Education is meant to liberate the educated. Read on to know what happens when there exists a polarity between the two.

Recently, a video of St. Francis College, Hyderabad, had made rounds on the internet. The video was received with widespread outrage across different social media platforms. The protesting students alleged that a faculty member had shamed a student for wearing a sleeveless dress. “The head of my department gave the example of actors who are paid to wear ‘such clothes’. That statement affected me. I have written down this incident verbatim in my book,” an enraged student said. “Sr. Sandra announced a new dress code change in the middle of the year and her colleagues told our representatives that a long kurta would get us good marriage proposals. They told our representatives that standing up for a cause is blasphemous, raising your voice is blasphemous.

This went against the very grain of our values as millennials of the 21st Century. Things got worse, every day we were all humiliated for wearing a kurta that was just an inch or less above the knee, we were made to stand outside the college, losing out on classes and tests. Things did not stop there, the college went ahead and hired female security guards in the pretext of security, these female guards were checking the length of our kurtas, they went ahead and pulled girls by their ID (identity) cards and even pulled their kurtas,” Zanobia Tumbi, who is a student at St. Francis, posted on her Facebook profile, along with the video. Eventually, the women decided to protest and were finally allowed to wear “long tops” to college. But that does not even begin to end the discourse. The Indian education system, specifically talking about higher education, has a way of putting unnecessary obligations on students.

Be it a certain way of dressing, a mandatory minimum attendance, or a particular way of writing the papers to fetch more marks, they all contribute to cease the liberty of students. What is worrying is that the students of these institutions have internalised this behaviour, and do not really seem to have a problem with it. When I asked a few students studying in a reputed college which followed the same practice, their answers ranged from, “I have never given it a thought,” to “No, I don’t have anything to say about it.” When humans are fed a diet of entirely problematic substances, they stop dissecting the reality to find out the truth.

Something similar seems to be happening with the Indian youth, and this is a cause of concern. Education is supposed to make them distinguish between real and false virtues, but in such cases, it is robbing them of it. When there is an imposition of uncalled-for rules, it tends to hamper with the real issues plaguing the country and the world as communities. India lags behind when it comes to research, innovations, and modifications in education. Instead of sanitising the post-millenials of their ungodly ways, the system should take a long, critical look within its cracks and make amends to the damage. While the whole world is progressing to form a more holistic approach towards education, actions such as these put a big question mark on the system.

There is also a debate about what the parents’ reaction is. According to the management of St. Francis, most of the parents had received this decision of their daughters wearing a kurta in a positive light. In this situation, dissent, and not the narrative of “disobedience” that we have been fed, is necessary. Across colleges, and especially in women’s educational institutions, patriarchy or moral policing should have no space. Such places in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, or across smaller cities, have given the country women that the world is proud of. If we limit them to, and define them by what they wear, these places will stop producing the kind of talent that they have. In an educational institution of the present time, moral policing on women’s bodies and clothing should be the topic of criticism and not a notice issued by the authorities who hold power. When it comes to learning, steps like these comply with the misogyny and sexism women in our country, and from all over the world, have actively been fighting to put in the past.

Feature Image Credits: The Hindu

Maumil Mehraj

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Women’s colleges are almost always associated with many stereotypes. This article talks about some of the most persistent ones.

The University of Delhi (DU) has around 20 women’s colleges affiliated to it. There are many stereotypes that most of the girls from an all-girl’s college get to hear on an everyday basis. While co-ed colleges are associated with fun and partying, girls’ colleges are called boring. Many of these stereotypes have been known for ages, seemingly. But they are clearly not applicable in the 21st century. Here is a list of some of the common stereotypes.

  • “Oh girls do nothing but back-bitching!”

Girls do not back-bitch but they hold each other’s back. Girls know girls, and this brings them closer. We do not spend hours bitching about others, but we talk about life, philosophy, and politics. College life is known for lifelong bonds and the bond that a group of girls’ share is priceless.

  • Girls’ colleges are boring

The most common stereotype that a lot of us hear is that girls’ colleges are boring because no boys, mean no fun. They are seen as gloomy places where the greatest concern of the students is the lack of men. Nevertheless, whatever your definition of fun may be, the definition of fun for a girl from an all girls’ institution is very different, and they do not need guys to have fun. They eat, dance and party without being dependent on guys. A group of girls is enough for themselves.

