It’s been 3 years since I left school, and every time I go back and peep into old classrooms with colourful walls and little chairs, my heart swells with pride. This is my alma-mater. The place which made me, me.
Except that since I left school, times have changed. My lovely school’s done something very, very stupid. My 14 year old sister (goes to the same school) told me that the city’s best girls’ school, our school, has come up with an ingenious (read dumb) plan to protect its girls against harassment. And I can’t believe my ears.
So in the name of protecting its girls, my school has banned skirts. Yes, welcome to the 21st century India, the next superpower blah blah.
While the West’s raging with Free the Nipple Movement, we are shamelessly barring our girls from revealing their legs. Lest the boys get corrupted! No, I’m not comparing us with the west. The Western culture’s corrupt for allowing its women to show off their legs. Oo la la. And what are we, the messiahs of righteousness? We know all there is to know about keeping girls safe? We sure as hell know girls shouldn’t flaunt their legs. It’s so funny I’m crying.
As if butt-head politicians trivialising rapes saying “boys will be boys” wasn’t enough insult, we have premiere educational institutions directing girls to cover up. And banning skirts is all they could come up with.
Seriously, is everybody here a fucking moron? Wearing skirts isn’t even feminism, this is common sense and basic rights. Is this even a right? Isn’t it something obvious? Skirt’s just another garment. Well. I don’t know what to say. I’m at a loss for words.
My school said they’ve switched to Salwar-Kameez because it’ll keep the girls safe. Basically they’re saying that girls are molested/harassed/raped when they show their legs. Might as well cut our legs. Let’s see if that solves our problems! What a moronic approach this is to such a serious problem. The problem of rape and harassment boils down to this- girls show their legs and boys go mad. Wow.
What’s more, the school’s permitted girls to wear skirts on Fridays. Yes, I repeat, girls can wear skirts on Friday. Because maybe boys don’t molest on Fridays. Maybe they stay indoors and rest. I don’t know, the school’s wiser, it must’ve thought this through, right?
Except no, they haven’t thought this through. This is not how you empower girls. You pride yourself on being the finest girls’ school in the city and this is the crap you come up with? Ban skirts? Tell little girls it’s their job to dress modestly? Has anybody ever tried teaching boys to respect the female body?
We’ve got millions of problems in the country. From hunger to homelessness and murder to rape. And all we care about are uncovered legs. Because boys molest girls who show their legs. Seriously, stop kidding yourselves. You bring me one girl who’s crossed puberty and hasn’t been harassed/eve teased/whistled at/stared at/groped irrespective of her attire and I’ll give you a fucking medal and brand myself an idiot.
Don’t wear this, don’t do that, wear proper clothes, don’t attract attention, keep low… Shut up, please. It was never about legs. Stop curtailing girls’ freedom in the name of love and protection.
I’ll do what I want to do. My sister will do what she wants to. We’ll wear that damn skirt if we want to. Do you hear me?