A college professor in Kerala, India, came under fire after he claimed women who wear jeans and “dress like men, end up giving birth to transgender children.”
Dr. Rajith Kumar, professor of Botany at the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, made the absurd comments during an awareness class for students.
“Women who wear jeans and shirts, and dress like men, give birth to children called transgender. There are over six lakh transgender in Kerala,” he said.
The professor didn’t stop there and further said parents “who are not of good character” have children who suffer from autism and cerebral palsy and said only couples who have “lived their lives as men and women” have “good children.”
Kumar now faces legal action for his outrageous remarks and he may also be barred from attending state-funded awareness programs for students.
“Rajith Kumar has not withdrawn his controversial statements so far. The government is mulling initiating legal action against him. He has been propagating superstition and making anti-women remarks continuously,” said Keralan Health Minister K K Shailaja.
Despite the backlash, Kumar didn’t detract from his words and went on to defend himself during a television show. He said his comments were backed by science and were based on years of academic experience.
Kumar also posted a video on Facebook where he stood behind his stance.
“Since the past few days, there have been efforts to put me down and show me in bad light. When I was called to attend a television show, they edited out the portions where I backed my statements with scientific proof. I just want to save children from leading life in wrong ways. Only a certain statement from my 4-hour long speech was taken and is now being used to create misunderstanding among people,” he said in the video.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time such comments by influential people show how warped thinking pervades.
In November 2017, an Egyptian lawyer suggested during a panel discussion on live television that it’s a “national duty to rape” women who wear ripped jeans.
Nabih al-Wahsh was part of a panel at a TV show called “Infrad.” The panel was discussing a draft law on prostitution and “inciting debauchery,” when the lawyer went on a completely different tangent and made the horrific comments.
“Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing? I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her,” he said.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Antonio Parrinello