If you feel like it has been a while since an Indian politician said something alarmingly sexist without batting an eyelid and then casually denied the sexism, then Andhra Pradesh Speaker Kodela Shiva Prasad is here to assure you that all the misogyny is alive and kicking.
Not only did the TDP politician compare women and sexual assaults to cars and accidents, he did so during a press conference ahead of the ‘National Women’s Parliament’ in Amaravati.
At the conference, Prasad begins speaking about 'women empowerment' and incidents of crime against women in the country. And then, he presents this insightful theory on women and assault.
"Let’s say you buy a vehicle. When it is parked in the garage at home, accidents can be avoided, right? When it is taken to a bazaar or to the road, accidents are likely to happen. When the car is speeding, it is more likely for accidents to take place. At a speed of 50 km/hr accidents are less likely, at a speed of 100 km/hr accidents are more likely," the Speaker said.
"Similarly, in older times, when women were housewives, they were safe from all kind of atrocities, except discrimination. Today, they are studying, working, and also are doing business. They are exposed to the society. When they are exposed to the society they are more prone to eve-teasing, harassment, atrocities, rape and kidnap. Is it not? If they do not leave home, it doesn't happen."
However, the Speaker soon realised that he may get into trouble, as he went on to stress that he wasn't asking women not to be educated or not to go to work.
"They should be educated and they should work. Not only kung fu, they should also be taught self-defense, to build bravery. We should give them confidence. It is not about height, weight or size of the woman. That should be inbuilt. We should give them confidence. If given confidence, the solution can be found for the problems and then all this will be useful. This is what I would like to convey," he says.
"I do not mean that they need to be kept at home so that they are safe. They should be educated, should be made to work and they should be given courage, but their protection should also be taken care of," he concluded.
Ironically, he made these comments during the media meet that was organised to elaborate the state's plan to host the 'National Women’s Parliament' in its upcoming capital Amaravati.
The three-day event is hosting over 10,000 women delegates from across the country, which include women MLAs, MPs, businesswomen and other influential leaders.
Watch the video here, with his comment at the 4:00 minute mark.