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Thread: Women and Western clothes

  1. #1
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    Women and Western clothes

    Namaste,

    It seems singer Yesudas (Jesudas) has elicited strong negative reaction from women all over India for his recent comment on women wearing 'Jeans'.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/ind...wearing-jeans/

    There are many ways to wear a jeans. It can be that really tight-fitting jeggings along with a revealing tank-top. Or it be a modest loose-fit with a lengthy top. Depending on how it is chosen to be worn, the resultant look can be completely different.

    But that said, (being someone who wears Jeans) I noticed for long that Western clothes/jeans, Western music and Western hairstyle (bob cuts/haircuts) DO have a tendency to strengthen the 'Rahu' or the focus and ego on one's own good looks. This is partly because Western clothes are more form-fitting and are mainly worn because of this reason - they hug the body fittingly (unlike how a sari drapes around the body) and thus more efficiently complements the body, increasing one's pride about their own good looks. This is my genuine observation.

    There are some professions for which Jeans/pants will be very convenient, regardless of the country - police force being one. Also for students who have to run and catch public conveyances, jeans and pants can come very handy, also because they are more durable than pijama pants that tear easily.

    But, it is a valid point for Yesudas to recommend traditional Indian attire because among younger generations, Indian attire and hairstyle (such as wearing plaits) is dying, atleast in the Metropolitan cities. However, what is invalid is him trying to say that, to keep men under check, women should comply and not wear something for this reason. He could have avoided this being the reason.

    So all this being said, I truly believe that if someone is a true sadhaka who wants to get rid of pride about one's own beauty, wearing modest Indian sari is the most recommended. If Yesudas had mentioned this as the reason, I would have applauded.

    But perceptions vary, your perception might be completely different. May I know the same, if you are willing to share it?

    Thanks and regards.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Vannakkam Viraja: I see the setting as important. The temple, at work, casual shopping, etc. are all different settings.

    Very casual clothing like tight jeans, shorts on men, t-shirts with slogans, sleeveless tops, etc. aren't really temple clothes. I just think the temple is a place where we should dress respectfully, Hindu appropriately, and modestly. It shows that we know what the place is, and places ourselves and other devotees (by osmosis or whatever) into the proper frame of mind for it. I also find western style suits and ties for men as being out of context.

    Outside of the temple I don't really care. I've been a loose fit jeans guy for 50 years, and I'm not about to change. What women wear is their business. But here in the west its different, primarily because we're used to it. In India they're still getting used to it, so a sleeveless blouse on a woman gets stared at. It will take some time, but I think India will slowly adapt too. Women will wear what's comfortable, and eventually mens' eyes will adapt to the 'bright sunshine'.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Namaste,

    Partial views with everything else deleted don't do justice to my reponses. So, I will take a pass on this issue.
    Let the mutual admiration club take the floor!

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 06 October 2014 at 12:52 AM.

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Namaste Viraja ji

    Media and politicians earn their bread by making a mountain of mole :-), so I wont judge the Singer without knowing the context.

    If a girl want eyes to follow, Saree or Jeans won't make any difference to her. Saree has more sex appeal than jeans. So wearing Saree won't change her feel/need/urge to expose and attract men.

    Likewise Isn't strange the same oogling boy/man knows to control his thirst when he understands that the girl/woman is his "mother" or "sister" or "daughter". Even this border is disappearing fast thanks to freely available pornography.

    Root cause of sexual harassment or sexual crime depends on values people learn from their parents and society.

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    Namaste,

    It seems singer Yesudas (Jesudas) has elicited strong negative reaction from women all over India for his recent comment on women wearing 'Jeans'.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/ind...wearing-jeans/

    There are many ways to wear a jeans. It can be that really tight-fitting jeggings along with a revealing tank-top. Or it be a modest loose-fit with a lengthy top. Depending on how it is chosen to be worn, the resultant look can be completely different.

    But that said, (being someone who wears Jeans) I noticed for long that Western clothes/jeans, Western music and Western hairstyle (bob cuts/haircuts) DO have a tendency to strengthen the 'Rahu' or the focus and ego on one's own good looks. This is partly because Western clothes are more form-fitting and are mainly worn because of this reason - they hug the body fittingly (unlike how a sari drapes around the body) and thus more efficiently complements the body, increasing one's pride about their own good looks. This is my genuine observation.

