Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"Proper" Attrire for women!

Whenever anybody says "formal" attrire for women.. what does that mean?

For men, I guess it is more or less well defined! Full armed shirts, pants and tie (Balzer, in case the envi is "too" formal) and shoes.

So now, how do we define it for women? Specially Indian women?

Now, here's the set of rules...

1. No "sleeve-less" dressses or tops
2. No half/mega sleeved tops!
3. No "tight" fitting clothes (I wonder who can define what is tight and loose.. the one wearing it or the one seeing?)
4. No wrap around skirts
5. No "transparent" chudidars (how do you define or measure the transperency???)
6. Saree: Please tie in such a way that it does not show any parts of the body which are not be shown. Pleated pallus preffered!!!
7. ONLY 3/4th full sleeved shirts on troushers!!! (In this summer???)
8. Duppattas are to be worn to "serve the purpose"!

So, in a work place (with formal environment).. you are "supposed" to wear something which adheres to "all" of these rules.

But the question is.. should somebody tell people what to wear and what not to wear? If you are a office goer... well you would be atleast 21+. This means you kind of know what is ok to wear... to office... and what is not-ok!! If on top of this, some people choose to wear in-appropriate dress, wouldn't it be better to just "educate" them individually? rather than making a book of rules for everybody!

Now, the whole context of my post is women's attire, so if a lady chooses to wear in appropriate clothes.. she is doing it at her own risk.. inviting trouble.

We are not some school kids right? wherein there used to be a nail leader (who checks the cleanliness of nails!), ribbon leader, bench leader..what not!

Anyway all said and done, rules are rules. When imposed are to be followed! This I agree completely.

Now, in any educated society, when somebody says something, it is questioned for it's motive. So this "attrire definition" should also questioned.

My questioning goes like this... Please note I am talking in the context of Indian women.

Do women in the so called western countries dress this way? Do they cover themselves from head to toe!!??? DOn't they get respect from their colleagues?

Well... people say those are western countries.. and we are in India.. so things are different like many other things. Fine agreed.

But then one of the comments for this issue, by an "educated Indian male"... has made me burn wild with anger...
just read it.. in His hown words...

"There is lot of difference between exposure of males' body and exposure of female's body ( especially in a country like India where more respect is given to women).

So the directive of avoiding sleeveless for women is introduced, i think the reason may be to cover woman's beauty(in this case arms).

That is good idea, following cultural traditions..............."

WOW!! what a statement!
I am shocked beyond words after reading this!! If an educated well placed individual can speak like this... what more can i expect from a common man?????

Please excuse me? "cover the beauty?" in arms? my god! I am laughing to splits here...... Even if you chose to show off your beauty.. what's wrong? What is beauty for? oh ya! i forgot!!! it's only for your husband to see right??? miserable me! how can i even think beyond that!

I am sure if given a choice he would ask his mother/sister/wife to go out ONLY in burkha!!!! I thought world over people are encouraging women to come out of the burkha and lo and behold just around me...:((((((

So now, my thought goes something like this....
Does attrire really matter? Of course I do not deny the fact that you cannot come to office in your night dress just becasue it does not matter! But do we really need to have "rules" and "regulations" and that too so-outdated?

There are quite a few companies which actually allow people to come to work in shorts! nobody cares!

If you are a programmer... and from morning till night all you do is sit in front of the computer and code... with some occational (once a week) team meetings.. do you really have to dress up so much?

It makes sense to maybe the HR/management team who interact with people specially outsiders. It makes sense for them to dress formally.

My point is not even formal/informal attire.. it's for the point that somebody tells you not to wear sleeveless/half sleeved shirts!! The reason behind it... well it does not create a "good" work environment... and to be more specific "men will be distracted"..;-))

Is the so called "evil" present in the woman's body (that too hands for christ's sake!!! don't men have hands????)) or is it in the man's mind?????

Why is it that in western countries women wear mini skirts and blouses showing off their cleavage.. no-body even gives an absurd second glance? And in India why is it that a man is ready to pounce on you.. for a simple thing as give him a glance?

So does it prove that it's the mind that is corruped and not the body (woman's)!!!!!

And coming back to the point of this guy who said: "especially in a country like India where more respect is given to women"

how true!!!!
1. we have the lowest sex ratio
2. We have the highest number of child rapes recorded!
3. Even elderly widows are not left at peace....
4. Call center females are getting brutally murdered!
5. Women are forced to marry men of their parent's choice!
6. Highest prostitution!
7. In some village in rajastan.. the sex ratio is so low.. one woman is "shared" between more than 3 men! ofcourse for money!!!!!
8. How many times you are "hit" in the wrong places when you go on road, when you are in the bus, when you are in a crowded place?
9. Even in the metropolitan cities, abortions are carried out after knowing that it's going to be a female child!
10. In villages female children are killed just after birth by putting in a rice grain in the mouth with milk!