  • There’s a long queue of guys outside every girls’ college

‘Girls college hai toh kya, bahar to ladke khade hi rehte hai’. This stereotype leads us to another stereotype that boys do not have any other work and they can stand outside colleges just for stealing glances at girls. The only guys we spot outside the college are ‘rickshaw vale bhaiya’.

  • Girls and gossip are inseparable

We get to hear most of the times that girls live for gossip. They know who’s doing what, who’s seeing who, and everything else. But oh, is it so? As an answer to this, let me say, no, not all girls gossip. We have a lot of other things to do than talking about someone else’s life. Not everyone sitting in the canteen is gossiping about random things. They have a lot more things to do.

  • All girls are interested in girls

A very common and very lame perception is that girls who go to girls’ college are sexually inclined towards other girls or they tend to change their sexual orientation by the end of college. Why can’t people believe that having girls around does not mean that they will be attracted to each other? Girls who are attracted to girls are found everywhere and not just in an all-girls’ college.

  • Are you one of those feminist types?

One question that most people ask girls from a women’s college is if they are a feminist. The answer to this question can be yes or no. But this does not depend on the institution that they go to. The fact that a person is a feminist or not completely depends on their own opinions. Neither are all girls feminists, nor are those from a girls’ college Femi-nazis.

  • Girls are jealous of each other

Having girls all around doesn’t mean that they will just be envious of each other. If a girl checks out clothes, shoes, and bags of others, it does not mean that she is jealous. She might go up to her and tell her that she looks pretty. Neither all girls judge other nor are they involved in catfights.

  • They do not know politics

Girls are apolitical is what a lot of people say. But just the fact that most of the women’s colleges in DU are not affiliated to Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) does not mean that the girls are alien to DU politics. They might be away from the common election atmosphere, but this does not mean that they do not know what is going on outside their colleges. Girls do have their own political opinions and they understand the right and wrong politics.

Stereotyping is so common in our society that at times, we forget to look beyond those stereotypes. All the girls’ colleges affiliated to the University of Delhi are a symbol of strength. They are like safe havens for women. One thing that people do not commonly talk about is that women’s colleges are phenomenal institutions which create fearless and independent women.

Feature Image Credits: DUB Archives

Priya Chauhan

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“Louis CK is accused by 5 women for sexual misconduct”, read The New York Times on November 9, 2017. My heart sank. I stared at the headline a bit too long. “No, this can’t be true”, I mumbled. My first instinct was to dismiss the report and not believe the victims. However, I decided to re-watch his videos. To my astonishment, he had cracked a lot of rape jokes in his stand-up acts. I just chose to ignore them before. After this revelation, I was inclined to think that his jokes were not really jokes, but manifestations of his desires. Should we all have paid attention to it and seen it as a portent of danger before?

I am guilty of laughing at the sexist/rape jokes cracked by my male friends. I laughed because I wanted to be the ‘cool’ girl who doesn’t get offended easily and can take jokes in her stride. Guess what? I was contributing to the rape culture. Rape jokes are a part of culture that propagates sexual violence. So, what exactly is rape culture? According to Marshall University’s Women’s Center website, rape culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.

Rape culture plays a huge role in our social lives. It’s crazy how misogyny and sexism has been so normalized that you don’t notice it anymore. Rape culture entails catcalling, stalking, groping, molestation, and unwanted touch. It is defining manhood as dominant and sexually aggressive. It is trivializing sexual assault, not believing victims, and publicly humiliating them on the clothes they wore and their motives. It is the disclosure of private details, non-consensual photography, sending unsolicited pictures, and being sexist.

Now that you know what rape culture is, how can we help dismantle it? Firstly, let’s talk to the men out there, how they can be agents of change in small ways. Call out your male friends for problematic language/behavior. Confront them and correct them whenever necessary. Avoid using language that degrades women. Do not assume consent at any point. It can be withdrawn and learn to respect that. Do not speak for women. Understand that your gender stereotypes are hurtful. Be supportive when a woman talks to you about the abuse she has faced in the hands of men. Believe her. Also, stop complaining about being in the ‘friend zone’. Women don’t owe you anything. Nice guys know that sex isn’t a trade for being a good friend. You do not deserve an Oscar for behaving decently with women. Ask yourselves how you can do better. Have the courage to admit that you have done something wrong and reflect upon it.

