Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Anna University now wants to introduce a dress code for female students. I do not understand what the purpose of this is. Somehow in their warped minds, they think this will improve concentration in class and discipline. By outlawing jeans, they think they can also outlaw hormones, chemistry and puberty from college campuses in one shot.

Another grand argument that is forwarded is that this will somehow protect women students. B@#!@s.

The only thing that will protect women students is if every dad teaches his son to respect women. If he respects his wife and every woman he meets and encourages his son to too.

Molest, Rape, Eve Teasing, Sexual Harrasments are not crimes of ardour or passion commited because a girl was in jeans or in a bikini. They are crimes of power perpetrated in a patriarchal society simply because it gives the perpetrator a "kick".

Mr. Jeppiar, why do you laud this retrograde move? Because you can now exercise greater control over students? Are we really trying to say that a person who is 18 years old is not old enough to decide what she wants to wear?

We dont have a dress code on campus. And yet, morals haven't degraded to the point of no return, standards haven't slipped. Women don't get harassed, ogled or teased.

And yet, back in engineering college, where we DID have a salwars only dress code, we got ragged on the bus, commented on, ogled at. There were days when the prospect of getting on the bus was frustrating. When the only thing we could do was to swear under our breath at the ill mannered louts who apparently came from sophisticated urban backgrounds.

Perhaps, chancellors and educated gentlemen, it is my fault. I should have dressed more carefully, worn a burkha perhaps?

Or maybe, just maybe, we should punish perpetrators instead of the victims of a crime? Or is that too foreign a concept for you'll?


Ramasubramaniam Srinivasan said...

Hi Suze..

I think it is a defense mechanism in a bad society...

I have strong views on this as well(as one of my sisters is currently going to college and one more faced similar problems some time ago which are meant to be reduced)

Is our society mature enough at this currently juncture to take girls in modern dresses in public transport...I don't know and that pains me...

My sister has been followed, up and down by idiots who had nothing else to do but she always told me that it is best to ignore those bastards who cause trouble...otherwise they would think a reply is a license for further conversation.

So maybe imposing the restriction was stupid, it was made with a good intention...

The whole society sucks big time though...so i feel comfortable that my sister would not go to a college in modern dresses..I know it might sound protective and outdated..but it is practical...

I also feel that this situation is not going to change overnight...I think common sense demands that the liberal dresses are better worn in a decent crowd rather than colleges where we know that they are going to be hormone filled hunks...

Atleast my uncle is happy and relieved with this rule...and that is the fact of file...Our society is still primitive.


Anjana said...

Jeppiaar is retrograde enough to ban conversations between opposite sexes, this is paltry stuff for him. I bet the students protesting against this ban will not get it lifted. Unfair that they never ban guys from wearing jeans. And yeah, wearing "decent" traditional clothing certainly does not protect a girl from harassment

Arvind said...

I'm happy that students are finally protesting but its sad that it has taken them so long. SVCE (and others I'm sure) have had such rules for a long time. We were not allowed to wear T-shirts and the reason was "we had to look professional" as we were in a professional course (whatever that is). A T-shirt with a collar and pocket however was allowed. Bonus and all. Idiots.

Suze said...

Ram, I agree with ur sentiment of protectiveness re: ur sis. But trust me, I've worn teeshirts, skirts, spaghettis and salwars.. And it doesn't change a thing!

I don't think most mums and dads are likely to allow us to walk around with tank tops anyway. This rule is just oppressive and archaic.

YES, Women get harassed. Followed uptown downtown in buses and leched.

NO, It does not stop because you are dressed with a dupatta. Does not stop if you are dressed in a ful fledged school uniform (those things are like sacks). Cheap guys see a girl alone and see an opportunity to rag her. Further limiting my freedom in choosing what to wear is adding insult to injury.

It seems to say that it is somehow the girl's fault. That it wouldn't have happened if she'd been more careful or been better dressed.

This pathetic attitude prevails also when it comes to more serious crimes. Like domestic violence, rape and such.. We assume that it was something the victim did that provoked it. Without realising that the woman who raped on marine drive was not a modern college goer, the girl who died outside a city college a few years ago was dressed quite conservatively etc.

I have no problems with my parents dictating my clothing choices. I can argue, reason with them.. or choose to toe the line. Much as i choose to toe other lines they draw for me based on our parents value systems.

