ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Lab-Coat Glamour

The stereotypical image of women—including those in science—as sentimental beings with strong notions of sacrifice and duty is unquestionably heteropatriarchal.

I was just about to leave for a forest trail. In Rajasthan, the sun was scorching, like a hot copper coin in the sky. But the forest, in its amazing interconnected machinery, is always cooler and shadier than the rest of its surroundings.

I was dressed in forest gear: camouflage-hued shirt, sunscreen, field hat, denim sneakers, jeans. This is almost like a uniform: if you go into the forest, you wear only a handful of colours—ranging from moss green to dull khaki—to avoid disturbing animals. A helpful Divisional Forest Officer came up to me. “Don’t go into the forest,” he cautioned, choosing to address me with the ubiquitous moniker for any grown woman of doubtful marital status. “Madam,” he proclaimed, “you will become dark.” This hyper-concerned, heteropatriarchal statement, instead of buoying up my vanity, proceeded to hurt it.

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