The Suffocated Cleavage Between Morality and Immorality

The Suffocated Cleavage Between Morality and Immorality

The opinions stated in The Suffocated Cleavage Between Morality and Immorality are solely that of the author’s.


We have such trivial standards of morality, don’t we?

A murderer might sit in an air conditioned room, ruling a district. Yet, you would hardly see people creating a ruckus over that. But as an average Indian girl, if I have cleavage showing, not even God can save me from the imminent wrath of my mother and the society. Outrageously that…that out of all the unscrupulous things is immoral.

It gives space to throw questions at my ‘values’ and ‘morals’ unsympathetically.  Furthermore, it impels my upbringing in a negative light; that nipping portion of flesh. If all the scrutiny was not sufficient, it pretty much determines how I would be treated in college, my married life and what kind of a mother, boss or daughter-in-law I would grow up to be.

Oh no, the cleavage is not the only devil. But, it is the most obvious one. Remember the sensation Deepika Padukone’s proved to be?

If we were to look into a recent matter, the National Award winner singer Monali Thakur was blatantly criticised for wearing short dresses as a judge on a reality show. Apparently, the way she dressed was not cultured enough to judge and guide on a singing show. Right, because who the fuck cares how she sings. She ought to know how to conceal her legs from the public’s glare. Why? Because that is what is appropriate.

In case you are wondering, why I am giving examples of the elite, it is simply to portray how no one is safe from relentless and unnecessary moral policing.

On the hindsight, the impact this ruinous perception is having is disastrous. This thought process is the very catalyst as well as the culprit of the undeniable prominent existence of the molestation and rape culture in our country.

When I started writing on this topic, I imagined it to be a light-hearted read that mocks the amount of importance given to bra straps and cleavage. But the more I read about it, more I started picking instances from my life, from the life of my friends and the stated reports of the celebrities, an unyielding annoyance set in.

Men too, unquestionably, have to face the brunt of the parameters set. But that is a cry, for another night.

No one, absolutely no one is spared by this sense of being ‘appropriate’. This battle between the moral and immoral, and appropriate and the inappropriate is as narrow as the lanes of Chandni Chowk or old city in Ahmedabad. In the name of culture and morality, for years now we have not only made lives miserable but also ended many.

And for all the people gasping and oh-ing over how much we have evolved, please take a minute and think. I might sound like a sceptic, who cannot see the “good side”. But the problem is the fact that people fail to see the “bad side”, especially the one lurking from house to house, city to city.

I think it was probably a week ago when my mother very nonchalantly told me to sleep properly. Next, she added, wear a full neck t-shirt. It is when I asked why she said because my brother is at a “nascent” stage. My natural response was, ‘So?’. Then she said it. That any unnecessary exposure might corrupt him. Saying I was flabbergasted, would be an understatement.

She clearly implied, that sleeping with my t-shirt slightly above my tummy and panty line showing was going to corrupt my younger brother. How she failed to realise, what happens once I am asleep is out of my control, is beyond my understanding.  What the actual….

Regrettably, this is the same notion in schools and colleges. I, myself, have heard an earful ranging from my lack of sensibility and irresponsibility of my parents. All of that, because I wore shorts to college as I had badly wounded my knee. Even in today’s time and age, college prospectus states how men and women should dress morally.

There few questions, that hammer in my head every single day. Who decided the admonitions of clothing up against a certain way? Which religious scripture or constitution explicitly states the definition of moral dressing? Who decides that your dress is hugging you in the right places or wrong? Which God or Goddess pronounced the flashing of bra strap catastrophic? Why do we teach little girls that primary lessons of morality come from the way they conduct themselves and cover their body?

The answer? No one. All of this is because of our perversion, for our convenience, because it is easier to not have “distraction” than being sensible ourselves.

Our psyches are jagged at so many levels, that it will take another generation to wipe the traces of such travesty. I wonder, how much longer will it take for our suffocated cleavage between morality and immorality, to be truly free.

And until then, open that one extra button if you want to. Do not hesitate to carry your bag, if you are wearing a bra, its strap will show anyway. Sleep in clothes that you find comfortable, because the thing that has to rot, will rot anyway.

Lastly, do not be afraid to speak up. Never be afraid to speak up, because, in this baseless and unending battle between morality and immorality, it is you whose life is perused closely.


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Abha Mehra

Abha tries to survive days with fried food with cheese. You'll find her bossing around or in a corner trying to make sense of all the words that come not so naturally to her. Be it taking naps in the afternoon or a free pizza, she is ready for both all the time. If you like what she writes, feel free to gift her jhhumkas over peach iced tea.