Sexism And Politics – ‘Honour Of Vote Bigger Than Honour Of Daughter’

Posted by Anjali Sethi in Politics, Sexism And Patriarchy
January 28, 2017

Our newspapers run rife with the political news every day and what also forms a part of it are the derogatory remarks made towards women. Being in a politics is a daring business where politicians get involved in adventurous activity either by changing the parties prior to the elections or enunciating sexist remarks.

From these activities, particularly by making remarks on other fellow women politicians they get huge media coverage, which might be difficult for them to solicit through their portfolios’.

Recently, Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav said something which racked up a controversy.

Honour of vote is bigger and important than honour of daughter. If daughter’s honour is compromised, it only affects the village or community but if the vote’s honour is compromised, it impacts the entire nation,” Yadav said. Not to mention how problematic the whole question of a ‘woman’s honour’ is.

To add more to this pile of disgusting remarks, Vinay Katiyar, founder-president of Bajrang Dal said that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is not that pretty. “There are so many other more beautiful female campaigners. There are heroines.”

By analysing his statements, the only inference which can be drawn is that the votes you get is directly proportional to how much beautiful women you have as campaigners in your party.  It will be an added advantage if you have an actress to promote the portfolio of your party. Well, their portfolio may be promising in regard to women empowerment but the words of the leader of the parties suggest something else.

Women empowerment has just remained a mere issue which is promised to be looked at by the politicians and eventually never discussed for another five years. If women occupy any powerful position, they are objectified through the remarks which categorically mention the ways they can be put into use like increasing the votes by some percent.

The statement given by Vinay Katiyar has not only resulted in the mockery of his own profession but also the profession of acting, where women are still battling the colour and body image war. Simultaneously, they have to be answerable about the profession they choose. Even Hillary Clinton said to women in her concession speech, “I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.” So, this problem is globally acknowledged.

Campaigns launched for the education of girls or Beti Bachao Beti Padhao or Selfie with Daughter to promote the importance of half of our workforce will not be served if they are only for coming to power. Development of a country depends on the development of the society and for that, women should be given their own space and a chance for being acknowledged as one of the major contributors to the nation’s development rather than being objectified.

Politicians have to openly defy those conventions which are against women empowerment and reduce her to a mere object. Politicians should encourage women to participate in politics instead of criticising her for her choices as it further exacerbates the problem.


Image source: Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times/ Getty Images