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Slut Walk Delhi: A Fight To Reclaim Dignity And Rights

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By Alam Bains:

What is the most common reaction to a woman who is dressed ‘provacatively’? That she has no morals, she is loose charactered and is inviting trouble. Isnt it? Women and girls who become victims of sexual abuse are often told that they must have courted undue attention by dressing inappropriately. Does that mean that women are to be blamed for the conduct or rather misconduct of men? Is it that only women who are “inappropriately” dressed are raped and abused? Haven’t we heard of scores of women clad from head to toe being raped and molested as well? Is such an attitude implying that women who dress in a way not acceptable to the society can be raped and molested and then be blamed for it as well?

These are some of the questions being raised by the members and supporters of a protest movement called the Slut Walk, which after successfully conducting protest marches across the world is coming to Delhi on the 25th of June. The movement started in response to the comments of a representative of Toronto Police who said that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. Being sexually assaulted or raped is not about what you wear but using it to rationalise inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which the blame falls on the victim.

The Slut Walk has had its fair share of supporters and cynics. The women who are supporting it believe that its high time that women reacted to the vulnerability they are subjected to owing to the onslaught of baseless judgements of the society and that women should be free to wear whatever they want without being held accountable for other people’s behaviour. The criticisms are basically directed towards the name i.e Slut Walk. People feel the name is not appropriate. It is seen as insulting and derogatory. The founders and the supporters of the movement have justified the name by saying that “we want to reclaim the word ‘slut’ and use it in a positive, empowering way. Historically, it has been used by misogynists to degrade women who are sexually assertive — whilst men in the same position have been hailed as ‘studs’ or ‘ladies’ men’. We wish to make it know that women are well within their rights to have consensual sex and to display their sexuality however they like”. Moreover, in a city like Delhi, it is felt that the protest march may become a visual with no or little impact.

The Slut Walk is a good initiative and is addressing an important issue but what is required to make movements like these successful is sensitizing the society. Women should be respected and so should their rights to live their life the way they want. If you feel that this issue needs your support then participate in the slutwalk which is scheduled on the 25th of june, 1 p.m- 8.30 p.m around Connaught Place and make yourself count.

You can also mark your attendance on the Slut Walk Delhi Facebook page here.

You must be to comment.
  1. Mrigashikha Mitra

    A superb article!!! Keep writing about such social issues!

  2. Charu sharma

    Your words clearly explains the brutal condition of females all over the cities of different places.
    Great job!
    Keep posting..it feels great to read your stuff!

  3. Alam Bains

    Update on Slutwalk Delhi: It has been postponed to the 24th of july.

  4. Sanjukta Basu

    This is such a misplaced misguided campaign. A flash campaign without a context, euro-centric at top of that. To assume just because a new movement is gaining popularity in western world, it is required to be adopted in India in exactly the same fashion is so euro-centric. We never had the word slut in our vocabulary so what are we reclaiming?

    Read my post on this and find the answer yourself…http://wp.me/p1xyZ-OV

    1. Alam Bains

      Hi Sanjukta,
      Firstly, reclaiming the word slut is not the only agenda of this campaign. In a city like Delhi which is considered unsafe for women and even the c.m went on to say in the case of Saumya Vishwanathan that women should not be adventurous in order not to be targetted, it is a campaign which says such an environment should not be created where the blame falls on the victim and such crimes against women should not be rationalised. As far as the word Slut is concerned, there many hindi equivalents which are used to denote women who are believed to be “easy’ or ‘characterless”,so its not as if this concept is totally alien to us.Even if majority of women wont know of this campaign and it may not bring about a radical change, i still believe it should be supported because it is raising important concerns. Not all causes are great causes from the very beginning but it is important to spread awareness about them.

    2. Sanjukta Basu

      Alam, have you even read my post, before replying to my comment? I have addressed every single one of the points you are making. Please do read. My only problem is with the name of the campaign, not in its objective.

      When you do a campaign you have to ask – what are you trying to achieve by it, who are you trying to change, who are your change partners, what language do they speak?

      As long as you are calling it a slut walk, you are not speaking in a language that your target audience understand. For an average Indian slut as a word is as alien as a man from Pluto.

      Call this same campaign a Randi Walk and it would make much more sense.

      I welcome the new name Besharmi Morcha but I notice the whole purpose of the campaign is lost on the youth. They are now complaining that slut walk was a cool name and besharmi morcha is not of high standard, not sophisticated, and is for illiterate people. These upper class English speaking youth don’t understand the importance of contextualizing a campaign, they are talking about class divide in a social campaign.

      I mean just how naive and ridiculous is that.

      Here’s my new post, just see the conversations yourself http://wp.me/p1xyZ-Pn

    3. Alam Bains

      Hi Sanjukta,
      I did go through your article and have been keeping a tab on the new developments.Yes, i do believe some people are creating this class divide in this context and i too feel it is ridiculous.The only reason i support this campaign irrespective of the name(although i’ll be happy with besharmi morcha) is because indian society and even the police have this thing of blaming the victim.Women are targetted and then told that you had asked for trouble in the first place.I just want a safer environment for women where crimes against them are not rationalised on any grounds, be it age, dress or profession.

