Why do men believe that it is their birthright to walk around policing women, dictating what we should and should not do? When will we put an end to this patriarchal society? Men can get away with groping, raping and eve-teasing women and now they can even dictate what type of clothes we should wear? We come across multiple reports of women being morally policed by schools, colleges and even universities dictating a dress code for them, deeming it fit for 'our own safety'.
Today, we stumbled upon this bizarre article that said two women were denied a driving test. Why? According to RTO Officials at KK Nagar Regional Transport Office, the two women, Pavithra and Sumati (names changed to maintain anonymity) were inappropriately and indecently dressed for the test. One of the women was wearing jeans and a sleeveless top while the other wore capris and a shirt.
Dear Transport Minister of Tamil Nadu, we would like to see the rule book which states the official dress-code to give a driving test?
"I was wearing jeans and a sleeveless top, but I really wanted the license, so I rushed home and returned wearing a salwar kameez," said Pavithra.
As a feminist, I'm appalled at the RTO officer who thought it's okay to bully innocent women into conforming to their skewed version of reality. And Pavithra, being at the mercy of men in power had no choice but to give in. Well, she couldn't have risked never getting a driving license issued.
Then there was another woman Sumati who was shunned away from the RTO for similar reasons. Sumati, a college student was asked to "go home and dress decently." Unlike Pavithra, Sumati decided to argue and asked for a justifiable reason to be denied her driving test on grounds of clothing. That's when the inspector brought a group of like-minded people who told Sumati that it wasn't okay to come dressed like this for a driving test. Sounds like, the five inches of Sumati's visible calf muscles must be too much for the RTO official to be able to focus on doing his job?! Outnumbered, Sumati had no choice but to give in and reschedule a test for a time when she was dressed in salwar kameez too.
An advocate who handles cases on motor-safety, Mr. V S Suresh said that there is no dress code specified by the law to give any kind of driving test. "The applicant must have reached 18 years of age and must have a sound mind" he was quoted saying.
Unfortunately, the state of affairs in our country is such that it's 2019 and there are still a lot of schools and colleges banning certain 'types of clothing' for women deeming it provocative. Medical universities in Amritsar banned women from wearing skirts, T-shirts and jeans while another college in Punjab banned jeans and deep cut T-shirts for women and professors.
When will we stop controlling women and start teaching men to behave appropriately instead?