After posting day before yesterday’s blog entry, in which I explained that my western wife and friends get stared at on the street and it makes them uncomfortable, I got a reply that I absolutely had not expected: someone actually said that it was because of their clothing! Now just to get that clear once more: sexual harassment and also rape cases don’t happen because of a woman’s clothing!
This man – obviously it was a man – said, when in India, one should wear Indian clothing. A sari, ‘covering oneself like women’. Then nobody would care but ‘if you go like a westerner, you attract glances!’
On the example of my wife and the glances she gets: she never wears revealing clothing but it doesn’t matter if she goes out in a Punjabi suit, a sari or jeans and t-shirt, her skin is white, she is a woman, Indian men stare. And whatever she wears doesn’t justify in any way that you look at her like this. On a side note – and I am including this on her special request – a sari does not nearly cover as much as her western clothing of jeans and t-shirt would cover! The big portion of belly and back which is revealed in a sari means that she would show a whole lot of skin more in that!
I actually thought we were past the point that people still thought a woman’s clothing to be the reason for her being violated! Obviously not. Obviously there are still people who believe that women are raped merely because they wear a skirt, because they don’t cover their shoulders, because they wear short pants. To make it short, that is just utter nonsense.
Women in all clothing get harassed – and from all nationalities. If clothing was the matter, how come so many Indian women get looks and remarks while walking in their saris? I yesterday already told that it is, in fact, mostly Indian women who have to deal with this!
For all those who still write such nonsense even on social networking pages: have you not seen the video ‘It’s your fault’ which got viral with its sarcastic point of view on blaming victims of sexual harassment? Have you not seen the photos that rape victims posted of themselves in the clothes they were raped in? It is not the clothing, it is not what they were wearing!
It is just NOT the fault of the victim, no matter where she went, what she was wearing, how she looks like and how she was acting! You can never say she was ‘asking for it’! There is no justification for such a crime and this includes touching and looking as well!
Really, why would a woman need to cover up in order not to get raped? Don’t women in burqas get raped, too? Fully covered up for this purpose but still violated? Most of the rapes in India actually happen in rural villages – where women never wear pants or t-shirts but the traditional Indian dress, ‘properly covering up’ their skin, head and hair! Why do children and even babies get raped? How did they wear revealing clothing that ‘asked for it’?
Why would any woman have to worry about sexual harassment because of her clothing? Just because a man cannot control his sexual urge? Because he is the real weak gender who is driven only by his sick mind?
If you give an argument like the one above, you show me clearly what is going on in your mind when a woman walks past you in revealing clothing. Now I have to ask: how far are you from harassing her sexually? How far are you yourself from the rape that you read about in the news?
Not too far, obviously, or you would feel ashamed of saying something like this.