    4. anindya

      Yes i support the thought of getting out on the men who sexually abuse women. but mind it only when they abuse them with out any persuation. if a girl will go out scantily dressed or in a bikini outside the street giving looks and if men call them hot how comes that girl call it sexual abuse??
      and girls shouldnt damand equality unless they take equal power wid equal punishment. every time there is an opportunity they say girls are equal to boys but when times comes for punishment they say we are girls . dont u have ettiquates to treat us well? how can u hit us? if a girl slaps a boy its coz the boy was an ahole but if a boy slaps a girl the boy is a assualter?? come on if u cant take equall punishment, responsibility then dont ask for equal power.. in west the ladies who demanded equality first demanded to get hanged for same crime as they men to got hanged. In india ohh we are females pls reham karo!!!
      And sexual harrasment is done on both males n females by definition.. the only diff boys dont complain.. and even if they want to people laugh them off. their has been many similar scenes where women hav misued their legislative power. and man they are always man. the funny thing among the people in this slut walk n besharmi morcha are few sufferers mostly r people who njoy n abuse power themselves…

  5. V.V. SARMA

    All the rapists should be either hanged or stoned unto death

    V.V. SARMA

    1. s.b

      brilliant idea!
      p.s its hung btw

    2. Rigya

      It’s* not its. And hanged is correct in context of hanging by neck. Hung will be for clothes.

      For the article: I have a problem with the word ‘slut’. I support the march but not the word.

    3. Deepak Joshi

      AGREEEE .

  6. sameer dabral

    women too share the equal burden of our universe so y degrade them……..let them feel equal to all……..

  7. aisha

    hollaback is a global movement to end street harassment. the mumbai chapter’s thoughts on slutwalk delhi can be found here: http://mumbai.ihollaback.org/

  8. susmita roy

    Despite all the hype over the slut walk, I believe that this is nothing but a tamasha from the stable of misguided feminists who are desperate to have an issue to create a lot of noise. We have grown up with feminism over the last 30 years and have witnessed the gradual decay and decadence of feminism over the years.
    Women who expose themselves do it to attract attention and specially the male gaze.That is the truth that we cannot turn our self from.It is this innate desire which leads a woman to dress in a manner so that her wares can be displayed for the male attention and she feels that it “empowers” her. But mind you, despite all the rhetoric about “empowerment”, what she actually ends up doing is affirming the belief that women are mere sex objects and her so called “empowerment” is her capability to attract male attention not by her intelligence, ability or achievements but by depicting herself as a sex object. In fact she herself sees herself as a sex object.
    Women, when they are among themselves do not feel the necessity to dress provocatively. This was reinforced from the fact that a decade ago, their were emergence of “women only clubs” and it was gradually found that the women attending were not keen to wear make-up or provocative dresses in those get-together and slowly these meetings became drab and faded away.
    Further, is it not interesting to analyse as to why men do not feel the need to dress provocatively or skimpily? It is simply because they do not deem themselves as sex objects who have to garner female attention by displaying their physical attributes and sexual charm.They instead display their financial abilities etc. Hence, it can not be cried down that women themselves believe that they are sex objects and want to “empower” themselves by strutting their sexual charms for men exclusively.
    Feminism has lost it’s direction and the younger generation is being misled.

    1. Alam Bains

      It’s really sad to see a woman talking in such a manner which shows women who exercise their rights to dress up the way they want as “trying to grab male attention”.Women have all the rights to dress up the way they like without being held accountable for any one’s behaviour.Are you trying to justify the crimes that happen to women who dress up the way they like?A woman can wear whatever she wants and for whatever reasons.You or anyone else does not have any rights to degrade women on the basis of the clothes they wear.Its your opinion but dont make it sound like a fact.

    2. Anupriya Mitra

      i agree with you Alam. The fact is that you will find (rather we will find) many women share similar thoughts as susmita and this is because women in this patriarchal society have internalized the patriarchal values so much that they unknowingly speak in the male voice and think that patriarchal values are the standard values and is morally right. For this we cannot blame susmita or women who share similar thoughts. We are living in this patriarchal society for ages. Our parents too belonged to this society and their parents as well. So we are used to lead this kind of dominated and subordinated life. We can’t even figure out where we are being dominated and marginalized. Hence, it is very much important to create a mass awareness regarding all this. I think “slut walk” (i too have no issues with the name “Besharmi Morcha”) is truly a bold step towards it.

