6:49 AM

There is a demographic in this country, quite sizable, which respects women judging on the length of their shirts and shalwars, the volume of their voice, the swing (or lack) off their saunter, the number of times they make eye contact and smile during a certain conversation. In other words a good girl wears long shirts, long shalwars (okay thanks to the latest trends even the bad ones are doing that now a days but you know what I mean...), keeps her voice low, her walk straight, with minimum ass-swinging and keeps a poker face while talking to the opposite gender.

Now there is another relatively smaller, yet still big enough demographic in this country which is scared off the above mentioned demographic and hence enforces the same limitations on the women around them. The philosophy behind every rule, every limit is the "log kia kahain gay" (translation: what will people say).

By all this I do not mean to say that every woman who chooses any of the above mentioned are all forced into it. Many choose it themselves. However there are women who choose to not care as well. Women like me.

I wear what I want to, and I very strongly believe that I have that right. With that I choose to not care how people preceive me. I do understand the pros and cons of donning a tee-shirt with jeans and venturing into the big bad world. I know its not a simple choice yet knowing that there are people out there judging me, I still do that. I think whatever respect which comes my way, should be there for who I am. For the way I conduct myself around different people. It shouldnt be dependant on the length of my sleeves and my shirts. I find that to be a tad bit pathetic and very troglodytish. I know that some might find that I dress provocatively, some think its not graceful or lady like, some might think its slutty. I know being a working woman you need to tread more cautiously.I know that when I get pissed off by some staring idiot I will be told that it is my fault. Being the belle of the office has a major downside, and that's how you are looked at when you wear skinny's to work but like I said; I wear what I want to and I believe that its not the people around me who should be dictating it.

I wonder where in evolution did the human race fuck up so bad that we got stuck with such biases. How a simple thing like dress-code became such an integral part of a human being's societal perception. From roaming around naked to this?.. How and When?

18 comments:

Americanising Desi said...

hmmm quite interesting your point of view is - i had that a while ago and now i am the one who wants to cover my head when i m out shoppping because the oogling eyes just make me covered in filth and i hate bathing more than three times a day :)

Uncensored Raj said...

from across d border from india....its nice to know that there are ppl across the fences with that sort of nice attitude of life....people are all the same everywhere ...they luv type-casting & criticising since it is the easiest possible thing to do....

anyway liked ur post n d wind of change in common man attitude across the fences.... :)

Anonymous said...

When something called 'religion' came into play.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, it has more to do with common sense than religion. Dressing provocative visually stimulates the people around you, which can cause them to have 'bad' thoughts. Certainly men, as their brains are naturally hard wired to do that. You can trot around in a bikini citing its not your fault that they think that way, but it is.

On a separate note, societies are made on customs and traditions, and no matter how much you try to differentiate, you need them to survive and be human.

Anonymous said...

Funny how noone really cares about how men dress up. I mean noone bats an eyelash when a guy is out walking around in shorts or a sleeveless tshirt.

basim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
basim said...

so, where to draw the line? that is, if you agree a line should be drawn somewhere.

Annie said...

AD - :)

UNC Raj- Thanks a lot, do come more often

Anon (2):I don't completly agree. I see a good-looking man I want to sit and stare at him. That's the natural instinct, however I choose to lookaway as I think staring is a bad thing. I dont have an issue with men finding women attractive. I have a problem with sometimes how that is translated into different actions.

On a completly differnt note, you sound like my husband.

Anon (3): lol, you should have heard me howling when my husband, back in the day, used to wear this pair of brown shorts... *sigh*

Basim: draw a line?.. to what?.. and yes, i wouldn't be judging you at posing a question :s

basim said...

well ann, some girls are really going wild with the clothes stuff aren't they? you probably expect me to throw around words like islam, haram and jahannum, but its not like that. i just think that any clothes worn should be just decent; and general decency shouldn't be something someone else has to explain to well, someone...
and about mens clothing, i agree it is an issue nobody cares to bring up, but its probably because men start looking gross when they wear skin tights and stuff anyway...

Annie said...

Basim,

The He Vs She argument, when it comes to attire is normally taken as completly irrelevant but I dont think so.

I can find a Man in a white Tee/Vest paired with Jeans and Chapals extremely hot. The animal in me might be tempted to stare, or howl or jump him. However the woman in me would advise me to lower my gaze, and keep doing what I am doing. I will not make that person uncomfortable and I will not abandon propriety. If however I do let the animal take on and do any of the above, the fingers would be pointed at me and not at the Guy for looking the way he looks.

If on the other hand, the situation is reversed the blame would be put on the girl, if not completly atleast partially. I have the right to roam around in a Vest/Tee paired with jeans without having my decency questioned.

The question is not whether a line should be drawn or not. The question is who draws it. The society? The Men of the family? Or the girl herself. I vote for latter.

basim said...

:) well i can just acknowledge your views, however different they may be from mine...
i still like your blog though...

Alpha Za said...

roaming around naked to this?: I think all the unattractive women got together and made their husbands do it.

Honestly, it probably has more to do with fidelity and the concept of a womans purity than anything else.

Interesting blog. glad I stumbled upon it.

BeKn|GhTeD said...

