Recently being on the receiving end of a lecture in dress codes, I realized the stupidity of codes in our morally starched society. Yes there are codes or rules for everything, how to talk, how to walk, how to live…they are there for the smooth functioning of our society. But why is it that for ladies, their dress become a part of their respectability? Why is that, a street vendor is not expected to be conscious of her dress and an office clerk is supposed to be ? I’m not speaking about neatness, but about the very idea attached with blue collared jobs and associated morality codes.
Maybe it is the limited availability of options for men as far as wardrobe is concerned or maybe the society has always pinned down women into her body and dress is an another means to do that. We do have dress codes according to the situation, but anywhere one will be able to recognize the special focus that is put on a woman’s dressing. No matter how much educated she is or how capable she is, in an office, she has to adhere with the ‘respectability codes’ of the society.
For women there is a finely etched dress codes for every profession. If we are to imagine a woman as a teacher and then as a street vendor, the amount of detailing decreases in the latter. Why is that? For all we think, we will even imagine her as being unconscious about her body, where as the same woman as a teacher will be fully covered. Recently in a conversation with my friend, she confessed that being a teacher is not the same everyday. So much is depended on the dress she wears. If she is in a Saree then all’s well. If in a salwar, there is a noticeable change in the reaction she receives. This conversation is what set my thoughts into motion. Well for all the stiff necked preaching on values and morality, a woman’s value most of the time boils down to superficiality. It is frightening for a woman. Think about it.