    3. Vicky Verma

      Oh c’on now, don’t be so naïve! I mean, I would definitely call someone INSANE if they choose to jiggle balls of flesh in front of a lion and expecting him to respect their choice. Or, what would you call a soldier who goes out in the battlefield without armor?
      “Women, who do not dress modestly, lead men as stray; corrupts their chastity; and promotes adultery in society”. If you think that this statement is wrong, you should first protest against the ban on showing cleavage and thighs on TV. But still, I agree that women have the right to wear whatever they are comfortable wearing. They all dress well, wear makeup, and take care of their appearance, because they all want to look good. But the question is, whom do they want to appear attractive to? To their grannies? Or, to kindergarten kids?

      Almost all the things that women do have an underling motive of attracting men. They need to do this and they are doing it all the time, it’s hard-coded in their subconscious minds, they are an expert at sending out non-verbal signals even when they are not consciously aware of it; and it’s pretty much unlikely that only their intended target will be receptive to those signals. Women need to attract men and keep them around; evolution has left nothing to chance. You might want to watch this video(in parts) that explains why women choose to dress provocatively and what they subliminally expect out of it- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA9v8xf_0fA

      Don’t get me wrong, I strongly condemn any kind of sexual violence against women. I have a kind of “an eye for eye” attitude towards such crimes. All I want to say is that when women display their assets, it will definitely provoke men and it will not only attract their potential partner(s) but all the men in range. This has something to do with competition, but it’s unfortunate that it results in sexual crimes. And when a woman says that her skimpy outfit is no intended towards attracting men- she’s wrong, just because she is unaware that her choice of such clothing is being subconsciously controlled and she can’t do anything other than attaching a self-acceptable meaning to it. You can’t deny what evolution has turned us into neither can you undo it. So, if you put your body on exhibition and want men to do nothing but admire or ignore, something is terribly wrong with you. Such protests and parades are not going to serve any purpose. They’ll enjoy watching you march on the streets not for the reason that you intend, but some other.

  9. Aditya

    No one can justify that the so called ‘studs’ or ‘ladies men’ are morally right, then why are you insulting women by comparing them with such cheap men. If it is wrong then it has to be wrong for everyone.
    Even women have equal rights to do whatever they want or wear whatever they like. BUT BUT BUT there is a problem. We all believe in equality of sex, but we all know that generally men are more powerful(physically) then women, then why to take risk by beeing out of home late. Delhi and many other places in India are not safe for women, wont it be logical to raise voice against this cause then to protest against a cheap comment of a police officer

  10. Alam Bains

    Hi Aditya,
    Firstly,women are not being compared to “studs” or “ladies men”.It is just to show the double standards whereby men and women in the same situation are treated in diametrically opposite ways.Yes, agreed Delhi and many other places are not safe for women but instead of asking women to stay at home at night,is it not our responsibility to sensitize the society and create an environment where women are not targetted for being out at night or for dressing up in a certain way?There are many other issues concerning women and this is just one of them but it needs support so that other issues can also be addressed.

    1. Aditya

      Talk on the practical ground… such drastic changes can not be made in 1 day.
      These people are making efforts, but are they in right direction(They want to reclaim the word slut) India is the 4th most dangerous country for women to live in. And this is not because of any political carelessness or a single persons mistake, it is because of the backward thinking of we Indians. According to me, protests like this will make hardly any difference. Or just tell me how is it gonna effect the mentality of those people. Will eave teasing in delhi stop after slut walk? or will the narrow thinking of the panchayats in haryana improve. We all are against these things, but Is this the way to stop it by ” reclaiming the word ‘slut’ “

    2. Alam Bains

      India is the 4th most dangerous country for women to live in, so let the women cover up and sit at home!Is that a solution?India is also one of the most corrupt countries so should we just accept that fact as well?Nobody is claiming that this protest march will change everything in one day, but atleast it is raising important concerns.If you cant support it, dont write it off atleast.Even if it brings about a change in 10 people, it will be some achievement.India needs massive change and one walk alone is not sufficient for that purpose but it is a small step in that direction.And once again let me make it clear that reclaiming the word slut is not the only agenda of the protest.It just wants to create an environment where crimes against women are not rationalised by giving reasons like the girl was not wearing appropriate clothes.

    3. aditya

      PLease check your facts . India is not the most corrupted country . It ranks something around 89th position. I am not saying that one should sit at home, all i am saying is instead of such reason like reclaiming the word ‘slut’ or the type of clothes girls wear, people can come together for a more logical reasons, such as against eve teasing or female foeticide. And its beyond imagination that how the protest named as “slut walk” is going to curb the crimes against women. Secondly India is different from western countries. Here the major problem is backward thinking of society whereas in western countries the problem is misguided youth.

    4. Amita

      Hats off to you aditya. I totally agree. this funda is not applicable to India. This is only going to promote nudity here.

    5. AlamBains

      The Delhi Chapter of the Slutwalk will not have women wearing skimpy clothes.This movement is not trying to promote nudity in any way.But i dont think you have the right to decide for any woman what is appropriate for them to wear.And if you think this funda is not applicable to india read how sam was treated.

