Thousands of women across India have been taking to Twitter to share their own photos of themselves wearing ripped jeans...
And there's a very specific reason why.
Read on to find out...
Now, misogyny has been a problem for centuries...
And sadly, it's still very much present today in 2021.
Misogyny - the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls - is both toxic and dangerous...
And way too many women have found themselves in danger and, in more extreme circumstances, have even lost their lives because of this ignorant ideology.
It's a terribly tragic reality...
And although the feminism movement and women's rights are more prominent than ever, so many women continue to face harrassment, abuse, and violence at the hands of men every single day.
The devastating story of Sarah Everard is a prime example of this.
Earlier this month, Sarah - who is from London - was reported as missing after she walked home one evening from a friend's house.
Her body was found dumped in a forest a week later and a male police officer has been arrested and charged with the kidnap and murder of the young woman.
Sarah's tragic story just goes to show how women really can't trust anyone...
What happened to Sarah Everard could happen to any of us. Black women, in particular, are doubly victimized when authorities don't take their assaults seriously, and the media & public are less likely to give women of color the same coverage and support they give to white women.— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) March 18, 2021
Even authority figures such as police officers, who are the ones who should be keeping women safe.
It happens all over the world...
But there's absolutely no doubt that women are treated so much worse in certain countries.
And India is one of these places.
According to The Telegraph, India was voted as the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman in a Thomson Reuters poll in 2018 and while reliable data on physical attacks is unavailable, one former Minister for Women said around seventy percent of its female population are victims.
Sexual harassment and abuse against women in India is sadly at an all-time high.
According to the National Crimes Records Bureau, in 2016 the r*pe of minor girls increased by eighty-two percent compared with the previous year.
And chillingly, across all r*pe cases, ninety-five percent of r*pists were not strangers but family, friends, and neighbors.
Something needs to change...
And for years now, women have been protesting for their rights and safety.
But sadly, so many men in India fail to see the problem that there is with sexual assault and women's rights...
And they actually place the blame upon women instead of the men who are continuously inflicting this kind of pain and suffering.
Well, some recent outrageous comments from a chief minister of one of India's northern states has triggered a Twitter protest...
And the hashtag #RippedJeansTwitter has been trending in the last week in protest of the chief's ignorant views.
In solidarity with the woman with the two kids trying to get somewhere who bore the brunt of a clearly sleazy man checking her out because she was wearing ripped jeans. #RippedJeansTwitter pic.twitter.com/N3fWgvlCBD— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) March 17, 2021
Ripped Jeans aur Kitab.— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) March 18, 2021
The country’s ‘sanskriti’ & ‘sanskaar’ are impacted by men who sit and judge women and their choices. Soch badlo Mukhyamantri Rawat ji, tabhi desh badlega. #RippedJeansTwitter pic.twitter.com/qYXcN88fY6
Rapes happen not because women wear short clothes but because men like Tirath Singh Rawat propagate mysogyny and fail to do their duty.— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) March 18, 2021
Stand in solidarity with the women in #RippedJeansTwitter ! pic.twitter.com/bxVtwcpgWE
Ripped jeans are so cool, they teach us to dress with abandon and not worry about what others think. It’s the narrow minded brains that need the mending not the jeans.#RippedJeansTwitter #rippedjeans pic.twitter.com/NqfoeacTlX— Seetu Mahajan Kohli (@kohliseetu) March 18, 2021
Tirath Singh Rawat, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, triggered the controversy last week at a workshop organized by the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun.
He said, as per local media, he was shocked to see a woman running an NGO (non-government organization) in ripped jeans, and was concerned about the example she was setting for society.
"If this kind of woman goes 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."
He expressed his distaste for "bare knees" being exposed by children and bemoaned the fact that while the west followed India's yoga and covering their body, "we run towards nudity."
"Kaynchi se sanskaar (culture by scissors) - showing bare knees, wearing ripped denim, and looking like rich kids - these are the values being given now. Where is this coming from, if not at home? What is the fault of teachers or schools? Where am I taking my son, showing his knees and in tattered jeans? Girls are no less, showing their knees. Is this good," he said.
One of his new ministers, Ganesh Joshi, then doubled down on the tone-deaf comments by adding that women should prioritize raising good children:
"Women talk about all things they want to do in life, but the most important thing for them is to look after their family and children."
The fact that these ideologies are held by men in such extreme power is terrifying...
And the fact that they've just blamed women for being the victims of r*ape and abuse is, quite frankly, disgusting.
Alongside the thousands of responses to the #RippedJeansTwitter trend came the many brave individuals to call out Rawat directly.
So men in power are okay to show off their knees, but women aren't?
Male colleagues of Rawat have been seen wearing ripped jeans...
Wearing “#rippedjeans” destroys our culture, it seems. It leads to substance abuse. And a societal breakdown. Women should strictly avoid this sacrilege against our pristine customs, says Uttarakhand CM.— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) March 17, 2021
Dear BJP, this is your CM Tirath Singh Rawat: Do you endorse this? pic.twitter.com/9pGQdkxZKp
Of course, we're assuming he's totally fine with this!
Women should not be judged by their clothes...
And most importantly, men shouldn't justify abuse over what a woman is wearing because at the end of the day, abuse is abuse and there is absolutely no excuse for it.
We hope these misogynistic and prejudiced ideologies will soon be non-existent in our world...
And if any of these topics discussed in this article have affected you, you can visit the NCADV for help and advice.