August 31, 2016

Women visiting India "should not venture out alone at night in small places, or wear skirts,"

Said Mahesh Sharma, India’s culture minister.
Sharma clarified his remarks later on Sunday, denying they amounted to a dress code for foreign women. "We have not given any specific instructions regarding what they should wear or not wear. We are asking them to take precaution while going out at night. We are not trying to change anyone’s preference,” he said. 


sparemethebull said...

And from Modi's culture minister.

Ah India, bravely facing the modern age.

YoungHegelian said...

Kumari said the remarks reflected “the syndrome of blaming women” for what they wore and where they were. She said: “But the problem is men and boys in India. They go for all kinds of misogyny and sexual acts, rapes and gang-rapes. It’s important for [Sharma] to have said how to punish the perpetrators of crime and stop the nonsense of ogling women and following them.

That's all very true -- the men are bastards. But, are you there to be a tourist & see the sights or to drag Indian manhood kicking & screaming into Western modernity at the risk of life & limb?

Why should any girls come to India when it is becoming famous for not being safe to girls?”

Why, indeed. Most of the world doesn't live according to the dictates of 21st C 1st world secular morality. Far too many westerners travel with a sense of invulnerability & in denial of how different (or to phrase it negatively, what shit-holes) much of the rest of the world really is.

traditionalguy said...

Reminds me of Jodi Foster in The Accused. Women going out at night and tempting violent sexual predators is a bad idea.

Fernandinande said...

Thank you, come again!

Paul Snively said...

What if I told you internalizing the gender and sexual mores of a foreign culture you intend to visit and acting as if those gender and sexual mores weren't real while visiting were both bad ideas?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Sounds to me like good advice.

Henry said...

My wife visited India and stayed with her adopted brother's family in a very poor part of Mumbai. For the most part, her brother's sister and husband acted as her guides. The very first thing they had her do was buy some lightweight linen clothes: long-sleeve shirts and ankle-length pants. The shorts and tank-tops she brought stayed in her bag.

If you check the Lonely Planet forums on travelling in India, almost everyone with local knowledge advise female travelers to dress conservatively. Generally this is framed in terms of showing respect to the local culture and getting more respect while interacting with the locals.

It is offensive for a government official to couple clothing advice with intimations of violence. It is helpful for insiders to provide similar advice informally.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I saw on TV some episode of some travelogue by Michael Palin where you cross the border from Pakistan over to India and they ceremoniously hand you a bottle of beer.

You see, that's the problem.


A girl is safe in Pakistan.

Jupiter said...

He's India's Culture Minister.

Don't you xenophobic assholes like culture?

walter said...

"should not venture out alone at night in small places, or wear skirts," unless you want to get raped. It's a matter of choice..we're pro-choice.

Temujin said...

I think it's time to send Annaliese Nielsen over to India. Let her explain how things should be to them.

Bay Area Guy said...

And India is one of the better 3rd world countries.

The feminists here should get a little better perspective.

Paul said...

"We are not trying to change anyone’s preference".... sure buddy, give the threat/warming and then say, "oh, no we are not trying to..."

Liberals love Muslims but they don't realize what Muslims will do once they get power. They are not at all shy at murder or rape to keep the population in line with their religious beliefs.

One day they will see examples of this when a European country will get taken over VIOLENTLY and Sharia law enforced... with severe penalties. Then woman's rights will be reduced to woman's slavery.

Now won't that be a gas?

madAsHell said...

"should not venture out alone at night in small places, or wear skirts,"

Small places?? Skirts? I'm guessing the writer has never been to India.

Ron Winkleheimer said...


The government official is from India. Most likely he is a Hindu.

Reports of horrific rapes by Indian men against Indian women have been in the news several times in the past few years. What the man is doing is called issuing a travel advisory. Guide books provide sections on safety and appropriate dress. Are they too threatening violence? Every guide book I see now has a section on LGBT issues when traveling to different countries. Are they "blaming" the gheyz? If you go to St. Peters and are wearing shorts or a sleeveless shirt you won't be admitted. The custom in India is to cover up skin. And a lot of the natives have what many in the West consider retrograde attitudes towards sex. There was talk of prosecuting Richard Gere because he kissed a woman in public. People going there should know these things so that they can take the needed precautions.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

So anyway, it turns out that Indians are mostly huge prudes and knowing that while in their country is going to keep you out of trouble with the law and physically safe.

You know, at one time the definition of an Ugly American was a traveler from the US who insisted that everyone in the country traveled to adjust to accommodate the traveler.

Darrell said...

He's telling you the way things are, not how they should be.
There aren't enough police to protect you, should you continue to do what you want. He's doing what a government official should do. Follow his advice or not.

Sean said...

When liberal ideologies collide:

Q: How does one (a) defend the right of women to dress however they want when traveling abroad without being blamed for inviting sexual attack -- when doing so (b) smacks up against the traditions of a culture that is "superior" to the West in its lack of whiteness and lack of Christianity?

A: Option (c): Blame it on the mysogyny of all men everywhere, regardless of culture. (Whew! That was close.)

Ron Winkleheimer said...


Its worse than that because you left out two premises:

1) The burqa and other forms of conservative dress actually empower the women wearing them because they shield them from the male gaze.

2) The burqa and the bikini are functionally equivalent because the are worn due to male expectations.

You can't make this stuff up.

YeeHaw! said...

Has anyone here read Mark Twain's "Following the Equator"?

His descriptions of India, and specifically his mixture of awe, frustration, fondness, disgust opprobrium, delight, insight, and puzzlement seem as relevant today as they were then.

MadisonMan said...

It sounds like advice I'd give my daughter. Don't go out alone. Don't dress like you're looking for action.

Anglelyne said...

Couldn't India easily solve its "rape culture" problem by banning white fraternities and deporting all the white frat boys?

Oso Negro said...

Hmm. Could it be that they are a bunch of rapey wogs? Surely not. Let's keep the immigration flowing. There are still a few convenience stores and small hotels to be converted.

mikee said...

India, as I recall, is not supportive of the right of self defense, or of handgun ownership. Oleg Volk originated a saying that goes, "Gun Control advocates would rather see a policeman in a ditch, taking evidence from the raped and murdered body of a woman, than see that same policeman in the same ditch, taking evidence from a living, uninjured woman about how she saved herself by shooting a murderous rapist."

A few national reports of rapists shot to death by their victims would do wonders for women's rights in India.

If you disagree, please explain how the above is incorrect.

openidname said...

As a single female who likes to travel, I don't feel like he's blaming the victim. I appreciate the advice.

But now I'm sure as hell not going to India.