Three Boys Support Gender Equality By Dressing In Saree

Three Boys Support Gender Equality By Dressing In Saree

Gender equality is something that has caused a spark in social media for a while. Celebrities, politicians, sports personalities and many others have been voicing their opinions for a long time. Yet, there has not been much of a change in the way people think. But three boys in Pune broke the social norms and decided to drape sarees for their annual function.

There has been an idea that humans are either male or female. And the way they dress is also deeply defined by society. A set of clothes has been assigned exclusively to one gender. But lately, things have been changing. Lately, there have been more people who challenge this notion and gender identity.

Three boys in Pune challenge gender norms.

picture of three boys in pune dressed in saree/three boys
Image courtesy: India Today

There has always been a notion that men cannot wear dresses. It is usually said that they become less of a man when they wear women’s attire.

Three boys from Pune’s Ferguson College sent a strong message to the masses on gender equality. The tie and saree day at college took an interesting turn when three boys came out dresses in colorful sarees. They stole the limelight. Akash Pawar, Sumit Honwadajkar and Rushikesh Sanap took his courageous step to support gender equality and break norms set by the society. The look garnered a lot of interest on campus. Not only that but the pictures they took went viral on the internet.

The 21-year-old boys wanted to show their support to the LGBTQ community. They also wanted to promote the idea that people should not be judged on the basis of their clothes or their life choices.

Talking more about their move, Akash Pawar said , “We came up with this idea to display our support for gender equality. Sarees are an important custom in our culture. But why should girls always have to wear sarees in the name of tradition? So we thought of supporting them today by wearing sarees ourselves.”

Moreover, it is not easy to carry a saree and these boys got to experience that as well. The boys spoke about how difficult it was to carry a saree all day. They applauded the women who did it so gracefully. They had great difficulty in draping the saree. Eventually, they got the help of a female friend Shraddha Deshpande who helped them out. She even ended up doing their makeup.

They were quite successful in their plan.

Image of boys in pune dressed in saree/three boys
Image courtesy: Pune Mirror

Akash said they decided to go ahead with the plan without having any restrictions on how boys and girls should dress. Their bold move was quite successful in sending out the message. Their look was appreciated by many students and faculty members of the Fergusson College.

In 2018, their senior Sachin Chouhan pulled a similar move. He wore a saree for his annual day. He was criticized by his teachers. Sachin was also one who appreciated the three boys.

It is really something to see boys taking a step to support gender equality. Not many would be brave enough to take such a step. This step was covered by many channels like Times now.

It is not an easy step to take considering the issues that would surround it. But hats off to this boy who did so.

A festival where men dress in women’s attire.

picture of the Chamayavilakku festival/three boys
Image courtesy: Flickr

Well, people assign such roles in society and others just end up following it blindly. But history shows us that men have been dressing up as women in many cultures across India.

There is a festival celebrated in Kerela every year. It is known as the Chamayavilakku festival. It is a festival where men dress as women. This is celebrated on the 10th and 11th days of Meenam. On these days, thousands of devotees visit the temple to seek the blessings of the Goddess Bhagavathy. Men dress up in female attire of their choice. It could be a saree, Pattu saari or a half saree.

This is a culture that is followed every year. And it is something that society does not speak against. It is accepted and celebrated by all. The myth started when a group of boys herding cows dressed up as shy girls and offered flowers and a coconut dish called Kottan to a stone. One boy had a reception form The Devi. He then built a temple without an outer wall. After the temple was constructed, the ritual of men dressed as women began. They started offering prayers to the Devi.

If there is such a tradition in India, why is there so much judgment when it comes to gender equality? Many of our cultures and traditions revolve around respecting women. Many of our gods are women. And we worship them. But when it comes to humans. We turn a blind eye to all our cultures.

This is something that is changing but it is changing very slowly.


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