    6. Anupriya Mitra

      Hello Aditya, i am not getting ur point. On one hand u r sayin dat there are other important issues to worry about like “eve teasing” n all…and on the other hand u think “slut walk” is a petty issue….but can u tell me what initiates “eve teasing”? Don’ t u think women’s clothing is one such cause which initiates “eve teasing” n rape???

    7. viswanath

      dear priya

      i wish u all succesess

      i hope u ca reach ur goal

      wish u good luck

    8. Mridhula

      Hi Alam, first of all I would like to add is that this concept was originated because some policeman by mistake said “women should avoid dressing like sluts
      in order not to be victimized”. It could have been wrong choice of word at that time. Anyway what I am saying that it is more concern with the dressing rather then being called “slut” or anything. And the people in canada and other places worked on it that way only.
      1st: if you say that women are being called here with several indecent words(although its absolutely true), then we are changing the theme.
      2nd: Even if we stick to the original theme (which is that women can even dress like sluts) how many women you see in Delhi or other places where they are
      actually dressed like sluts? So, till now there not knowing how sluts is dressed,but now they would definitely know. Now if you say that women should also be
      allowed to wear like sluts, then the name of the compaign should be “Promoting Sluts wear”. Because you are not solving the rape problem, instead you are
      promoting something else. And which may or not lead to sexual harrassment, molestation etc. here in India. Which would be more dangerous.
      3rd: If you want to stick to the first issue. Where women should not be called with indecent words and help decrease rape in India. Then this is totally our
      idea and we should do it in a correct way. BTW, a walk would not be of any harm.

  11. Amrinder

    A brilliant article.Keep up the good work Alam. (y)

  12. Prasanna

    I’m the biggest fan of Vivekanandian thoughts it should not be taken for granted that I’m favouring men above women. Rather from my point every indian citizen should try to be principled and trying to be like Swami Vivekananda. This should not be taken as what men in this country are doing, is right, It is absolutely wrong,
    but If the women feel that whatever clothes they can wear and this is what independence means for them. Then let be it that lesbianism will also come as moral behaviour besides why should men restrict themselves. Then whatever happening in US of A that can also be moral behaviour. The notion is to progress in mentality not in materiality, to progress in ethicality not in physicality, to progress in morality not in immorality.
    For sure, leave aside the hindu religion, every religion in world praises mental virginity as of highest moral value, later comes the physical virginity that is why christianity, Boudhism, even muslimism considers mental, physical virginity, celibasy as a virtue. This is why rape, molestation is wrong and hence a punishable offence.
    Ofcourse not every human can practice celibasy for whole of his life. That is where a marraige comes in to be bonded with one wife for the whole life.
    As we have studied ‘Wealth is lost nothing is lost, Health is lost something is lost, but character is lost everything is lost. If this is right then the slutwalk is not for women with dignity but surely for characterless women offcourse.

    1. Renuka

      Hi Prasanna, I agree with you. This is just going to mislead the youth.

    2. Amrinder

      Shame on you Prasanna.You’re the one misleading the youth.

  13. Prasanna

    I’d prefer that every woman in this country should be like Jhansi Ki Rani and try to raise their morale to an extent that if a man tries to rape a woman, she should be capable of killing him, if not then, at least make him impotent.

    1. Renuka

      young indian girl’s role model should be people like Kiran bedi, Jhansi Ki Rani etc and not Paris Hilton.

  14. Monika

    This walk is crap. see this….this for those who have brain:
    http://www.answerbag.co.uk/q_view/2470822

  15. Sam

    I support the Walk and I support the Cause. Let me clarify this to everybody who is misguided but the name of the walk. It’s the concept that matter’s not the original name. I see some posts up here that keep talking about SLUT not being in our vocabulary but the point is NOT the word. The point of this walk is completely different. About 3 years ago my classmate was dropping me home (a male friend) after a very decent birthday party. It was about 1am and I would like to clarify there was absolutely no drinking. On our way to my place these 2 cops just stop up…randomly…for no fault of ours and the only reason being it was that late at night and there was a girl with a guy! What followed has left a very deep impact on me and I have never trusted a cop after this incident. So this cop asks me where we are going and all that and we tell him honestly about the birthday and all.. he all of a sudden starts blaming me and calling me a Slut and threatening me that he will put me in a remand home if I don’t apologize to him!!! FOR ABSOLUTELY NO FAULT OF MINE!! He said he would falsely build a case on me and make sure I rot in hell!! From when is being out of the house late at night banned??!! Finally we were forced to pay him in order for him to shut up and let us go. After seeing such horrible cheap minded men in this country I think this country needs the SLUT walk (change the name if you want but the cause remains) more than any other place on earth!!!!! We need to show these scum bags that we are not going to just sit back and take such injustice against women! Oh just to clarify I was wearing jeans and sweatshirt that night which had every inch of my body covered!!!

