Women’s security or women empowerment are subjects which aren’t practiced as much as they’re preached in our country. While we come across the deep-rooted misogyny on a daily basis, it’s deeply terrifying when people with power and the ability to bring change say things that further prove the regressive state of the country. A number of civil servants, public figures and officers have often been nonchalant about their sexist behaviour and comments. And this treatment is almost scary, given that these are the people who are in-charge.
These instances are proof:
1. Retd. IPS officer called ‘Besharam Rang’ public molestation.
There has been a lot of fuss around Pathaan’s song, and people aren’t holding back on the blatant sexism either. So, just like that, an IPS officer posted zoomed-in screenshots from the song’s music video, mostly taking offense on Deepika Padukone’s clothes. He went on to write that it was ‘public molestation’ and that Ranveer Singh shouldn’t have “allowed” her to perform. And while he was schooled by Twitter, it’s shocking to see the audacity that made him post it.
2. Rekha Sharma’s love-jihad comment.
Head of the women’s rights panel, the National Commission for Women, Rekha Sharma, was called out after the body tweeted about the ‘rising cases of love-jihad’ in Maharashtra. People were outraged because of the misogyny and the disrespect towards a religious community, in Sharma’s comment. Many even added that her conduct has been questionable, specifically with respect to women, at several occasions.
3. Indian Army chief’s sexist reasons to keep women out of combat roles.
An Indian Army chief had stated that women have responsibility of raising kids and they’d also feel uncomfortable at the frontline. He had also said that a lot of women officers would complain about male officers ‘peeping’. Basically, the explanation to keep women away from combat roles was that men ‘could lose control’. And we were supposed to agree.
4. Ranjit Sinha’s insensitive rape analogy.
Ranjit Sinha, who leads the Central Bureau of Investigation in India, drew an analogy between rape and ‘unlicensed betting’. He was asked if sports betting, which is banned in India but widespread, should be legalised. The ex-CBI chief had said that “it’s like saying if you can’t prevent rape, you should enjoy it.” The comparison wasn’t needed, and crossed several lines due to the sensitivity of the matter. Specifically when women security was and still remains a joke in the country.
5. Senior journalist’s sexist article on Deepika Padukone.
While a lot of people were offended by Deepika Padukone’s Besharam Rang, a lot of it was further proof of the casual sexism that we tend to ignore. A senior journalist, Subhash K Jha had also written an article elaborating that the actress ‘looked awful’ in the bikini. He also went on to compare her to yesteryear actresses, while mentioning that she was trying to be like Priyanka Chopra, when she’s “not about oomph.” And well, it’s just another day of pitting women against each other, while objectifying them.
6. Karnataka HC judge’s remarks on rape survivor.
Karnataka HC had given anticipatory bail to a rape accused, after Justice Krishna S Dixit’s remarks. The judge had said that it was hard to believe the victim because she wasn’t behaving ‘like one’. According to him it was “unbecoming of an Indian woman to sleep after she is ravished, that is not the way women react.” So, not only was the system incompetent, but they also went on to comment on how rape survivors must ‘behave’.
7. Arunachal IAS officer’s sexist comment on women officers.
An Arunachal IAS officer had commented that women should put on make-up so that people ‘enjoy seeing them’. He had said in a video, that they even suggest their receptionist in the office to be decked up so that when men enter, they can feel good. This was a derogatory remark that highlighted women as ‘objects’ who are meant to look good.
8. When a cop raped a rape survivor’s mother who was seeking justice.
In a horrifying incident, a police officer from Kannauj had raped a rape survivor’s mother, telling her that “it’s love”. The survivor’s mother was called in at the police accommodation by the officer, stating that it was regarding the investigation. He then forced her into his room. This was not only deeply saddening but also just as horrific, given that these are the people we’re supposed to trust.
There’s a lot that rests on these people and their responsibilities. And it is often questionable how they treat women.