like to look at such women who reveal their assets, who make private things public.

IHM: They are free to look. Only look. Appreciate? Sure.

Pass remarks? Touch? Molest? No. We live in a civilised society. They need to be taught that in a civilised society they may not touch anything that looks good to them. And they may not dare to touch another human passing by on the road without their permission.

Miss B: Ha ha,if that was they case,why don’t they wear such revealing dress inside their house and in front of family alone ? When she wears it to public,the message is simple-that she feels good being looked at,maybe by men or maybe by women. Isn’t this ‘feel good’ thing called attention seeker?

IHM: I assure you thousands of women in the more civilised societies, India’s bigger cities, developed world, in villages, in slums do not get molested for looking attractive, but because they are not in a position to get the culprit punished.

Maybe women feel good when men and women look at them. Maybe they just look good for themselves. That’s their problem. Molesting a woman is still not permissible.

Miss B: So tell me why do you dress in a way that will attract comments.?

IHM: Because In have no idea what will NOT attract comments except teaching the commenter a lesson. Do you think a sari or a burka will stop comments? Read this, in a country where women are forever being stoned/lashed for getting raped , where they are covered from head to toe, they still get comments and they can’t even dare to complain, they have car accidents because .. read this to know what blaming the victim can do. Is this normal life?

This can happen to us.

This also shows why we need women in positions of decision making.

Miss B: Agreed, but why do you get offended at somebody else’s comment if you feel you are right?

IHM: We get offended because we know we are right. And we know there are a few who, against all logic, will try to tell us that no matter how we are dressed or how we live or what our age, the commenter was provoked and we are to be blamed.

Miss B: Tell me why you women want to portray yourself as sexual objects while you go on 40 km essays on asking men to stop viewing women as sexual objects? When you yourself feel and is proud of being a sexual object, why do you complain about others looking at you through such glasses..?

IHM: Women do not want to be sexual objects.

Their bare arms, their legs, their eyes, faces, elbows, feet, hair let loose have not been created for men.

Every part of her body has a purpose. The legs are meant to take her places, to run, jump, to help her swim (in practical swimming costumes too), the nose needs to breath fresh air, the eyes need to see the open sky and trees and the world. Just like men’s eyes, nose, legs and arms.

When we ask her to cover her body to avoid provoking men into crimes, then we make her a sexual object.

She should be wearing whatever makes her comfortable, not perspiring in layers to feel (unrealistically) safe. Nothing is as unsafe as these layers of covering and hypocrisy.

These layers that cover her also keep her silent. We know of women who are victims of incest, abuse and torture but never dare to speak, because they know they will be made to feel like it's their fault. All this starts from 'you did not dress/talk/walk/smile etc right'.

Women must have an equal voice in the society, in law making, in education, in science labs, in war strategies, in the parliament everywhere. Such thinking might discourage them from stepping out, it does put women at a huge disadvantage.

Miss B: Tell me something,when women know that there are some sick devilish men out there in the society,should she opt to take care herself by dressing modestly,or should she go around enrolling all eve teasers to mental asylum..Tell me which of the two choices is practical?

IHM: What exactly is dressing ‘modestly’? Do the perverts get to make this decision and then guarantee women freedom from sexual crimes? Why do all civil societies (I don’t consider Taliban and Saudi Arabia civil societies) and women object to this?

Are crimes against women really related to the way we dress? Are women traditional Indian clothing safe from sexual assaults? If they are not then is it possible that we are imprisoning and controlling women in the name of protection?

Clothing is symbolic. When we tell women to dress to prevent provocation-related crimes aren’t we indirectly but very clearly telling the men that women and not they are responsible for such crimes?

Miss B: Yes,I am aware of the double faceted hypocrisy. I agree that society should provide a safe environment for all its citizens and not punish women for the few criminal men who can nor control their urges. But then again, how can government take care of each and every single citizen in the country?We have our share of responsibility..The bottom line is that in public some modesty is required to avoid problems.

IHM: The fact is that safer cities for everyone else are automatically safer for women too. This shows that if the law of the land is upheld, women (and hence families) are also safer.

A lot of harm is done when we justify such crimes. We need to unequivocally condemn any such acts and shift the shame from the victim to the culprit.

Punish a few, condemn all, and see the difference it makes. It will also give the girls and women and their families the confidence to give back to the guys, we will see bystanders also pitching in to thrash a molester.

Men who attack do that only because they know that there is a strong chance that they can get away with it. When we talk of provocative dressing we give them a very strong message that they will not be blamed. That's a very dangerous message to give in a civil society.

Miss B: I completely agree with you that women are not responsible for crimes committed on them and I agree with the ‘She did not ask for it’ theory.But in our real life.theories have less importance than practicals..I agree that as far as the dress code is concerned, the problem is the uneducated and ignorant observers not the dresser. Having said that, a person cannot but be mindful since there are just too many uneducated and ignorant people out there.So,it your choice whether you choose to be daring and outgo these vultures..But trust me,it is better to take care..“The stronger sex is actually the weaker sex because of it’s weakness for the weaker sex.”

IHM: If everybody had always lived in such fears women would still be wearing traditional clothing of their native places.

The fact is they don’t, that without really thinking about it, women realise that what they are allowed to wear is symbolic of how much freedom and equality they have. Along with economic independence, success, wealth comes the freedom to enjoy looking good and having fun.

So long as criminals of all kinds including sex crimes are punished to set good example for a good, civil society, we will find we are on our way to a better, more equal society.

Society gets used to anything, instead of getting them used to watching women being molested, let them get used to women walking freely, looking good, looking sexy and still not being assaulted.

