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Oct 1, 2005

Vulgar to Someone

Salwar Kameez without dupatta might be vulgar to someone
Showing off your waist in a sari, might be vulgar to someone
Blouse or kameez without sleeves might be vulgar to someone
Jeans which reveals the shape of legs might be vulgar to someone

Tops without scarves might be vulgar to someone
Skirts which reveal the calves might be vulgar to someone
Skirts or shorts which reveal the thighs, might be vulgar to someone
Halter tops, plunging necklines, might be vulgar to someone.

One piece swimsuit might be vulgar to someone
While only Bikinis might be vulgar to someone
Pamela's dresses might be sexy not vulgar to somone
But could become vulgar to the same someone, if worn by a close one.

The list I have said from the first line might be vulgar to someone
Or the last few lines of list might be vulgar to someone
Or none from the list might be vulgar to someone.
What is vulgarity for someone need not be vulgarity to everyone

In Taliban era even women exposing ankles was vulgar, no?
But even there, she could be raped inspite of covering herself from head to toe.
Whats vulgar to someone might be sexy to someone or inviting to someone.
But eveteasing, molesting or raping is the right of NO ONE

Vulgarity cannot be an excuse for eveteasing,molestation or rape.
For these incidents happen, not because of the dress, but because the offenders, fail to see the human wearing the dress.

Our sense of decency and the right to protest against vulgarity by Someone
Shouldnt mean we support Outrages against Anyone.

The above post had been about vulgarity and women dress
But surely some men too dress vulgarly.

Would it be "understandable", if a guy got molested or raped because of it by a woman (there are other ways a woman can rape a man other than an overdose of viagara, read the law on female rape to know more about its equivalent) or by a bisexual or homosexual man?
To my knowledge, there isnt a law, to deal with it, so its not even illegal. (In case of sex between 2 men its illegal for both and so the onus lies on the victim to prove it was forced)
And just curious to know if "understandable" if lesbians molested women who dressed vulgarly.

While many can be sympathetic to women getting molested, the same is not extended to men. Since many think that every man would enjoy anything related to sex (perhaps an exception would be made in case of a man raping another)

Still we dont have neither the law nor the social support for men who would come forward to complain against rape/molestation by other men.

I am sure the readers are not molestors and rapists.
But there are many who think, while they are capable of controlling themselves when someone dresses provocatively (which is not the same as vulgar though colloquially both imply the same), who believe its the responsibility of the women to see that their attire doesnt provoke anybody. And many rapes and molestations can be prevented if the women dressed in a way that wouldnt attract or ignite the rapists mind.

The rape laws go into the character of the victim but not the accused. Added to it the prejudice that a woman can provoke the action, puts the onus on the victim. This combined with the other anamolies in the law and its execution, leads, to victims not complaining and provoking the abusers to abuse further.

The attitude of the society which doesnt put enough responsibility on the abuser and implies being molested or raped is a stigma, and the loopholes in the law coupled with faulty execution are more provocative according to me, than just the dress of a woman or a man.


  1. A very nice one :). As long as people treat other people as 'others' and 'objects', rapes and murders will continue.

  2. thanks sray:)

    while many advise victims to be dress sensibly, few care to think, why cant the abusers be more sensitive.

  3. vulgarity is in the mind, in the opinion..... u rightly pointed out that its all a matter of opinion.... and nothing, absolutely nothing gives anyone the right to violate another human being!

  4. Wise Donkey, There r 2 main reasons of rape
    1.When lust overtakes sense. Its so overpowering that culprit doesnt care much abt the consequence. If the women dress sensibly, the lust factor can be controlled.

    2. Whn culprit thinks he can get away with it. Proper Punishements of culprits will inc fear factor and decrease rapes.

  5. anbu what is the percentage of rapes happening because women dress in short skirts and tight tops.
    For that matter what is the percentage of women who wear that.

    Majority of Indian population still lives in towns and villages, no rape occurs there?

  6. Gaya, I so so agree with you. I really really don't understand the guy who says "I raped her because she was wearing a short skirt" or for that matter the people who say "She deserved it, always strutting about in vulgar clothes". Are these people senseless or what?? Hello people?? What would you say had it been your mother/sister/daughter??

    The most pathetic instance I've seen recently was the superdome incident in New Orleans. Which woman/girl was wearing short skirts (or so-called vulgar clothes) there to prompt the rapists? If a man can rape a woman in a life-and-death-situation, he might as well do it anywhere, anytime, without a silly reason of clothes!!

  7. Anbu,I guess we need to have better ideas of controlling lust,If not then i dont see any diff between animals and ppl who physically takeover a women just because she was not dressed up sensibly.Gaya,We had this discussion on the same topic in april in u r blog and i heard a few such comments then also.
    how how abt women who are dressed up head to toe but same ill fate leaves them in a shock too?

