Editorial

Of Curfews and In-times: A Very DU Tale


By on Thursday, April 4th, 2013. Tagged under , , , .

What’s funny is this isn’t the case just in co-ed colleges, women are also locked up in women’s hostels(clearly, there’s some woman-on-woman crime going on here). What really makes me laugh is how they let their hostelers “reclaim” the night on women’s day.

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In school, I used to hear about the awesomeness of college and all the freedom it brings with it.

Yes, I said freedom. Many of my college going female counterparts might be laughing, right about now.

Little did I know, that this freedom was restricted. I soon realized, it was restricted to men.

 

For the first few months of college, I received frantic phone calls from my female friends, appalled by the new set of “rules” they had to live under. Curfews, in-times, “night-outs”, “day schi leave”, “LG leave” etc became a part of my vocab too. Because my friends and peers would get a certain number of each every month. What astonished me was what they had to do to get them.

 

Some had to make their parents send letters or faxes others had to inform 3 days in advance or make their parents call the warden, all this to prove that their parents grant them “permission” and know that their daughters will be out of the hostel all night. In some cases the principal can override parental authority and not let the girl out if he/she thinks her “reason” to stay out the night is not “valid”.

 

Eighteen year olds who are called “adults” in India can decide who should run the country but can not decide when they can spend a night out with their friends or lovers. Let me remind you, these are rules tailor-made for women. They’ve been stitched with care, they claim, but it tends to control, don’t you think?

 

I fail to understand why an institution thinks a woman would willingly put herself in a “risky”/”compromising” situation. She cares about her well being more than anyone would. All you care about is what the newspapers would say about the institution.

 

Now allow me to step into the world of in-times and curfews. Do I need to mention they’re separate for men and women?

 

Not only are women subjected to earlier in-times, some of them are even locked inside their blocks. Yes, you read correctly, LOCKED.

 

Yes, let’s chant its the 21st century, women are free. NO, they’re locked, and its not even metaphorical.

 

What’s funny is this isn’t the case just in co-ed colleges, women are also locked up in women’s hostels(clearly, there’s some woman-on-woman crime going on here). What really makes me laugh is how they let their hostelers “reclaim” the night on women’s day.

 

I can’t help but wonder what institutions are “protecting” the women from, the male hostlers? Hostel guards? Other staff?

 

If it is so, then I would suggest that they employ wisely or at least sensitize the staff and students, ensure punishments for perpetrators of sexual harassment, you can make students sign anti-ragging forms, you can do the same for sexual harassment. If you can have hundreds of no smoking boards everywhere, you can have the same for sexual harassment. Give them security, not curfews.

 

Wait, this gets better. So, god forbid a girl applies for a night out, the warden would spill the usual set of character assessment questions, which if not answered appropriately will be met with condescending eyes, not to mention character assassination and insult. More absurdly, I recently heard that in an all- girls college, they’re not allowed to hang their lingerie out to dry(no, there aren’t specific areas provided within the hostel to do the same). Well, you better obey the rules or your “hostel character certificate”(yes, this is a real certificate) will say that you were a naughty girl and you’ll never get a hostel again. Therefore as a precaution, colleges have decided to ask those who apply to the hostel “Will you protest?”, and those innocent straight out of school girls are astonished, they wonder why they’d need to protest.

 

Don’t wear shorts, skirts or sleeveless clothes. What is the need for you to go out at night? Who are you going with? What will you do? Where will you go? They’ll ask you anything and everything.

 

But,if you’re a hosteler, don’t you dare question the authorities, I say so, only for your mental health, so that you don’t further feel insulted and victimized. They can do anything. Ranging from claiming that you’re not mentally fit to making statements like “so what if the girls are locked up? They’re allowed to use microwaves”(little too stereotypical, don’t you think)?

 

Men’s hostels aren’t locked, most roam about freely. Hell, they can unofficially take girls inside.

 

Yes, these discriminations and rules exist. Even in time where this country witnessed women come out on the streets, alongside men, stopping cars and climbing poles demanding their freedom.

 

In a time, when they don’t give a rats ass if you call them sluts. In a time when they’re reclaiming their spaces.

 

So much for freedom. Woot. Woot.


About

Jessica Jojo

A free spirit. Core member GSA and mustbol. Confident. Opinionated. Jessica believes that power and it's abuse causes violence(physical, emotional and sexual). Instead of fighting against sexual violence directly, she chooses to challenge the institutions and ideas that give power to perpetrators. She believes in the power of love. She doesn't know what to do with her life, she goes with the flow. Dancer. Singer. Writer.

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