I am being idealistic?

Here’s a self confessed pervert, read what keeps him well behaved (From Nimmy’s blog)

Dabir Dalton said

February 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Years ago during an eye exam the female dr. who sat directly in front of me during the exam was wearing a low cut blouse and the way she sat gave me a clear view inside her blouse…This made me very uncomfortable because I knew that if I said anything it would have been me who would have been charged with sexual harassment due to the double standards promoted by feminists like Miss A…Since then as much as possible I make certain to have my wife tag along whenever I have an appointment with an immodest female professional…]

Reply

Indian Homemaker said

March 1, 2009 at 7:39 am

Doesn’t this show that fear of punishment makes all kind of men behave best? In a world full of people of all kinds making everybody responsible for their own behaviour seems to be the most practical thing to do. -IHM

This simply sums up whatever I have been trying to say.

NOTE: Published it, but I am going to be trying to edit it to make it shorter, I realise it's too long.

67 comments:

Winnie the poohi said...

I agree to every point.. the more we condone the worser the situation would become!

Oh wanted to share one link :

http://www.swayam.info/swayam_gi_leaflet_31mar.pdf

Indian Home Maker said...

@Winnie the Poohi The simpler the issue the more difficult it is to explain. I wish I could explain why blaming the woman is so dangerous .. we should do this like a tag.

Winnie the poohi said...

Oh yes we should! Lets take it up :)

I shall try and post something on it soon

Indian Home Maker said...

@Winnie the Poohi I look forward to reading your tag!

♥ Braja said...

I never get into discussions like this online, because I feel that whoever owns the blog has the right to express themselves and not be argued with...it kind of defeats the point of self expression. However, you've invited discussion by posting a previous "argument," in the real sense of the word, and so I feel ok about this :))

I agree that "blaming" the woman is giving a green light to men to behave badly. However, you're promoting double standards, while speaking out against it. If a woman wants equal rights, then she must take the consequences of her actions. We can't say "we have the right to go naked," then turn around and complain that men can't control themselves. This is not only naive and idealistic, it's plain foolish. I don't agree with the burkah'd up bullshit that goes on in some countries, nor do I believe in this other extreme. Women are women, and they are attractive to men. Yes men should be controlled. Simple. But if a woman is intelligent, and chaste (not locked up, but chaste), then there is some moderation, some decorum. What is wrong with chastity and decorum? I think both arguments have their points, but arguing extremities is pointless. What is required is balance.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Braja I agree no women plans to go naked but since Miss B brought it up I explained that even that does not legalise rape.

But what is chaste? You mean a virgin? So if a woman is sexually active should she not expect to be allowed to choose her partner, do molesters then get permission to pounce on her?

Are most rape victims and molestation victims guilty of not being decorous? The construction workers, women in kashmir, call centre worker raped by her driver, little children raped and killed, incest ... most sex crimes have little to do with a woman's/victim's character ...

Are sex crimes against women dependent on women being attractive to men? The Policeman More who raped a girl in the Police station? Sons of men in powerful positions ... I fear most rapes are about power and opportunity.
We provide plenty by excusing such crimes with women need to be decorous and chaste ...

Balvinder Singh said...

The famous saying that forbidden fruit is sweeter, the reason for eve teasing and more number of rapes taking place in our country may be due to restrictions put by society on mixing up of opposite sexes openly, particularly in the rural setup. I have just finished writing a post on my experience as a young Army officer in Nagaland where women remain topless in some villages. Well no rapes take place there and no eve teasing either.

Bones said...

A very answer to Nimmy's post...Sexual molestations are always premeditated and are not about attraction - they are about power...The incidence of molestation/rape has increased because the culprits are not punished...

I can't understand Braja's comment on chastity...As if virgins don't get molested...Also, how does it matter is a woman is chaste or not?

Indian Home Maker said...

@Mr Balvinder Singh That reaffirms my belief that it is all about letting men get used to seeing women as equals and as free individuals, and all a matter of getting used to something, so if they see women wearing tight jeans and noodle straps they will get used to that also :)

Hopping over to your blog to read your post,

Indian Home Maker said...

@Bones There is this general misconception that sex crimes happen because a woman was irresistibly provocative, or attractive.
or because she was dressed seductively. By this logic the rich and the famous should be the first victims, when exactly the opposite is true.

And I also don't understand how can decorum and chastity protect a woman from sex crimes.

freespirit said...

@Braja: We may or may or may not have the right to go naked. But we do have the right to wear what we like, as long as it the law does not deem it obscene, without being harassed. Men have every right to find a woman attractive. The right they do not, however, have is the right to force themselves on her, or subject her to any kind of physical or mental harassment, merely because they "find her attractive" or because they disapprove of her attire.

Also please define chastity and decorum. I've seen many "chaste" and "decorous" individuals who indulge in sex, drugs, and whatnot, only to condemn these very things the next day. Ultimately appreciation and harassment are two different things.

I agree with IHM and Mr. Balvinder Singh that it is all a matter of social conditioning.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Free Spirit Well put :)
And yes, they also need to know that there is a difference between appreciation and harassment...

Rakesh said...

As I said earlier IHM, I have objection to the word 'provocative' and you sum it up perfectly when you say "Even rape of a prostitute is a crime" That clearly explains, provocative dressing cannot be an excuse for molestors.

I guess, others are looking at this as a debate about modesty which it is not.

And yes, the fear of being punished will definitely stop these men from molesting women. But sadly, nobody gets so worked up about that.

Varunavi said...

