Archive for April, 2008

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Barbed Wires of Conformity

April 26, 2008

I was born in the world
of right and wrong
of pink and blue
and of barbed wire of conformity.
The axiom of gender conformity
is a raucous to my ear
and a shackle to my emancipation.
This dogma of chromosome-based life
we are in
denies me of my freedom and rights.
I bellicose this conformity
for I covet the equality

of you and me!

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I Covet the State of Liberation!

April 24, 2008

Why is it so hard to be a grrl? Would it have been different if I was born with XY chromosomes (male) instead of XX chromosomes (female)? Was Charlotte Perkins Gillman right about the state of zero crime in an all-female society in her book, Herland in which she pictured the all-female society as a highly civilized society which opposed all forms of violence? Is entirely possible for a female to live in a total state of safety regardless of her whereabouts?

Personally, I doubt that we female will ever be safe, regardless of where we are. One could easily be a target of assault even in the comforts of one’s home, let alone in the streets. What is it about female which makes it a target of violence regardless of their age? Is it the fact that a female only possess about 52% of the upper body strength of a male? Is it because of the biological difference between a male and a female? Or is it the instinct to dominate of a male?

There could be a million reasons why and the possibilities would be endless, yet the target has always been the same, us females (sigh). We have come a long way since the fundamentals of early feminism which is to abolish gender differences, so that male and female would eventually live the same kind of lives and activities, and equal opportunities in pretty much everything imaginable. Indeed, this fundamental remains the same throughout the years and events. It revolutionized our way of thinking, evolving the fundamental into something bigger, equality not just in terms of equal opportunities in occupation but also our rights to live and the rights to our own body.

Female are not merely cunts and breasts or a sexual symbol. However, being objectified commercially over the past millennia has earned females like us a status of being the object of lust and desire. Being seen as a weaker sex and sordid, females always fall prey of domestic abuse, sexual assault, harassment and other forms of violence. In Malaysia alone, we have seen our share of what reality for a female is. The case of Nureen Jasmeen is a wake up call for our society that something should be done for the sake of our safety. Even little girls are not safe to wander in playgrounds anymore!

Female are imprisoned in everyday gender constraints because of the lack of awareness in our society. This gift given by our mothers and sisters should be rejoiced and yet we are deprived of our own freedom because we are female. No longer safe to walk own our own, traveling, a jog in the park, even in the bus. How we covet the state of living without fear, for we live each single day in survival mode.

It would be an onerous task to create awareness regarding gender equality and the rights of a person to his or her own body in a patriarchal society such as ours but it is not entirely impossible as more people are starting to realize that females are capable of more instead of just cooking and cleaning. More humanist and feminist rise to the occasion of defending and protecting as well as educating the society regarding gender equality and rights.

To eliminate a sexist or superior state of mind entirely in our society would be a utopia. But a little change can mean a big difference. Respect between genders should be taught at a mere age, in kinder gardens and schools. A girl should be made aware that she owns her own body, that she is no weaker than a boy. A boy needs to be remembered to treat a girl with dignity and respect.

Images and portrayal of women as domesticated and a façade of sexual beauty by capitalist generated by mass media may never be fully curbed but it is important that a person is able to distinguish the difference between images and the reality. Female are more than just pretty women in the pages of glossy magazines or the super-moms in toilet bowl cleaner ads. Females are more than just a portrayal of beauty, sex and domesticity. Reality is, female and male are alike. We yearn the same kind of respect from other being, we yearn for the same state of peace and tranquility and we each have our own desires waiting to be fulfilled. And the paramount is that we have equal rights to live and the rights to our own body.

However, the status quo of females will forever be lower than that of a male and we still live our day in fear of our own life and dignity if we choose not act and make a change out of the current state. If a female continues to be objectified, oppressed, domesticated and disdained, then the dogma of women as the weaker sex will forever be embedded in the heart of the society, women and men alike.