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They cross-dressed for a cause

Bangalore, Jan 12, 2013, DHNS: 1:19 IST

Wear what you like

Skirted, they walked, 25 of them, all in their mid-20s, inviting intense and intriguing glares and glances, to disprove the common notion that anything ''skirted'' is inviting to be ''raped.''
Members of New Socialist Network wear skirts during a protest against sexism, casteism & capitalism in Bengaluru on Saturday. PTI
From City’s busiest business street — Brigade Road to the namma Bengaluru’s very own “Hyde’s” Park (Cubbon Park) — they marched, much to the amusement and awe of the onlookers, to champion women’s right to “wear” what mattered to her than be proscribed for it.

Collecting a crowd of 100 at the Park’s point, they pledged: “I promise that I will be sensitive to gender issues in the way I speak and act. I promise not to be passive.

I will step in if I hear offensive speech or views. If I see something wrong happen in front of me, I will create a discussion and talk about my beliefs” Soon after, a discussion was also held with people uninhibitedly sharing personal experiences about day-to-day sexual harassment faced by women.

The initiative — Skirt the Issue — brainchild of publicist Samarpita and Adithya Mallya, which gathered its initial momentum through active Facebook page with over 500 Bangaloreans showing interest, culminated in the Skirt the Issue Walk that had the town talking.

Jay, business analyst, said “I felt free, light and good to walk in a woman’s shoes. Women dress in minimum clothes to confidently express themselves. I realise now it’s a matter of comfort. Men should support this freedom of expression and stop demeaning them. We have stimulated a change in mindsets and our purpose has been served in that aspect”

Added Adithya Mallya “ Clothes and personal attitudes cannot cause sexual assault Don’t waste time highlighting elements that have no importance. Instead address areas which require change.” Observed Deepak, an adman: We joined the issue to share our voice, facilitate an awakening and stir the consciousness of narrow minded. Rape is not always determined by circumstance. It is our duty as men to take responsibility for our unforgivable actions

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