Well said IHM.Even an IPS officer didnt escape the molestation.She was well dressed in her official uniform,what provoked the molester to molest her?No law came to her rescue.

nimis540 said...

:)

IHM,It seems that you missed Miss B's argument that 'she did not invite it'..Did Miss B say so?

Ok,now lemme see your points..

//If the hormonal/testosterone problem is very severe ...

Tell me how do we know which among the men out there have this 'extra' thing and is irrestabily aroused to dresses? Do we know that they are perverts until and unless they attack us? Or is it that we ahve some telepathy to understand that the 9th man among the 10 is a pervert and that we should atke him to hospital??


//Sex crimes are a result of provocation or Opportunism?

Of course it is about opportunism..Did Miss B say otherwise?Not all men are aroused or are intimidated by a woman's dress.but some are.But dear,how do1 we know who among our friends belong to this second class?


//They are free to look. Only look. Appreciate? Sure.


Sorry i don't like being scaned and raped by eyes .I feel ashamed of being a virtual treat to some random men on streets..


//Pass remarks? Touch? Molest? No.

To my understanding,it is humane to pass comments as 'wow' or 'geez'..Its involuntary response..Or is it that you see a beaituful rose,but move away turing your back on it..Yes,we may not dare to touch or smell it or squash it if the rose is somebody else's ..But expecting others not to pass comments is too much..Or is it that good remarks are welcome and others aren't ??Why do women not protest against good remarks,if they are against passing remarks??


//Maybe they feel good when men and women look at them. Maybe they just look good for themselves. That’s their problem. Molesting a woman is still not permissible.

Reference to attention seeking was not related to invitation for molesting..You read it wrong..Isn't it ironic to say that they need attention,but they don't want comments or remarks?How logical is that?


//Because In have no idea what will NOT attract comments except teaching the commenter a lesson

In our judiciary system,you will take a few years to teach lessons to a single commentator,forget teaching the hundreds or thousands you deal with on streets and buses..If you are ready to live a life in courts,go for it,but i am not.



//This also shows why we need women in positions of decision making.


Of course..Did Miss B say otherwise??

[regarding the incident ion a different country,we have more than enough varities of molesting in our own nation..We need to correct ourselves before losing sleep over somebody else's nation..


//We get offended because we know we are right.

To me,people get offended when they are not sure of themselves and have inferiority complex..


//When we ask her to cover her body to avoid provoking men into crimes, then we make her a sexual object.

I agree completely..But then again,I wonder why some women show off their assets to look sexy and hot? We have infinite women magazines telling us how to look spicy and garam...


//We know of women who are victims of inscest, abuse and torture but never dare to speak, because they know they will be made to feel like it's their fault.

You prove my point that i discussed i my blog,that if there had been a strict law and order system,things would have been better,rather speding a whole life trying to change rigid people.If law and order had been strict,rigid perverts would chnage on their own..


//Clothing is symbolic

Yes,every dress sends a message depending on how and where you are.. Why don't we wear bikni's to office? Why don't we wear burkhas to discos?


//The fact is that safer cities for everyone else are automatically safer for women too. This shows that if the law of the land is upheld, women (and hence families) are also safer.

Yes,thatz why I said to strenghthen the law and order system instead of moral policing random men on streets.

//Punish a few, condemn all, and see the difference it makes.Men who attack do that only because they know that there is a strong chance that they can get away with it.

Yes,that is the solution..But until that situation is reachedmwhat should we do?Risk ourselves or take care?

// When we talk of provocative dressing we give them a very strong message that they will not be blamed, they were provoked. That's a very dangerous message to give in a civil society.


True,very true..Did Miss B say otherwise,did she say that 'she deserved it' or 'She asked for it' ??

//If everybody had always lived in such fears women would still be wearing traditional clothing of their native places.

Very true.As Winne said little time agin,it is bcoz of the scarifices of the first pioneers of freedom ,that we enjoy what we have today. As Miss B said,go for it,if you have it in you ,to take that extra step and move forward..I really hope that more and more women come this way,but above all,i hope that they will take care of themselves during the journey.This is why i talked about being collective in actions as not to get defeated...


//Along with economic independence, success, wealth comes the freedom to enjoy looking good and having fun.


Freedom comes with a price .Getting raped is not the price of freedom of clothing and it should not be that way.But this is not really a free world and your freedom ends where mine starts.

//but don't fall into this trap of believing that being dressed 'modestly' will protect you.


Please read my post and see for youself that Miss B never said that burkha or any modest dress will make you immune to abuse..

The whole post is not about asking women to absatin from dressing provocatively ,but to take care as to not attract much attention..Perverts are going to do it anyway,so lessen you being the choice by staying out of focus .Also,Miss B was reffering to both males and women and not girls alone,as appeared here...


Love..


p.s :IHM :don't take things personally ok ..I am confused and hence i shared my thoughts..By sharing thoughts i am learning more and i am not rigid in my ideas..((hugs))

Indian Home Maker said...

@Nimmy Please read what I read on Annie's blog, Known Turf. She expresses it much better than I ever can.


Is staring/ ogling/ checking out/ leching wrong?
I don't think so.

Does it make me uncomfortable?
Yes.
... I also recognize that this bothers me more in situations where I know the leer can easily turn into a grope.

Is touching wrong?
Yes.

When you touch a another person without his/her permission, you run the risk of violating the person. If you touch them in places that are - in normative terms - regarded as sexual areas, therefore off-limits for those who do not have sexual rights over you, this person will be perfectly justified in snarling, snapping, slapping or otherwise reacting violently to your gesture. You could also be punished for it legally ...

Some people have spoken of clothes and the impact they have on harrassment.