  8. I guess Einstein's theory or relativity holds good here. Vulgarity is the relative term. So u know it. Improper clothes or vulgar clothes can never be the reason of raping somebody. If it would have been then maximum rapists would have been in Western Countries.
    Lust, power, lack or shall i say no fear of harsh punishment, knowledge that very few rape cases have been proved (2 of them can be put together to say leniant laws), political connections and last but the least weak counterpart are some the of the reasons which empower men to go ahead with this shameful and outrageous act of sin.

  9. agree with you amit, and thanks:)

    i had a request from a blogger in O3Indiatimes, to repost, my post in o3 -Dress of a Woman. When I did, yday there was the same old discussion, so I had to write this to make a point.

    Many bloggers in o3 (incl men and women) while agreeing that provocative attire doesnt give the right to rape molestation etc, still suggest that women should be prudent and not dress in a provocative manner or dress according to environment.

    the image people have when they write these comment perhaps is that of a girl in mini skirt or tight top. thats an attire not worn outside cities (pls note i am not sayin that mini skirts are provocative, merely assuming thats what these bloggers perhaps imply). but whats the % of women who wear these and whats the % of women who get raped or molested in India.

    As I said in the post itself, even in Taliban when u covered from head to toe there were rapes.

    Not every male rapes a woman in a particular. if most men could control, why some men cant. why blame the women or say, women should dress prudently to avoid molestation. it would be more sensible to say, learn karate to protect urself.

    if there are road accidents one doesnt say, dont learn to drive, instead say,learn defensive driving too.

    even if the bloggers who read this are not molestors or rapists, passive acceptance of the arguement that dress makes a difference in molestation/rape produces these undesirable results.

    1. A woman who is thus dressed in the viewer's perception, doesnt get the help she requires

    2.The legal system is not isolated and the bias is carried over in the minds of judges too (the infamous gang rape case in rajasthan against a woman who worked against child marriage, where the judge said, because she was older she wouldnt be attractive and therefore no rape )

    3.the victims do not feel inclined to come forward.
    since the onus lies on them to prove that they didnt provoke the action. action against the guilty, encourages more crimes of this nature.

    hence this post

    Just a thought if a tight fitting blouse increases the lust in a male and tempts him to grab the blouse, what about a pretty face, does it lusts him to kiss the face, so better if the female cover the face too?

    Thanks for patiently reading this long comment:)

  10. and somethings perhaps dont change, as reflected in this comment ironically by the same blogger who thinks my "Dress of a Woman" is one among 7 blog gems

    Terrific in the same post in O3 indiatimes.

    "Now all those ladies/Gents Who Xpose their body in name of beauty/cofidendence of wearing it/carelessness or carefreeness(mocking as if they haven't cared what have they have worn...) or a as a sign of their trendyness/modness ..etc.....are as illogical/irrational as those who justfies these as valid reasons 4 eveteasing/raping. "

  11. I didnt mean dress is a main reason of rape. I just meant Lust is the main reason and dress could enhance it. n i agree i was wrong.

    Agree that the percentage of rapes due to revealing clothes are meagre. May be even negligible.

    n agree that percentage of women wearing such revealing clothes in India are meagre too..

    Agree that Good face or body can equally raise lust....

    am extremely sorry for the statement If the women dress sensibly, the lust factor can be controlled.

    Didnt think enough before typing it. Never thought much abt it. Sincere apoligies gals.

  12. that rape is a lot about power, and repressed sexuality is known, yes.

    But, the Shiv Sena does have a point to score - if women do expose most of their skin - they *are* adding to objectification of women.

    Sure, among friends it may be okay, but hey the man across the street doesnt know the woman personally, and she is objectifying herself to him.

  13. anbu :) and yes thanks:)

    well thats exactly the reason of hte post. so today shiv sena tells us about a dress code. hey but do rapes and molestation occur, inspite of it, yes of course in the towns and villages.
    so tommorrow along will come another taliban and say dress more, but will that stop molestations and rape, no, since in Afghanistan when even Ankles werent displayed, there still was rape. so who draws the line and whats the point of the line.

    rape and molestation is about power. objectification and obscenity isnt by dress alone.

    either women are worshipped or condemned as "loose" women. instead, if we just think of them as humans, there would be lesser rapes and molestation.

    instead of dressing up the woman or man, it would be useful, if the society (incl women and men) shed these attitudes.

    i certainly dont approve of objectification of women or men.
    but lets not get the issues mixed here. instead of tellin what the women should wear in their personal life, perhaps the society should think on what they should wear in the professional wear. what is required and what isnt.

    beauty contestants in bikinis, airhostess with short skirts,
    do we require that?
    and even in that, i dont recommend thrashing the theatres la sena style, but in voicing the opinion democratically.

    everyone is entitled to their opinion and views, as long as it doesnt encroach on the rights of the other.

    the right to dress, has a responsibility too. and a right to protest against vulgarity doesnt mean it can be expressed in any manner.
    but lets not confuse the issue, and blame the dress of a woman or a man for sick attitudes of some women and men.

