I don't think I've ever gone a day in life without hearing a sexist comment. To the point that casual sexism has become a part of mine, and every other woman's, day to day routine. Is it the ideal situation? No. Are we trying to make it better? Still no. In Kerala's Farook College, recently, an assistant professor commented on the clothes of Muslim women students saying that they were not wearing their hijab properly, exposing parts of their chest "like how we slice a small part of a melon to see if it’s ripe."
First this comment made my blood boil, but then it made me realise how these men at influential positions are not just blocking, but also slowly hacking at the concept of women empowerment. In response to this, the students of Farook College organised a 'Watermelon March' till the main gate of the institution holding melons in their hand.
Source: Times of India
Women also took to their social media accounts to post pictures with melons covering their bare breasts. Activist and model Rehana Fathima posted a picture on both her Instagram and Facebook (though the images were soon removed by Facebook) accounts joining the movement. The idea behind what is called 'Maaru thurakkal samaram' or 'protest to bare the breasts' is to not sexualise a body part to the point of degradation. Why are a man's nipples okay in public but not a woman's?
As a young girl in school, I have seen many women commenting on each other's breasts, while men chimed in from behind. Some breasts looked like watermelons, some looked like lemons - mine looked like oranges. If a boy had man boobs, he would be constantly teased, compared to a woman - like that is the highest level of insult available. Since it feels like we keep going back in time, women all over the world might just have to stand up, roll our sleeves and scream - "SO WHAT?" What if I have big breasts or small breasts or medium-sized? Why is that the first thing you notice about me?
A word of advice to men who think they run the world - we don't care. You could be Ex-DGP or a professor, but for us you're nothing more than a sexist. So you might as well know right now that we will do, not just one, but thousand such #WatermelonMarches - whatever it takes for you to keep your mouth and eyes shut. Because guess what? We're wearing our hijabs, sarees, skirts, shorts, jeans the way we want!