If you ask people what clothes they’d like to be wearing all day everyday, a majority of them would probably say PJs. Sleepwear is usually the most comfy and relaxing item in everyone’s wardrobe. So the choice is understandable. But stepping out in your sleepwear or dressing gowns is considered a sign of IDGAF or laziness. And no one sees more of this than us Indians, with all our uncles lounging around in lungis and our aunties stepping out to buy veggies in their nighties.
Yes, nighties is the word. Long enough to cover us completely, and even conceal the lack of undergarments if it the colour is dark and the material is thick enough. Loose to make it breezy and ensure a ‘healthy air around the privates’ (quoted from Harry Potter #4). What’s not to like, right?
Alas, this village in Andhra Pradesh thinks not. It has banned women from wearing nighties in public before sunset, with a fine of Rs. 2000 for violators!
The reason for the ban is even more interesting. Apparently, the nighties are making some men in the village uncomfortable. As opposed to their lungis and bare chests making women feel extremely comfortable (sarcasm intended).
Apart from the 2k fine to be paid to the village development committee , people who spread the word To women will be rewarded with Rs. 1000!
The rule, enforced by the elders of Thokalapalli, a village in the Nidamarru block, women are not allowd to step out wearing night clothes from 6 am to 7 pm.
The ban was imposed some seven months ago. However, it came to light only recently, when the Nidamarru police sub-inspector and local tehsildar received an anonymous letter about it.
The village committee comprising nine elders took up the matter with some women self-help groups after complaints from uncomfortable men. The committee and the groups arrived at the decision to ban nightgowns before sunset, and spread the word by beating drums around the village.
However, the police has not been able to strike down the ban, since almost all the women are following it without any complaints!
So far, no woman has been fined since they’re all following the rule dilligently. Hindustan Times quoted sub-inspector Vijay Kumar,
“We tried to educate them saying imposing any such restrictions on women was against the law. We shall visit the village again and campaign against such rules.”
The rule boldly walks the line of ‘unfair’, considering no such restrictions on wearing nightclothes during the days has been imposed on the men in the village. A nightgown, we can safely assume, provided ease of movement and to work to these women at home. Besides, stepping out of the house for errands and changing clothes every single time they do so can be tedious at best.
Forcing them to conform to such rules, and knowing they wouldn’t oppose because they’re conditioned to believe being told what to do is the way of the world seems just another example of how men want to exercise control on women.