    1. Alam Bains

      Hi Sam,
      Thanks for taking out time to post your experience.People are treating this as an alien concept without understanding the issue it is raising.I hope your story will make them understand the cause better.And i would really like to emphasize once again that this movement is for women’s rights to dress up the way they like and to create an environment where crimes against women are not rationalised by giving lame reasons like the girl had dressed up provocatively.We need a system in place where the victim is not blamed for the perpetrator’s act.It is because of such an environment that crimes against women are not even reported.It is a democracy.Everyone is entitled to an opinion but do not write something off just because you think it will not make an impact,or it is not required or just because its called the Slutwalk.

    2. Ankit Dwivedi

      That’s what I consider the problem brother…
      We raise issues until they create trouble for us…It is not a case of poor mentality..The police officer simply ‘robbed’ you and u ‘bribed’ him…now you are blaming his reasoning…If u disagree with such mentality (I suppose everybody would) and u were right by the law…Then u should have continued with the action taken upon u…Y did u payed bribe and escaped the situation if u thought u were not doing anything wrong…

    3. anindya

      my dear girl.. this proves corruption not sexuall abuse. had it been a lady officer she would hav done the same for bribe. u are misguided child. it was all about money and nothing else. and ya might be a little bit sexual frustration which goes on among male and female simalr alike. there was once a teacher who once pointed me as rotten apple as i sat in the school park chatting wid my classmate. she said if i wanted to make out i should do it in a room in my home. and mind u we were in uniform just chatting. ok we bunked the class but it was sexual assualt plus child abuse in legal terms but its not applicable in our society.

  16. santanu

    Honestly I feel that the the basic premise has some flaws at least when seen in the Indian context. from what I understand from this quote
    “Historically, it has been used by misogynists to degrade women who are sexually assertive – whilst men in the same position have been hailed as ‘studs’ or ‘ladies’ men’. We wish to make it know that women are well within their rights to have consensual sex and to display their sexuality however they like”
    according to online OED it means “a woman who has many sexual partners” and it seems it was always a word used in a derogatory/ negative sense. I am not aware if the word was ever used as something laudatory.
    It is quite true that in this day and age having many sexual partners ( consensual sex i.e) is nothing to be ashamed of but dont talk about “reclaiming” the word “slut” for it has been always used with negative connotations.

    symantic nitpicking apart when a girl carries out a skinshow or dresses like a “slut” she is definitely sending out a message about her sexuality nonverbal as that might be . Now will it be alright if some male approaches her and asks for consensual sex politely ? I mean if asked politely surely there wont be anything offensive about it right ? After all we are all proud of our sexuality aren’t we ? that the girl might not agree is of course besides the point and the man should take it in his stride and approach the next girl similarly dressed.

    The whole point is actually about signal processing .. someone transmits something and someone else receives it and acts on it . The girl is sending out the message ” look at me I am so sexually attractive” . For let’s admit it a dress is meant to sned a message and a message is received by someone else. The guy receives it and acts on it . Surely he is responsible for his actions but like I said will he be within his rights to ask the girl for a quickie very politely of course ?

    By the way ever wondered why in the “enlightened liberated west” the guys don’t parade their “stuff” like the girls during the weekend nights do ? what does it tell about the male female equality out there ?j

    This walk at least in India is a complete joke thought up by some pampered middle/ upper middle class kids who are pissed off for not being allowed to dress(undress) as they like . Sure they have the right to do so but dont think up such lame excuses for a skinshow parade. Infact I would suggest that taking their right of expressing their sexuality to its logical conclusion they should go “au natural ”
    I am sure such a strong message should send a shiver down the most hardcore “would be rapist”

    As for the class thingy Sanjukta has said it best.

  17. Sairam

    I have just returned to India after spending 6 years in different western countries hoping to serve this nation in one way or the other. I was sad to see that the youth of this nation..well at least some of them have taken it upon themselves to convince us in one way or the other that anything that works in the west should work in this country. You know nations prosper when they take pride in their own identity, when they come up with solutions of their own. We as a nation after 63+ years of independence are hell bent on mocking anything that is not Indian. Why the shame? Why can’t you folks come up with something of your own? Slut walk was a movement started in Canada. Any decent person would be able to distinguish the socio-economic differences between these two nations.

    You want solutions? Start with scratch. Let us first address the most fundamental problems facing this nation. There are people..yes our OWN people, millions of them suffering from malnutrition. I doubt anyone of them would really care for your campaign. There are people who have confined themselves to a conservative approach to life. For them female infanticide and dowry is considered ‘normal’. Caste is a matter of pride. The higher your caste, the more superior they are supposed to be in society. Of course I understand that this is a nation where opinions differ from class to caste, and religion to state. Building a consensus on any issue is not easy but unless and until the ground is cleared of these social ills, these gay pride and slut walk esque type campaigns would only breed more intolerance within our already divided society. Remember, the Eiffel tower was not constructed from the top. Violence and mistreatment of women of any form is appalling but this country cannot afford to have all these distractions when the ground is still dirty. You can have all this tamasha once each and every person in this country has reached a certain level of social, economic and mental equality. The world doesn’t revolve around you and me.