I see no place in my life for Jeppiar and Co's value systems to be applied to me. I think i can be a wholesome, valuable, contributing, successful member of society even if i wear Che Guevara T Shirts and talk to boys in college.

The very idea that a bunch of fogey old men can sit in a conference room and decide that women in red salwars should be banned because red is too attention drawing is disgusting. They want us to fade into the wallpaper and pretend like we do not exist. Instead of asking 20 year old boys to master their apparent uncontrollabel hormones? Pathetic!

What next? Dress codes on the road? Burkhas made mandatory?

A society that cannot protect its womenfolk from abuse of any sort, cannot retaliate by further controlling its women. Makes no sense..

Anonymous said...

Dress code is not such a bad thing as you perceive. Most companies, even US companies enforce a dress code. Not many raise Hue and cry about that. If compnies can do, then why can't universities? Things will be pretty simple, if you think this way: what is there you are loosing? I know for certain you wouldn't say freedom. You still have the freedom to wear whatever you wish outside the campus.

Suze said...

sebben, i'm not opposing the dress code as much as i'm opposing the reasons behind such a move.

When u work at McKinsey for eg: you'd be required to wear suits to work. Simply so that clients take u and ur company seriously.

We wear uniforms to school. No Probs.

But to say that the solution to ill-behaved men is for women to dress more conservatively is insane. first because it takes away a small measure of my personal freedom and two because it shifts the blame for the crime from the perpetrator to the victim. Also, it has been proven to not work.

It's like saying, there is more discrimination against dalits these days in the workplace and suggesting that dalits sit at home and not work as a solution to the problem. Make sense?

What i'm losing is personal freedom, dignity, respect as an equal member of society (if society requires me to go out of my way to ensure that i am not harmed instead of punishing perpetrators)

And what the educational authorities are losing, is i think, credibility and their minds :)

Suze said...

Simply saying society is bad won't help guys..

Think of a solution.. greater deterrents for bad behaviour for example..

Regressing into the middle ages sounds talibanistic. What next? Curfews for women? Exclude us from the workplace? Make us wear burkhas? or simply ask us to sit at home? Take away our licences to drive? To live?

Sound familiar? Extremist Islamic Talibanism is based on very similar premises of protecting "cultural values" and women..

Without understanding the mechanisms of crime and culture.

Anonymous said...

I see your point Suze. Mr.JPR should be the last person to join the culture police. his dysfunctional family isn't really the paragon of morality, so his regressive mentality surprises me.
Jpr has created a line between conservatism and modernity coz he feels that they are mutually exclusive. I differ with him in this regard. Just because a woman wears teeshirts , skirts and spaghettis does not mean she is decadent. This archaic thinking can do no good to our society.

But somehow i am not completely against this move. It might sound fallacious but it is easier to change the dressing style of a 100 women than to change the psyche of 1000 lecherous men. especially since most of them arent under the control of the university.

Statistics prove that women who dress provocatively are in greater danger than those who dont. yes, it doesnt mean that conservatively dressed women escape the eye of these rakes but the number who do is way lower. Punishing the victim is wrong but there is no other way to stem this practice.

Why men behave like this is anyones guess.. Living in a controlled society where parents ultraconservative views dictate our lifestyles is a reason...... Netherlands has one of the lowest crime rates in europe and gulf countries also have very low crime rates, the reasons however are diametrically opposite. A country like India is neither here nor there, rules exist on paper, but are never enforced.

On the few occasions, blanket dictums like this are dished out with a hope of reducing the crime rate. it will take years for the entire country to embrace new age values, So wat can we do till then?

U and i can debate the ill effects all day, buy it was the only step that they could have taken.

Anonymous said...

>>>greater deterrents for bad behaviour for example....

Deterrents exist but have had no effects. miscreants flout most of these laws because they know to be 'caught in the act' is nearly impossible, thereby providing them a mechanism to escape harsher punishment.

