What should I wear??? I am a woman !!!

  - August 17th, 2014 by Shalini Nambiar | Posted in General   No Comments »
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I am a woman and live in a free country so why I can’t I wear what I want to. I have been brought up in a family with complete Indian traditions and culture and I know those …I need to respect my elders, I need to take care of my family and many many more.

But my family did not say that they will issue diktats on what I should wear and when? I am an educated person so I know I cannot wear a bikini for a wedding but the recent remarks by Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLA Lavoo Mamledarwho  has asserted that bikinis are against Indian culture and, if at all, Goa should have private and paid “bikini beaches “has left me angry, speechless ,

I love salwar kameez , sareer, skirts, jeans and bikini so naturally education and family has made me aware of what to wear when, then why do I need the law custodians to tell me what to wear?

Why In India woman are being treated like this????

We just cannot stand there and blame the law as we need to change the mindset of the people. I strongly feel, being a feminist that I am, that men are always looking for opportunities to control woman. They live in ivory castles where they assume that they are powerful and have this innate desire of controlling the other sex.

When we look back it started years and years ago ….the ‘Pajeb’ on the feet of a married woman  is worn as it is a sign of being slave to a man , Sita had to cross the fire to prove to Ram that she was pure.

Everyone keeps stressing on Girl education but it is the boys who need to be educated, of being told by their mothers on how to treat woman rather than girls being told of succumbing to the wishes of their husband and in-laws.

We laugh and enjoy ‘Comedy with Kapil’ show ….great viewership and whole family enjoys but read between the lines …what kind of message  he is spreading…demean your wife ….and we all love it because we are used to that torture …that insult ..That sarcasm!!!!

Moreover our laws still follow the 18th century dictum and we quietly follow it without questioning. Some of them are ….

  1. 1.     Hindu laws of inheritance: Right now different religions have different personal laws that regulate inheritance, marriage, separation and guardianship in India. In the case of Hindus, the property of a woman who dies without a will is handled differently from that of a man. In the absence of spouse and children, the husband’s heirs inherit the woman’s estate.“Even if the deceased woman was ill-treated in her marital home, her husband’s mother or father will get her property instead of her own mother or father
  2. 2.      Age of consent: Sexual intercourse with a girl below the age of 18 is considered rape. But since child marriages are not illegal, a man can legally have sex with his wife even if she is a minor, as long as she is above the age of 15. Further, marital rape is not criminalised in India.
  3. 3.      Marriageable age: The minimum age for marriage for a boy is 21, but 18 for a girl. This is a legal extension of the patriarchal mindset that believes that a wife should always be younger than the man.
  4. 4.      No right to marital property: Upon separation or divorce, an Indian woman is entitled only to maintenance from her husband. She has no right to the assets, such as house or commercial property, bought in her husband’s name during the marriage. So if she leaves him or gets divorced, even years after the marriage, she is potentially without assets. Indian government policies do not consider the work done at home by a woman as having any economic value.

Several times girls names are not mentioned in the ration card lists as the family fear that they may ask for share in the property after marriage. We as a society need to over such wide-spread discrimination against women

Empowerment of women is an irritant to the mindset of a patriarchal society and hence the increase in violence against women. In such oppressive conditions, the recent spontaneous protests gain significance.

Laws are redundant in the absence of social responsibility towards gender issues and the political will to implement the laws. The rampant corruption in the political system can hardly curb the crime rate. We, as a society, need to fight the decadent, patriarchal culture that considers women merely instruments of reproduction. This perception should change, in consonance with our constitutional guarantees to women because a woman is human.


So while we are creating a hue and cry over Goa’s minister remarks …Ladies look within yourself …are we allowing us to be dictated by these insecure men…

We, as a society, need to fight the decadent, patriarchal culture that considers women merely instruments of reproduction.


 Shalini Nambiar

August 17 2014 09:59 am | General

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