People Are Calling Out This Headline Targeting Rising Number Of Women Smokers In Hyderabad

A decade ago, a particular piece of news had grabbed headlines which demanded everyone’s attention – India has the second largest number of female smokers in the world, after the US. And recently, there have been reports of a “rising trend” of women smoking in major Indian cities, like Hyderabad. For example, an outlet named M9 News published a report whose headline read, “Rising Trend of Women Smoking in Hyderabad.”

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The report claimed that there is a “significant rise in women joining the workforce, seeking independence, and upgrading their lifestyle” and as a result of this, the number of female smokers has also risen. It claimed that in Hyderabad, popular hubs like Madhapur and Gachibowli saw young women smoking in public during office breaks and “indulging” in this habit while travelling via cabs and autorickshaws.

However, the report has been grabbing negative attention from people online. There have been many who are taking digs at ‘gender equality’, claiming that women want gender equality and hence, they are smoking as rampantly as men. There is a larger question at play here – smoking is harmful to everyone, so why are women being singled out?

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It’s almost as though our society’s inherent sexism oozes out while reading and writing reports such as this one. Unlike men, women’s ‘characters’ are questioned if they are caught smoking. They are morally policed. Male smokers are condemned from more of a health perspective. Female smokers are condemned from more of a moral perspective.

Respectable women don’t smoke. A woman who smokes is a bad woman.

We have all heard this before.

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This was what was pointed out by certain people online who found this headline particularly sexist. Here’s what they had to say:

If one wants to condemn smoking, condemn all without singling out women and taking a dig at their freedom.

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