A Tamil magazine has landed itself in trouble after publishing a cover story shaming women for wearing leggings and using their pictures without their permission or knowledge.
The story in Kumudam Reporter--titled "Leggings obscenity: Youngsters crossing the line"--says that by wearing leggings women cross the line of decency and provoke men to glare at them, according to some news reports.
The article caused a massive uproar on social media, especially because pictures of women walking on sidewalks and riding pillion on a motorbike while their kurtas sprung up in the wind featured on the magazine pages.
The story also carried a poem, written by a male, asking women to change as it validates violence against them, saying men will not stop glaring at women, as reported by India Today.
Several journalists, activists, writers and other men and women, raised their voice against the article and criticised it on social media.
Independent journalist Kavitha Muralidharan even started a petition on change.org on Wednesday as she demanded an apology by the magazine. More than 5,000 people have already signed the petition and are using social media to promote it as well.
Muralidharan is petitioning to the chairman and managing director P Varadarajan of Kumudam Reporter.
Dress codes are not a new thing when it comes to maintaining "decency". Earlier this month, Madurai Medical College had issued a notice where it banned girls from wearing tees, jeans and leggings and asked boys to wear full-sleeve shirts, trousers and shoes, according to news reports. It also banned girls from wearing their hair loose and using flowers, citing spread of infection as the reason.
In June 2015, Kolkata's renowned Scottish Church College had also issued a notice banning above-knee length skirts and earrings and facial trinkets for girls and boys respectively. However, the college withdrew the notice within a day after students staged protests.
Malayalam writer and secretary of Kerala Book Marketing Society Babu Kuzhimattom said in May 2015 that "skin-coloured-leggings" could arouse men, as reported by The News Minute.
Such mentality is not restricted to India. According to CBC News, in 2013 institutions in the US and Canada had also tried to stop their students from wearing leggings, tights and yoga pants to schools and colleges.
Check out Twitter reactions on leggings controversy:
"Obscene Leggings: The youth is crossing the line" (Cover story of Tamil mag, Kumudham Reporter) - Wow, seriously? pic.twitter.com/A1iujmVHP2
— Karthik Srinivasan (@beastoftraal) September 23, 2015
BBC World TV journalist Shilpa Kannan
Some of the Twitterati have also been promoting the change.org petition online:
— sanjay kumar (@aquasanjay) September 24, 2015