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Dress Code: Rape

It’s all in the man’s mind. Nothing to do with what women wear!

8/29/2014 3:35:42 PM
written By : Shobhaa De Print

_don _t _tell _me _how _to _dress _____hss _against _rape _by _starkidrena -d 7o 2qgyDamn! It’s back to that exceedingly annoying blame game. The French got it right when they coined the phrase ‘Cherchez La Femme’. Since it gets lost in translation, I’m not going to explain its meaning. A few days ago, two nasty news items created ripples. One featured an attention-seeking photographer exploiting a national outrage (Nirbhaya) in a fashion shoot. The other, a TDP MP (member of Parliament) named Murli Mohan, who got up in Parliament and advised the women of India to dress ‘decently’ if they wanted to stay safe and not invite rape. Both these men are equally guilty. 

How dare they! Yes, they have given serious offence to society at large and women in particular. One can dismiss the photographer, since he is an opportunistic nobody. His photo shoot is pathetic and provides an insight into his own twisted mind. He claims he was entitled to shoot those awful images (of a skinny model being molested in a bus), since freedom of expression is a privilege every Indian enjoys. He is right. By the same token, he should also be prepared to handle the backlash. There are those who are insisting he is a criminal and should be prosecuted. I am saying, don’t bother. He is not worth the effort. 

The MP on the other hand is asking for it. When asked to describe ‘decent’, he tripped over his words and finally issued a weak apology. I watched his party colleague tying himself in knots on a television discussion while he attempted to decode ‘decent’. 

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