From personal experience, I know there is no direct correlation.
The first incident I mentioned, when I was 13, occurred when I was in frilly frocks and still had ribbons in my hair. Almost all later incidents have happened when I have been in shalwaars and full-sleeved kameezes.

Strangely, the rare times when I have stepped out wearing short skirts and tank tops, men have kept a slight distance. I fail to understand this paradox. But I do have a hypothesis -
When I am wearing a short skirt in public, I give out a signal. That I am not meek. I'm not your regular bhartiya naari and that you cannot count on my being a placid, accepting victim.
Many more men stare at bare shoulders, bare legs... many more women stare too. But, in my limited experience, few men dare to touch a woman they're shocked by.

abhishek said...

Two things about your post.

1.How do we distinguish between a well-meant remark of appreciation and passing comment?

2.When you say 'Women do not want to be sexual objects' are you sure you are talking for every woman on this planet? Any way what's wrong in being sexual?

and lastly I want to thank you for writing these brilliant thought-provoking posts and atleast giving me everyday 'brain-exercise'.

Chikki said...

Oops, I did not even think this was debatable, It is so obvious for me, A women's dressing sense is no excuse to go and rape her.what crap are these people talking about??

I will get back in support of you, have to sleep for now.

You have chosen a wonderful topic.Bravo!

I will quickly reply to one line from Braja here :-

If a woman wants equal rights, then she must take the consequences of her actions.

What "actions" are we talking about?Dressing?Thats not even an action!! Can't women just wear what they want to, what they feel like???haa??


IHM, you know , I think it is definitely the hormones, Practically speaking, so many guys in India don't even have female friends forget girl friends, its just their desperation.

And the whole "Proactively" dressed concept applies in India. Its not considered "Proactive" here in Singapore.I am not joking, but gals here hardly wear anything!!!But no one even stares at them, forget about molestation.Its just that everyone is so used to it, that they don't classify that as 'proactive'.

Finally it boils down to your freedom.You should wear what you feel like !! why would someone call in an "action" like equating it with crime or something??I am talking about -->

"if a woman wants equal rights, then she must take the consequences of her actions."

This was plain shit!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Abhishek Thanks You, and I am truly glad you read the posts in a way that makes you think :)

1. Okay read this, not my own words, but it should help ... Click on this link to read this awesome post.


Is whistling, passing comments, singing songs wrong?
No.
Does it annoy me, as a woman?
Sometimes.
But I recognize that the man is not physically or psychologically damaging me in any way, and so he has a right to whistle, sing or comment.
EXCEPT when the words turn abusive or sexually violent. Verbal violence is punishable by law. Threats are punishable by law, and there is no reason a woman(or man) should have to hear any.


I would add if she is a total stranger, it would be unwise to attempt at acquaintance by passing remarks. That is offensive.
Look without staring or making her uncomfortable, admire but no need to tell her that.
Also it would be unwise to assume that she is looking good for you (I read a commenter on Nimmy's blog claiming women look good means they are inviting male attention, he sounded like he thought they invite abuse or harassment ...)

2. Women do not like being treated as sexual objects. I don't think any human would like to be treated like an object.

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

You awe me...your passion, your thoughts, your drive. I don't always agree with what you say (very miniscule), but I can't help but see the point and agree!

RandomBystander said...

I really wonder if people who say "provocative" dressing encourages molestation have any real understanding/knowledge of molestation.

From my own experiences and those of my friends, we were harassed most when we were schoolgirls travelling by Delhi's DTC buses. At that age I did not even understand what it meant to be "provocative".

I can say with certainty that women are harassed when perverts consider them defenceless and they know they can get away with doing it. Provocative does not even come into the picture.

Anrosh said...

The art of visualisation = sex crimes.

Charakan said...

Good post IHM, Most Rapes and other forms of sexual harassment of Women are methods used by men in a Patriarchal society to terrorize women and maintain their hold on power. The vulnerable sections [among women] are more targeted because chances of legal punishments are less. So here low social status and not way of dressing determines who is the victim. Hormones have no role.

A free and independent woman [who may dress liberally] is considered as a threat to the Patriarchal society. So there may be an attempt to harass such women as it happened in Mangalore pub. The provocation here is not sexual, but the courage of such women to stand up against the unwritten rules of the society. Hormones have no role here.
Naga tribes are in hunter-gatherer society stage. So no violence on women.

But all rapists are not the same.
Some rapists [including female rapists] are sexual perverts. They resort to rape due to the diseased nature of their mind. They need medical help. Here also hormonal levels have not much role. Pattern of dressing is also irrelevant here.

Piper .. said...

completely agree with each and every point. Its crazy, the way people actually believe that sexual crimes are committed because the woman in qstn dresses a certain way! By God, are these people born this way or do they actually make an effort to acquire such high levels of 'idiocy'??

Indyeah said...

IHM let me simply agree with Chikki and echo one pint of his ,the most important one,THIS ISSUE IS NOT DEBATABLE.PERIOD.

This is not about dresses.dressing sense/modesty/what not/.

That dilutes the whole issue!

gawd!A woman is raped or molested or harassed and we start a dialogue on dressing!???

How ?Why?Are we going mad as a society?

Have we forgotten what a simple word mean?FREEDOM OF AN INDIVIDUAL??

Indian Home Maker said...

@Mamma mia! Me a mamma Thank You! But sometimes you just don't know how to explain something so very simple, and something that should not even be debatable.

But the fact that there are doubts, perhaps means it should be discussed...
This was a half hearted post ...

Indian Home Maker said...