All this and we say, women are like godesses!! cut the crap man! I have seen women respected much much more in countries where they don't even have a culture of their own!!

When are we ever going to change our mind set?
When are we going to accept women as something more than an object of pleasure?
When are we going to respect women as human beings and not some curved creatures?
When are we ever going to look beyond a woman's body... understand her feelings, respect her sentiments?

How would men feel... if every woman who passes by them, "scrutinizes" them from top to bottom? and pass absurd comments?

Why is it always that a woman should change? why can't the thinking of men change? hmmmmm i know, I am asking for too much here.. it's not such an easy thing!

I wonder when will we ever get Independence as Mahatma Gandhi dreamed of ..." India would "actually" be independent when women can roam around at 12 in the night fearlessly on the streets"....

How he did not realise that it's too far fethced a dream to come true... with our mentality!

A sad day in a woman's life.


Hardu said...

Even I feel that women out here are much more respected. I dont think Indian men respect Women at all. They really consider Women as objects to have fun and fulfill their needs and desires! Nothing more than that.

As you said it is always a women who is asked to change.

I guess this post came up after our depressing chat discussion yesterday? I also wanted to put up a depression post but then thought otherwise as I always keep cribbing about depression.

shark said...

Hardu: No dear.. It's not after that depressing chat.. It's for another reason.
We are being asked to wear "this" and not to wear "that".... official directive!

Hardu said...

Even in the US???? Or only in your office in India? Oops, I was about to name the company here. ;)

shark said...

As of now it's only in India...

Prakash said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Prakash said...

The idea of dress code itself sounds ridiculous to me. Don’t they have any other job but to define how we should dress? It was already imposed on men and now its women.

Shark, your point was very valid these issues can not be resolved by imposing set of rules.
When are we going to be mature enough to treat all human being same?
When will that day come when will we stop discriminating people based on their caste, sex, religion?

shark said...

@Prakash: Guess both of us are hoping for too much...;-)

Anonymous said...

Hardu, Dear o Dear, height of generalization - Indian men do not respect woman at all????. Where did this come from.

A more high level fundae, bit off on current discussion. Why do we tend to generalize everything, things are done by specific people, you can associate lot of general logic to why someone behave like that, culture, caste, education, sex etc.

We cannot generalize stuff based on actions of few people and also what makes you think women are more respected here, have you ever heard any hip hop song, I have not seen such cheap comments about women in India. uff I have started to generalize again.

Now regarding proper attrire for women, I totally agree with Sharks view point, even I do not like to be bossed over. But let us give some credit to those guys who defined the rules, they are trying to build some standards, I am not saying it is right, but idea behind it may be noble.

My 2 cents, if you are able to carry off yourself well, the definition of attrire does not matter. Saree or micros, you can look exploitable in either, it is more of what you are, than what you wear

shark said...

@anon :
Your last line said it all...."it is more of what you are, than what you wear"
Then how can a group of people whatever their intentions maybe... "define" what to wear... does it change the person i am?

Hardu said...

anon: OK. If this makes you feel any bettter. Let me say that "most" Indian men do not respect women. Are you happy now?

Anonymous said...

Shark - I agree with the view point that no one should tell what to wear, as you will be same person anyway. Now there are two things -
1. Someone bossing over you/Illogical policies of a company
2. Dress you were

The first point is what usually makes people frustrated, second point is just an instigation point to let out that frustration.

Logic is very subjective thing, sounds odd right, if it is subjective then it is not logic you may feel. But just think about it, you can give for and against reasons for any policy. Celebrating valentines day and asking some volunteer to give a rose someone I like is as stupid as it can get.

It is my personal thing, why the hell should my company bother about it. We can have list going on and on for things like this.

Hardu - "Men" "Women" "Indian", again leading to generalization. Few people do not respect others, is what I feel

Hardu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hardu said...

Anon: I am not talking without experience. It is the truth that most Indian Men, do NOT respect Indian women. They might admire women from other parts of the world but not the one's from their own country!

shark said...

Celebrating valentines day is "your" choice.. you can "choose" NOT to celebrate it also... that's true for any festival or special days..
But "imposing" dress code - you cannot choose not to follow it.. you have to follow it! There's a huge difference in both the things.

