’Nudity’: Comment sparks picture protest

Thousands of women are taking to social media to share photos of themselves in ripped jeans after a politician’s tone-deaf comment triggered global outrage.

Tirath Singh Rawat, chief minister of the north Indian state of Uttarkhand, earlier this week said women wearing ripped jeans were setting a “bad example” for children.

“Kaynchi se sanskaarn (sharp manners) – showing bare knees, wearing ripped denim and looking like rich kids – these are the values being given now,” he said at an anti-substance abuse forum on Tuesday.

“Where is this coming from, if not at home? What is the fault of teachers or schools? Where am I taking my son, showing his knees and in tattered jeans?

“Girls are no less, showing their knees. Is this good? While the western world follows us, doing yoga … covering their body properly. And we run towards nudity.”

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Mr Singh Rawat also referred to a woman he met who was running an NGO but met him in ripped jeans.

“You run an NGO wearing ripped jeans. You go out in society with your kids like this,” the chief minister said.

“If this kind of woman goes out in the society to meet people and solve their problems, what kind of message are we giving out to society, to our kids? It all starts at home.

“What we do, our kids follow. A child who is taught the right culture at home, no matter how modern he becomes, will never fail in life.”

The minister’s comments triggered global outrage, with women around the world putting on their ripped jeans in protest.

The ripped jeans protest comes just days after tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Australia to protest gendered violence and call for equality.

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, who alleges she was sexually assaulted in the Canberra office of Defence Minister Linda Reynolds in 2018, sparked the movement behind the March 4 Justice rallies around Australia.

There were 40 Women’s March 4 Justice rallies across Australia on Monday, with the protests shutting down Australia’s CBDs and a number of regional towns.

One of the biggest marches was held in Canberra, where organisers planned to present the Prime Minister with a petition.

The petition requests four immediate actions:

  • Independent investigations into all cases of gendered violence
  • Fully implementing the 55 recommendations in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work report of the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces 2020
  • Lifting public funding for gendered violence prevention
  • A federal Gender Equality Act


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