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My Dress, My Choice
Malavika Mohan
Sunday is longer than Monday. Or Monday is longer than Tuesday. We have all heard or used these phrases to convey the message that their bra strap is showing.  And it is kind of pathetic that we have to use such phrases and ‘code words’ instead of using straightforward language. Well, every woman at some point in their life has been told about their malfunctional bra strap that needs to be ‘fixed’ and that, I feel, is the problem.
It’s logical. I wear what I wear and I shouldn’t have to be apologetic about it. It’s interesting to just imagine having a conversation with someone about not wearing it at all. They would most probably brand me as “cultureless” and “mannerless”.
A trap. A patriarchal trap. That is what this is. First, they shame you if you do not wear it, forgetting that what a woman wears and does not wear is nobody else’s business but her own. And then they judge you if a part of it shows.
It’s all about being a woman. A woman, no matter how much outcry feminists make, still remains as a sexual body to the man. And this is where all the trouble begins.
A woman still remains as a sexual body to the man. And this is where all the trouble begins.
How many times have you been told to change into something more ‘appropriate’? The number of times we have stood in front of a mirror reassuring ourselves that it is okay to wear a deep neck or strapless dress is not okay.
Consciously or subconsciously, I have done it many times. But whom are we so afraid of? Whose narrow-minded 18th century ideas of feminine dressing do we want to satisfy?
There have been times when I have worn something absolutely “inappropriate” to a gathering and people stare at me and talk about me in hushed voices. I like to wear what I feel at home in and at most times, that is my favourite dressing guidebook.
No one should make you feel ashamed of yourself. Least of all, you.
A strong woman, living life on her terms, independent of the society’s norms is a man’s biggest threat. He suddenly feels challenged and has to keep reassuring himself about the authority he holds over the other gender. And sexual assaults become the way to do this.
This is the point. There is only one way about it. Wear what you want to wear anyway, no matter what others have to say. If people have high opinions about dressing, they are free to use it when it comes to their personal grooming. I feel it’s the way society has constructed the genders that has created the problem. Women are jut viewed as objects dressed up for the pleasure of a man’s gaze and the moment we change this, by raising our voice for what we feel is right and against what we cannot but disagree, the change will begin.
Women wear what they wear because they want to. Period.
Are you with me?


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