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Thread: Women and Western clothes

  1. #21
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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Namaste Aanandinii ji

    You have clearly and completely articulated my thoughts on this subject. Thank you.

    If the discussion is about women's dresses, invariably we tend to mix it up with the dress code in temple.

    Thanks again for differentiating the two.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aanandinii View Post
    Having said all the above, I just want to qualify some of my statements by stating I do think there is a difference between feeling someone is dressed immodestly and saying its their own fault and none others if they are harassed because of it. There's a fine line there one can easily start to Blame the Victim. The fact is that such behavior as eve teasing and harassment towards anyone is wrong and "blame the Victim" excuses are only that. There should be no excuse, and allowing them only enables and perpetuates the problem, devalues the humanity of the victim and shuts down potential positive discourse to solve such problems. Where this kind of degradation of any person in a society exists there can be no maturation of culture.

    ~Pranam
    Anirudh...

  2. #22
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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Namaste Viraja ji,

    That's interesting about the history of the Saree and Choli, I didn't know that. Thank you, I will see if I can find out more.

    I think you're right though, this is a matter of cultural upbringing and impressions, you say it better than I was able to. I feel that way because of the kind of dress I was brought up in, during this birth. This is why I feel more comfortable in Shalwar Suits and the like, I am certain. Like I said, I think I could be wrapped in 100 yards of Saree head to toe and still feel awkward - but then I also have a similar feeling with some forms of western dresses, even when they're ankle-length. LOL So some of it is also probably personal taste.

    I agree and again you state clearer than I, while it's true victim blaming is bad, one must also remember to use common sense and not knowingly put oneself in risk situations. People need to take responsibility for their own actions on both sides. With the internet today there is no excuse for not researching any culture you're traveling in order to try and respect and not offend.

    I think that all of society, even villages and rural areas, can be changed. Through education and enforcement of morals and laws, allowing for no hypocrisy or double-standards, I think it could definitely be done. The optimist in me says that we are already on our way back up out of darker ages. But all of this takes time, certainly longer than a few Human lifetimes during this Yuga. And it may well be that there can be no complete transformation to a mature culture again during Kali Yuga, especially with so many fragmented cutures fighting against each other. Still, it's no reason to not continue to try.

    ~Pranam

    Edit to add: I agree it's a sad thing for younger generations to think their traditional dress is somehow old and silly. I adore Indian traditional dress, it's beautiful and colorful. I would like to see more people wearing it, honestly. It's my hope that just like other things, kids will grow out of these feelings. Like when I was a difficult teen I thought some of my family traditions were tiresome and annoying, sometimes embarrassing - as did some of my cousins. Most of us grew out of that though and now we cherish them and try and keep them going.

    Edit again: Sorry, didn't want to double-post. Thank you, Anirudh ji, for your kind words.
    ~~~~~
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    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    I have attached an old-time pic for you, Aanandinii ji. (It does not show the choli though, but shows how the pleats cover the chest area well).

    (Unfortunatley, if you dress like this nowadays, you'll be branded 'old-timer'. )

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.n...3b9e509f2a3c7a
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  4. #24
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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    I have attached an old-time pic for you, Aanandinii ji. (It does not show the choli though, but shows how the pleats cover the chest area well).

    (Unfortunatley, if you dress like this nowadays, you'll be branded 'old-timer'. )

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.n...3b9e509f2a3c7a
    Thank you so much, Viraja ji. What a lovely picture! She is so pretty with all her jewelry! ^_^
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

  5. #25
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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Namaste Viraja ji

    In your reply to Aanandinii you have raised few points. I wish to share my views. Hope you won't mind.

    1. The full sleeve shirt type of blouse has nothing to do with Indian culture. Women wore something called sthana patta (maarbu kachai in tamil) that just covered the bosom and not the hands/arms.

    This kind of covering to protect the modesty is the result and effect of Islamic invasion. It is because their culture supports and promotes slavery of women, in breeding and even relationships that's scorned by ethical societies while ours advocate and practise equal rights and respect.

    I can give you many examples from our literature supporting my assertions.

