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Updated: July 23, 2012 02:10 IST

Tirath wants men to change their thinking of women

Bindu Shajan Perappadan
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Krishna Tirath
Krishna Tirath

“It isn’t women who need to change their style of dressing, it’s men who need to change their style of thinking and perception of women,” Union Women and Child Welfare Minister Krishna Tirath said here on Sunday.

She was reacting to Madhya Pradesh Industries Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya’s statement that “women should not dress provocatively.”

“Women covered in yards of clothes are not going to change the mindset of men who believe that violence against women and the abuse of her rights as a human being is acceptable. It is a shame that political leaders in such high posts think and talk in a manner that is very derogatory to women. Women in India enjoy just as much freedom as men in the country and it is a right that the law of the land has bestowed on them. Such statements are an attempt to snatch away that freedom of expression and it will not be tolerated,” she added.

Expressing dismay at Mr. Vijayvargiya’s statement, social activist Shabnam Hashmi said: “Do women really need to be policed about what they wear in India in this day and age? We strongly condemn such statements that are being made all too often these days. With this statement, the onus of violence against women and their abuse now seems to have been cleverly shifted from the attacker to the victim, which is a very wrong trend. Women in our country don’t get raped, abused and killed because of the clothes they wear or don’t wear, it because men feel that they can get away with it and leaders in such high positions making a statement like this only adds to this wrong belief.”

Senior advocate Pinky Anand said: “While every citizen of this country has the right to his/her opinion, telling half the population of the country how to dress certainly doesn’t seem right. It is a very unfortunate statement. What makes it worse is the context that it was said in.”

Mr. Vijayvargiya made the statement on Saturday in relation to the Guwahati incident where a group of men molested a girl on July 9

The National Commission of Women too has come out strongly against the statement. “India is a free country and all its citizens, irrespective of their gender, have equal rights. We take strong objection to such public statements which when coming from a senior Minister becomes even more distasteful,” said Commission chairperson Mamata Sharma.

Women (and men) can wear whatever they want. However, as everything in life, a little prudence is necessary. For instance, it is a crime to enter into someone's house and steal things. But, it would be unwise to leave the house unlocked when we go out.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Jul 23, 2012 at 19:11 IST

Why do we pay such Union Ministers from tax payers' money, for repeating the same accusation against men? If men are saying that 'women should not wear provocative dress' nobody is paying them to hold their opinion and airing it openly. If a Union Minister repeats the age-old feminist slogan - 'no policing on women's dress' - then she's being ideological, dogmatic and repeating what others have already said. What is her eclectic retribution to the culprits (or towards men who police women in general)? She can repeat a feminist slogan without making a contribution of her own, but don't draw salary from the exchequer.

from:  Nalanda Khanna
Posted on: Jul 23, 2012 at 15:17 IST

The Indian society has many a time ruined the esteem of the female population by giving such degraded statements where women are accused of being the real culprit behind their own harassment.Many political leaders,high post police officers and even the young male youth have shown their agreement to a certain extent towards such lewd remarks.Well the time has come to understand that the females have equal rights of free and respectable living as the males do and no matter how much people try to suppress this point,the truth is never going to change.A society can't progress and work properly by giving one gender the complete freedom and suppressing and disrespecting the other one. People grow and get mature with time,but if they just grow and deny to behave like one than it starts to create a real problem for a blooming society.We need to stop this...People with narrow thinking seriously need to GROW UP !!!

from:  Swati
Posted on: Jul 23, 2012 at 12:26 IST

The statement made by Mr.Vijayvargiya who is a senior Minister is in total distaste. Just because a few men cannot resist their animal like behaviour at the sight of women doesn't put women in the wrong. Almost every other woman in the country must've expereinced a groping hand/eve teasing whatever their form of clothing maybe. Molestations and rape in our country are common news....taking steps to punish these individuals who have curtailed women's freedom is much more important,rather than distatstefully defending the offensive behaviour of men, which seems to be more of an insult to the male gender itself.

from:  Harini
Posted on: Jul 23, 2012 at 11:41 IST

Thank you Ms. Tirath, et al. You have clearly expressed the opinion of
the women of the nation.

from:  Gayathri
Posted on: Jul 23, 2012 at 10:36 IST

Underneath the very idea that a society should be telling women what to wear, how much (or how little) to wear, lies a twisted thinking that women are incapable of making that decision on their own. Such a narrow-minded thinking propagates the idea that women are inferior to men. Shame on you Mr. minister.

from:  Aniruddha
Posted on: Jul 23, 2012 at 04:56 IST
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