@Chikki It's good hear you say that :) Please do!
I totally agree this is not debatable.
But if you find even victims blaming themselves and feeling safer covered up, maybe we should discuss this... not sure ..
my biggest feeling is of course that this is absolutely ridiculous, and when we just know something as given, it also becomes difficult to explain...

Women do believe that any bring most assaults on themselves. Deep, deep conditioning.
And they believe that wearing certain kinds of clothes will protect them.

There must be statistics to show this is not true. That more women are assaulted in traditional clothing than in tight jeans and noodle straps!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Indyeah I know how you feel. I feel the same way.
And yet a huge number of our population believes otherwise. To say it is ridiculous and brush is aside is my dream situation, but many of these are voters and many -shockingly and very unfortunately in positions of decision making.

Happy to hear some clear voices here ... gosh we do need such sanity and clarity :)

This was good to read! 'gawd!A woman is raped or molested or harassed and we start a dialogue on dressing!???

How ?Why?Are we going mad as a society?'


We do seem to be a mad society.

Indian Home Maker said...

@piper LOL They are not born that way, but from the moment they are born the conditioning begins very seriously. Every where from their childhood, they hear the same sort of nonsense frequently couched as culture, tradition and religion...
:(

Indian Home Maker said...

@Charakan "The vulnerable sections [among women] are more targeted because chances of legal punishments are less. So here low social status and not way of dressing determines who is the victim. Hormones have no role."

Nobody looks around with open eyes to see what's actually happening, we are brainwashed/conditioned to blame the woman so well ...
Thanks for this comment Charakan!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Random Bystander Nice name :)

I can say with certainty that women are harassed when perverts consider them defenceless and they know they can get away with doing it. Provocative does not even come into the picture.

Thanks for commenting, and I agree! Just imagine if women and even mothers think this way, who is going to support the victims!!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Anrosh :(

Pixie said...

The comments were equally stimulating...

I agree with what you have written and I did put acorss my thoughts on Nimmy's blog as well...
Modesty and what to "cover up" and what "To show" is left to our discretion and any sort of abuse towards a woman is to be condemned and we need to stop blaming the victims!

Bones said...

"The whole post is not about asking women to absatin from dressing provocatively ,but to take care as to not attract much attention.."
Isn't this statement by Nimmy contradictory?

There are 2 reasons why rapists/molesters don't get punished - 1. Inadequate laws and 2. Society...
In the more vulnerable sections of the society, rape victims are under huge pressure from society not to report the incident...Reason: people will come to know and the family will be ostracized...

Quirky Indian said...

Does anyone remember that Amitabh Bachchan dialogue from Dostana? The "seetiyan nahin to kyaa mandir ki ghantiyan bajengi?" one? More than 25 years later, it's surprising - actually, not surprising at all - that women themselves should seek to take this bit of regressive, sexist dialogue as the truth.

It is sad that self-protection and vigilance are being confused with surrender and submission. Of course the real fear of being molested exists (whether you dress provocatively or not)....but meekly giving in will only embolden them further....dressing to conform to men's standards of modesty will only work to weaken the cause of women. It finally is a matter of choice, but it has always been the way of weakness to disguise its surrender as practicality, and that is something we are all - myself included - guilty of.

And before any of the defenders of women's modesty start pointing out the obvious, yes, as a man, I haven't experienced what women go through when it comes to unwanted attention. But that doesn't make my argument wrong, does it?

Quirky Indian

Monika said...

i think chikki put it plain and simple the issue is not debatable.... we have that right

good post and good comments... i am actually glad that lopt of people agree to what u have written after reading comments on nimmi's post , i was a bit scared... specially the one u have qouted here

Chirag said...

IHM, Sex crimes are a result of neither provocation or Opportunism, its a simple case of a male having a weak self image and in the act of the violence he feels 'strong'. Sadly, punishment is not equal to crime. And for rich and famous its almost nothing.

Aathira said...

On reading any case of eve teasing or molestation, especially in public areas, the first thing I think is always why didn't the public who were there around at that time do anything.

It is not always that the crime takes place at lonely roads and places where many people are not there. Even if there is one person, a criminal might be scared off by someone taking one step forward and knowing the fact that he is over powered in number.

Malvika said...

Long long time ago, in 1994, a sleepy december morning in a small town of UP, a 13 yr old girl woke up to go for her coaching class. She bundled herself in woolens, gathered her books and left for the coaching center which was 10 houses away in the same block. She was only scared of stray dogs jumping at her in the dark, what else,huh? On the street she notices a girl followed by a guy.Ah well..Poor things she thinks..Victims of early morning coaching centers like her. She walks on lazily,when she notices the guy in front slowing his pace.Before she could comprehend what was happening, the guy turned and lunged at her.Her books fell down, and a shriek is muffled in her throat, while the guy is tearing at her clothes(sweaters,shawl,mittens!),trying to bite her,scratch her. She manages to throw him off and in bafflement, asks in a shocked voice- are you mad? The guy jumps at her again, this time trying to pull her to a dark alley this time. The girl shrieks and shrieks, and fortunately an elderly neighbour hears the commotion and comes out of his house. The guy runs away but his evil face is forever burned in that girl's memory. She gathers her books while the neighbour looks shocked and advises her to inform her parents. She just quietly slips to her coaching class. SHE WAS CHASTE. SHE WAS INNOCENT. SHE WAS COVERED FROM HEAD TO TOE.She was me..

hitch writer said...

Like you said, guys are free to look, appreciate... sure !!

but to comment, molest or touch... nope....

thats what every one needs to understand...

the fact that the guys tell their mothers, wives or sisters not to wear provocative dresses here is the worst compliment our society is getting !!

