Head coverings for women is not an integral part of Hindu culture. This is a foreign element introduced into Indian culture from invaders. It may have been adopted to protect Hindu ladies from lascivious Abrahamic attackers. Those conditions do not exist anymore so no need to tell women how to dress whether in temples or elsewhere. They can dress anyway they please. Men should rather purify their vision & behaviour and society should stop victim shaming women.
The post is directed towards people who want to live a simple, peaceful and a spiritual life. So it is not for everyone, and anyone who chooses not to accept the opinion and the experience that I shared, is free to do so. Yet, the things that I have insisted and mentioned in the post are based on facts, opinions and experience of not just me, but the females that I had talked with.
As I had mentioned, it isn’t just about covering the head, it is the whole change in conduct and disposition, it’s not about just covering the body or the head. Only then one can develop such a aura that no one will dare to misbehave with them.
Now that I have cleared the purpose and the audience of the blog, I will answer the following issues in this blog! How much does one’s dressing matter in being sexually harassed? Who is actually affected by dressing of women? Should men be regarded as completely responsible for sexual crimes?
The first thing, let us understand, that sexual crimes against women, are faced by common women and not the A listed celebrities or someone important who are more commonly seen dressing in a stylish manner, often attractive and revealing. This happens because there is no harsh consequence of committing crime against common women. But if a celebrity or a daughter of a politician is as much as looked at, it becomes national news. So naturally it is stupid for common women to dress like celebrities and hope they won’t be teased, because they don’t have that kind of a background behind them. Another thing, the celebrities wear it on screen and not in common places, but common people live in the common world, they are the ones who face the problems.
- Common and extreme situations
There are two situations, one is a common less extreme situation, and one is an extreme situation. In case of a common situation, what one wears has an effect, a little effect, because people tend to tease and harass only the attractive women. And if one is wearing attractive clothes, then there are more chances of being noticed and teased. Whereas the ones who dress modestly usually fly under the radar and go unnoticed. But the problem is, we all want attention, both men and women.
Now in case of an extreme situation, it doesn’t matter what one is wearing, because the person teasing or harassing or abusing has reached limits! It doesn’t matter to him or her what or who the other person is, this person has reached the limit of his/her frustration! For eg. Tanmay Bhatt from AIB made fun of Lata Mangeshkar, similarly in the roast conducted by AIB, there was a mention of sexual joke on Farida Jalal. Now, this is a level of extreme shamelessness, they have no regard whatsoever who these great ladies are! Similarly, in an extreme case, when the person is ready to rape a person, one doesn’t care what one is wearing or who one is. I have read news of female teachers taking advantage of their students. There was a new on March 19,2019 times of India, a father had repeatedly raped her daughter, after sedating her in her dinner food.
These are extreme cases, which can only be avoided when there is an equal opposite to it, that is the victim kills or handicaps the attacker! Which is the only correct option.
- How do things reach to extreme?
On quora, it was well written by a lady, saying that, rape is too late, one should be stopped before reaching there. We stop boys say before they tease a girl, he should be slapped, and corrected then and there. But we never do that, how many times have we stopped ourselves or our friends from misbehaving or acting arrogantly with a woman?
Secondly, the common man of today, is constantly watching these item numbers, any poster on the road shows an attractive woman endorsing some product, the Internet has pornography, Instagram has photos of women who seek attention, there is good stuff too, but if see the number of followers the celebrities and the poonam pandeys etc have, we can clearly see that the audience is consuming sexual data more than the good stuff. This increases the frustration in people. Even women are facing such frustration when they watch romantic movies, when they see their Ryan goslings and Ranbir Kapoors!
- So does what you wear have an effect on modesty or not and is it wise to wear modest clothes or not?
So “wearing whatever they want” plays a part here. It increases this frustration, slowly and gradually. It increases this sexual frustration! And such frustration is not limited to men, but it is experienced by women too, even they develop fantasies when they watch or read 50 shades! Lipstick under my burkha, just stories, piku etc are movies which are a proof of it.
When this frustration bottles up, and reaches its limit, it bursts open into various extreme actions. Cheating, adultery, excessive consumption of pornography, objectifying men and women, excessive masturbation,rape are the extreme actions which are a result of such subtle inputs of sexual frustration.
What one wears is not the only factor, but a contributing factor for sure! (refer Would Prophet Yusuf (ﷺ) get to say #metoo? — Zara Faris)
So it is wise, that even if it contributes for only 0.1%, the wise wouldn’t take a chance! Rest, it is the ones who want to wear such clothes, if they think they can handle it, they have taken a calculated risk, no one is stopping them, but when they face its consequences or someone innocent becomes a victim of the frustration they brought into the society, it’s on them too, because they contributed.
- Aren’t men supposed to follow any rules?
Myth: Hijab is just for females!!
There is Hijab for men too.
Men are advised not to look, ogle at women. They are supposed to control their eyes, and have a spirit of respect for women. They have to gain such inputs and make their minds so pure that they see every woman with respect, if they find difficult to do so, then they must not look. They must lower their gaze.
They must not watch vulgar films and other such content, instead they should be given knowledge of self control and chivalry. But how many parents, friends and teachers are doing this? If done, they are ruled out as Orthodox!
And to help this cause, women are adviced to conceal and act modestly. To prevent and avoid lust, both of them have to give equal efforts, because lust is mutual. It is not one sided. It is individual depending upon one’s upbringing and exposure to sexual and vulgar content!
- We have failed as a society, because even we allow nonsensical behavior.
Both men and women need to contribute for a better society. Promote modesty and chivalrous behavior.
- On the situation today:
Today, there are no Abrahamic attackers today, but the people have become like those attackers, haven’t they? Delhi rape cases, or any such cases, the corner taporis, they are no less than the attackers. We have to save ourselves. It is stupid for us to expect that the lion will not hunt us!
- I’ll wear whatever I want, the men should take care of themselves!
It seems a nice statement, but in the ideal world, where all men are gentle and chivalrous. But in reality, it isn’t so. So one needs to wear clothes according to the real situation, or else not make a big issue about the consequences one faces of the choices one has made.
A small analogy:
What if one has a lot of money on him, and he is travelling, so it is natural that he will conceal the money, he’ll try to hide what he has. But what if he becomes careless about it and he has to go in places where there are a lot of robbers. Then it is natural that he will be robbed. But what if he argues that I have money, its my money, the robbers should become pure and not steal! How practical is that?
This is the case with us. It looks good in idealism, but in practical, we have to take care and secure our modesty and dignity!
So it is not just the clothes, but it is a contributing factor, and I being a monk, have a duty to speak the truth and I will address it whenever there is a need. I’m not enforcing anything, as a duty, I am pointing out cause and effect! The men and women both need to become cautious and aware, and a whole change in atmosphere is needed, but it needs small beginnings, which we all have to adopt, sooner or later, or else the consequences await.
Rules are for both men and women, if one doesn’t follow them saying the other is not following, then why should I? Then there will never a change, or improvement. It is a natural tendency of humans to go down the hill slope, it takes courage and efforts to maintain dignity and integrity, that’s the appeal that I have, not anything, from both men and women!
This was just an idea how one can maintain integrity, its their choice now.