Double Standards

Gender Equality -

Double Standards

 We cannot put all the blame on men. We judge other women for wearing the clothes they wear, or looking “too sexy”, because maybe, it makes us insecure to see another woman with more confidence than us.

Ok, so I know I’m going to get some negative reactions on these drawings, but I’m here to say what I want to say.

The fact that men and women are treated differently for the same thing is so common that it seems almost normal. That is, until you put some logic into it and think. We are victims of double standards created by society, and we cannot put all the blame on men. We judge other women for wearing the clothes they wear, or looking “too sexy”, because maybe, it makes us insecure to see another woman with more confidence than us. I feel that the labels of “slut”, “whore”, “easy”, all these are given to women by both men and women. Instead of pulling each other down, why can’t we stand by each other and really, not care about what we wear?

Probably social media brings to our notice things that we didn’t know or care about earlier. But that could be a good thing, because awareness is the first step for change.

Let me show you a few scenarios where the rules are different for men and women:

Scenario 1: At the beach. A man can jump around in the water in his underwear (not swimming trunks, but underwear, complete with the little slit in front) but if a woman dares to wear a bikini, all eyes burn into her skin. In a place like India, you have to go to the beach fully dressed or learn to ignore the lecherous stares and obscene comments.

Scenario 2: On the street. This is something I have noticed in South India, here the men wear lungis (a cotton sarong-like cloth) because is keeps them cool in the tropical climate. When it gets too hot, the lungi is folded up and trust me when I say this, I have seen things no one should ever see! 

Obviously, little boys aren’t taught to stick their legs together when they sit, so when they grow up, they treat the lungi as a pair of trousers and spread out like nobody’s business. But when a women dressed in a short skirt is on her way to work, I can guarantee there will be at least one motorcyclist who would whizz past within inches of her, or a pedestrian would “accidently” bump into her. It has happened with me when my skirt would reach all the way to my muscular calves. Maybe it’s not the length of the skirt but the fact that a nicely dressed woman is on her way to make an independent life for herself, that attracts such negative reactions from people. But I am guilty too, of judging other women who dressed up “inappropriately” to work, maybe because they were way hotter than I can ever hope to be. Who decides what’s appropriate and what’s not, anyway?

Scenario 3: Visible innerwear. Those Hip-hop baggy jeans guys with flashy underwears are met with curiosity, or a bit of disdain at the most. Can you imagine a man suddenly reduced to a sex object as soon as a bit of his underwear is visible? But a woman’s bra is like Medusa’s hair, it must not be seen by anyone. You know what, sometimes we wear colourful bras and show them off because they are ridiculously expensive! Deal with it.

Scenario 4: At the temple. A bare chested priest walks around in a flimsy piece of cloth wrapped around his waist, but I can see his dark brown underwear through the thin white muslin. But is wearing flimsy clothes in a temple wrong? Not for men, it seems. Women have to cover themselves up as if they are going to a mosquito infested battlefield; not an inch of skin should show. Does God even care what we wear?

Scenario 5: Public exposure. If I kept count of how many times I have seen things no one should ever see, I wouldn’t be a normal, functioning person by now. But I’ve had to walk inches away from men peeing on the walls near crowded streets and pavements. Cover your nose, look away and just keep walking. But have you ever seen a woman being able to breastfeed openly in a restaurant or on a park bench or a bus stop? No, they must cover those evil breasts with layers of suffocating cloth, or else the society will get corrupted. Shove those breastfeeding women into the dark recesses of stinky bathrooms so that we can sit comfortably with our dirty jokes and political opinions.

Phew! I’m sure many of you can relate to these scenarios and many or you probably hate me for being “over-dramatic”, a quality associated with the “weaker sex.” But whatever, I like to draw and here are my drawings


Shivani Gakhar



  • Random nibba

    This is pretty biased on a lot of levels not all of it but most of it is for example the lungi one is so dumb it literally made me laugh I am pretty sure it was written by some butt hurt feminist

  • agomonee

    Liked the article. Also, the sketches did a world of good in highlighting the ideas more articulately. Well done.

  • Aashka Amin

    This was amazing. So refreshing to see somehow sharing insight on these often dismissed topics

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