The Morality of a Dress

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The Morality of a Dress

By Tripti Manghnani (12F97)

Given a choice between a quick temporary fix and a permanent long term solution, we as a country always chose the quick fix. The moral policing brigade is one such example. Instead of addressing the issue of patriarchy and sexism that is deep rooted in our society, we instruct our girls and women to cover up, thereby increasing the divide amongst the sexes.

India is known for its cultural diversity and the various cultures make it a colorful country. We Indians are proud of our heritage and our customs. This is reflected in the average Indian’s life. Our food habits, clothes, practices are influenced by our religion, faith and cultural identity.

However if we observe closely we notice that the onus of upkeep of these customs almost entirely falls on the shoulders of women. If we look around we would realize that only the girls and women of the community and dressed in the traditional garment, while the men dress more modernly.

Traditional garments like the saree, dhoti, salwar kameez, lungi as with any country’s traditional garments were a result of our country’s climate. As our societies evolved and moved from villages to towns to cities, we Indians moved towards modernization and westernization. Men switched from dhotis and lungis to jeans and t-shirts. However what the women folk wore has not evolved at the same pace. Far from evolving and adapting, a woman is now judged by what she wears.

An Indian man wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt is common sight but if you are an Indian woman wearing a pair of jeans, beware; they might call you ‘easy’. Our attitude towards a woman wearing a pair of shorts versus a man wearing a pair of shorts is the very definition of hypocrisy. Religion is another tool that is often used to propagate and widen this divide.

The Hijab is a classic example of the result of skewed interpretations of any Holy...
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