How To Be A Bad Girl (Hint: All You Need Is Boobs)

by Evelyn Chapman

Have you ever smoked a cigarette? Eaten too much? Had breasts? Well, you, my friend, are a bad girl… or at least that’s what these 12 illustrations tell us. Furqan Jawed, an undergraduate design student at one of Bangalore’s Srishti Schools of Art, created this satirical poster to draw attention to India’s treatment of crimes against women, and unfortunately his examples aren’t far from the truth.

In India victim blaming is often the norm, and a woman’s behavior is frequently considered the cause of assaults against her. To defend against sex crimes, women have been encouraged by Indian politicians and religious leaders to avoid skirts, dating, porn, and talent shows. At a religious meeting after the gang rape in Dehli, Hindu religious leader Asaram Bapu even suggested pleading with the attacker, saying “I am helpless, you are my brother.”

After the recent banning of the film India’s Daughter and the outraged protests that followed, global attention has been on the country’s treatment of women: the conviction rate of rape is 24.2%, and the maximum sentence for a person accused of rape is 10 years.

Jawed’s poster mimics a children’s chart published in India illustrating the “good boy,” which encourages morning walks, daily teeth brushing, and greeting your parents politely. (Not all that groundbreaking.) There seems to be no definition of a “good girl” in India because being a female in and of itself is problematic. A woman can help others, pray every morning, go for a million walks, and still she is female—vulnerable to attacks, persecution, and blame.

As “bad” girls, we are going to raise a glass of alcohol (in push-up bras, on motorcycles) to Furqan Jawed for his use of artful satire to call attention to an important issue that, unfortunatlywomen around the world can relate to.

Photos via BBC, Furqan Jawed, civic archives 

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