Here in America, I think that people tend associate oppressed women with India and the countries surrounding it. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
Wow blunt intro. I kind of like it though. Okay moving on.
The thing is, I think we in America have our own way of oppressing women. About 90% of people with anorexia are women. Why? Because they are told every possible second that their value is what they look like. It’s like men are valued for what they have to say, but women for what’s on their face, you know? I hope I’m not sounded extreme…I’m having trouble communicating my feelings about this seeing as I’ve been on this here paragraph for like an hour. Okay here: Say I turn on the tv and see a commercial for, I don’t know, a salad. Come get your new Wendy’s salad. See this lady here? Look at her! Watch how her mouth lingers on the fork and how she stares seductively into the camera. Doesn’t that make you want this salad? And I’m just like no! It makes me want to shake this woman and say tell me about this salad yourself! Use your words! You’re not an object!
When I started thinking about this, it gave me a new perspective on Muslim women who wear the hijab, niqba, or burqa. It’s kind of like they’re saying,” No. You’re going to listen to me, not my skin-tight shirt, not my lipstick, but me. Because what I have to say and who I am is more than my body.” Ya digg? In some areas of the Middle East women have been required to cover, which I don’t think it’s right. But many women choose it, and I guess I kind of see where they’re coming from. This lady I saw on a clip from CNN, Hebah Ahmed, said this: I want people to know that when I choose to cover this way, it’s because I am fighting against a systematic oppression against women in which women’s bodies are being sexualized and objectified. This is a different perspective and a different form of empowerment i which I think when I’m in public my sexuality is in my control and people have to deal with my brain and who I really am and not judge me by my body. And if we want to really talk about the oppresive situation of women let’s talk about all of the eating dissorders, all of the plastic surgery, all of the unhealthy diets that are being done all in the name of having the perfect body. To me this is liberating and this is empowering.
Hinduism, the dominant religion of India, boasts eight goddeses. Sikhism was revolutionary in appreciation of women. And it’s true, in the East there have been and are still some gender equality issues, but that’s not reflective of our foundation as a people. And believe it or not, a lot of it comes from the extreme respect for women. It’s like America and the East are the two extremes of the spectrum of treatment of women. One exploits them to no end and the other wants to keep them under lock down. Like with many issues, I think we could both learn a bit from eachother.
Just some stuff to think about–
PS: I was having some serious rambling problems when I started writing this. This was my intro at one point:
It’s been awhile since my last post. I’m kind of torn right now. It feels like I should give an explanation as to why it’s been more than the usual time, but I’m scared I’ll get really wrapped up in telling that story and then I’ll look down and it’ll be like, “Word Count:49185743.” Because I have a really good topic to talk about today!
PPS: I got stung by the bee for the first time ever and I had an allergic reaction to it. That’s the story I was debating telling you guys. Okay. Hey. It was more of a story than that, I’m just leaving out details. I mean there was swelling, ointment involved. You’ll laugh you’ll cry. Beyonce’s in talks to play me in the movie.