Shorts Banned For Women at Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College Fest?
St Xavier’s college, Mumbai bans women students from wearing shorts at its annual festival
A Mumbai Mirror report says that St Xavier’s College in Mumbai has banned women students from wearing shorts at the college’s annual festival, ‘Malhar’ on from August 15-17.
The college already has a ban on shorts on regular days, but for the festival the rules had been relaxed by the previous principal of St Xavier’s, Father Frazer Mascarenhas. The current head, Agnelo Menezes, has over turned that, stating “security concerns” due to “troublemakers”. The ban may be well intentioned for the crowds college fests attract, but again places the onus on women and their modesty as deterrents to rowdy male behaviour, therefore legitimizing it.
Boys, meanwhile do not have any dress codes and the rule does not extend to students from other colleges either, according to this Mumbai Mirror report.
The move has been criticised by students, quoting monsoon and long working hours as being difficult to carry out in full pants.
Mumbai is known as a city that is safe for women and it does indeed fare much better than Delhi or Chennai as far as mobility and access is concerned. But moves such as these, from a college renowned for its activism, set the narrative of women’s rights back.
Ironically the fest is running an #Iamliberated campaign for women.
Women’s Rights Activist Kavita Krishnan spoke against it on twitter:
Others too raised objection to the ban
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