Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Way to Stop Crime Against Women

has been discovered by Ms Meeta Jamal, principal of Dayanand Girls' College in Kanpur.
"Girls who choose to wear jeans will be expelled from the college," Meeta Jamal, principal of the Dayanand girls' college in Kanpur city told AFP. "This is the only way to stop crime against women."
That's an idea that is brilliant in its simplicity. All we have to do is stop wearing jeans, and crime against women will come to a halt. No more rapes, by strangers or relatives or partners. No more strangers or relatives trying to cop a feel of a girl who they trust is too scared to fight back. No more wife-burning due to dowry issues. No domestic violence against women. No lewd whistles or catcalls.

Feminists, what have you been doing all these years, trying to take back the night and make the world a safer place? Just tell all women to stop wearing jeans.
/sarcasm

I wasn't wearing jeans the first time I was harassed by a stranger. I was in a school uniform, sitting in a bus on my way to school. I must have been about twelve.

I was harassed nearly every day on public buses, and I was too scared, too ashamed to speak out. I felt it was somehow my fault.

Stop making us feel it's our fault. It's not a woman's fault if she is harassed. It's not the victim's responsibility to top crime.

If you are outraged too, send an email to contact@dayanandgirlspgcollege.org. (Hattip: Alankrita). Here's what I wrote:

To,

The Principal

DG College, Kanpur

Dear Madam,

I am appalled that you are banning students from wearing jeans in college under threat of expulsion. And this, you think, is the way to stop harassment against women? By blaming women themselves for being somehow responsible for the harassment? Do you think women in salwar kameezes, in sarees, are not harassed? It is deeply disappointing to hear such statements from the principal of a women's college. I wish instead, that you would encourage your students to be confident and intelligent individuals, standing up to harassment and discrimination.

And please, place the blame for crime on criminals, not on the victims.

Best regards,
Unmana

Please send them a line. Let's use what little power we have - our minds, our keyboards.

(You are welcome to copy my email above if you don't have time to write out one, just drop me a line in the comments.)

9 comments:

@lankr1ta said...

Awesome! Thanks. If you have time could you help me find the other email ids of the other colleges? They are listed on my blog. We can send the same email to them as well. Lets do the bit we can.
Btw, I am responding , from now on to all comments about "she asked for it" by saying "So you are implying ALL MEN are rapists".

Unmana said...

Thanks, @lankrita. I just left you a comment with what I got.

As for all men being rapists - that's what rape apologists say, isn't it? Men can't help being violent or even raping - if provoked. Feminism treats men with much more respect than that.

@lankr1ta said...

Hey thanks for looking, but those are difficult to find!
I just wonder why men don't find it offensive to be called rapists? Or is it ok, because in the male definition it is "another father in the cap but for a woman it is "eternal shame". Funny that the same act should have such different connotations.

Unmana said...

I'm sure they do, @lankrita. At least some of them do. But yeah, it's sad how rape is seen as a shame for the victim.

Sumedha said...

I'm originally from Kanpur, and when I read this piece of news, I felt so ashamed. I mean, my god. How DO people come up with this stuff?? WHY is it so easy to blame the victim instead of the culprit and try to fix the culprit instead?? Whether it's banning jeans or Sheila Dixit declaring that "women should not be so adventurous" as being out at 2am (this is in response to the murder of a journalist in Delhi who was returning home from work at 2am), it's all blame the victim.

Make women wear a purdah, stay home all day and night. That'll solve all the issues. Of course, catching and punishing rapists, sexual harassers and murderers to make India safer for women is not an option.

I don't even know how to react to this Kanpur thing... I was completely flabbergasted when I read the paper!

Unmana said...

Sumedha: Thanks for what I think is your first comment here.

Unfortunately, far too many people think that way. I have heard a young well-educated woman who was preparing for the UPSC exams say something to the effect of "women get raped because they wear revealing clothing".

But we need to help this change. Do write that email.

Shilpa said...

I am blogging about this too...will link your post

Unmana said...

Thank you!

gitima said...

Every second day u come across the moral police coughing up the same things again and again, putting the blame for all social evils against women on women themselves. The saddest part is that a good chunk of this moral brigade are women. I wonder when can we get out of this mediavel mindset that wearing western attire invites trouble for women...and what logic....u can show more skin in a saree then any western attire.