Just the other day, I was riding the train when I suddenly looked at an ad that said, “Stop violence against women”. At first, it seemed like it was talking about domestic violence, but a few words surrounding it made me think otherwise. Have you ever wondered why is domestic violence the only type of violence against women that we talk about? I am not saying it is worth talking; the contrary actually.
Looking at the ad, I suddenly realized that society marginalizes women for nearly everything. If you are too fat, you should go to the gym; if you are skinny, you should eat a Snicker; if you are single, you should get a boyfriend; if you have a boyfriend, you are a whore. Those comments absolutely infuriate me. But they are another point of discussion.
One of the many things that women are marginalized and criticized for is their way of dressing, especially if you live in a chauvinistic society like me. It all started when I was in elementary school at a Baptist school. The rules were simple: no earrings, no makeup, no nail polish and skirts needed to be below the knee. The latter has been my greatest trauma. What is so wrong about legs? Why does a 7-year-old girl have to suffer the embarrassment of having to be sent to the school principal because her skirt is on the knee and not below it? It is shameful.
This is another common story. If no one has ever had a grandma telling her to stop looking like a slut because you are wearing tight jeans, a bit of cleavage or a skirt that shows your legs, you don’t know how blessed you are. I have an evangelical grandmother that loves religion very much. But most of all she loves to look at me with a disappointing look whenever I’m wearing something she doesn’t approve of. A red lip, jeans, skirt, name it…
What are we pretending with this embarrassing behavior against girls? Do we want them to be nuns? I have thought about this my whole life and I don’t think it is fair. Who has the right to tell me that I will be a big w&^%* when I grow up just for wearing a cute set of earrings? Let me tell you, if I have a body I have the right to wear what I want.
Our perception of women as a sex symbol, as the creator of evil and temptation has led to this awful violence against them. We have created an image that no woman should be accounted for. It’s ridiculous to think that a little leg will do no good. In fact, it can get you a free drink and maybe the love of your life.
I do blame strict religion rules for this. I was a victim of it.