And unless men understand and change.... nothing will change !

2 B's mommy said...

IHM, I read this post and the one that you have linked to. Very well written.

When I was younger, my dad never liked us wearing skirts. I am sure he was just looking out for us cos he didn't want us to attract attention. But what he didn't know was that we faced sexual harrasment/eve teasing/flashing whatever you call it even when we wore salwaar kameez.With all due respect to him I wish, my dad would have rather got us trained in self defence or given us the spray to protect ourselves irrespective of what we were wearing.

Having said that, I would feel uncomfortable and worried when my daughter grows up and wears short skirts or revealing tops when she is going out partying. I think thats just a mum thing One thing is for sure though, I WILL make sure that she knows self defence or carries a pepper spray with her. It does help though that I am living in a country where how a woman dresses up is thought as her choice; no one will give a second glance if you are wearing a tube n shorts and walking the streets in summer. First, I think men are quite used to seeing woman in clothes that the women are comfy in( cos even their mothers and sisters wear skirts/short etc) and second, there is law/police which will not take a sexual harrasement complaint lightly.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Pixie I am just relieved to know we do see that Modesty and what to "cover up" and what "To show" is left to our discretion and any sort of abuse towards a woman is to be condemned and we need to stop blaming the victims!
So there's a lot of hope!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Bones Yes it is contradictory ... and how far does one go to not attract attention? Wear dull coloured, simple clothes, not look attractive...and then hope you will be safe?! Women are actually led to believe that they if they do not attract attention they will be safer than if they do attract attention!
Did Malavika's comment .. I have mentioned my own experience in an earlier post ... this is the power of brainwashing, we will believe anything :(

Chikki said...

I just read Balvinder's comment.Excellent, he has brought out what I also said in my comment above

The famous saying that forbidden fruit is sweeter, the reason for eve teasing and more number of rapes taking place in our country may be due to restrictions put by society on mixing up of opposite sexes openly, particularly in the rural setup. I have just finished writing a post on my experience as a young Army officer in Nagaland where women remain topless in some villages. Well no rapes take place there and no eve teasing either.

Also I loved the below one by Indyeah

This is not about dresses.dressing sense/modesty/what not/

And then

As I said earlier IHM, I have objection to the word 'provocative'

Even I have objection to word 'provocative'.Its a misnomer, clearly!If I was a skirt and if you classified me in that 'provocative' list, I would feel as if you are blaming me for a crime which I did not do!!
You get my point. A dress alone cannot PROVOKE..so lets not call in 'Provocative dressing'.

Now about Nimmy's comment

What you said is so damn right.

But if you find even victims blaming themselves and feeling safer covered up

1st part of Nimmy's comment quite blames herself.

"Do we know that they are perverts until and unless they attack us? Or is it that we have some telepathy to understand that the 9th man among the 10 is a pervert and that we should take him to hospital??"

What I don't understand, why are you punishing yourself by not dressing up the way you feel like??

And clearly Nimmy has PRESUMED that if a gal wears salwar suits, she WONT ATTRACT ATTENTION. Now, this is the basic assumption on which her ideology is based, and so many commentators above have proved it wrong, and I don't think, she will have any further points to make.

Something REALLY FUNNY from her comment was

Isn't it ironic to say that they need attention,but they don't want comments or remarks?How logical is that?

I started laughing when I read this and I am still laughing.
My answer is THATS SOOO LOGICAL..HAHAHA..WHY ARE HAVING TROUBLE SEEING THE LOGIC THERE??

Duh!!:-)!!

Thats pretty much what I wanna say IHM.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Quirky Indian - You remember that dialogue!?? I have been quoting it and you are right - in fact you have conveyed what I have been trying to say but just not able to put in words ...
Sometimes something is so simple it becomes difficult to explain, so thank you :)

It is sad that self-protection and vigilance are being confused with surrender and submission. Of course the real fear of being molested exists (whether you dress provocatively or not)....but meekly giving in will only embolden them further....dressing to conform to men's standards of modesty will only work to weaken the cause of women. It finally is a matter of choice, but it has always been the way of weakness to disguise its surrender as practicality, and that is something we are all - myself included - guilty of.

And thank you for understanding, even more because, as you say, as a man, you haven't experienced what women go through when it comes to unwanted attention
:)

Indian Home Maker said...

@Monika That guy has a problem and he proved a point by behaving himself because he feared being punished :)

I also agree with Chikki, this is definitely and absolutely not debatable.
And like you, Monika I feel relief when I hear people condemning a crime instead of giving wrong signals to the criminal :)

@lankr1ta said...

I wonder why we never talk about men who "turn us on". You know there are times when a male co-worker is dressed well, showing off a good hard body, wearing a nice cologne or aftershave, which is a big turn on. Why is it when we women face folk like this, we are more likely to be embarrassed at our public reactions to these turn ons, rather than cop a feel and then blame the guy for being dressed the way he was(and let us no even go into the half naked men we see all he time, not turn ons but basically disgusting). I think it is because as women and as a society we are conditioned that this does not happen. Women just "do not get turned on" by the sight, sound, smell of men, just as much men claim they do by women. In reality, it is mutual and happens both ways only one sex is conditioned to keep their involuntary bodily reactions under control- while the other, is allowed to use that as an excuse to behave badly. I was not very surprised not to find that side of the story told on that "very balanced" piece. I think in the end that piece engaged in what is known as "slut shaming" the whole "She asked for it excuse". No matter if it was perverts being talked about or "decent men" or "covered up women".