    There are some professions for which Jeans/pants will be very convenient, regardless of the country - police force being one. Also for students who have to run and catch public conveyances, jeans and pants can come very handy, also because they are more durable than pijama pants that tear easily.

    But, it is a valid point for Yesudas to recommend traditional Indian attire because among younger generations, Indian attire and hairstyle (such as wearing plaits) is dying, atleast in the Metropolitan cities. However, what is invalid is him trying to say that, to keep men under check, women should comply and not wear something for this reason. He could have avoided this being the reason.

    So all this being said, I truly believe that if someone is a true sadhaka who wants to get rid of pride about one's own beauty, wearing modest Indian sari is the most recommended. If Yesudas had mentioned this as the reason, I would have applauded.

    But perceptions vary, your perception might be completely different. May I know the same, if you are willing to share it?

    Thanks and regards.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Namaste Viraja,

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    what is invalid is him trying to say that, to keep men under check, women should comply and not wear something for this reason. He could have avoided this being the reason.
    Though I would always vote for traditional Indian Clothing and in my opinion, the clothes should cover the body instead of showing it, I agree with you on this issue. There are two issues and we should not mix one with another :

    a) Need of dressing nicely and covering the body parts as per social customs :

    When we meet a person who is well dressed and if his/her body is decently covered as per social customs in the particular society, it is better. Why so ? This is because of conditioning of minds of people of different sexes to the way of dressing of the opposite sex and which is linked with arising of sexual thoughts. It is a complex issue because it is simply a matter of conditioning of mind in a particular social surrounding. Arousal of sexual thoughts by seeing person of opposite sex in a particular condition, by seeing her/his body parts or scenes suggestive of those parts are natural due to this conditioning.

    Now, this cannot be said to be right or wrong. We must accept it as it is there in the society. Anyone can always condition his/her mind not to get sexually aroused or stop arising of sexual thoughts even if a person of opposite sex is in a position which can be considered sexually provocative in a particular society and that is recommended. However, we cannot change each and everyone in a society where a very large number of people cannot condition their minds in the recommended way and that can create a problem. So, in my opinion, better to play safe and dress in the way society thinks it decent.

    Let me clarify here that the standards for covering up body are different in different society. In many tribal areas like AndamAns or Jhabua women don't cover their breasts and that is quite well accepted without this being a provocative scene for any sexual aggression. On the other hand, in a conservative Muslim society, women keeping even two eyes out of Burqa are considered sexually inviting. Therefore, this acceptance vary from one society to the other and it is better to go by what is acceptable in a particular society.

    We must understand that way of dressing does matter due to conditioning of minds and we can't wish it away.

    b) Need to change ourselves than dictating terms to people of other sexes

    Notwithstanding whatever I said above, no one should use the above argument as an excuse to dictate terms to persons of other sex or for that matter for any sort of sexual aggression towards the person who doesn't conform to the standard practice. For this, there must be proper enforcement of laws so that individual freedom of wearing any dress as per person's choice is not violated.

    **********************

    So, what we need is moderation in our thinking and action and we do need restraint in dictating terms to others.

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 04 October 2014 at 03:14 AM. Reason: Word fatwa changed in view of Believer's sensitivity towards that word
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Namaste Devotee ji

    traditional Indian Clothing

    I think temples built before Islamic invasion give us the kind of dresses worn during then. If you observe the sculptures of South Indian temples like Sri Rangam or Madurai Meenakshi Amman, you will agree with me that they didn't care whether the pallu is hiding a woman's bosom or not. I can also give examples from North Indian temples also.

    Consider the celestial nymphs like Ramba or Oorvasi. What kind of dresses they would have used to lure well focused tapasvis like Vishwamithra?

    And our society accepted those events / stories, isn't it?

    We had been matured in our dress sense and sexual preferences. Islamic invasions has ruined us. It is sad that we claim their insecurities as our traditions. :-(

    I don't have any idea about traditional Indian clothing during Vedic period. So what is traditional Indian clothing?

    In case you know scriptures that describe the body parts that are to be covered and the extent that should be covered please let us know.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Thank you friends, for letting know your perspective.

    I want to share with you my personal observation. About 10 yrs ago, I used to have a haircut and wear sleeveless too (and shorts). I noticed that over a time period, my ahamkara about my looks swelled (not that I looked too good, nevertheless ). I was kinda self-obsessed about looks. And for some weird reason, I found my spirituality on the decline during this time period. This was for a period of good 3 yrs. Then I packed on a lot of weight and stopped all the above. Since then I have been used to simple, modest clothing and no haircuts and I see myself way much more humble, down-to-earth and more importantly, not someone who looks down upon others for their looks.

