It has been 75 years since India got independence, but women in India still navigate the everyday sexism in a male-dominated world. While it is no secret that the underbelly of Indian culture has always been wrapped in deep-seated misogyny and patriarchy, some moments make it so blatant that it leaves everyone speechless.
These absurd comments, marred by sexist tone and tenor, also shed light on our culture besides representing the speaker’s mindset. Worldwide, sexist remarks by male politicians against female colleagues are a regular phenomenon. Expecting women to put up everything with a smile, mansplaining her every move and commenting on her dressing choices is just a drop of what is expected of women.
Here’s a list of some of the recent outrageous comments on women by men in power.
5 Outrageous Comments On Women
‘Women Look Good When…’ – Baba Ramdev
Yoga guru Ramdev made some unsavoury comments about women at an event in Maharashtra’s Thane. He has come under fire for saying women can look good in anything – saree, salwar kameez or “even when they wear nothing”. Watch the video here.
The stage with him was shared by Amruta Fadnavis, wife of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s son Shrikant Shinde also attended the event.
“You (all) look beautiful in saree. You also look good in salwar suits, like Amruta ji. And like me, even if one doesn’t wear anything, that also looks good.”
Ramdev continued by stating that people wear clothes for social norms. “Children don’t have to wear any. We used to roam naked till the age of eight or 10 years, and it is only now that children wear five layers of clothes,” he added.
Sharing the video, Delhi Women’s Commission chief Swati Maliwal said Ramdev should “apologise to the country”.
Hours after his comments, Ramdev expressed regrets and apologised for his remarks.
Sambhaji Bhide asks woman journalist to wear bindi
Earlier this month, political leader Sambhaji Bhide was served with a notice by the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission demanding an explanation over his comment on a woman journalist.
The controversy unfurled after Bhide asked a news channel’s woman journalist to apply ‘bindi’ on her forehead before coming to take his byte and refused to speak to her. He said a woman is like ‘Bharat Mata’ and “she should not be like a widow by not applying bindi”.
In her notice to Bhide, Maharashtra State Women’s Commission president Rupali Chakankar said, “You refused to talk to a woman journalist because she had no bindi on her forehead. A woman is known for the quality of her work, and your statement is demeaning to a woman’s pride and her social stature.”
Chetan Bhagat’s remarks Uorfi Javed
Chetan Bhagat at a literary event, mentioned Uorfi Javed’s name and said that young people these days spend a lot of time on Instagram.
Bhagat said, “Humara youth hai jo bistaron mein ghus ke Uorfi Javed ki photos dekh rha hai.”
The Indian writer added that phones have been a great distraction for the youth, especially the boys, who spend hours watching Instagram Reels. “Everyone knows who Uorfi Javed is. What will you do with her photos? Is it coming in your exams or will you go for a job interview and tell the interviewer that you know all her outfits?” he added.
Soon after these remarks, Javed hit out at the author and said that she had been dragged unnecessarily into the conversation.
She took to Instagram and wrote, “Men like him will always blame the women than accept their own shortcomings. Blaming women’s clothes for the behaviour of men is so 80s Mr Chetan Bhagat.”
Former Uttarakhand CM on ripped jeans
Former Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat was embroiled in a Twitter storm over his views on women wearing ripped jeans. BJP leader said young women follow strange fashion trends and that he was shocked to see a mother wearing ripped jeans and boots while on a flight with her children.
Elaborating his opinions on the fashion choices of the said woman, Rawat said, “If such women go out in the society to meet people and solve their problems, what kind of message are we giving out to society, to our kids? It all starts at home. What we do, our kids follow. A child who is taught the right culture at home, no matter how modern he becomes, will never fail in life.”
Azam Khan on Jaya Prada
Azam Khan appeared in Moradabad court last month in connection with two cases, including the 2019 case in which he is accused of making derogatory remarks against actor-politician Jaya Prada.
At a rally, he said this about the leader, who had switched from the Samajwadi Party to the Bharatiya Janta Party.
“I brought her [Jaya Prada] to Rampur. You are a witness that I did not allow anyone to touch her body. It took you 17 years to identify her real face but I got to know in 17 days that she wears khaki underwear,” he told.
Shockingly, Khan, who has been in public life for over three decades, has still not learnt what parliamentary language is and isn’t.
Suggested Reading: Sexist Slurs: 5 Times Indian Politicians Shamed Women