Do not let toxic masculinity stop you from expressing your feelings and emotions. Do not believe in the narratives, ‘Boys will be boys’, ‘Man up’, etc. Seek help whenever needed. Define manhood on your own terms. Women, listen up. If somebody invades your physical space without your consent, tell them about it without any hesitation. Demand safe spaces. Break free from the shackles of vicious patriarchy which you have internalized due to years of social conditioning to serve men. Do not take ‘You’re not like other girls’ as a compliment because after all, you are the combination of every woman that you’ve ever met. Under patriarchy, women are constantly pit against other women and they learn to hate each other. Try to support other women. Do not body-shame other women. Stop romanticizing the abusive actions of men. Stop doing emotional labour for men, especially in romantic relationships.

With #MeToo and #TimesUp, women are screaming their lungs out and telling the world their stories. It’s time we join that conversation too.


Feature Image Credits: Etsy

Disha Saxena
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Summer vacations are already underway and if you are not the unlucky ones who are wading their way through Delhi University admissions under the hot sun and now the water logged roads, count your blessings and write a thank you note to your stars. Now, for some it is essential to stretch those limbs and exercise that derriere after they have been on the receiving ends of their mother’s love and affection,via the stomach, but if you are anything like your’s truly, you shall dump that piece of spandex and hop into a pair of comfortable, roomy, colourful pajamas, open that laptop, log into the neighbour’s unsecured WiFi, and make yourself mighty comfortable on the bed, because tables are for pansies.

Holidays are an opportunity to watch sitcoms and movies we just could not during the semester, and this is exactly what we are going to do.Here is a friendly guide of TV series which you can spend your time watching and enjoying.

 1. Da Vinci’s Demons

Now, if the name itself is not enough to heighten your intrigue, the fact that is a historical fantasy packed with a whole lot of action, mystery, sex and violence should make you running for that DVD. In complete opposition to it’s title, the series has little resemblance to the life of the man behind the name but, what it does have, is this young artist/inventor/engineer battling Draculas, solving complicated puzzles using his sheer brilliance and of course, investing himself in a love triangle. Just lovely! Directed by David Goyer, co-writer of ‘ The Dark Knight’ trilogy, season 1 is a whole of 8 episodes, a complete fix for a lazy weekend.


2. Sherlock

If Benedict Cumberbatch grew on tree, I would have a whole orchard of him. As if the accent is not swoon-worthy enough, he is also an amazing actor.You might remember him from Star Trek Into Darkness as Khan Noonien Singh, and he will also be portraying famed news-leaker, Julian Assange, in The Fifth Estate. Sherlock is a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work, in which Sherlock and Watson use the modern day technology available to them to solve crimes. So there are websites, blogging, Google maps and nicotine patches. There are two seasons with a total of six episodes. The third season is currently under production.

3. Orphan Black

Tatiana Maslany deserves an Emmy for her performance. Being cited as one of the best show to be aired on television recently, BBC’s Orphan Black is fast paced with a fierce plot that almost keeps you at the edge of your seat. What Priyanka Chopra failed to deliver with her tragically flop film What’s your Rashee?, Maslany achieves it and some more. Sarah Manning (Maslany), is a young British mother living in Canada. A small-time con artist, she sees her doppelganger commit suicide by stepping in front of a train, after stealing the woman’s purse and identity, Sarah the con artist becomes Beth the cop, scrambling to fool her partner and discovering more women who look just like her. Maslany does justice to every role she portrays, be it the hipster or the suburban mom, it is hard to believe that it is one woman playing all the characters. Watch this sci-fi series for the future of cloning and for Tatiana Maslany.

4. Awkward

High School, boys, embarrassing parents, conniving Asians, love triangle or quadrangle (depending on the episode) and a whole lot of awkwardness, 15- year old Jenna Hamilton is victim of a freak accident which everybody thinks is a suicide attempt and thus begins her journey of awkwardness. The series is easy to watch, a light comedy and with typical teenage elements. Best thing about the show is the sarcastic and snarky voice-over and the counsellor, yes the fanny pack wearing counsellor. Currently in it’s third season, watch it if nostalgia sets in  or a break from too much mind work is needed.

5. Downton Abbey

This one is for the ladies. Downton Abbey, a British period drama set in and after the World War II easily draws you into the life of the Crawley family and their servants. At the beginning of the season, Titanic has just sunk, taking with it the Downton heir and leaving the house in jeopardy. The series seems familiar and there just might be episodes which are disinteresting, but it manages to captivate and soon, you find yourself rooting for the lovers and hoping for the best. The series is currently in it’s third season.

Also, must watch:

Hannibal, Girls, The Americans, Games of Thrones, Bate’s Motel, GO ON