Everyone’s take on women, clothes, rape


Two wonderfully nuanced and sensible responses to this whole furor:

Kalpana Sharma, ‘On wearing ‘obscene’ clothes‘  in The Hindu, 8 January 2012

Harini Calamur, ‘Lulling women into false sense of security‘, DNA, 9 January 2012


Sometimes I search for tactful ways to describe people’s stupidity. In this case, it isn’t really possible.

The story so far:

First, the Director General of Police of Andhra Pradesh said this.

Top quote:

“When you are taking food which gives good josh, you tend to be more naughty as time passes. I am giving you down-to-earth facts. Rapes are not in the control of the police … Even the villagers from coastal Andhra are wearing salwar-kameez (as against traditional dress). All these things provoke”.

Next, the Minister for Women and Child Welfare in Karnataka had this comment, when asked about what the AP DGP had said.

Third, and absolutely unforgivably, KK Seethama, former Head of Dept. of Women’s Studies at Bangalore University and head of the committee against sexual harassment had this to say:

I’m against women wearing obscene clothes. With such clothes, they tempt men and that’s why they get raped. Even when one wears saris , long-sleeve blouses must be worn. I tell my students they must wear long kurtas when they wear jeans,” she said.

“I advocate a dress code for women for their own good. What’s the use of wearing short tops and showing off their tummy? Women look pretty when they are well covered. Many women lecturers in BU wear salwars and jeans. What respect can they expect from boys?

Finally, voices of sanity:

Read Shilpa Phadke And Sameera Khan on ‘The 21st Century Politics of College Clothing’ here on Infochange India

Samar Halarnkar in today’s Hindustan Times on the ‘rash of stupid comments from officials about clothes, rape’ that ‘reveals why indian women struggle to advance’. Read his response here.