There are men outside, waiting for us, “protecting us” jo hum pe nazar rakhey huay hain. Nazar mat rakho, nazar hatado. 

I graduated from a convent school and I remember the dress code policies from the primary to the secondary school we students were subjected to. Even though my high school required a uniform, we still had a specific “dress code” for our dress-down days.

I’ve always found the “no-bra-strap-showing” regulation to be the most ridiculous dress code rule. Although one may find no harm in wearing revealing clothes, it’s understandable for booty shorts and incredibly low-cut tops bearing a lot of cleavages to be prohibited from school. Although it was a girls’ school, our teacher used to say: “There are boys outside, behave.” I could never understand why a bra strap peeking out from underneath a shirt was such a terrible offense. Not my teacher saying: “Fix your shirt.” And targeting my bra in such an offensive manner, as if koi gunnah kardia ho. As if she doesn’t wears it. 

Yet, even today, in the real world outside of school, I face the same reaction to one of my bra straps showing: “Your strap is down; pull it up”. An exposed part of my bra seems to be viewed as a sight that nobody should see, especially in a professional setting like the workplace or even a college lecture hall. Especially, men who feel uncomfortable with “my bra strap.” Why are you feeling uncomfortable, its none of your business, sir! Sometimes, people don’t even inform me of it and will shimmy my strap up so it’s hidden beneath my shirt.

I honestly don’t see the harm in a bra strap showing as I get increasingly aggravated the more people tell me my bra strap is showing or go so far as to slide it back up for me. I don’t see why a thin strap showing now and then is considered so offensive. Plus, it’s not like showing our bra straps are the style girls are looking for and we let our straps show intentionally; wardrobe malfunctions are very real and not every single piece of clothing is going to cooperate with our bodies at every moment. 

There is a large amount of not only self-respect but a treasure of insane responsibilities being hidden behind that top-that-should-not-be-exposed. The responsibility is to not behave ‘slut-like’ in public places because men are attracted. Because men are not taught anything at all, and the burden of blame and precaution lies on the woman. So if the bra strap is showing, she is the perpetrator. She is responsible for any amount of crime that might be committed against her. Now you see how dangerous a bra strap can be. Almost criminal, right? So, dear Pakistani men and aunties, my bra strap showing is no big deal! I don’t see why people can’t just ignore it and direct their energy toward something that matters. As ladies, we have much bigger problems to worry about than a small portion of our undergarments being exposed.


Hi! I'm an occasional reader, an avid writer and a fiercely firm feminist too. Hope you read & like my articles. I don't do politics much but I love writing for women, culture & life!