I agree with you.. though some maynot be ready to accept it... Indian men;s thinking needs to change! and drastically that too!
I do agree that some atleast have the decency to behave properly in public.. but heart in heart they all think the same...
and I have heard this from men only...

shark said...

They "revoked" the dress code rule..:D:D:D
After listening to all our comments they will revisit and get back to us later... so as of now the situation is back to normal..:)

All's not lost yet..:))))

Hardu said...

Congratulations! :) For the next 6 months, you can enjoy maadofy anyway. Looks like someone read your post and decided on revoking it. ;)

Girl Interrupted said...

Like my mom says...U can be very decent in a bikini if you can carry off...and yet look vulgar in a saree if u can not carry it well...it depends on persons ability to carry a dress and their behaviour....not on the cloths.....

claytonia vices said...

The truth is that women in India are least respected. Instead of teaching the men to behave themselves the women instead are made to follow more rules!!! That is what happens if MCP rule the place...

WinterBlue said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
WinterBlue said...

Ha ha ha... cleavages in America are not seen. Oh! please, for pete's sake cut the crap. Check the status on web as to how many women in America were raped last year.

In America, average age of a person losing virginity is 15. It should be around 23/24 in Hindustan.

In a country where sex is restricted within four walls, you cannot change in 10 years. Just because, more and more people are travelling abrod from India in the recent past, you cannot start adapting western culture.

Just to remind you, Hindustan is seeing this kind of a change mainly due to software industries, BPO and Contact centres.

Adaptation should be there from different culture, but it should also be more appropriate to the region you come from.

In America, women are showing their legs, cleavages from centuries. In Hindustan, probably only in movies or in high profile parties.

There are certain things in life which cannot be run on Pentium 2.7 GHz PC nor can be treated as a real time application :)

Life, live as you used to do before. Why do you want to change with a wrong influence.

Adapt culture which suits and also does not fade away your own culture.

Hindustan is known for its culture, beautiful women with sarees. Definitely not for deep cleavages.

shark said...

@WB: First of all I never mentioned America specifically.
Also, my post was NOT to compare different cultures.
I am proud of my culture, and so are americans of theirs!
That's not what I was talking about!
I feel that "how" a woman should dress is "her" wish and not somebody else's!!!
You proved my point perfectly, how can you say that women look beautiful (ok! hindustan women) only in sarees? Nopes I don't agree to that.
See, again you are seeing Women as an object of "beauty". Not as just another human being.

And, there's nothing wrong in changing ourselves for the better! If our "women-restricted" culture didn't change in 10 years, then please... 11th year is a high time to change!
And there's nothing to be afraid of "loosing" our culture! Cultures are evolved with times, for the betterment of the society :)

Do you still go to work/college on bare foot? Nopes! you wear Nike/Reebook shoes right? That is a kond of also accepting "foreign" culture!
So why not this?

WinterBlue said...

Dear Shark,

Dress code itself is not gender specific. It applies to all the men and women.

Office is a place you come to work. The clothes that you wear should be acceptable to everyone.

A woman in office particularly showing off most of her curves is definitely a distraction. However, the same thing applies to men. You would definitely comment on your fellow worker if he wears a torn jeans and leaves his top two buttons opened showing off his chest.

You need control on everything in life.

Lindsay Lohan can carry herself very wll in a bikini. Do you really think she will do it in public just because she is comfortable doing that.

Just removing restrictions on woman's attire will not solve the problem.

shark said...

@WB: I agree with you! I did not say that women should be allowed to come to work in skimpy clothes! obviosuly that's not right!

But then, when you define the "length" the sleeves that you are "allowed" to wear, don't you think it's too much!

As I said before a work place is a place where you come when you are atleast 22 years old. ANd I feel that by that age atleast you know what is right to wear to office and what's appropriate to wear for a night club. If on top of that, somebody wears in-appropriate clothes to work.. doesn;t it make sense to talk to that individual and "educate" her? rather than putting a set of rules for everbody else!

And coming to men.. well the less said the better! I do agree that there are quite a few well dressed people around ... but gosh most of them don't even iron their clothes! But still they are allowed becasue the rules said "full armed shirts"! they didn't mention about pressed ones or the clean ones!
People don't even take bath leave along have a clean shave.. and their socks oh my GOD! they stink like anything!
ANd my own friends are not ashamed of that.. infact they "proudly" say that they are unclean!

See again I am not pointing fingers at the male community.. if they are happy living that way.. let them be it's none of my business!

But all these things are readily accpeted when it's a guy in picture.. but then if it's a girl! then there are hazar restrictions! and that's what puts me off!!!!