Flaws of Western Society Exposed!
It is a known fact that Western society frowns upon anything that isn't "Anglo-Saxon". From Western dress norms to Western customs, many of us contemporary Westerners consciously or subconsciously believe Western civilization to be the pinnacle of liberty and equality and fraternity; the pinnacle of civilized nations, so to speak. We often look disdainfully upon societies that are different from us, e.g. Islamic society, and assume that these societies are somehow "lesser'' and more "primitive'' than us, all the while overlooking our own massive, massive flaws. In this article, I am going to attempt to debunk the myth of Western Society being the perfect utopia, and how cultural myopia has made us blind to our own prejudice and intolerance for diversity. Consider these points:
1. We call ourselves a free society, yet we are thinking of banning women from wearing the hijab. Why do we assume that a woman who wears a hijab is any more "repressed" than a woman in a sleeveless cocktail dress? Has the concept of clothing as self-expression ever occurred to us? Perhaps some people are more comfortable with wearing a hijab, and not all women wear them because they are forced to. Not everybody who covers up their bodies are doing it because they are being "repressed'', because by that logic, you would also have to agree that EVERY SINGLE man at black tie functions is also being ''repressed''. Aren't they under compulsion to cover up their bodies in suits and long pants as well? While it is true that black tie functions seep men of whatever individuality they may possibly garner through fashion, that doesn't mean that ALL men at these events are being "repressed'', by being forced to cover up their bodies in a tuxedo.I am sure that most of the more traditional older gentlemen would not be too comfortable with adopting the modern, more flamboyant metrosexual style of dressing e.g. sleeveless tops, man cleavage, skinny pants, tight clingy tops, man skirts, leggings, etc and would very much prefer to dress in the conservative manner, because they are simply more COMFORTABLE with dressing that way. Yeap; so much for tolerance of diversity and giving people the freedom to wear what they are comfortable with.
2. What do you call a woman who chooses to dress in an excessively modest fashion? e.g. Ellen Degeneres A butch, that's what she's called! In fact, the Project Runway organizer Tim Gunn is notorious for saying that Senator Hilary Clinton was "confused about her gender", due to her choosing not to wear excessively revealing fashions. Yep, while we can condemn Muslim society for pressuring women to cover up, we can't deny the fact that contemporary Western society EXPECTS women NOT to cover up. A woman who does not meet the skin-bearing requirements of Western femininity stands a good chance of being labelled "masculine'', ''butch'', and an entire shrew of names.
3. We call ourselves a free society, yet expect men to dress as monochrome, buttoned up drones devoid of any individuality of true, genuine self-expression come formal events. What else can you wear, but a LONG SLEEVED shirt and a pair of LONG TROUSERS with a LONG SLEEVED jacket, with a tie? Deviate from the strict, hegemonically masculine dress code and what do you get called? DOUCHEBAG! (the word probably originated from some beer-bellied middle-aged man with tall poppy syndrome, who didn''t like younger, more aesthetically pleasing men displaying their bodies in public.) Or worse still, you might even be denied entry to these events for not conforming to the official "maniform" (e.g. Black tie events). Yeap; before we criticize Muslim society for forcing women to cover up in public, maybe we should take a good look at ourselves, and how we treat men and the male body in that regard. Perhaps some day men's necks and heads will even be covered in the contemporary Western equivalent of the burqa, in order to avoid offending anybody's delicate sensitivities with regard to the "hideous'' male body.
4. We call ourselves a free society, yet for some strange reason we think it is a scandal when somebody says something we do not agree with . One of the Miss teen America contestants actually got under alot of public fire for saying that she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. Now I don''t agree with her, but hey; I''d prefer to live and let live. But policing people''s thoughts and punishing people for what they THINK? This is not true freedom, this is Spanish Inquisition Lite! What next? Reform School for social miscreants whose opinions do not gel with our "liberal" sensitivities?
Now as I am late for my gym session, I will be trodding off, but I am sure if I sat here all night, I could think of a hundred other reasons why we should first yank the beam out of our own culturally myopic lens, before attempting to remove the plank within someone else's culture. PEACE!