The acid question

I recently noticed this. Whenever I have the mildest disagreement with a man and then go ahead and discuss it with a woman her response is always, “Please be careful, he might turn spiteful and throw acid on you”. I don’t mean a specific woman but women in general.

I am almost always amused at this reaction. It can make sense if I had a huge public row with the man in question and insulted him in such a way to hurt his pride or if he has shown any evidence of having obsession towards me. But often this is about very mild disagreements the way a human person disagrees with another human person.

Have we really gone too far in teaching women that men should be kept at a safe distance? Do we vilify men too much? Where do we get the “Aiyayo ethavathu pannira poraan” from?


6 thoughts on “The acid question

  1. Rahini – a thought provoking question. I recently saw a tweet from Lakshmy Ramakrishnan that puzzled me a little. She tweeted, “When we ourselves consider our body to be sensuous and feel like showing it off…how can we complain about objectification by others?”
    –> I didn’t follow the entire stream of tweets so, don’t claim to have the complete context. But the words seem to suggest an unnaturally high degree of caution required for women vs. just letting them be. Then again, this comment is coming from a person who purportedly wants to shed light on societal evils. So, I don’t know what to really make of it. But let’s say someone is aware of their sensuality and feel like dressing in a particular way that makes them feel good about their body, I don’t know if they are always trying to “show off” as much as just dress the way they want to because it feels nice…

    But I guess this kind of a comment (be it her tweet or the acid comment that someone made to you), however well-intentioned, is a sad reminder of the inequality and imbalance that exist in the gender status quo when it comes to rights, entitlement and responsibilities.


  2. Well, you have once said you like to keep your car neat and clean. Imagine your plight if some rowdy people become your neighborhood and other neighbors tell you not to keep your car too shiny and clean as the temptation to puncture your wheels shouldn’t be too great for the rowdies. Would you still believe you are living in a civilized country if more than just a few people shared this thought?

    Some women wear jeans and t-shirt and others flaunt the same. There will be a distinct difference in the aura of these women. If you think the second set is vain and shallow, you are of course welcome to think so as long as you treat them just the same.

    I do certainly see some women and think “Well, she knows it is a place of worship, did she have to wear something that screams so much for attention?” when I see some women. And as my daughter grows older I would point out that there is a time and place for certain clothes but to claim that women should try and make their bodies invisible for their own good is just tyrannical. People seem to suggest that men WILL go looking for women, but women should ensure that they are not visible by staying indoors or not speaking or not wear clothes that stand out in a crowd.

    It doesn’t work that way and if at all it did, it SHOULDN’T work that way.


  3. I remember someone asking this to a gentleman who was arguing for “clothing regulations” (?!) – define decent dressing.

    They are constantly changing or shall I say evolving? I had one colleague asking..How come we don’t get to wear dhoti/veshti to office but you girls get to wear skirts??

    P.S: I’m binge reading your posts :-p

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yaaro edho panninathu naala dhaan oru vela pannida poraan nu yosanai varudho?
    I’m not proud of this..once I was travelling in an auto, and the driver kept making some weird sounds. I thought he was making kissing noises at me. I started getting panicky and was on the verge of sending some text messages to friends, with my whereabouts and such. We stopped at a signal. It turns out he was chewing paan and was sucking on the juices. After he spat it out at the signal, the noises stopped.
    I felt silly for being that paranoid, but I also realized some past experiences/things I hear from others led me to think that way.
    I have never gone so far as to think about someone throwing acid on me though. It must be mentioned that I am confrontational on a routine basis.


  5. U know I live in Africa, and the way women dress here will be considered scandalous in India, but when I see them in that clothing it doesn’t look…. Vulgar, you know… I guess it is also the comfort of the person with their body… We are constantly being taught to be ashamed of our body… Iduppu theriyathu, dupatta podama pokathe, skirts at the age of 30? Aren’t you a mother of 2 children?
    Anusrini: you are true about being confrontational… Our senses are always on high alert for any perceived threat… 😦


  6. Here is Chennai there is a lot of backlash for those who wear leggings without a “legging-worthy” pair of legs. And I say, meh.

    Sarees do look better if you have a small waist, but I never hear people recommend I don’t wear sarees until I drop a couple of kilos.

    Thank you for the comment.


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