- 21 Mar 2018
- FWD Admin
Protesting against the sexist remarks made by a Kerala Professor, women in social media have initiated the ‘Watermelon protest’ by posting bare-breasted photographs
Back in 1859, the lower caste women in Kerala had successfully campaigned and battled against the denial of their freedom to cover their breasts, and years apart, Kerala is witnessing something similar, but with a twist. It has been a recreation of scenes in a land where centuries ago women agitated to cover their body part and now women are boldly showing off their breasts, marking a protest against a professor who made sexist and derogatory comments about women’s body.
After the hype created around public breast-feeds spurred by the cover of a popular women’s magazine, women have launched a social media campaign titled ‘Watermelon protest’. The crusade saw women posting bare-breasted photographs on Facebook as a protest against the sexist and derogatory remarks made by a Kerala Professor. After the video of the pejorative remarks made by the teacher became viral, social media was flooded with a series of protests.
Jouhar Munavvir T, assistant professor at Farook College, Kozhikode, commented on the outfits of Muslim girls while addressing a gathering of Muslim families. He remarked that Muslim girls are not covering their body properly and showing off their breasts like sliced watermelons kept for sale. He said that since breasts attract men the most, Islam teaches to cover them. He went on to state that girls expose the leggings they wear under the ‘burkha’ by lifting it up while walking.
The professor’s statements led to a huge social media uproar and that is when Diya Sana, a Kochi-based activist initiated the watermelon protest by posting two photographs of her friend, model and activist Rehana Fathima, showing her bare-breast along with holding watermelons in her hand. Rehana Fathima in her Facebook post says that she believes the protest is the continuation of the ‘Maaru Marakkal samaram’ (Channar Revolt) that happened centuries back. This was followed by a woman and her husband posting their partially nude photographs. According to the couple, they intended to convey that women’s body should receive equal respect and freedom enjoyed by men in public places. Facebook has removed the photographs and blocked the respective Facebook accounts. Women students of Farook College also called a protest titled ‘Watermelon march’ in front of the college.
Source : Deccan Chronicle
In contradiction, social media users claim that since the speech was made three months back and outside the campus, the allegations are only aimed at spoiling the reputation of the college and putting down a particular religion.
The watermelon protest exemplifies the power of women in protesting against the discriminations they have had to face in society. Women have proved their power in every period and this campaign will remain as one of the most courageous steps taken by them.
Text Credits: Lakshmi Priya Feature Image Source: newindianexpress.com