@lankr1ta said...

IHM, to carry on , why don't women stare, leer or pass comments- I have rarely seen them do it. Is it because it is "less acceptable"? On he other hand, most men I have known have done so(at least the staring part) , some have even made comments about other women in my presence- isn't it just about male privilege, and not "provocation". And now that I re-read your post, I wonder, what really is provocative? The foot- like in Pakeezah- remeber he fell in love with he because of her bare feet, the ankle- the Victorians spoke of a lady never showing her ankles, or more things? I think it is all about "privilege" and women "dignified dressing" is all part of the "slut shaming" process, wherein everyone except the perpetrator is responsible for the crime.
Imagine if I snatched your diamond earrings from you, which you were wearing and then as my defense claimed that I was incited by them, and wanted them and you should not have worn them as they forced me to commit a crime, would you even think of buying that argument? No, because it is ridiculous. Similarly is not "provocative dressing" a completely idiotic concept?

nimis540 said...

@Chikki,peace :) lol...

Sandhya said...

It's my choice and free will to wear what I want but you cannot claim a right to molest me because I exercised the right to wear self desired clothes. If it ignites your sexual uncontrollable self and you act on it, doesn't mean I was wrong and you are right. You can salivate over a delicacy that is not served to you but you cannot claim a right to consume it just because it passed your sight.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Chirag Yes, 'punishment is not equal to crime' is a sad fact!!
On the contrary there is no punishment! Or punishment is there but only for the victim. And if we firmly punish a few the rest I am sure will think twice! Instead we are saying everything to let them know "It is okay to misbehave we will create a situation where she will never dare to complain!"

Indian Home Maker said...

@Athira Yes Athira I agree, "It is not always that the crime takes place at lonely roads and places where many people are not there. Even if there is one person, a criminal might be scared off by someone taking one step forward and knowing the fact that he is over powered in number."

Once we stop looking at the victims' clothes to check if there was something in her clothes to have provoked the culprit, we will be able to think of stopping the assault also :(

Indian Home Maker said...

@Malavika Thanks for sharing your story. So many of us have such stories to tell :(
But you were brave to fight back, the horror could have petrified you! Just the thought of it - a thirteen year old kid being attacked like this, is so terrifying and sad and maddening.

Nothing could have made the point clearer, I hope those who blame women for inviting such assaults read this.
On the street she notices a girl followed by a guy.Ah well..Poor things she thinks..Victims of early morning coaching centers like her. She walks on lazily Isn't this how we truly see such cases? My sister used to go for early morning tuition and everyday an old man tried to sing and hum and follow her, finally one day she turned and gave him a yelling, filthy language and all, and all his hopes of a frightened school girl, an easy victim must have faded ... he disappeared.

She just quietly slips to her coaching class. Is exactly what I did when another one flashed at a friend and me ... never a mention to anyone. I think we need an environment where this does not happen. We should feel no shame in discussing this and lambasting the creep.

Solilo said...

I read the discussion on Nimmy's and here and if siding with Miss or is that Mrs. B ;) I can say that Winters are best season then. You know all covered.

Afree with Chikki that issue isn't debatable but sad that it is! Still it is after all these years when women are still blamed for dressing the way they are to jagao the inner animal inside the man. I mean you thought that Menaka did that with Vishwamitra in some epic but even now!

Is anyone going to post a Mr. A vs. Mr. B.:)

Indian Home Maker said...

@Hitchwriter So true, if we hear 'the guys tell their mothers, wives or sisters not to wear provocative dresses here is the worst compliment our society is getting !!'

Absolutely. And I also feel it should be easy to understand that girls or anybody do like being appreciated but hate being molested... why is that so difficult to understand for some Hitchwriter?
:(

Indian Home Maker said...

@ 2 B's Mommy "First, I think men are quite used to seeing woman in clothes that the women are comfy in ( cos even their mothers and sisters wear skirts/short etc) and second, there is law/police which will not take a sexual harassment complaint lightly."

We do need our guys to get used to seeing women dress the way they like and we need a police that follows the law not society's and goon's diktats.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Chikki Very well explained. Need I say I agree :)

And one very important point you made, 'And clearly Nimmy has PRESUMED that if a gal wears salwar suits, she WONT ATTRACT ATTENTION. Now, this is the basic assumption on which her ideology is based, and so many commentators above have proved it wrong, and I don't think, she will have any further points to make.
Absolutely!!
Thank You Chikki!
Just saw your new post, let me come and read it !

Indian Home Maker said...

@Sandhya 'You can salivate over a delicacy that is not served to you but you cannot claim a right to consume it just because it passed your sight.' is how I feel too, I guess all women do!

@Nimmy - Ms A to Ms B - "Peace!" :)
I understand your questions, I have such doubts also... we need to really think it from the beginning, how and when did this thinking begin ..

@Solilo I always thought this cannot be debated, this was so understood... but now look!!!
:(

Winnie the poohi said...

Umm my point is.. things are bad.. but we have to change it now.. so that our grand daugheters can dress at will..

I know it will take atleast that much time to change the majority.. not all ofcourse.. and yet.. if we wait to make the change ourselves.. or just coz society wont.. we will be denying them their rights .. *erm i sound like an old woman**

Nita said...

I agree with all that you say IHM! My views and yours seem to be exactly the same where this topic is concerned.

nimis540 said...