  18. Sairam

    Ms Alam Bains,

    One more thing. Your very first sentence in your article is an irony in itself.

    “What is the most common reaction to a woman who is dressed ‘provacatively’? ”

    Now when I used the online dictionary to check the meaning of provocative:

    pro·voc·a·tive/prəˈväkətiv/Adjective
    1. Causing provocation, esp. deliberately: “a provocative article”.
    2. Arousing sexual desire or interest, esp. deliberately

    Unless nature gets high on weed, I don’t see how one can stop men from ogling at women. Not that I am saying it is correct to do so but please don’t blame others for your ‘provocation’. Having said that, why don’t you start a campaign to set a list of guidelines and rules as to what constitutes ‘provocation’ in this country esp. wrt to women and the way they dress up?

  19. archit

    @sanjukta ….i think y d youth support the term slut walk is because of the idea of making the term “slut” non-derogatory.
    thats the whole purpose of calling it slut walk ,to take the power away from the term dat it carries

  20. Alam Bains

    Well, the very reason that the word provocative has been put in quotes is to imply the fact that people decide what is ‘provocative’ according to their own criteria.What may be decent to me may be provocative for someone else.Secondly,I am not raising this issue at the cost of other issues.What you are saying about our country suffering from malnutrition is true and that is why i support the right to food and have done articles on the food security act as well.I support a cause like the slutwalk because i feel that a safer environment is required for women,where crimes against them are not rationalised on grounds such as dress etc.This does not mean that i and for that matter others who are supporting it are not bothered about other issues.It is possible to support many causes at a time and that is what i am trying to do here.

    1. Sairam

      Well I have to disagree to that. I can bet my life that a campaign like this would get zero response from rural India. Try explaining the word ‘slut’ to your fellow women folk from the countryside and see if they march along with you. They have a completely different set of mentality and way of looking at life. You and I cannot change that unless we first address their socio-economic problems. These are the basic principles of nation building. No you can’t address such things by clubbing them with slut walk. It is pretty convenient to say this while we are sitting in our luxurious homes, browsing the internet for western (feminist) ideologies that can be shoved into the minds of a society that is not yet prepared accept such things. More than 70% of the population lives in the countryside. That would constitute an absolute majority in any democratic society. You are almost making it sound as if crimes against women are confined to the streets of Delhi or any metropolitan city. That is factually incorrect. More cases of domestic violence and rape/molestation have been registered in Indian towns/villages that in the cities. Now these women never dressed up ‘provocatively’. Neither were they drunk at a club. The crime happened because of the backward mentality of the individual of that certain place. Same is the case in cities. In cities, most crimes against women have also been committed by people who were backward enough to not control their emotions at that time. A crime is a crime irrespective of where it was committed. Unfortunately, the justice system in India is rotten to the core, which is why it needs to be strengthened so that men would FEAR the law before they commit such heinous crimes against women be it in the villages or the cities. Hence I emphasize again that the fundamental problems like malnutrition, justice, education and national identity need to be addressed first before some (western) slut walk campaign which is solely aimed for the young English speaking youth living in big cities. Such movements reek of hypocrisy. Some youngsters are fine with the Bollywood machinery constantly churning out movies on gay, lesbian, extra marital affairs, prostitutes, one night stands and showing women in other ‘provocative’ forms yet they complain when some people get influenced by such things and carry out crimes. Ever bothered to walk against these fools who portray young women as bimbos? Events like slut walk are not what India needs right now.

  21. Nehru Bal Sangh

    Ms Alma Banis,

    I am a college student based in Bangalore , I work for a youth organisation and I would like to arrange for the Slut Walk campaign in Bangalore, is it happening on the 24th of July? as I would like to have it at the same time.

  22. Ankit Dwivedi

    It’s shooting arrow in the air… Honestly speaking, does this walk positively draw attention of those, who are mentally sick….who consider some offensive dressed women a slut….
    Is this walk giving any message or solution…to dose that needs….
    Its like ‘We should do it, coz they did in their countries’
    Youth should participate if they wish to do something bout injustice to women..’What exactly are they doing?”….”Publicity gaining walk”

    Instead, we should start from our home and society.. start giving morals to children at our home and sex education in our society and schools…But, people won’t do that…Coz, it takes efforts, work…dedication….No publicity….!

    Its good that we care…bt make sure what are we doing for it…!

