Mr Shriprakash Jaiswal’s Sexist Remarks: A Grave Illustration Of The Societal Perceptions

Posted on October 11, 2012 in Society

By Shweta Lohia:

In past few days, owing to Mr. Shriprakash Jaiswal’s comment “wives and victories lose their charm when they become old” we get a glimpse of never-ending sexism in India. Despite being an educated man, his notions about women are completely absurd.

Shriprakash Jaiswal, the union Coal Minister compared the joy of victory over Pakistan in T20 match to a new marriage and went on to say that a victory should be celebrated when it is fresh otherwise it would lose its charm the way wives lose theirs as they grow old.

His statement made my blood boil and I am sure yours did as well. Are women born only so that they can charm men? Why in the first place did he draw the comparison with a woman and not a man?

Ironically, Mr Shriprakash Jaiswal said the above derogatory words at a Kavi Sammelan held in a girls’ college in Kanpur. He mocked women’s beauty where in fact in poems, a women’s beauty is compared to heavenly objects. For instance, the moon is symbolic of a woman’s beautiful face. So how can one be so obtuse so as to make a sexist remark before a female audience?

This raises a question: Can we ever get rid of sexism in our society? Probably not. In fact it has deeply penetrated into our society, so much so, that it hardly affects us. For instance, a popular dialogue from the movie ‘Ishq’, which made India laugh their hearts out, “Zindagi mein teen chezoon ke pechey khabi nahi bhagna chahiye: bus, train or chokri, ek aati h to dusri jaati hai”, was never put to question.

When a man’s masculinity is disgraced, he is addressed with words that go like “chudiya pehen lo tum hatho mein“. In this case, bangles which are a sacred ornament for women are so openly mocked. And one thing which has bothered me to a great extent is the cliché that women are bad drivers. I therefore started learning to drive at the age of fifteen so as to master the skill and prove people wrong.

Women rejoice after receiving their much awaited freedom but will they ever be free from such banal remarks? These clichés seem to be the leeches of our society, the question is, and will we ever be able to get rid of them?

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