One of India’s leading fashion designers Sabyasachi Mukherjee (of Virushka ki shaadi fame), recently gave a talk at the Harvard India Conference, where one of the questions he was asked was about the difficulties women face while draping a saree.
Sabyasachi’s super eloquent, super politically correct, super non-sexist, non-mysoginistic and overall super right response was —“I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a saree, I would say shame on you. It’s a part of your culture, (you) need to stand up for it.”
That’s right. Because it’s not enough that women have to deal with noted personalities using their influence to do things like ban them from wearing jeans and skirts and talking on mobile phones because it leads to elopement and distraction from studying (yes, this happened). Now we have a you-must-sell-your-kidneys-to-afford-one-of-my-sarees man telling us, if we don’t know how to drape an 8 meter long cloth across our bodies in perfect fashion, then we, are worthy of shame.
Sabyasachi then gave a clarification statement because, duh. (See, this is how it works. News point. Outrage. Clarification. End outrage. It’s a vicious cycle). His reasoning was this — “What was intended to be a comment on celebration of our clothing history and heritage became a debate on feminism. This is not a gender issue. Since the question was about the saree, women were involved. I would take the same stand on men’s national clothing too. I have not made any statement on a woman’s choice on what she wishes to wear which is always her own prerogative.”
In a country that has a history of men making ludicrous, half-assed, downright sexist (and quite frankly gross) statements against women on the reg (Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ladko se galti ho jaati gai, Abhijit Mukherjee’s ‘dented and painted women’, Botsa Satyanarayana‘s keep women indoors to prevent rape, Manohar Parrikar’s ‘even girls are drinking beer’, Abu Azmi’s women are partying late night in half attire being the cause behind the Bengaluru New Years Ever molestations… the list is endless), Sabyasachi is just another brick in the wall. Or another man whose opinion no one asked for.
Incidentally, in the same speech that Sabyasachi made at the Harvard India Conference, the designer acknowledged the fact that “Indian women have kept alive the saree, but the dhoti is dead”, however he did not feel the need to shame men for that. No siree. Upholding the values, traditions and cultural heritage of India is the job of a woman and woman alone. Much like raising a child, making round rotis, ironing her husband’s clothes, making the subah ki chai and of course the essential, making a sandwich.
All we have to say in response to Sabyasachi Mukjerjee’s statement is:
Maybe fewer young women are not wearing sarees because you’re selling em for 80K bro pic.twitter.com/atGail8ehq
— Tanmay Bhat (@thetanmay) February 12, 2018
Published Date: Feb 13, 2018 17:32 PM | Updated Date: Feb 13, 2018 17:42 PM