The Juvenile Justice Board’s ruling that the sixth accused in the December 16 gangrape case is juvenile, and may get away with a mere three-year correctional imprisonment in a remand home, has sent anti-rape sentiments soaring again. Some, meanwhile, are busy cashing in on the public angst and selling just about anything in the name of anti-harassment activism. Events, books, objects, art, and fashion merchandise included.
Bold messages against sexual harassment have found their way to T-shirts with slogans such as ‘Real men don’t rape, cowards do’, ‘You Rape, We Chop’, and ‘Clothes, not consent’, among others. Girls are also wearing tees that have pictures of razors, scissors and knives on them, and the message reads, ‘Stare at your own risk’.
Women participate in a protest condemning the gangrape of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi. AP
“We want to keep the anti-rape wave alive and have launched a new T-shirt line. It’s become very popular among young people,” says Atul Agarwal of Teesort.com, that’s selling these T-shirts at R399 onwards. Another label, Kanelle, has launched a special range called ‘Speak Your Mind’ that has tops with anti-rape slogans.
“I’m helping girls give out a stern warning without actually having to utter a word,” says the label’s designer Kanika Jain.
While some lash out at the trend, calling it ‘commercial opportunism’, others say it’s a good move. Sonali Chowdhury, 26, a writer who has bought such a tee, says, “This is a good way of sending the message across.” Girls are also pasting banners with hard hitting slogans on their cars. Mansi Arora, 25, whose car banner reads, ‘Go, stare at your sis,’ says she is fed up of men ogling at her: “It’s a slap on the face of men who visually rape women.”