  23. Shubham Kulshreshtha

    I really admire your step but i should also say that you must first seriously think upon the issue you are committed to. As a teenager i too feel that most of the sexual crimes are not just due to the dressing sense of the victim. But if we look upon the statistics of past few years, we would find that most of the victims of Delhi region were from the University i.e. the area full of students who dresses the way we are talking about. If there are a lot of thieves in our city, we want the police to look into the issue, but still we tries to keep ourselves safe from them ignoring our freedom of lifestyle. But we all agree on the fact that we should lock our gates before we go to sleep. And on the fact that girls feel comfortable in western, tight and short outfits,i totally disagree. Even some girls have the same views as mine on these outfits. The reality is that most of the girls acquire the western cloths due to the wish of looking glamorous and modern. I ask you, why don’t the girls from north east put on the clothes they wear in their cities or which are according to their culture. We are unfortunately acquiring only the western culture and none another only because of mentality of being modern. Wearing western clothes now has become the sign of modern and educated girls. A girl wearing a salwar or something like it in her college is often considered as an old fashioned person of middle class background by other people specially girls. And that’s why all are heading towards the western clothes.. Only due to thirst of glamour and false pride and not because of comfort…….So please have a moderate and flexible view on your aim. Extremism will only create more problems and all the best……..

    1. anindya

      boy fashion enters india through north east..their minis n skirts are worn more than in delhi… but the thing is the north eastern girls dont bitch like the girls here but fight forward. they carry off themselves well. and their culture is not salwaar kameez for ur information. the thing is power misused is justice abused. and girls abuse their powers shouting abuse even when they too do the same ecxept for the case that when a male suffers from girls sexual agression people dnt take complaint and laugh at him

    2. anindya

      in north east minis and skirt are worn more than in delhi. delhis culture is salwar not northeasts dear. girls of north east wear clothes they are comfortable in coz they pick it up well and dont go like other girls bitchin abt man looking at them. they fight back wid power. the girls here missuse their sex and call crime even after having consensous sex after the male party refuses to heed to their demand. here even the males r abused and police take no heed of them..

  24. meenu sharma

    if men can wear anything y cant women. Plz dont punish the women who r wearing the clothes they want but plz punish the rapist men n teasers who put blame on girls for wearing short skirt or pants etc.. not even a single women is safe in delhi either wearing short dresses or wearing suits

    1. anindya

      ya n wat abt the girls who push over males limit and use them? there are many who use their body as weapon.. first use the males n then make demands . if they dont agree they shout rape. you will find a lot of these kind of girls in delhi..

  25. Arun

    I think it is a gud initiative , but it should not stop here , way is too long to achieve something

  26. rajshaan

    Indian girls should be that do not show their bold body language ….that’s a against of Indian culture……if they do that …… that’s a wrong n .they would hve face many problem……. so firstly remember their Indian culture.

  27. Mohil Patel

    I believe whether it is male of female, both needs to dress up modestly. Long time ago in India, females never have had modern outfits, dresses or clothes to wear. The point was to maintain shame and modesty of their family and have their dignity within their society and community. In the last few years, females in India have become so modern that they wish to wear anything. In many cultural events for example Garba (Gujarati Navratri), marriages and so on they have females wearing clothes that should not be permitted. The traditional Saris, which women’s wear as their cultural outfits have been made a lot modern. But people believe is it traditional outfit and no questions should be raised. But is that right? This is really embarrassing for me and people should learn from their errors. As a result, this implies how women’s are unsafe around the world. India is a nation where women’s have to maintain their cultural and more importantly their family’s honour. Following modern outfits is not going to benefit them or make them look different. If people say that they modern and given them compliments, it does not mean that they look advance. Behind you back they are all going to laugh and why males may compliment, they should understand from that. What honour and respect are they going to receive from that? Also what about their family members, are they not going to feel embarrassed? As an Indian Hindu living in England, I respect the culture and traditional of India. This implies that Indian people should know more better in comparison to me. People that do not follow culture and live in America and England also dress appropriately. They understand what is right and wrong. What is the matter with the people in India? Today, it is the dress, next time what is India going to change?

  28. Indian

    It not just an article, this is the real face of delhi. If you see any girl wearing short dress the boys looks at her like they never saw a girl. We have to change our mentality one more thing which according to me is important for delhi is make India sex free country. This will help reducing rapes. And give hardest punishment to the rape criminals like hang them till death, cut there private part, etc. govt should be strict against these criminals.
    Thanks

    1. anindya

      nice sentiment and what about the women who missuse their power? first attract men, have sex, call for favours and when the males denies favour then they shout rape? what should b done to the girls who whistle at boys n makes passes at them? what punishment should b given who sexually abuse men??