Suze said...

how will the guys ever be encouraged to change if they see that they go unpunished? they have no incentive to change.. we'll just have to get more regressive with our treatment of women.

stop gap solutions won't work! when will we learn that.

why should a 100 women change at all? they haven't done anything wrong. And what about when they are not at the university? are u suggesting universal dress codes?

and what statistics? usually i find that when i'm in tees i'm not teased as much as i am when i look vulnerable in a salwar.! personal experiences.. the worst place where you get harassed is often at temple ther festivals when ur in dhavani.. :p

unfortunately, some men will be disgusting. we can't change our lives because of that. if the girls in question feel that they anyway get teased the same amount and may wear what they like, how is it the university's problem? this seems more an imposition of their moral values on students. they feel modern clothes are wrong and are imposing that on students.

if a girl really feels she is safer or better off in conservative clothes, she will make that choice. we dont have a dress code on campus, do you see guys in speedos or girls in tank tops? we have enough sense to dress to sensibilities. why should the university IMPOSE a rule that girls have to be dressed so and so. If the girls themselves are willing to put themselves through the apparent consequences of dressing modernly :) ?

the argument of "its for their own protection" holds no good!

Anonymous said...

i c your point but suggest an alternative.....deterrents will not bring these perverts to heel. it can be brought about only by 'social conditioning' :p

they must be taught to behave in socially acceptable ways, but this requires a complete change in their value system and therefore cannot be effected overnight.

Shrutz said...

Hey.. I been lurking around this blog :), but this is something I had to comment on
Anyways, as a fellow Indian woman (or to be) I've often felt frustrated by the comments passed by middle-aged as well as young men. It doesn't matter even if you are clad in a burkha, they just HAVE to comment. Repressed feelings are to blame. I am not saying guys are the same all over, but you got to face the facts: it is not safe for a woman to travel alone at night and it definitely is damaging to her self esteem to travel on a bus.
If, in Kerala (ironically one of the most literate and empowered states, I have such a major problem, I shudder to think of more 'backward' states.
The point is: education does not make a jot of difference....
Whenever a celebrity gets harassed, we hear about it in magazines and newspapers, but why is it that women have to tolerate all these indignities? Why ought a lack of a Y chromosome plague us so??...
Touchy topic.
Dress codes wouldn't work... Tougher laws might... Most of all, a change in attitude and in our own courage...
Here's to true women's empowerment and a chance to walk with our heads held high, not bent down to avoid perverted eyes...
PS: As you can see, I am quite frustrated

Anonymous said...

strong arm methods wont work.....in the case of these men, the consequences of their actions dont scare them, in fact when they give vent to their repressed emotions normal thinking is clouded. consequently the crime takes place, the perpetrator flees and the incident forgotten in a matter of days.

Anonymous said...

Agree with all that u say suze, it's totally disgusting the way men try to assert their superiority by subjecting women to a thousand indignities.
The new VC of Anna Univ happens to be a complete egomaniac, who gets his kicks by forcing his will on ALL (not just female) students. And a complete lunatic. like jeppiar.
Following are the terms of the dress code: They have been formulated by the new VC, Dr.Viswanathan.
1. No student shall wear jeans to college.
2. No student shall wear t-shirts to college.
3. Girls may only wear salwars-kameez with dupatta or sarees.
4. No student may wear the following colours: white because it's "transparent"; green, pink, orange and red because they "distract the faculty"; black because it's a "depressing colour", and "hampers the "educational process".
So the dress code applies to boys as well. But the VC is no friend of the girls, and his attitude towards women is one of downright dismissiveness.
Other regulations imposed by the VC include:
no cell phones on campus; no cultural event that takes place in Anna University can involve dancing, and no film music; and last but not the least, boys and girls are to sit in separate rows; no more than three people can stand together as a group;
and no group of students may contain a member of the opposite sex.
I swear i haven't made any of this up, however bizzarre some of the rules may sound. I used to be a student of Anna until recently, and I'm SO glad I've passed out.

Suresh said...

I am suresh and I do not want to reveal my identity. I am certainly for the dress code.In fact this very system of co education at the school level should be abolished. Have u ever heard of any eve teasing case during gurukul times? This procedure may not be possible now but dress does have an important effect. If it doesn't why then brood over issue at all?
as though jeans is the only form of comfortable dress!!! this sounds ridiculous.
Many people have actually argued with me that colleges like...etc shuld be banned because they seem to restrict the talking between opp sexes. If the talk is not at all stimulating, then why does the urge to talk come at all? It is a common fact that opp sexes get attracted eah other. No body can deny it. Its been there right from the birth, though it manifests more evidently in the teens. It is the most powerful vasanas of all vasanas. Even a little control over this carnal desire would save an immense amoubnt of energy. for more details read the following link

Dont ever neglect this article for this will be of great use to u as well...(ellipsis)

satosphere said...

