There’s a tailor sitting in a distant corner, with a sheet of measurements and heaps of cloth to stitch. The white cotton cloth, in its plainness, can never suggest the implications of character that it would soon be stitched into. No, it is just a plain cloth for now. Much like a white washed wall that would soon be coloured and that colour would determine the look of the house for generations to come.
The white stitched cloth is now to be distributed to schools and colleges. These institutions are then to form guidelines, written over a month, to be followed for years and to reinforce prejudices of centuries.
Girls will have to cover their knees, tame their wild long hair into oily plates, remove their funky nail polishes and wear bras that don’t ever ever attract a boy’s eyes- all in the name of discipline. The same ordinary unstitched cloth will now remain your label, rating you on a scale of less slutty to most slutty. Females are sluts, of course. They show legs and attract boys. They wear coloured bras and attract boys. They keep their hair open and attract boys. They exist and attract boys. And boys? None of their fault AT ALL. A teacher of mine once said, “you can’t blame boys if girls are causing distraction. ”
But what is the big deal about such a distraction? Why is it a crime if a boy finds a girl physically attractive? Why is it a heinous sin for a girl to want to look attractive? And why can attraction not be expressed in schools when it is a human trait which is to last lifelong?
When teachers label girls, as wanting to come to school just to impress boys by judging them by the length of their skirts, they do something big- they normalise slut shaming. They make girls believe that their choice of clothes will determine whether they should be respected or not. Their choice of clothes will reflect what their parents taught them. Their choice of clothes will be their parameter for judgement when they’re in offices, parties and any and every workplace. But it has a bigger implication for boys- boys will be reduced to only lusty species. They’ll be expected to look at legs, breasts or hair- since that’s normalized. It’s absolutely false to believe that boys only crave physical attraction. The first time a boy looks at a girl with short skirts, he might think-she is hot. But will he think that every time he has a conversation with her? No. Because boys aren’t some different species who only run on libido instincts. They’re also genuine humans, whom we degrade to the status of only horny persons.
The thing is, our minds are the stitched cloth. We restricted a free cloth in a prescribed design and look at every thing around with the same measurements of the cloth. We have had age old beliefs about ‘ discipline’. We tend to loose out on compassion and respect in order to guard that discipline. And that is the kind of discipline I do not want. Do you?