Women, from actors to politicians to journalists, are posting pictures of themselves in distressed jeans, in a tart answer to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat’s recent remarks over a woman’s attire of “ripped jeans”.
Rawat, while attending a child substance abuse workshop on Tuesday (March 17) recounted his brush with a mother of two children who had worn ripped jeans on a flight. On asking her he found out that her husband teaches at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and she runs an NGO. Taking a dig at the woman’s attire, Rawat told the audience that looking at her ripped jeans, multiple bracelets and gumboots, he wondered what values she would teach her children.
“Jab unki taraf dekha to neeche gumboot they, jab aur upar dekha to ghutne fatey they, haath dekhe to kai kade they bachhey do saath me unke they. Maine kaha behan ji kahan jana hai Delhi jana hai, husband kahan hai JNU me professor hain, tum kya karti ho main ek NGO chalati hun. NGO chalati hain, ghutne fatey dikhte hain, samaj ke beech me jaati ho, bachhey saath me hain, kya sanskar dogi? (She was wearing boots, jeans ripped on the knees, and several bracelets. She had two children travelling with her. Her husband is a professor in JNU. You run an NGO, wear jeans ripped at the knees, move about in society and children are with you, what values you will teach?),” he told the audience.
Referring to the distressed jeans as ‘kainchi wala sanskar’ (culture of scissors), Rawat expressed his disappointment at how girls are equating baring knees with being wealthy.
The comment, which came across as utterly sexist, was run down by both women and men across social media platforms, with the hashtag #rippedjeans trending on Twitter. The hashtag has been used in about 16,000 tweets.
One the first few to call out Rawat’s mansplaining of sanskar (culture) were actor Gul Panag, Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal and Congress leader Sanjay Jha.
“Ripped Jeans aur Kitab. The country’s ‘sanskriti’ & ‘sanskaar’ are impacted by men who sit and judge women and their choices. Soch badlo Mukhyamantri Rawat ji, tabhi desh badlega. #RippedJeansTwitter,” tweeted Chaturvedi, posting a picture of her in a pair of distressed denims.
Ripped Jeans aur Kitab.
The country’s ‘sanskriti’ & ‘sanskaar’ are impacted by men who sit and judge women and their choices. Soch badlo Mukhyamantri Rawat ji, tabhi desh badlega. #RippedJeansTwitter pic.twitter.com/qYXcN88fY6
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) March 18, 2021
“In solidarity with the woman with the two kids trying to get somewhere who bore the brunt of a clearly sleazy man checking her out because she was wearing ripped jeans. #RippedJeansTwitter,” tweeted journalist Rohini Singh.
Maliwal, shared a picture of herself in denim shorts and captioned it by saying that rapes happen due to the misogyny spread by men like Rawat and not due to the attires of women.
Rapes happen not because women wear short clothes but because men like Tirath Singh Rawat propagate mysogyny and fail to do their duty.
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) March 18, 2021
— Gul Panag (@GulPanag) March 17, 2021
“Change your mentality before changing our clothes because the only thing shocking here is the message comments like this send to society,” actor Amitabh Bachchan’s granddaughter Navya Naveli Nanda posted on Instagram.
Wearing “#rippedjeans” destroys our culture, it seems. It leads to substance abuse. And a societal breakdown. Women should strictly avoid this sacrilege against our pristine customs, says Uttarakhand CM.
Dear BJP, this is your CM Tirath Singh Rawat: Do you endorse this? pic.twitter.com/9pGQdkxZKp
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) March 17, 2021
Some expressed surprise over how right-wing leaders like Rawat have beef with women wearing ripped jeans than the number of rapes happening in the country. Others took the dig a notch higher by slapping pictures of RSS men in shorts on their profiles.
— GUDDU (@Gabbar_Guddu) March 17, 2021