On the eve of International Working Women’s Day, Maneka Gandhi has given a deeply patriarchal, casteist and classist statement to a media channel saying that hostel curfews are necessary as “laxman rekha” for controlling women’s “hormonal outbursts”, that the question of “women’s safety in colleges cannot be solved with just two Bihari guards with dandas”, that there should be separate days for men and women to go to the library at night.
Its clear to us that she has said this today in response to the fact that women students across the country from Benaras to Mumbai, Delhi to Patiala, Lucknow to Hyderabad, Chennai to Ludhiana, Roorkie to Cuttack have come out strongly to assert their presence in the university space and claim over public resources.
Maneka’s allusion to hostel curfews as “laxman rekhas” exposes wonderfully what we have been saying right from the beginning, that these rules are not mere archaic rules, that underlying them is an elaborate system of brahminical control over women’s lives and decisions. It only further proves the fact that what we are fighting against is a massive structure, from the family whose opinion is sought by the administration to legitimise these rules, to the structures of state power that seek to build their manuwadi edifices through regulation of women’s bodies and sexualities.
Our “hormonal outbursts” disrupts their constructions of “bharat mata”.
Our “hormonal outbursts” rips apart their attempts to control our desires and dreams!
Our “hormonal outbursts” will not be fooled by your jumlas of ‘safety’!
Our “hormonal outbursts” refuses to be reduced to anatomy and biology!
Our “hormonal outbursts” will be your nightmare!
JOIN PINJRA TOD for a demonstration outside the UGC Head office at 12pm tomorrow to demand strict implementation of the Regulations 2015 on “prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutes”, which the government that Maneka belongs to, was forced to issue last year. One of the clauses in this circular clearly states that discriminatory regulations cannot be imposed on women students in the name of ‘safety’.
For more details, please check
As part of the demonstration, we will also proceed to the Ministry of Women and Child Care Development at Shastri Bhawan around 3pm, to tell Maneka Gandhi that these “laxman rekhas” have been and will be transgressed again and again!