  29. CLEOPATRA

    Using the word ” SLUT ” for a lady is definitely not in taste. If you want respect one has to earn it. Just because we have people who tend to have popping eyes every time they spot a female doesn’t mean we can edge them on or in other words LOOK but DONT TOUCH. I do not support men treating women insultingly or demoralising them. It is said that a man can rape a woman just with his gaze…… without even touching her ! wearing whatever you like is anyone’s choice be it a male or a female. However the choice of dressing reflects our emotions , upbringing, background, our thinking, what we try to project about ourselves, what we try to silently convey to the world about ourselves.That is why we take care to dress well when we go for an interview! Never is a well dressed person criticised for the clothes worn by them. Yes , rape has occured to fully clad women.. but that doent mean we forget we come from respectable families . BESHARMI MORCHA is no way to correct a sick man’s mind .Rape is an ancient disease which exists whereever Society is. Can you find anywhere in the world ,one society where rape has not been?. Offcourse Dress as you like, but remember you may be fighting for rights which somebody might misuse.! Next think we know some might strut around in see through or bikini, or even worse STREAK down the roads. Would you as a bright future citizen approve of it ?

    1. anindya

      i agree wid u cleo… but u knw the funny part its only females but many times even males who gets hit..

  30. Harminder Singh

    I would first congrats to all the people who participated on Slut walk for the protection of women from sexual harresment,abuse.Well it is good to be part of these kinds of problems which is for each and everyone.I would recommed to change the titile or your march but rest would be fine..Raising a voice againnst women sexual abuse and harresement is really good.its not the men’ responsiltiy it is the responsibilty of each and evry one in this soicety to control the ..our selfs..from be spoiled.

  31. Salwa Yahya

    The entire issue of the “SLUT WALK” should be viewed as an attempt at CHALLENGING CULTURAL MINDSETS . The movement aims to remove this age-old tradition of branding women on the basis of what they are wearing. If a woman wears shorts then she is a “slut” while if a man goes around wearing exactly the same thing he is neither branded in a derogatory manner nor fears any sort of victimization . Many over here have suggested that ‘good’ , ‘modest’ and ‘proper’ kind of dressing is the path to follow but this whole concept of what is ‘decent’ ‘ or proper’ is so relative !! I may consider something as appropriate but a man might not , so what does that mean ? Should he pounce on me because I am dressed ‘indecently’ according to him ???? Nobody has the right to dictate mine or any person’s choices. What may appear ok to me might not appear ok to someone else. So who decides the boundaries ?? How men view women is NOT due to innate tendencies but due to the result of a large amount of cultural conditioning . So in patriarchal societies movements like these which are high on the shock value are needed . This movement gives a cultural jolt to those who are conditioned to view women as the so-called “modest” beings. India is overwhelmingly patriarchal and as most people have rightly pointed out that the dressing sense of Western women is different than that of Indian women. Majority of Indian women do not wear very skimpy outfits BUT THE HEIGHT OF IRONY IS THAT INDIA STILL EXTREMELY UNSAFE FOR WOMEN . Large number of women are eve-teased, molested, raped and harassed regardless of what they are wearing. I myself have had such UNPLEASANT experiences and i can assure all the prudes that I dress mostly in Salwar suits which is considered quite a ‘decent’ dress.So in the light of this tendency SLUT WALK becomes quite suitable. The moment you bring in the aspect of provocation in crimes of sexual violence you actually strengthen the blame culture surrounding the victim which is SO UNFAIR AND UNJUST. (and let me remind you that wearing short clothes on the streets are NOT the same as leaving your house open at night for burglars. That is a VERY petty and derogatory comparison to make. Women are NOT the same as inanimate objects) The whole idea behind this radical movement is to tell society not to sexualize a woman’s independence . Any expression of freedom be it in clothes or movement should not be taken as an invitation to sexual violence and of course a woman has the right to say a firm NO to unwanted sex . The right to say NO to sex should be recognized and a woman can say NO to sex irrespective of who she is saying it to, what she is wearing, where she is and at what time she is at. Any body who violates that right must be severely punished. Slut walk aims at spreading this notion as it is completely clear from their slogans’ placards and clothing. Though some may find it morally offensive because it strikes at the very root of the wrongly glorified stereotype of ” the modest and submissive woman” but when degradation, humiliation and victimization of women takes such an extent such radical attempts are welcome ..

    1. kaushik

      i cannot object at men looking at women if they don’t lick their lips and get ready to pounce
      that women object to it is because women only want the attention of certain men who are evolutionarily most desirable
      if you think cultural conditioning makes men look at women as sexual objects (and the other way round, only women’s criteria are different and they are SO visually dependent) then I can only marvel at your blind adherence to dogma and rejection of the facts of evolution.
      When the issue of personal liberty comes in, of course women have the right to wear anything they want but to expect rape cases to reduce because of the movement is dumb

    2. kaushik

      The point is we do not live in an entirely rational world
      And the reason it is not rational is due in some measure to ‘cultural conditioning’ but more due to the fact that ‘irrationality’ at some point in the distant past was beneficial to survival of the species
      Today however we make personal liberty a right and we should to reduce instances of rape as far as possible but to expect that our actions do not have consequences is to fool ourselves.
      The point always raised is that rape is about power. It may be about power but the desire to exert that physical power is because the rapist feels totally incapable of being with that women with her consent. That is what fuels his anger.
      This is not to say that he is excused however.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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