A lone student in a women’s college here has caught state-wide attention after standing up to register her protest when a speaker kept up a barrage of anti-woman statements in what was supposed to be a programme to focus attention on atrocities against women and women’s empowerment.

The incident occurred at a function held by the state education department at the Government Women’s College, when one of the speakers, a student police trainer, Dr Rejath Kumar, reeled off a litany of reasons why women were responsible for atrocities against them, and sought to paint them in a bad light. Arya, a third year undergraduate student stood up, booed the speaker and walked out, even as her friends failed to support her.

Rejath Kumar warned the girls that women wearing jeans was one reason why sexual abuse was rising, and that if girls tried to “run and jump like boys” their uterus would slip. He then said a man could impregnate a woman in 10 minutes while women would have to carry that burden for months.

The trainer went on to say that “capable” boys could easily lure girls, and that during his journey from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram, he felt boys were milder characters than girls. Shocking the audience, he went on to add that 90 per cent of girls were in the habit of lying to their teachers and parents.

When Arya booed and protested, he turned his attention to her, stating that such a reaction did not bother him, and that such girls would not rise to any level in life.

Arya later told a local television channel that she had reacted after she could not bear the tirade of comments the speaker was making against girls and women. She said she felt even more hurt by the failure of her friends to support her in her protest.

As the news spread, there was widespread condemnation of the speaker across the state. Model and compere Ranjini Haridas told a local television channel that if she had been in the audience, she would have joined Arya, and that she would not have just booed the speaker, but perhaps gone on stage and done something.

Writer J. Devika commented that she felt relieved that there was at least one girl in the crowd who reacted to such a speech condemning women in general.