How you dress up is part of how you conduct yourself. Isn't it? In any case, i have wondered without really ever being able to understand why women, (some or all) wear slutty clothes? Especially pakistani women, i mean it just doesn't make logical sense. for instance, what is the point in wearing a low neck shirt if you are going to cover whats it designed to expose with your hand during a conversation making both you and the subject of your attentions feel more awkward than if you weren't covering up your cleavage? Similarly, what is the point in wearing ass hugging jeans if you are constantly going to be fumbling with your too short shirt to better envelope and cover the accentuation? I don't really care as to who wears what, women who dress less make for great eye candy so i;m all for whatever idiocy drives the lot to dressing down for power but i'd like to understand what that compulsion is that makes you guys want to wear stuff that is going to make you uncomfortable in public.
Furthermore.. do women... nay... are women really so ignorant as to think that a man will not check out their rack if it is well displayed? Men will SEEK out such details, and not in a disrespectful way at all, and if its not for this attention than why, pray tell, wear padded undies? The world of women's fashion is so so confusing and this post of yours just added to it. Its all well and good that you don't give a rat's ass about what who says about your character based on the way you dress but it stil doesn't explain why you would choose to dress in something that doesn't cover enough to safeguard your modesty. And btw, if you are harping on about being such a rebel because your wear jeans and a t then really, dial down the gusto a bit cuz that stuff aint slutty, its lazy and if you are going to work wearing lazy clothes, than i hope the job you have is a part time one. And if you work at a bank and wear way too colorful clothes with flipflops, then i'm sorry but i will judge you as incompetent and untrustworthy with my money. That why they teach perception control at uni, cuz your client's trust is way way more important than your stifled sense of independence.

Annie said...

I am managing a brand for a Telco which has 172 Billion subscribers worldwide. I doubt your banker sees the kind of money I do, in my everyday business transactions. My t-shirts cover my collar bone and are comfortably fitted. I wear chapals/ Kaulapoories to work primarily because they are comfortable and i am running from here to there all day long, which is 9 AM to 9PM. Definitly full-time! I do not dress slutty, I dress modestly. However the definition varies from person to person.... and Padded Undies?...errr, My underwear wardrobe doesn't have that for sure.

Your confusions and lack of understanding about women, The assumptions you made about me... all of it are rather amusing.

BeKn|GhTeD said...

Heh. I wasn't fencing with you Annie, you took it all a bit too personally, i find that amusing. I wasn't,i couldn't, for heaven's sake, assume at all what you wear or would want to either. When i said you i didn't mean you literally, annie, i didn't think that would be something i'd need to explain to you. I have no desire or right to judge you or anyone for that matter, feel free to go to your job wearing your PJs if you are so inclined, i do.
And really Awesome that you have such and awesome job! WOOW! I'm super impressed and all, but i had no desire to have you post your CV up here, for having imposed that indignity, i apologize.
I posed a genuine question to a person who i assumed was mature enough to understand it. You are clearly mature enough to side-step the question all together to focus instead on getting offended, so perhaps, having dispensed with the customary retaliation, you can now bring yourself to seriously answer a serious question?

Annie said...

B,

Its a simple enough thing. Let me use an analogy. Even if you were wearing a guard, if someone aimed for your balls would you not have a knee-jerk reaction to that?.. Similarly no matter what a woman is wearing, there are very few who wouldn't fidget or feel awkward when put under the radar. Its not the way they dress. Its the way they are being looked at. Believe me you, it has very less to do with what a woman is wearing.I have gone through the hijab phase myself. Men stare, no matter what. The justification that its in-built and completly natural is just plain pathetic and I dont buy into that. I appreciate a Good Looking boy, who doesn't but will I stare at him, no Sir, I wouldn't

"..if you are harping on about being such a rebel because your wear jeans and a t then really, dial down the gusto a bit cuz that stuff aint slutty, its lazy and if you are going to work wearing lazy clothes, than i hope the job you have is a part time one."

Nothing personal,eh?

Annie said...

B,

Its a simple enough thing. Let me use an analogy. Even if you were wearing a guard, if someone aimed for your balls would you not have a knee-jerk reaction to that?.. Similarly no matter what a woman is wearing, there are very few who wouldn't fidget or feel awkward when put under the radar. Its not the way they dress. Its the way they are being looked at. Believe me you, it has very less to do with what a woman is wearing.I have gone through the hijab phase myself. Men stare, no matter what. The justification that its in-built and completly natural is just plain pathetic and I dont buy into that. I appreciate a Good Looking boy, who doesn't but will I stare at him, no Sir, I wouldn't

"..if you are harping on about being such a rebel because your wear jeans and a t then really, dial down the gusto a bit cuz that stuff aint slutty, its lazy and if you are going to work wearing lazy clothes, than i hope the job you have is a part time one."

Nothing personal,eh?

Travel Bug said...

Oh My I understand totally, This past weekend I visited a cousin in Toronto who was hosting Eid parties and all her friends were from pakistan. Imagine the looks on thier face when I landed up there with my American husband dressed in kurta pajama. I was dressed in a saree too. But the men choose to sit in one room and women cooked and gossiped in another,and I remember thinking it maybe canada, but I may as well be in a conservative middle eastern home. The thinking was so archaic (Did my husband convert?NO and I dont think he should) They were super nice to him, but I know they will be gossiping about us for weeks. so back to your point you should be able to wear what the heck you want. I live in the US but even I had to dress "appropriately" or my hubby said it would make him uncomfortable. Bee jessus...Get a life people! No like seriously...