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We all preach hypocrisy in women-related issues

  • IWB Post
  •  September 30, 2014

In your Facebook news-feed you can see a morphed picture of a skimpily clad woman; the focus is on her breasts. At the bottom of the photo it is written: ‘comment and see what happens’.  Are you having a déjà vu moment?

Yes, lately countless such images have been doing the rounds on social media and are being widely circulated by individuals from all age groups. It is often mind boggling to see the overwhelming number of people who comment on such posts with an underlying hope of watching the naked female form. The practice of objectifying women has grown leaps and bounds, and there seems to be no dearth of examples which are scattered across our day to day lives. It might be an advertisement of a deodorant where women are seen chasing a man empowered with the magical perfume (however, absurd or stupid the idea may be) or the alluring tenor of a flavored condom commercial; they all show the woman as a mere commodity, inviting – and always at the disposal of the so called superior male.

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On the other hand, because of some unfathomable reason, when a woman speaks about her sexuality or dares to question the double standards of the society; her attitude is often termed as vulgar and may also invite the wrath of the moral policing brigade. The recent row involving Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone and a leading media house locking horns over the latter’s publication of an old picture of Ms. Padukone along with an eye grabbing headline is another example of the sexist stance of the world in which we live.

The moronic argument that since the actresses had posed for photo shoots and modeling assignments donning revealing clothes before, they cannot complain when a picture of them is published without their permission is completely unacceptable. Don’t you think that this point of view reeks of the same hypocrisy that we seem to be outraged by when a molested woman is asked that what was she doing late at night walking in the road alone? If we are all so vocal in condemning the narrow mindset that is so evident in such statements, then why do we remain silent on the issue of objectification of women as long as we are profiting for it?

Pointing all the fingers towards the media is also a tad unfair in the sense because it is the demand of people that they are catering to. As long as a man doesn’t change the way he looks upon a woman, it is futile to chide the social media or play the blame game. The centuries old misogynistic approach and prejudices which cloud the vision of the majority of Indian men never let them to lift their gaze from the physical features of a woman. In this situation the greatest difference can be made only through active participation from men. If they are vocal in protest against objectification of women then it would definitely go a long way towards changing the current scenario.

The celebrities who constantly champion issues related to women empowerment keep mum when much before the release of their films sexual innuendo filled item songs are released to create hype or for the purpose of promotion. When asked, the film industry unanimously declares that they are for the purpose of entertainment and should be taken lightly. Is it then too cynical to say that even though we live in the space age, deep down there exists a primitive approach when it comes to issues such as objectification of women and gender equality?

Jaipur Women Blog believes that apart from being disgusting, this ongoing trend of objectifying women is deeply damaging for a person’s self esteem and can only be countered through collective effort. This practice will automatically come to a halt as soon as it loses its audience. The people have to grow up and decide that whether the content that they are viewing or listening is objectifying women or not. Only the understanding that gradually dawns on them will have the power to make a difference.

By Deep Mukherjee,

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