A growing trend is being witnessed where young girls and women are objectified and sexualised. The media is often accused of portraying girls in a sexual manner more often than boys; dressed in revealing clothing, and with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness. No doubt then that it results in protests. The recent case is from Kerala.
Media report says, at least two women went topless on social media platform Facebook to launch a protest. They were protesting against a professor’s sexist remark.
It started when a professor of a teachers’ training college in Kerala’s Kozhikode made a comment. He said that the majority of students in the college are women and wears hijab. However, they deliberately expose their chest much like “sliced watermelon.” It was recorded and then released. This incident has triggered protests by students all across the state. Here is what he said (as translated by media):
“I am teacher of a college where 80 per cent of the students are girls and of that, majority are Muslims. These girls are not wearing dress as per the religious tradition. They are not covering their chests with hijab. But showing part of it is like slice of red water melon being displayed.”
Reports further say this is not the first time he has shamed girls or made sexist remarks. He comments on their dressing and ‘lectures’ them about immoral dressing frequently.
According to media reports, the campaign idea was curated and floated by a woman named Arathy. With the title “Maaru thurakkal samara (protest to bare the breasts).” Later it was joined by an activist Rehana. She posted pictures that show her holding sliced melon in front of her breast followed by a bare-chested image where she hides her face with the melons. Along with the pictures, she also posted the message:
“The message is that there is nothing vulgar about a woman’s body. I shared the images to assert that my body is my right, and no one can dictate what is right and wrong. When Arathy began a conversation about this, I was happy to join her. Since I have already been quite vocal about these issues in the past, I asked my friend Diya to share the images. What we should discuss is not the photos per se, but why such a movement is needed”
She further added:
“There is no vulgarity in a man’s body, but when it comes to women, the standards change. A woman’s body is seen as a sex tool and such a public mindset must change. Women’s breasts, their sexuality, all of this is only normal. I want this campaign to be a step towards having healthy discussions on the subject.”
The Facebook took down the pictures and the account from which they were posted has been penalized. It will stay blocked for 24 hours. Though there were many positive comments before the ban on the account, there were also those who were abusing the women for starting this campaign.
Do you support this movement or think it’s crossing the line? Let’s know in the comments below.