Dear IHM, You are not Miss A and i am not Miss B in particular..Miss A and Miss B are the voices inside my me,my mind..I have been unclear about myself regaring my take on this..As the optimistic part in me,Miss A says ,I strongly believe that one is free to choose and others should respect her what she/he is.But till date,I haven't seen or heard of a person who will act and jsutify like Miss A ,remember,in real time..Or maybe it is just me and my life,that i am too pessimistic,but trust me,my conclusions are drawn out of experience..I have a feeling(not a vague intution,but a strong conviction) that none of the people around me,and that includes even my mother or my husband,who will stand by my side if it happened to me.They would say 'Why did you wear such a dress' or 'You should ahve taken care'..Maybe i am being pessimistic and i hope i go wrong,but this is how things arfe in my life ,so i better deal with it and make the best out of given scenario rather than fighting with others all my life.Yes,I know that even if i dress in dull colours or in sack like dress,some people will find me pretty and tease me..But atleast,I am glad that the number of people who do so will be small,in comparison to the reaction i would get if i wore what i like..I don't dress like a donkey-in dull and sack attire,but i don't dress like Aishwarya Rai either..

If i was in the opposite side of your thoughts,how can i talk and think like Miss A?My mind has both these convictions and i can't (still) make out where i stand..

But thatz just me,i would never say that i am right,but i am only trying to make out the best of what i have.Those who have a better environment can do it and live their life...I will never ever point fingers at them..

Indian Home Maker said...

@Dear Nimmy of course I know that! I answered only to Miss B, never to Nimmy.

I understand what makes Miss B think what she does, I have had my moments of doubt too, but all logic and all facts prove Miss B totally wrong. I wanted Miss B to be proven wrong so that Miss A feels more confident. If Miss A feels confident I am sure she will find strength to fight the way only our brilliant and lovable miss A can :)

I hope you read Annie's post, I linked in response to your last comment, above.
Hugz, IHM

Indian Home Maker said...

@Nita Yes I know from your posts which always serve to reassure when I have my moments of doubt... :) Thank You Nita!

@Winnie the Poohi 'things are bad.. but we have to change it now.. so that our grand daughters can dress at will..' does not sound old, it is very wise, and very practical :)

The Quirky Indian said...

"And thank you for understanding, even more because, as you say, as a man, you haven't experienced what women go through when it comes to unwanted attention
:)"


Actually, IHM, I once had a gay guy make a pass at me, and I suppose it should count, as it was definitely unwanted! I did write a post about it. It's under the "hitchhiking" category in my blog.

Cheers,

Quirky Indian

Indian Home Maker said...

@Quirky Indian OMG!!! Let me read that!!
Never occurred to me ... but now imagine you were universally blamed for inviting the attentions!!

1conoclast said...

I said I'm on blogging hiatus & I intend to be, but I just had to correct the misconceptions that Ms. B has (& a few that the author has).

1. Idealism is what moves society ahead. Inventions, Discoveries, Art, Science, Laws, Civilization, everything comes from being idealistic. It's called evolving.
Realism is an excuse for stangnation, for extinction. No planes would've existed if men hadn't wanted to fly. So much for the realists!

2. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance yes. Yes we should be able to walk around nude & leave our doors unlocked & our wallets lying around in the house. And we do.
In olden times, no one locked their doors. Did we have a problem? I've heard some towns/villages/colonies still do that!
In my house, I leave my wallet lying around. By God's grace, the maid doesn't steal anything. I'm trying to illustrate that just like stealing happens, the opposite also happens. So having faith & encouraging trust are equally important.
Nudism isn't a problem. Go to Goa. Lounge on the beaches. Take in the nude breasts. There's no stopping you. Just don't rape. I was in Goa & I took in the sights smilingly. I didn't rape anyone. I didn't even feel like raping anyone. I didn't want to touch or pass a comment. I may have wanted to compliment a few of them, but that's not the same thing as pawing.

3. Take it from a man. Men like looking at women. Period. A figure hugging churidar-kurta is as ogle-able as a bikini.

4. Women who wear shorts/skirts outside the house definitely wear them inside the house.

5. Zulm sehna bhi gunaah hai. Opting to take care of yourself, like IHM suggested, could be carrying pepper spray, car keys, learning karate etc. Not hiding behind ghunghats & burqhas!

6. You think modesty avoids problems? Where do most of the rapes happen? In naked urban India or in fully clothed rural India?
Was Phoolan Devi wearing a little black number when she was raped? Was Banwari Devi?
What was the 17 year old college girl that was raped by constable sunil more on Marine Drive wearing???
Boss... Living in fear will not solve the problem. Locking up the goons will solve half the problem. Giving them an education will help solve the problem. Making society more open & sex more acceptable (& accessible) will solve the problem.

7. IHM... The ultra-feminist in you misread the poor man. He was not going to pass a comment at the doctor's offending blouse. He wanted to ask her to cover up, but was scared because of sexual harassment laws that are biased towards women. Maybe they should be that way, but that doesn't take away the fact that they're currently biased.

This desire to keep men well behaved is not very different from the male desire to keep women well behaved.

I take offence at your claim that it's the fear of punishment that keeps men well behaved. If that were true sunil more wouldn't have raped the young college kid! He was a lawkeeper. He knew the law!!! Your logic is flawed. The problem is deeper than that.

I don't have statistics on this, but is the %age of rape lower in more sexually permissive societies? That could possibly be one part of the answer... one part only.

And if it is, doesn't that again mean, that it's the liberal, idealistic thought that solutions lie with, instead of conservative regressive thought?

Indian Home Maker said...

@1conoclast Hey, What a surprise!! Nice to see you ... Thanks :) I am really grateful that you commented even though you are on a blogging hiatus.

And you have made such valid points, I wanted to say the same thing but was finding it impossible to explain ...So thanks again!