A few expansions, for those IIM illiterate.... (from the previous post).

All colleges seem to have this rule.
And a lot of jokes about Jeppiar going on too everywhere.

I guess this is a measure of how much a society can tolerate - ie, how modern its outlook is.
And as long as all the ogling and eve teasing exists, we can be sure that there is a lot more room for improvement.

Anonymous said...

hey suresh have u heard of Ky gel??....u take yr sense of humor, you crap post and rub it nicely with the lube. then with one rapid motion u stick it up your arse.

Suze said...

hm.. shrutz.. i agree with you.. niranjan, i'm glad i'm outta the system..

sat.. i didn't understand the comment..

anon, lets not get sleazy here..

and suresh.. whatever dude.. ! sometimes, we want to talk to other people just to gain a perspective etc.. your ideas belong in the stone age..

Anonymous said...

"WOMEN SHOULD BE RAPED.... if they dress provocatively" !.. Now that was a statement made by the shivsena a month back.. :-) .. Seems like everyone around wants enforce a dress code for the women of this country~!..

FSN 3.0 said...

I think the reason that women get ogled at and commented on, is that the men who make them are horny.I'm not trying to defend their actions, but looking for explanations.I understand I dont know how it feels to have that happen to me,but isn't society as a whole to blame?

Blame the women who keep taking it, without fighting back.

Blame the men who indulge in it.

Blame the conservativeness of our society as a whole.

As you go outside of the city or the country you see people in other cultures, where attitudes and values are different.

Women who object to a seedy guy making a comment, could very well turn around and take it as an indication of interest if a good looking guy were to do it. [I have seen it happen].

Fact of the matter, according to me is it doesn't matter if the woman's wearing a thong, salwar, tank top or mini skirt. As long as there are horny guys [And according to me ALL guys with perfectly working parts down south are horny] around, with no avenue of release, to dump raging hormones - such things will continue to happen.

I'm a guy - I've seen & know how guys act and how guys think.

There's no way around it. Put in laws, and they/we will find ways of circumventing it.

However, find a permanent solution to it, and perhaps it will go away.

While there are women who simply dress a little liberally as part of their own preference, there are also women who love the attention.

How can people tell the two apart?

According to most guys I discuss this with - women wouldn't be wearing what they were wearing, if they didn't appreciate the attention.

As long as society continues to function the way it does now, as long as women believe they have the right to dress the way they want to, and as long as there are men with eyes who appreciate whatever they can take in, this will continue to happen.

That's my take on the issue.

I'm sorry some women have to be at the receiving end of jerks behaving badly, but that's how I see it.

Now, go easy on me :-)

Anonymous said...

Solution to the problem would be a protest in a non-violent and new manner...

Girls can all wear uniform blue/yellow sarees, to college everyday and guys can wear khaki like conductors or policemen.
Just make it a point that everyone wears this uniform daily as if it were a school. If you want it to make it more uniform wear a vibhuthi pattai like a pazham.
Do it for a week atleast, your VC should get the message.

Stand ten feet apart in groups of three. (do it always) and hold slogans written in blue pads with yellow color ( red, green, black are banned).

As far as I see sarees are the most provocative dress..wear it below the waist...
All hindu Gods wear it like that...
Just look at all the sculptures in any temple...

Suresh...you idiot, eve teasing was not reported during gurukul times because women did not study at that time.
Do not talk to your sister Suresh if you think its provocative.
As I know that you dont want to reveal your identity you will certainly be an anonymous son of an anonymous father.

You should be put in asylum man. Even there I think you would want a man only asylum.

I seriously have thoughts that you are gay too...
Tell me one thing all your life you talk only to men then you are bound to become gay.
And yes Jeans and veshti are the most comfortable form of dress because they are made of cottton.
Hot sun, terrywool/terry cotton shirt and leather shoes is the way you want to dress.
you know that the comment you wrote was powered by google, one of the best companies. and they have no dress code like this.

Anonymous said...

guys I found a link to anna university website. go there and click on research, you will land on a webpage which has 4 women,
two wearing jeans and 2 wearing skirts.

this is the direct link there

they need to research more.

Anonymous said...

they are also wearing black, red and white...all the banned colors of the university.

hey how are the anna univ students gonna graduate if they cant wear black?