Strangely, the reality revolves around a totally opposite notion. Our society sees 'Dressing' as an act of being civilized, mannered, homely and majority of people make conclusions on our character as per the dress worn. This post is mainly meant on the so called norms of dressing that many girls, like myself face even today with the trouble of choosing what to wear in order to please the society and family. Or I would rather say, in fear of the society and family!
Recently I have realized, that a girl does not decide what she wears, it is the society norms that decide her clothing. ( shocked? seems ridiculous right?) But it is true. We don;t realize that because we are at the far end of this chain while the beginning is somewhere unknown! Let us shortlist the general questions which must be coming to the mind while choosing a dress for yourself, or lets say, you must be indirectly expected to think twice before wearing something? These are some questions revolving around just one thought - The judgement of Others!
Log kya sochenge ( What will people think?)
Ma-papa kuch bolenge toh nahi? (What will my parents think? )
Would they even allow me to go out of my own house wearing that?
On the other hand, parents think - Kuch ho gaya toh? Naam kharab hoga ( If something happens to her? society reactions!!) and all the crap! Well I understand they feel protective about us, but this is controlling someone's way to express! This gives rise to Fear and eventually compromising on tastes, just always! Why all these questions revolve solely around a girl? She is always being watched upon in different ways right from her own house to wherever she goes. There is this famous proverb : Charity begins at Home. Which means that you should try to help your family and friends before you think of helping other people. If restrictions begin at home itself, where do you think the mentality is taking the society?
So many people still believe that a girl invites trouble for herself, because she dresses in a certain way. But no one asks as to who gave the right to take it as an Invitation after all? People give a mean look to girls wearing short, sleeveless, glamorous dresses. Often elderly people are found saying : Western culture has spoiled the girls, and this statement comes from the way she dresses. She is judged from just one mere look, scanned through and the comments start flowing. Who is to be blamed for those judgments Who is to be blamed for those passing lewd comments and harassing? Who probes them? Me, you, the family who brought him up or the society and cultural norms that influenced his mindset....who has to be held responsible?
Girls have become a subject of symbolism and a status symbol. They are therefore adorned and portrayed in a certain way as to being presented as an identity of the family. But what is wrong if she takes decisions for herself? What is wrong if she is independent and wants to live as per her choice? Well, it is wrong because you are questioning her freedom. You are making her think that her choices don't matter. You are making others think that she is born to adjust with the society and family. A little of this thinking gives rise to a chain reaction of negative thinking. The more a person is stopped from doing something, the more he is probed to do it. And this is something our society needs to understand. You tell a girl not to cross a certain line, who will tell the boys to do the same?
The rate at which the rape cases are happening in our country, there are millions of issues arising daily questioning the society in different context. This is one major context in which the victim is questioned upon! As a result, other girls in the society don;t get to live as they want to. Wearing something is still a small issue, the other big ones are relative to that.
When we talk of changing the society. nobody realizes that the change is required in the way we SEE, THINK and DO as an individual ourselves. Blaming the girls for what they wear, is not the solution, it is a way of declaring that what happened was in result of the actions of the girl! You cannot even blame the parenting for a way girl dresses. It is her right to wear what she wants. Misusing someone for the reason that she likes to live by her choice is a crime!
I know many people will not agree with my piece of writing here and many would have agreed too. But I want to ask, do you really respect the women in your lives? Nothing can surpass respect. But the definition of respect will change if it comes by suppressing the needs of her! It will be a forced one in that case!
On the other hand, how many times have you exclaimed or passed a comment on seeing a girl dressed in glamorous way or watched her like a scanner? How many of you have exclaimed that she isn't a heroine to be wearing it? Why that comparison?
You cannot control someone else's state of mind, urge or thinking. You can only INFLUENCE IT! A criminal's mind cannot be controlled may what come. A person forcing upon his rights on other, is a sign of cowardliness and weakness. Increasing fear, will only increase the crimes. You may stop a thousand girls from dressing in a certain way, but the crime - rate will not decrease, because the basis lies in the narrow - mindedness in the way things are looked upon.
If you observe nature, everyone is born free and everybody has the right to survive. In the name of safety and security hidden behind the curtains of society, we humans do not gain the rights to control someone's way of living.
True respect comes with open mind only because it is then you accept someone with his/her dignity, maintaining their self respect and yours too. If a child understands this, he/she will never grow to be a criminal, may what comes.