(Disclaimer: Read the following article at your own risk. The following statements are mind bogglingly offensive and dim witted and made the author’s eyes bleed and head ache. The author uses sarcasm to cope with this world, and so there is an abundance of it in the article. The author can’t be held responsible for any extreme reactions that this piece of work might trigger.)
I have always wondered if our ‘esteemed’ politicians, who are supposed to represent ‘all’ of us, are required to undergo some special course on misogyny, casual sexism, racism along with an add-on course on stupidity before they are allowed to enter the political arena. Indian politicians are strong supporters of innovation and creativity and never fail to surprise us with their extremely dense and sexist statements every time they open their mouths. Statements like ‘Boys will be boys’ and ‘Sanskaari girls do not go out alone especially at night’ are often recycled but every once in a while, someone comes up with a new and original statement that leaves everyone astonished and disgusted in equal proportions. Honestly, if we got a penny for every time our honorable politicians were sexist, India would be the richest country in the entire world!
Here are 5 instances when Indian politicians opened their mouth to give highly offensive and sexist statements that made everyone’s blood boil (let’s start throwing those tomatoes already!)
- When women were told to get married early to ‘prevent’ rape
Om Prakash Chautala, former CM, Haryana, very absurdly proposed that women should get married early in order to prevent rape citing the example of the Mughal period. It seems to be a brilliant solution to the problem at hand because changing the sick mindset of men who rape women is obviously not an option! Mr. Chautala, a strong advocate of patriarchy, tirelessly tried to lower the marriageable age for women in order to protect them from any ‘atrocities’.
- When women were told that only attractive women get ahead in life
Mulayam Singh Yadav added another controversial statement to his already overflowing list of controversies when he grossly stated that ‘Only women from affluent backgrounds get ahead in life but rural women will never get the same chance because they are not attractive’. Yadav managed to reinforce the highly frustrating notion that women are nothing more than an abstract patriarchal idea of ‘physical beauty’ (who cares about talents or hard work, right?). As a nation grappling with severe obsession with a stereotypical image of ‘female beauty’, it is highly disturbing and appalling when influential people reinforce such ideas.
- When women were told that fair complexion means finding a ‘good’ groom
I have always wondered if fairness cream manufacturers pay hefty amounts of money to politicians to get them to make racist remarks or are they just that dense? Former Goa CM, Laxmikant Parsekar, made an exceptionally racist comment when he advised a group of nurses not to protest under the sun which will darken their complexion. He, further, generously explained that this would ruin their chances of finding a ‘good’ groom because getting married to a ‘good’ groom, whatever that means, is obviously the ultimate dream of every woman. Who cares about equal pay?
- When women were compared to trophies
Honestly, I don’t see any reason to complain about this one. Men have treated women as dirt for the longest time and being compared to trophies, instead, is definitely a step forward, no? Shriprakash Jaiswal, the union coal minister, took it upon himself to compare women and cricket victories and explained that both become not as fun as they used to be after some time. This incredibly creative objectification of women deserves a big round of applause from everyone!
- When women were told that short clothes give men the license to molest them
Sometimes it seems as if Indian leaders have an ongoing bet to see who can repeat this completely illogical and bizarre statement the most number of times. Abu Azmi from Samajwadi party blamed the ‘half dresses’ of women to justify the mass molestation incident that happened in Bangalore in 2016. He further said that women from well to do families only go out in proper attire with their family members (because apparently, we are still living in the 18th century and have no human rights!).
The fact that these politicians actually have the power to influence people and reinforce their unbelievably sexist and medieval ideas is not only scary but also saddening. It’s 2017 and I think it’s high time that we remove such shortsighted people from their privileged positions, teach them a thing or two about gender equality and create a space wherein our leaders actually represent ‘all’ of us!
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