8 Sexist Remarks to Women Politicians That Will Make You Cringe
Here’s what female politicians have to put up with, at the hands of their own colleagues and adversaries in politics
Here’s what female politicians have to put up with, at the hands of their own colleagues and adversaries in politics(Photo: The Quint)

8 Sexist Remarks to Women Politicians That Will Make You Cringe

Thought being a woman in power will protect you from all the sexism and misogyny? Think again. Here’s what the biggest female leaders in India have to put up with, at the hands of their own colleagues and adversaries in politics.

1. Underwear Talk in the Open

Serial offender (see below) and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan hit a new low in the 2019 General elections with his 'khaki underwear’ comment against actor-turned politician Jaya Prada.

At a rally, he said this about the leader, who recently switched from the Samajwadi Party to the Bharatiya Janta Party.

I brought her [Jaya Prada] to Rampur. You are a witness that I did not allow anyone to touch her body. It took you 17 years to identify her real face but I got to know in 17 days that she wears khaki underwear.
Azam Khan

See the below-the-belt remark, there? Shockingly, Azam Khan, who has been in public life for three decades, has still not learnt what is parliamentary language, and what isn’t. A bit ridiculous for a man who is campaigning to enter the very same Parliament, innit?

2. Why is the ‘Baal’ In Their Court?

If you are a woman politician in India, your adversaries will make a baal ki khaal of everything. Not even excluding your hair. Sample this — BJP MLA Surendra Narayan Singh just attacked Mayawati in the most sexist and ageist way possible.

Mayawati ji khud roz facial karwati hain, vo kya humare neta ko kya shaukeen kahengi. Baal paka hua hai aur rangeen karwake ke aaj bhi apne aap ko Mayawati ji jawan saabit karti hain, 60 varsh umar ho gayi lekin sab baal kaale hain. (Mayawati gets a facial done every day, who is she to call our leaders high-fi. She colours her hair and tries to prove herself young. That’s why even though she is 60 years old, she still has black hair)
Surendra Narayan Singh, BJP MLA

3. Innuendo Much?

On Sunday, Union Minister of State Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma called Priyanka Gandhi, Congress general secretary of eastern Uttar Pradesh, "Pappu ki Pappi".

There is a sexual innuendo laden in the word, “Pappi”, especially when spoken in the Hindi heartland. Decorum while dealing with a political adversary, what’s that, says this MP, who believes in stumping them by making below-the-belt, crass remarks.

4. Belittling a Senior Politician: How Classy

When it comes to belittling women leaders, no party can claim a 100% clean record.

Ex. Member of Indian Parliament from Indian National Congress, and currently President of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee Sanjay Nirumpam had once belittled actor-turned-politician, Smriti Irani during a TV debate, saying, "Aap to TV pe thumke lagati thi,aaj chunavi visleshak ban gayi!" (You once danced for TV, and now you have become a psephologist!).

Well, undermining the achievements of a woman leader, who BTW, ruled the TV and even climbed the top rungs of politics, to koi Nirupam ji se sekhe!

5. Give Us Space (From this Sexist Bunkum)

Akhilesh Bhaiya may have done a gathbandhan with Mayawati now, but not too long ago (two years to be precise), he had said something pretty sexist about her.

When the then UP CM was asked about the Mayawati-led BSP's inclusion in the (then) Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance, he had said:

She takes up so much space, their election symbol is an elephant too.
Akhilesh Yadav

We are just wondering when will sexist bunkum like this stop taking space in our political discourse?

6. Really Tired: No Not Vasundhara, Us!

Think politicians can’t come with something more ridiculous, just weight and watch!

Last year, former Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav expressed his “concern” over then-Rajasthan Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje’s weight while campaigning during the Rajasthan Assembly elections.

Vasundhara ko aaram do, bahut thak gayi hain, bahut moti ho gayi hain, pehle patli thi. Humare Madhya Pradesh ki beti hai. (Give Vasundhara some rest, she is very tired, she has become very fat, she used to be thin earlier. She is the daughter of Madhya Pradesh)
Sharad Yadav

No Mr. Politician, TBH it’s not Vasundhara who is tired, it is us!

7. Sundarta Greater than Susheel Leadership: Whaa?

Yup, this is what BJP MP Vinay Katiyar had to say about Priyanka Gandhi’s “looks”.

But here’s how Priyanka Gandhi had responded, in full sass!

8. Vulgar and Vile

In the most vile of all remarks, BJP's vice-president in Uttar Pradesh Dayashankar Singh, had called Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati as, “worse than a prostitute.”

Even a prostitute fulfills her commitment after she is paid. But Mayawati sells party tickets to anyone who paid her the highest amount. If someone gives her Rs 1 crore for a ticket she will give it to other person who is offering Rs 2 crore
Dayashankar Singh,BJP, Vice President, UP

This is how sexist and mucky the world of Indian politics is. And frankly, it’s admirable that despite such obvious challenges, India has many women politicians, who are still emerging as champions. Salut, ladies!

(Participate in the second edition of The Quint's My Report Debate and win Rs 10,000. Write an essay on how to fix India and Pakistan's relationship. Submit now)

Follow our Gender section for more stories.

    Also Watch