    So I think mainly for the above reasons (for taking to humility) one needs to go 'desi'. I agree with Believer ji, Devotee ji on this issue. EM ji brings on a whole new perspective being a Westerner himself and as such, I don't see any reason for him complaining .

    Although men do not have the right to say that since someone wore Western clothes, they misbehaved, it also stands to say that Indian women in Western clothes are taking their own risk wearing them, because one cannot completely avoid 'eve-teasing'.

    I tend to disagree with Anirudh ji on the issue because I think sari is very modest. A simple sari, worn properly is unflattering to one's figure - does not expose the curves, and is not form-fitting. It brings humility to the wearer - and I wonder if sari was designed as such to bring on such values to the wearer! Nevertheless, I like Anirudh ji's spirit of 'freedom for all'!

    Thank you all for participating in this thread. I respect your views.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Vannakkam: In popular culture (in the west) men are trained (subconsciously) to look. It's reinforced by TV with the angles that cameras take, and the talk among macho men. Stats like what are in Believer's link demonstrate the outcome of that training. Personally, I don't think it's our nature. I think our actual nature is quite the opposite. We see people for people.

    We need to retrain our young men ... 'It's rude to look, life is a lot more than physical bodies, etc.;, and admonish people (of both genders these days) who do otherwise. So it's a matter of focus.

    On a personal level, I try to read auras. I'm looking for intelligence, a common bond, a smile, something spiritual, the way a person walks, clothing, and more. (in both genders) That takes the mind and observational skills way further into psychological and spiritual realms. So looking at a person or dialoguing is a rare opportunity to inprove our understanding of human nature, and is always a small mirror into ourselves. This is a sadhana, a practice.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam: In popular culture (in the west) men are trained (subconsciously) to look. It's reinforced by TV with the angles that cameras take, and the talk among macho men. Stats like what are in Believer's link demonstrate the outcome of that training. Personally, I don't think it's our nature. I think our actual nature is quite the opposite. We see people for people.

    We need to retrain our young men ... 'It's rude to look, life is a lot more than physical bodies, etc.;, and admonish people (of both genders these days) who do otherwise. So it's a matter of focus.

    On a personal level, I try to read auras. I'm looking for intelligence, a common bond, a smile, something spiritual, the way a person walks, clothing, and more. (in both genders) That takes the mind and observational skills way further into psychological and spiritual realms. So looking at a person or dialoguing is a rare opportunity to inprove our understanding of human nature, and is always a small mirror into ourselves. This is a sadhana, a practice.

    Aum Namasivaya

    This is simply excellent, EM ji! Very, very wise words spoken, thank you!
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Namaste Anirudh,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    traditional Indian Clothing

    I think temples built before Islamic invasion give us the kind of dresses worn during then. If you observe the sculptures of South Indian temples like Sri Rangam or Madurai Meenakshi Amman, you will agree with me that they didn't care whether the pallu is hiding a woman's bosom or not. I can also give examples from North Indian temples also.

    Consider the celestial nymphs like Ramba or Oorvasi. What kind of dresses they would have used to lure well focused tapasvis like Vishwamithra?

    And our society accepted those events / stories, isn't it?

    We had been matured in our dress sense and sexual preferences. Islamic invasions has ruined us. It is sad that we claim their insecurities as our traditions. :-(

    I don't have any idea about traditional Indian clothing during Vedic period. So what is traditional Indian clothing?

    In case you know scriptures that describe the body parts that are to be covered and the extent that should be covered please let us know.
    What you say is right. That is why I said that "as accepted in a particular society". Society is dynamic in nature and it keeps changing with time. In Vedic times, people wore mainly unstitched clothes. There was no concept of "Blouse" or "Bra" which came later on and we didn't have the right word in Sanskrit also for these dresses. That was a different society.

    Till recently, in my childhood, wearing Jeans was not common as it is today. If you see Indian movies of 1940s, the actresses wore fully covering dresses. Wearing sleeveless was a news. Now, we find dresses which are much much revealing. So, the society has changed.

    So, the unwritten dress-code in a society changes with time and we should respect that. This is my opinion. As I said earlier, there is nothing right or wrong in wearing a particular dress but when you can be singled out on the basis of how revealing your dress is, you may be inviting undue attraction of unwanted people unnecessarily.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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