With the elections just around the corner, campaigning across the country is heating up and along with it, no politician is leaving any chance to take a shot at their opponent. Politicians are doing and saying whatever they can to portray their superiority over their opponents.
However, this comes with a plethora of sexist remarks against women with men commenting on their clothes, attire and even going to the extent of slut-shaming them.
Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani was the latest victim of sexist commentary when PRP leader Jaydeep Kawade said that the size of the bindi on Irani's forehead indicates the number of husbands she has.
"Smriti Irani sits beside Gadkari and talks about changing the Constitution. Let me tell you a thing about Smriti Irani. She wears a big bindi on her forehead and someone told me that when a woman changes her husbands frequently, the size of her bindi keeps growing," Kawade was quoted as saying by India Today.
He added, "Smriti ji, who is a minister for Gadkari and Modi, sits in the Parliament and talks about changing the Constitution, but she should remember that changing the Constitution is not as easy as changing your husband."
Unfortunately, Irani was not the only victim of sexist jibes. Recently, Ramya Haridas, the candidate from United Democratic Front (UDF), had called out Left Democratic Front (LDF) leader A Vijayaraghavan for insulting her when he spoke about her visiting Indian Union Muslim League leaders and now, he doesn't know what will happen to her.
Vijayaraghavan made this remark on Monday evening at a rally in the Malappuram district. Earlier, Haridas visited IUML chief Panakkad Syed Hyderali Shihab and later she called on the party's secretary general PK Kumhalikutty. Vijayaraghavan was inferring to the infamous ice cream parlour sex scandal in the 90s and PK Kumhalikutty's name was associated with the incident.
Haridas demanded a video of Vijayaraghavan's remarks. He received flak from all corners for his distasteful comments on Haridas. Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy condemned the remarks and demanded Vijayaraghavan to make a public apology to Haridas. He also that the remarks were an insult to women in Kerala and outside, reports The Hindu.
Pinarayi Vijayan worse than women?
Kerala has been in the eye of the storm for having many sexist remarks in their campaign speeches. The New Indian Express reported that senior Congress leader K Sudhakaran called Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan as a person "worse than women". He said this in January while talking to party workers at Kasaragod.
He had said, "When Vijayan assumed office, I thought he will do much like a man, but it turns out that he is worse than women."
However, Sudhakaran defended himself telling that he was misquoted and had nothing but respect for women.
So the question is that when female politicians are targeted in speeches, why should their gender, clothes, and looks be targeted? When male politicians are called out, their ideologies, policies, decisions and gaffs are also talked about. But when it comes to women, they are slut-shamed, their character is questioned and it is mostly about them being promiscuous.
Don't they have more to them than just their gender?
Jaya Prada to entertain with thumkas and ghungroos
For example, Samajwadi Party leader Firoz Khan had said on March 28, Thursday, that Jaya Prada, the recent addition to the Bharatiya Janata Party could "enthral the people of Rampur with her ghungroos and thumkas," reports India Today.
The remarks outraged the National Commission for Women (NCW) who demanded an explanation. "The remarks are not only sexist but also extremely offensive, unethical and shows disrespect towards the dignity of women in general," the NCW undersecretary Barnali Shome told reporters.
A notice was issued to Khan which asked him to provide the NCW with an explanation albeit a satisfactory one for his remarks.
These instances are just a few examples of the multitudes of times women have been targeted in speeches for their looks, gender and clothes.
BSP supremo Mayawati was accused of dying her hair and having facials and because of that, she couldn't call out Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his lifestyle. The remarks were made by Surendra Singh, a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh's Ballia.
Congress also wasn't spared. Surendra Singh, who is no stranger to making sexist and derogatory remarks, insulted dancer Sapna Chaudhary and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi.
According to ANI, he said in Hindi, "Rahul's mother was also in the same profession in Italy and his father made her his own. He (Rahul Gandhi) should also take the family tradition forward and make Sapna his own."
Sapna clapped back at him with a tweet. She wrote, "Rahul Gandhi is like my elder brother. But this BJP legislator's cheap thought has got me thinking. The statement from the legislator of a national party is highly disgraceful and condemnable. Is insulting women his culture?"