Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-07-14 09:36 The acrylic on canvas work is titled ‘Be who you want to be’ I was doing my second year of undergrads when a teacher decided that our class had to attend a compulsory sex orientation program. So, one hazy day, when our class was gradually waking up to the buzz of morning coffee, in walked an elderly man, hauling rolled up charts twice his size into our unusually chockfull classroom. Having explained to the room full of girls that he would be taking the sex orientation session for the day, he began his lesson. Most of us knew what sex was, but still for the handful that had little inkling, what was explained was indeed useful. But looking back, what angers me now was what he said after that. "So, what do boys think?’ he asked as he unrolled his massive chart that had a picture of a woman wearing body-hugging jeans. I instantly liked that pair of faded blue denims with funky pockets and a sleek design. So I replied, ‘stylish.’ Somewhat taken aback by my enthusiastic response that he was not exactly looking for, he unrolled a second chart. ‘No. This is what they think,’ he said, pointing at the chart that bore a blown up picture of a woman’s bare posterior! ‘This is what they will think,’ he reiterated in case the picture was not enough to shake up our peace. ‘So dress properly. You don’t want to agitate boys,’ he said. The next chart was unrolled – a picture of a woman wearing a saree blouse with a low cut back. "What do boys think," went the query. I bit my tongue. It looked like the old man was enjoying this game. Though I genuinely thought that the blouse was a beautiful creation, I knew it was best to shut up. "I will tell you what they think,’ he said and paused for a few seconds before the dramatic reveal. ‘Is she wearing a bra? That is what they will think,’ he said. ‘What?’ my head exploded. Having seen that the session went down well judging by our confounded faces, the old man soon wrapped up his class, picked up his charts and walked away much to our relief. For a few days after the session, every time I pulled on a pair of denims, the old man’s voice kept ringing in my head – ‘what will boys think.’ I’m sure the rest of the class heard the same voice too. The old man believed that by telling women how to dress, he was spreading awareness on women’s well-being. Instead of telling boys to keep their hands to themselves, if people keep reminding women that what they wear are responsible for men’s misconduct, then we do indeed live in a twisted world. It is more shocking that such sessions are being carried out and even seen as ideal by colleges. Sex education is great. But when sex education turns into moral policing, then we have a serious problem. So, what do boys think? No one can control a person’s thought. A person is free to think whatever he or she wants to. A man is free to think of a woman’s posterior and vice versa – there is no problem there. But don’t go grab one if a woman is wearing fitted jeans. Not without her consent. And that is what should be taught.