TN Textbook Says Girls Should Not Wear ‘Provocative Clothes’
“When you are going to school by auto, bus or by train, keep a safe distance from the other sex. Take care of the way you sit. Don’t wear provocative dresses.”
These friendly suggestions are lessons from a Class 8 science textbook that the Tamil Nadu government publishes under its Samacheer Kalvi (Balanced Education) system. Sounds more like warnings than cautions, the words are meant to “prevent” child sexual abuse in public places.
The chapter, titled, ‘Reaching the Age of Adolescence’, instils the idea in young girls that they are to blame themselves if they face sexual abuse.
Not only is the textbook packed with some pretty offensive lessons that teens should be kept miles away from but also it advertises a failed effort at sex education.
The textbook explicitly tells children to not dress “provocative” so men won’t be ‘provoked’. It also says that children are responsible for meeting with dangerous incidents for their dress code.
The particular sections of the textbook gained traction on social media since Thursday. It faced criticism for endorsing patriarchal mindset in the wake of the recent incidents of rapes.
After facing criticism, the Samacheer Kalvi system is considering reviewing the content.
This textbook was cleared for printing 12 years ago, all chapters will be revised: SCERT director
School education department principal secretary Pradeep Yadav said he was unaware of the issue and would look into the matter. State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT), TN, Director G Arivoli said the authorities had cleared the textbook for printing 12 years ago.
“It was a long time ago. All these chapters will be revised,” State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT), Tamil Nadu, director G Arivoli told TOI. “We have consulted officials with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to provide inputs this time on ways to prevent abuse.”
Also, Sherin Bosko, co-founder of Chennai-based NGO Nakshatra said, “What message are we sending to our children? ‘Sit properly or you will be raped’,” she said. “And to the boy? ‘If you rape a girl who doesn’t sit properly, it is her fault’.”