Kerala chiefs of Congress and CPM make sexist remarks on Women's Day

MV Govindan, EP Jayarajan and K Sudhakaran. File photos: Manorama

The state leaders of the ruling CPM and the main opposition, Congress, in Kerala, greeted the International Women's Day with sexist remarks.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief K Sudhakaran was the latest to pass a sexist comment on Wednesday.

"As today is women's day, we have seated two women leaders on the left and right side of the dais at this media address," Sudhakaran said while chuckling along with four other men, including young leader VT Balram.

The two women leaders on the dais, on the extreme right to Sudhakaran was Alippatta Jameela and second from the extreme left was Deepthi Mary Varghese, both KPCC general secretaries.

Interestingly, one of the agendas of Sudhakaran's presser was to call out two prominent CPM leaders for their sexist remarks. LDF convener EP Jayarajan had made a public remark on the dressing of women protesters, which was later seconded by CPM state secretary MV Govindan.

The 'dress code' remark
Addressing a public event on Tuesday, Jayarajan alleged that young women -- belonging to Youth Congress -- in the guise of men were participating in the black flag protests against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

"Young women with cropped hair wearing jeans and shirts waved black cloth at the chief minister," Jayarajan had said.

When asked about his colleague's sexist comment, MV Govindan was amused. "He (Jayarajan) merely pointed out that the police could not recognise them," Govindan said with a smile. "He was saying how do they recognise a girl if she's cut her hair like a boy, wears boys' clothes and looks like a boy."

Congress' counter
Leader of Opposition, VD Satheesan said the CPM leaders' remarks were their gifts on Women's Day. "Can't women dress like boys and style their hair like boys?" asked Satheesan. "These are anti-women remarks."

Sudhakaran reiterated his colleague's statement in his presser. "Dressing is a personal choice, CPM leaders need not advice women on their dressing," Sudhakaran said. "What right do they have to criticise the women's dress? Do they have no shame to issue such statements," said the KPCC chief shortly after passing his sexist remark.

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