Botany Professor: ‘Women Who Wear Jeans Will Give Birth to Transgenders’

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Apr 5, 2018

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Earlier this year, a Raipur biology teacher told a classroom full of children that girls should avoid wearing jeans and lipstick because it would “incite crimes like the Nirbhaya gang rape.”

The latest in the recent string of jeans-haters is a Kerala professor who reportedly said that women who wear jeans will “give birth to transgenders.”

The professor, Rejit Kumar, made the remarks at an “awareness class” in Karasgod, reports The Week. In a spectacular conflation of the concepts transgender, intersex, and cross dressing, Kumar reasoned that women who dress “like men” will “beget transgenders.”

If his transphobia wasn’t apparent enough, Kumar also said that couples who “lived their lives like men and women” would give birth to “good children.”

What is perhaps most striking is that Kumar was given the platform to speak on these topics in the first place. He is a botany professor at Sree Sankara University of Sanskrit in Kalady, making his authority (and awareness) on the subjects of human reproduction, trans people, gender, genetics and, finally, fashion, questionable at best.

His astoundingly inaccurate understanding of genetics is further reflected in another statement he made at the same event — that children with autism and cerebral palsy are born to “parents who are not of good character.”

The state government has indicated in a statement that it may take legal action against Kumar, and bar him from speaking at government-sponsored awareness classes in schools and colleges. “He has been propagating superstition and making anti-women remarks continuously,” said Health Minister K K Shylaja.

As The Wire points out, Kerala has also recently announced that a justice board will be set up to exclusively service the transgender community, likely in response to the recent increase in hate crimes against trans people in the state.

 

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Written By Urvija Banerji

Urvija Banerji is the Features Editor at The Swaddle, and has previously written for Rolling Stone India and Atlas Obscura. When she’s not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, painting, cooking, picking fights online, and consuming large amounts of coffee (often concurrently).

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