  14. yeah and now they dont have the audacity tosay... the girl was teasing me with her lack of clothes.. and thats why I raped her... UGH disgusting

  15. G3,

    I have no probs in saying that linking dressing to rape is ridiculous, and worse, distracting from the other reasons for rape, and from the problem of once-in-a-blue-moon convictions.

    And the way anyone dresses, talks, portrays themselves gives an impression to other people dont it? For someone who hasnt talked to or known a person, but had a look at them, the dress is one big factor in how the other people see them! That's wat I saying(in lesser words! :-D)

    btw, did you get me mixed up with someone else?
    this is wgaf, of O3. And I thot I was fairly clear earlier on, @o3 on how stupid that statement of Thackeray was

  16. bangaloreguy, of course I know ur wgaf from o3 (u had used the id earlier)

    sure i agree dress is a non verbal communication.
    but my point is if a guy comes from taliban like society even a sari would seem provocative to him while for some even a sleevless blouse would seem provocative.

    sure dress is about communication, but there can be communication gaps too :)

  17. I agree there are different levels of what is vulgarity(from folks who consider all sorts of porn to be vulgar to folks who consider some/all of it as art)

    My point was, in melting pots like cities, there are people from various backgrounds, and at least to some of them, the dress you wear objectifies you.(you's figurative. not *you* per se!)

    eg: Consider Tulsi Irani, very few people/fans would even think she's someone who has been Miss India!

  18. bangalore guy agree.
    but since the std is different, one might think one is conservative, and still end up being an "object".

    eg : one might think only tank tops and mini skirts are provocative and wear a sleevless blouse with a sari and still end up being an "object"

    think its laughable. well in chennai, few years back, even sleeveless blouse was not frequently worn. that doesnt mean a person who wears its is vulgar or provocative or available does it..

    too many molestations and rapes occur in India which have no link to the attire worn though they may not be hyped by media.
    so lets stop linking the two. the craving for people to wear the dress we want , shouldnt be confused with the right of people to wear what they want. and the right of people to wear what they want shouldnt be confused with the right of people to protest democratically for what they view as decency:)

  19. WDM,

    I've encountered these ideas at many women's blogs. But sorry to say, but element of practicality is missing here.

    Two specific examples.

    1. Picking someone's pocket is unethical/immoral/illegal. But would you in crowded local Mumbai train, carry your money stuck to your clothes with paper clips? Wouldn't that be most convenient? Plus, it's your democratic right to carry the money whichever way you want. But how many times have you done that? This despite the fact that picking pockets is punishable.

    2. Mosquitoes cause various diseases. They are bad, they are evil. They must be killed. But it takes time! It is an ongoing process. Even if you kill one mosquito, others do not desist from biting you!

    Obviously, from these examples I only wanted to illustrate that there is a huge margin for caution.

    You've thought how flawed is that argument that rapes happen even in villages, where women wear sarees. It's like a smoker saying since, even those who do not smoke, suffer from lung cancer, it is not smoking that increases chances of lung cancer! Are you prepared for that kind of argument with regard to smoking?

    There are indeed certain kinds of behaviors that provoke, if not rape, at least eve teasing and sexual harassment.

    The thing is, in urban areas, what would be rapes are not properly recognized as rapes!

    Rapes are like diseases caused by two separate set of organisms. Meaning, their causes are different in different social situations....

  20. ...Those happening as part of domestic violence/child abuse, etc. have different causes.

    But there indeed is an entirely different set of rapes that occur in settings of drunkenness in pubs, ultra-quick striking of friendships because of finding someone suddenly hot/cute, trusting strangers too easily, sending wrong sexual signals to impress the peers or for an ego-massage of teasing. But these do not get reported as rapes! Again precisely because of peer pressure on the victim to prove that she is 'broadminded' enough to not mind a one off sexual encounter, and that she's sexually liberated, and does not believe in obsolete concepts like sex being a form of expression of real feelings for someone valued.

    I'm not saying the one thus raping was not wrong or should be let off. They should be dealt with strictly, as per law and social outcasting. But there indeed would be margin for the victim to have been careful, just like how you would use a mosquito screen while sleeping or carrying money in a purse, instead of sticking on your clothes in hope that your democratic right to carry it the way you want would be respected.

