Singer KJ Yesudas joined the group of rubbish sprouted using women and Indian culture as a justification, when he recently said that women should not wear jeans because it provokes undesirable behaviour. The legendary singer told a gathering at a college of music in Trivandrum that women should not wear jeans and trouble others.
Reports also stated that he has said that one should dress modestly and not behave like men. He said that people might be tempted to pay attention to what’s beyond it. It might attract persons and make others do the undesirable. The singer also said that Indian culture has simplicity and amiability as valued qualities. Whatever should be covered should be covered, he added to sum up.
Women’s groups quite rightly slammed the remarks and so did so many others on social media.
More than the remarks themselves, it is important to see what they are based on. Once again it is the tired, old argument that women who dress provocatively or in a certain way, invite undesirable actions. This of course, means sexual violence and molestation. It is hugely unfortunate that the singer’s remarks come at a time when the city and the country is battling against rising crimes against women, especially rape. There is so much anger and ire on the streets about such incidences and people have realised that it is time to change laws and attitudes both must go together. Yesudas used the clichéd Indian culture to justify these comments. With these comments he joins the growing chorus of sexist remarks from certain politicians and leaders, who sanctify this mysterious Indian culture and claims on different occasions, shrilly from the rooftops that Western culture is poisoning our young people. Who gives them the right to tell women how to dress? Whether to carry mobiles or not? How to behave (whether like men or not?)
Why should people call women dented and painted and say that a rape victim should have called her attackers brothers? Now, you have a singer telling women they should not wear jeans! This comment like these others should join the bonfire of the inanities.
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