Feminism is not just a 8 letter word anymore. And this bunch of girls in Gurugram have just proved it. In a recent viral video, a middle aged woman, targeted a young girl telling her that the length of her dress is an invitation to rapists. This woman was clearly not happy with the choice of clothes of young women these days. This woman allegedly walked upto a girl, in a mall in Gurugram, and told her that she deserved to be sexually abused for the kind of dress she had donned. If you’re curious to know what the girl was wearing, let’s stop that thought right there. How does it even matter?
Let’s take a minute to remind ourselves of all the tragic incidents of rape and molestation that shocked the country. While one was dressed in a salwar kameez, the other was wearing a sweater, and in other stomach-churning and painful memory racks of our brain resides the horrific rape of a 4 year old girl.Did their dress matter? Drawing parallels between a girl’s dressing, and associating the length of her skirt to that of her consent to sex is ridiculous and this needs to stop.
Before we proceed, take a look at the video.
The middle-aged woman, who initiated the drama at a mall in Gurugram, thought that it would be completely okay to walk up to a group of six girls, having a normal day out with friends, and tell them that they deserved rape because of their “skimpy” clothing. If that wasn’t enough, she even went to ask the guys around them to rape them. When she saw the girls recording the video, she told them that their parents needed a lesson in having a handle over their daughter’s lives.
Appalled by what happened, Shivani Gupta, one of the girls, posted on her social media account: “So my friends and I were at a restaurant getting snacks when I got told I should be ashamed of wearing a short length dress. When my friends, appalled these words came from the mouth of a woman, came to my rescue they got told that they deserve to get raped. The woman now addressed the men directly and told them to rape women like us the moment they see us. That’s when more of my friends decided to get this woman to apologise for what she had said. We even got support from a mother of two girls when she heard our story.But the woman didn’t budge and In fact left a message for the world. Wait till the end to hear it.
While it’s difficult to wrap our heads around this misogynistic and repressive drama, this is the ugly truth of the society that is staring us in the eye. Time and again, women have been targeted for their choice of clothes, the colour of their lipstick, and the words of their vocabulary.
pic.twitter.com/dsLJsUvhbb this is so sad and shocking
How can anyone pass such kind of comments on people you don’t know
A middle aged woman telling a young girl that wearing short dresses is a way of her inviting men to rape her
— harshu🌙 (@istanSgomez) April 30, 2019
As this middle-aged woman went on with her rant, and encouraged the other men to rape these girls, there were some who came to the rescue of these girls. Like it should be, these onlookers and bystanders couldn’t tolerate the bashful shaming that the middle-aged woman indulged in. Even if she held such repressive and archaic values in her, nobody had asked her for her opinion.
“Our instinct was to turn away from the drama but supported by our colleagues, we took her on at a shopping centre, nearby. We gave her the chance to apologize, to no avail, of course. Nothing moved the needle for her, not even another woman who learned the story on the spot and implored her to apologize,” said one of the women who was harassed, in a Facebook post.
Women are often subjected to body shaming, choice of clothes and behavior, not just by men, but by fellow women. The world is progressing at a rapid pace, and yet, we often witness such incidents doing rounds. Most of the moral policing is not paid heed to. Women often dismiss saying it is not worth our time and effort. Well, this video clearly shows IT IS. Your body, your morality, the clothes you choose to wear is your decisions and no one, absolutely no one has a right to embarrass you for the same. This confrontation by angry women who demanded an apology right there is a big step in feminine awakening.
After the girl affected by this incident shared her trauma (along with a video) on Facebook, the post got a whopping 1,600 shares and 1200 views in a short span of time. Close to 2,000 people comments were seen on the video. The irony in this is that the woman had in fact dared the girls to circulate the video. Little did she know of the backlash she would receive for her orthodox mindset. This just shows that the power of media can be used as an effective to fight against such cruel acts of moral policing.
This incident didn’t just raise an eyebrow, but an entire army of Twitterverse and wise feminists. Just like these wise souls, as women we need to stand by each other, even if it is against another woman. With incidents like these, the number of moral policing cases are expected to go down. Promoting rape culture is not okay. Candle marches and public outcry cannot solve the deep-seeded problem of orthodox mindsets. It all starts with taking an initiative towards understanding that rape is not okay, and neither is associating it with anybody’s attire. Period.