Outrage of a student against misogyny.
Delhi University, a premiere institute witnesses another act of misogyny -this time over the use of terms bras and panties in a play by the drama society of Kamla Nehru College.
“Stage is a platform to mirror the society and narrate lives of people with as much realism as possible. We say the world is progressing and the human race is moving forward, yet here we are struggling to openly depict the necessities of women.
The situation is trivial to such an extent today that women's undergarments are seen as obscene for audiences today. Being a girls' college, it is easy to feel how sexist the world is; but difficult to accept that learned theatre professionals can consider mere mention of women's undergarments more vulgar than lewd comments on women's physique and character. How derogatory and demeaning abuses are acceptable in art forms, but a reference of feminine clothing offends people.
- A post from the page of Lakshya- The Theatre Society of Kamala Nehru College
Lakshaya- The Theatre Society of Kamla Nehru College were performing their play Shahira Ke Naam with all their heart and efforts on 27th January 2017 at Shri Ram Center, but after the end of the play, surprisingly, the organizers announced that the theatre society had been disqualified from the competition.
However, the organizers claimed that the college has not been disqualified but will "only lose marks" for the use of some words. "The society has not been disqualified, they will only lose marks because they've broken the rules about obscenity," Neha Sharma, coordinator of the competition.
“One of the judge said to us: ‘ran**, ha**mi, bolne mein koi dikkat nahi hai, you think about what else you’ve said’’, told a member of the Lakshaya society. Not only the disqualification, when the convener of the society took a firm stand against this act of disqualification she got targeted for her attire on Facebook.
This is not the first time that a theatre society got attacked for using certain words. But this disqualification, remarks and targeting says a lot about the mindset of Sahitya Kala Parishad. Even after all this time of feminist movements, we cannot expect them to act mature and take women’s garments (read- bra and panty) as normal attire which can be used in a play’s script because somewhere, all of us are apart of the same mindset.
Most of us are part of the same patriarchal mindset where it is okay for women to dress up in bikini sin advertisements but it is not okay for women to dry their bras outside. Bras are something that need to be hidden. At least once in every woman’s life, we are told “your strap is showing” by words or by mere indications to hide it.
On one hand, we are taught to wear them since teenage,on the other hand we need to hide them because hiding them means not letting the world know that we wear them. We are living in a society where cuss words can be used in a play (according to the judge quoted above) but women’s lingerie is something that shouldn’t be spoken about.
Another example of a sad patriarchal mindset in this incident is the targeting of Ms. Monami Basu, Convener of the society. This lady took a firm stance but saviors of patriarchy tried to shame a woman, this time about the way she dresses!
This action is an old way of trying to call out names, shame, tame a woman with an opinion,either bring her attire or her personal life or something whichever the option is chosen by the person but this won’t be working this time either.
“We have every right to dress up the way we want to and put pictures regardless of what it might seem like to someone. Is the authenticity and credibility of our words, a woman's word,proportional to the amount and kind of clothes she puts on?
Dear Ms. Sudesh Arya, we thank you for your opinions. They are as useless and nonsensical as your reasons. It is for mindset like yours that we are still out here performing plays on rape culture and would continue to do on streets.”
- Response of Team Lakshaya
In this battle of shaming women for their mere existence by their choice of at tire,choice of words or any choice for that matter, is a clear depiction of the hypocrisy in the name of society that we live in.
Women wear Bras, Women wear panties!
These are not cuss words but attire of millions of women, transgenders and trans sexual and they should be treated as normal words like Lungi, Baniyaan, Boxers .
Times are changing, mindsets will have to change.
Author : Meghna Mehra ( Shyama Prashad Mukherji College )