    The reason I say this is not because I'm a male, and would want to rape someone on a pretext without guilt. The reason is--rape is a very traumatic event. And recognizing its possible causes is very important! For the rape victim, it would be no solace that you were right, and the rapist was a bastard....

  21. ...Such statements might help somewhat, but still I feel its best to avoid rapes, especially if their chances could be decreased through:

    1. Which guys are trusted. Trying to make out if they are interested in a just a female body, or actually in one's ideas and emotions. Difficult, but sometimes not so difficult.

    2. Avoiding those places that are absolute havens for illicit activities. For instance, certain pubs at certain times of the day are well know for all these things. Youngsters would precisely know what those places are. These could be avoided. Though, they are not called officially, practically some (not all) of these places are earmarked for consensual and nonconsensual sexual activities. If despite having a choice to not go to a brothel, if I go and get accosted by sex workers, what would be the point in my saying, it was my right to go over there, and not an intention to be accosted thus?

    3. Not to send insincere sexual signals. I know, in theory, I could be heavily grilled on grounds of how do I know what is a 'signal' and what is 'insincere', and what is 'sexual', but then practicaly such things do exist. An important component in these signals is indeed choice of clothing.

    I think, through my pink chaddis-post, you would know my opinion on how people dress (applicable to both genders)....

  22. ...There are many areas in our lives, where we go against our convictions, and ideas of comfort and basic human rights.

    In most of the MBBS exams, students are dressed very 'decently'. Though in theory, the examiners should only judge the students' knowledge and not dressing. But wearing jeans and Tee in a practical exam can nearly ensure flunking!--convention.

    In written exams, students should be judged only on the basis of ideas presented in answer sheets, yet examiners get influenced by 'presentation'.--convention.

    On news channels, we expect news. What the newsreaders wear shouldn't matter. They could wear a night gown, or lungi and vest, or a single piece bikini or Daniel Craig-like brief. It wouldn't matter. But yet, we stick to conventions.

    Then what's the desperate need to establish oneself as avante garde, specifically in one area of our life, i.e., our social conduct with acquaintances, in terms of how we converse, how we dress, what gestures we employ?

    Have you seen in Bollywood songs, the same female could wear and saree and seduce the hero as well as worship God at different times? But the gestures, dance, body language, manner of delivering dialogues would be entirely different. Yet, God never gets confused to bless that heroine while she would be busy seducing the Hero, and the Hero wouldn't get seduced by her, while she would be praying...

  23. ...I know I've provided a very extreme example (and, you might es well, make a spoof on it ;) ). But what I wanted to convey is there indeed are subtle and explicit 'conventional' signals. And their interpretation is not all that subjective that everyone makes it out to be.

    BTW, I'd forgotten to tell you, but I'd also replied to your comment on my post--'My morality'. You might find some related ideas there.

    The reason I've written such a long comment is, because of being in a minority position, I've NEVER come across ideas on the net that match these, especially trying to point them out more logically.

    Again, only because I'm pointing out these counter-intuitive issues, does not mean I'm looking out to rape women, or would cheer on an ongoing rape of someone who would have 'asked for it' (read: less careful than would be possible)!


  24. i worry about being i take it seriously, not just as a topic of discussion..

    and more than you, majority of women who got raped, would worry about rape (sorry for the gender bias). they got raped not because they were careless..and went to pubs etc..

    and btw animals don't make a big deal about seeing their counterparts nude..

    the problem with putting the onus on females (be careful with ur dress, with your location , with yur friends is it diminishes the crime..and makes the victim a minor partner in crime)

    on your peer pressure sex, i had a post on premarital sex..

    with mosquitoes its easy to say all are to be avoided. unfortunately we can't say all guys are to be avoided..(the situation is like all mosquitoes look alike but some are poisonous)

    with wallet in the pocket. its easier to hide a wallet than, hide a body..but even when women hid behind a purdah in taliban era, they were raped..

    re body language..nothing says rape me.. window display is not invitation to steal

  25. why stop at clothes and physical abuse ketan?

    why don't you tell me, wd, don't write posts that don't conform to any bullies point of view. just write recipes and beauty stuff, then you won't get abused on the blogs.

    even if freedom of speech is your democratic right, who is going to suffer if you get abused for your views. You. so i have your welfare at heart when i tell you to shut up about anything controversial.

    and you ask me, why i don't use the id, because, of the reason you list above. i have seen the difference in the attitude of a blogger with female name, a blogger with a gender neutral name and a blogger with a gender neutral name and a female pic.

    PS : i know ur stance on abuse, and know u don't condone abuse. so no need to clarify on that.


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