    If we wish to follow them (invaders) assuming that it is our culture we are making a laughing stock of Ardha Naareeswara even more my friend who is carrying two women on his chest :-) :-(.

    2. A saree can be worn in many ways. Panchakashta style or Marathi style or Bharathanatyam attire is more like a wearing pants/trousers. So Saree being a sensual dress is not modern stuff.

    3. I don't want to comment on the so called modern girls and guys (pardon my language) who look and behave more like escorts / strippers than like students / professionals. I can just pity/blame their parents and the society for those eye sores.

    Finally I wish to reiterate, dress code/modesty/morality is not just for women. By imposing restrictions under the disguise of self protection or social needs ONLY on our women* folks, we aren't giving them their due respect. Our scriptures say if the woman is not given the due respect, destruction is just round the corner.

    women* - I haven't included certain form of beasts that has the physical features of a woman but behave like parasites or filth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    Dear Aanandinii ji,

    I respect your views. Regarding the fact that you feel Sari is dressy and exposing, I would just like to say that originally sari (or rather the choli) is not designed to be that way. If you look at olden day pictures, you can see that cholis worn are almost always high-necked, with long sleeves and long, long shirt length, it is almost like a shirt worn inside of the sari . Even now with the present short length, if the sari is worn properly on top of it, it covers the flaw that the choli is short, but some models and those in glamour industry have made it a trend to make sari look as sensual as possible .

    The only reason I feel saris are modest because the pleats wrapped on top of each other and the way a decently worn sari (over the chest area) covers the entire chest, and the sheer length and loose-fit on the bottom (that is, not fitting close to the legs/thighs), makes it less sensual than pants and tops but that is just my opinion. It may be the cultural up-bringing that tames to mind to think in a particular way, I do not know. When I was a school-goer, in the school I studied, as soon as one went to high-school, they have to wear 'half-sarees' and only this was considered modest. So this upbringing might be influencing my thinking pattern and observation.

    But I agree with you that eve-teasing and victimizing someone based on one's perceived notion of other-peoples' modesty are wrong. Eve-teasing violates human rights and it is not agreeable even in any cultural set-up. But, one cannot change the entire society and culture such as in rural places in India, and as such, it will be most prudent to dress like the way you have when you visited India. Also, to preserve one's traditional culture, youth and females of India should support saris/half-saris/salwar-kameez and the like. It is sad that many Indian youth, especially those in Metropolitan cities consider traditional Indian clothing to be 'backward', 'primitive', 'country-style', etc. (I went to a fashionable college and I have noticed this attitude among many girls from affluent families. To them, only others wearing Western clothes were trendy and 'educated' ).

    Thanks & Regards,

    Viraja
    Last edited by Anirudh; 12 October 2014 at 04:14 PM.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Finally I wish to reiterate, dress code/modesty/morality is not just for women.
    Namaste ji,

    Oh my, but yes. I think someone mentioned earlier in this thread - could have been another though - this growing western fad of men wearing their pants down around their upper thighs with their boxers hanging out - or sometimes fake boxers. And they're getting lower as time goes on, a guy stood right in front of me waiting for subway doors to open the other day with them SO low he had to stand in an awkward position to keep them on. They all walk strangely too. I just face/palm so repeatedly when I see this that I should have a concussion.

    I mean, WHY? Whatever could be the reason to wear pants like that? I can understand some pretty weird fashions, but not this one. And frankly its unattractive, I wish I didn't have to look at it. =p

    OK, sorry, /rant.

    ...I really hope that one doesn't export to India.

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

  7. #27
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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Vannakkam: In my experience, temples show the double standard for dress and gender. Here, maybe 60% or higher of women wear some sort of modest Hindu attire, whilst men wear western probably 90%. For some odd reason, the annual festival is different ... the only time you see maybe 40% of men in veshti or pajama.

    Baseball caps and shorts are even worse.

    For the first time in 25 years, I've been going to temple in casual western though, but that should change soon.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post

    1. The full sleeve shirt type of blouse has nothing to do with Indian culture. Women wore something called sthana patta (maarbu kachai in tamil) that just covered the bosom and not the hands/arms.

