12 May, 2021

Misogyny In Malayalam

The Sabarimala and Franco fiascos are emblematic of the patriarchy’s resistance to women’s rights

Protestors stop vehicles approaching Sabarimala
Photograph by Getty Images
Misogyny In Malayalam

One night in December 2014, a woman journalist, with her two small children, was asked to step down from the state-run KSRTC bus that was carrying pilgrims to Sabarimala. The driver and the conductor had divined that the purity of the bus carrying pilgrims would be desecrated if a woman of menstruating age was allowed to ride it. This triggered the ‘Catch the Pampa Bus’ protest that urged ­women to board the KSRTC Pampa special bus. The police arrested the protestors bef­ore they could get on, and they were let off only late at night. “This is body politics of the worst kind. Soon they will tell menstruating women not to walk on the public road to Pampa. Religion and culture are being used to subjugate and control us women in this democratic state. The system is actively ens­uring that our mobility and visibility are controlled. This is gender-based discrimination and it is a clear violation of our rights,” activist Jolly Chirayath told this reporter at that time.

And even after the Supreme Court pronounced its historic verdict on...

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