A well-known Tamil magazine in India, Kumudam Reporter, recently came out with a cover story featuring an image of unsuspecting women in leggings. Accompanying this image was a Tamil caption in bold red and yellow letters loosely translating to "Obscene Leggings? Youth who are Crossing the Line". A more appropriate title would be "Obscene Journalists? Writers who are Crossing the Line".
The Kumudam Reporter caters to a wide audience. To push such misogynistic views onto its readers is truly cringe-worthy. Media is designed to report, educate and entertain, not belittle and teach its readers that bigotry is acceptable. An individual may or may not wear whatever they please and that is the business of said individual. However, Kumudam Reporter is outraged at women wearing leggings - a conversation that inevitably leads to slut-shaming.
“She wore leggings. She was asking for it.” Asking is a verbal act. Unless she "asks" in either of those ways - in which case this would be giving consent – she isn’t asking for it.
“She’s a slut.” As a media outlet, Kumudam Reporter has the ability to influence its readers. To say that wearing leggings is crossing the line puts a target on women who desire to dress as they wish with the freedom that men never had to fight for. Kumudam Reporter has made leggings a negative, sexualized piece of clothing – a taboo, thus alienating and objectifying women in such clothing.
Such views may be leading to the high incidences of rape in India, with some estimates that a woman is raped every twenty minutes. And instead of a magazine cover that highlights the alarming rape culture in India and the disparity in the rights of men and women, Kumudam Reporter chose to tell its readers about their idea of a dress code for women.
If someday a woman wearing leggings is raped, Kumudam Reporter may come out with another cover story, this time with a Tamil caption that translates to "Told You So". While rape will always be the fault of the aggressor, media such as Kumudam Reporter will have to share the blame for encouraging people to view women a different way.
In all this controversy, it’s appalling to realize that the women featured on the cover may not know Kumudam Reporter has vilified them – and in doing so objectified them. If this is the case, Kumudam Reporter is perpetuating a sexual offence in trying to get its abhorrent views across.
With the world lambasting Kumudam Reporter for its actions, it has yet to issue an apology which is all that’s being asked of them - a light sentence if you ask me.
Fact: Women are not equal to men.
Fact: They should be equal to men but as Kumudam Reporter has demonstrated, we still live in a society where there are people who think they can dictate what a woman should wear.
Fact: Looks like they finally caught "Attack Paandy". Thanks Kumudam Reporter for reporting on what matters.