    This kind of covering to protect the modesty is the result and effect of Islamic invasion. It is because their culture supports and promotes slavery of women, in breeding and even relationships that's scorned by ethical societies while ours advocate and practise equal rights and respect.

    I can give you many examples from our literature supporting my assertions.
    Really! If it were as you mentioned, I am highly skeptical about it. We cannot go by what is written in the literature, the authors, like the sculptors of ancient India, might have been fantasizing about female body . The main reason for my skepticism being that i) it is impractical for grown/mature women and also for young maidens, unless they were super-slim ii) There are hygiene concerns for which there were no modern provisions like the current society.

    If we wish to follow them (invaders) assuming that it is our culture we are making a laughing stock of Ardha Naareeswara even more my friend who is carrying two women on his chest :-) :-(.
    I am not sure what you mean by the above.

    2. A saree can be worn in many ways. Panchakashta style or Marathi style or Bharathanatyam attire is more like a wearing pants/trousers. So Saree being a sensual dress is not modern stuff.
    I am saying typically Sari worn in the traditional way is non-sensational.

    Finally I wish to reiterate, dress code/modesty/morality is not just for women. By imposing restrictions under the disguise of self protection or social needs ONLY on our women* folks, we aren't giving them their due respect. Our scriptures say if the woman is not given the due respect, destruction is just round the corner.

    women* - I haven't included certain form of beasts that has the physical features of a woman but behave like parasites or filth.
    We need to understand that 'sensuality' is a property of just the female body. If not we won't be seeing bare-chested men all around today. So, to tame the sensuality, women are only asked to preserve modesty. There are other circumstances when men should be asked to behave, and I don't disrespect that.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  9. #29
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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    We need to understand that 'sensuality' is a property of just the female body. If not we won't be seeing bare-chested men all around today. So, to tame the sensuality, women are only asked to preserve modesty. There are other circumstances when men should be asked to behave, and I don't disrespect that.
    Namaskar Viraja ji,

    My most respectful apologies but I disagree. Sensuality is a part of physical form, all physical form. The area of male anatomy that is most commonly considered sensual is also covered, though I know of plenty of women who will ogle a nice bare male chest - each person's definition of 'nice' being the operative word.

    What is considered "sensual" for either male or female physical form is both based on culture and on personal taste. Some cultures focus on the nape of the neck, some on shoulders, some on facial characteristics, some on specific body weights or fat proportions, some on tattoos and scars as adornments...

    Women should not preserve modesty to help tame sensuality. That is saying that the woman is responsible for men's reactions to her. She is not. Men are responsible for their own reactions at all times, just as women are.

    The idea that the woman needs to take responsibility for the man's reactions is to say that men have no responsibility for their own reactions or behavior. Worse, it implies no man should even be asked to control because it is somehow impossible, that in this regard men are as beasts who cannot possibly control their instincts. Is this true? Of course not, it's the worst kind of untruth and perpetuates the problem on both sides. I agree with Anirudh in this. This kind of thinking have been imposed on women for centuries by men who simply do not want to have to control themselves so they blame women. Women are not wanton seductresses and succubi who have to carefully watch and hide their every movement because some guy might see assume it's an invitation and lose all self control.

    Women should dress according to the social modesty norms of the culture they are in for two reasons: 1) to show respect for that culture. 2) Because in taking responsibility for your own actions, as we all should, why knowingly put yourself in a potentially compromising position? One must use their best judgement. This goes for men too, and should be practiced in all situations, not just in dress - for instance personal pictures kept on electronic devices or posted online, or one's conduct when out with friends, perhaps late at night.

    Sincere apologies if I come across strongly here, I hope to not use any inflammatory or accusatory tone or language. It is a subject I do feel strongly about when I get started on it though, so I may fail at trying to remain calm and reasoned.

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

  10. #30
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    Re: Women and Western clothes

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by Aanandinii View Post
    It is a subject I do feel strongly about when I get started on it though, so I may fail at trying to remain calm and reasoned
    It is comforting to have some company.

    I too am passionate about some things and do get agitated when the right buttons are pushed.

    Pranam.

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