Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Sex Object...

A nation is outraged at the brutality suffered by a 23 year old student. She suffered not only the degrading act of gang rape, but was severely injured, brutalized and succumbed to death after fighting to stay alive for 13 days. We lit candles, we marched in protest, every one who could lay their hands on a mike, made speeches and statements. Yet, everyday, there are new reports of rapes, gang rapes, molestations, violence, acid attacks. These go un-noticed, mostly reported in small columns, some where in the news paper. The electronic media hardly ever wasting their time on these reports, or else perhaps, they would have to start a new channel, the rape daily, daily rapes, the rape give footage to each such incident.

Unfortunately, it is not just India, or the third world countries, that have rapes. Nor is it a new phenomenon . Rape has existed since eons. Women are only since the recent past , learning to fight back, take the legal way. Its another story how the justice system lets down the victims every day.

Yes, women were treated as second class citizen, across the globe. Some countries "gave" them an equal status sooner than others. Some countries are still killing female infants, trying to kill teenagers who promote female literacy, call female employees as servants, mock women protesters by calling them beauties who are dented and painted. Female teachers get murdered... the list is too long. However today, I am not writing to decry rape, I have been doing that through my writing since long. My book still awaits publishing. Today I am writing on a slightly different matter. However this prologue was essential for my topic.

Today I am wondering, which looking glass do women look at themselves? Have we been so thoroughly subjugated over the centuries that, we too look at ourselves, from the eyes of men. This is not an anti-men piece. No I love men. Men have fought with us, for us etc.I am talking purely as a woman, to other women and asking them, why did we sell ourselves short.

You know men age, they grow fat, bald, develop paunches, they gloat, marry women much younger to them, do their things, laugh at their younger days of sowing wild oats.
What do women do? we look into the mirror , highlighting every strand of grey, every crows feet, we hate our bodies. When we get middle age spread around our waists, we wallow in self pity because our bloom is fading. When menopause hits us, we cry, we mourn the loss of our youth. we get insecure, our men wont find us attractive, that we have not retained our figures.

When we are young, we want bodies the men will like. Flat stomachs, big boobs. we go through liposuction, boob jobs, botox and horror of horror now their is a new procedure in town..labiaplasty... OMG where will this end? have you heard of men going through dangerous surgeries to please our eyes? These are surgeries, what about beauty palors?

Now I am not a bra burning feminist. I love being a woman, infact I am a girlie-girl. I love my curves, long hair. I have never felt periods were a curse. The only things I am trying to bring the spot light on today is, it is not a woman's fault because she (again OMG, but I am translating one of the posts on facebook) sits close to boys on bikes, wears short clothes, makes friends with boys, eats, smokes, drinks, perhaps they should have added breathes....

I think women are at fault, because as mothers we have taught our daughter to comply. to accept we are second class citizens. Our mothers and their mothers before that, have taught us to accept our fate, we have done good karmas if we get good husbands ( good implying he doesn't beat us, burn us, asks for too much dowry) We must put up with his obnoxious behaviour. He comes home tired, we must be ready for him, it doesn't matter how tired we might be at the end of the day. We women teach men they are better than us, that they can get away with anything. Boys will be boys. A sister is to cater to her brother, younger or older. A wife should have no opinion of her own. A man grows up unable to accept women who are capable of thinking for themselves, who can have an opinion , who can have a life, can party and not be a slut and who can say NO to him.

Our mothers did not walk out of sorry marriages, and expect us not to either. But we are breaking the mould. Today an actress has defied the stereotyping of anorexic looking woman. She is voluptuous and unapologetic. We join the men in making fun of her, but seriously, we should be thanking her. Thanking her for making it ok again to have a bit of bulge, a bit of flesh so we can eat healthily again without feeling guilty.

I believe, when we have strong mothers, we will have a string society. When a mother earns and demands her respect in the family, when a teacher teaches her students to respect women, we will create a society where rapes will be a rarity. Where we wont have to protest every time for justice.

Men and women are different. Men accepted themselves long ago... the good with the bad. Women , now let us look at our-self with new lenses and teach men to look at us through those. Let us not give in to stereotyping of any kind. Let us not be apologetic any more, let us not be the enemy of our kind. And let us stop defining our-self by a hymen or how many wild oats have been sown in us. Let us truly believe and know, we are equal, we don't need to demand it, we are beautiful, we don't need to prove it, we are sexual beings, we don't need to apologise, we have our minds, rights, opinions...Lets change the looking glass....

Why did I then title this piece The Sex Object? its because, that's how men (not all) view us, treated us, objectified us (films, advertisements, certain jobs)... and so far we have concurred, we have totally agreed....

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