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Flaws of Western Society Exposed!

Updated on June 8, 2012

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!

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    • profile image

      Sam 4 years ago

      Hi Berenice

      I absolutely agree I have seen and heard examples of things like this in the media, in things I have read, and the internet. Oh by the way that part about it being the Spanish Inquisition Lite I thought that was an especially nice touch. In this day and age it seems like one of America's most basic Amendments Freedom of Speech is being systematically violated. Everytime someone says something that most other people would not agree with they are met with scrutiny (specifically men's issues but that is a different matter). I personally think it is the governments fault that the government instills fear of scrutiny into people who say things that are not considered acceptable which reminds me of a quote I heard on a movie (People should not be afraid of there governments, governments should be afraid of there people).

    • profile image

      John 4 years ago

      Agree about the butch thing. Women are always pressured to 'show off their body.' I notice lesbians favour the longer shorts that were popular in the late 90s, hmmm, maybe they don't care as much about fitting in with gender stereotypes? Maybe they want to make a statement, to seem more 'male'?

      Perez Hilton is just a whiny biatch...she had a complete right to her opinion. Why ask a question if you already have an answer you want to hear? *Facepalm*.

    • BereniceTeh90 profile image
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      BereniceTeh90 4 years ago

      Sam: At one point I suppose political correctness had its importance, as it was meant to protect minorities from being persecuted by jackasses who wanted everybody to "act normal", sometimes even resorting to violence in order to pressure people to be mainstream. Hence the term "to straighten someone up", haha

      In fact, Malaysian governmental politicians could learn a thing or 2 about PC, as they are openly homophobic, racist and transphobic. Last year, 66 "effeminate" schoolboys were sent to a camp to "curb the problem of homosexuality".

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13133...

      No doubt Malaysian governmental politicians should at least have some sensitivity and diversity training.

      But in the Western World think that the pendulum seems to be swinging the other way, at least in America where saying anything distasteful to the mainstream left-wing sensitivities is gona land u in hot soup. (Im libertarian, not entirely on the left but i do believe people should be free to live their lives as they please according to Mill's harm principle. I don't harm u, you don't harm me, and everybody will be happy)

      John: I know, HAHA; people often sneer at the Fundy Muslims for their attitude towards their women, but it never occurred to them that somebody might be equally disgusted with their attitude towards the female body, and that many women, wearing a hijab (headscarf) and flat shoes is a personal choice, not a compulsion.

      http://www.fabulouslybroke.com/wp-content/uploads/...

      Just like if a man wants to wear a suit and tie in hot weather, he should be free to do so so long as he is more comfortable expressing himself that way.

      You know wot? I'm not a butch lesbian, so don't take my word for it, but i also noticed that they tend to favor the longer "hip hop" shorts, or long trousers, as opposed to the more fitting, thigh-length metrosexual ones, that are popular with modern metrosexual guys like the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. And they almost never go sleeveless, while most flamboyantly gay/metrosexual dudes wouldn't have any issue about wearing a revealing tank top if they had the opportunity to show off their gym-toned arms. And according to them, they have to wear the boxy men's suits and ties, because wearing a form-fitting woman's suit and high heels would be like "doing drag". (Although Louis XIV wore high heels; hence high heels are not essentially "feminine", unlike how they put it, and many daring metrosexual guys don't actually shy away from high heels or even ballet tights, which are generally considered anathema in the butch wardrobe) In other words, their presentation seems more geared towards conservative old-school masculinity, as opposed to the hipster "pretty boy" metrosexual type of guy. But that's good and fine. I just take issue with the implication that my wardrobe, which consists of tank tops, plunging necklines, gymnastic tights and short shorts, and some fairly high-heeled wing-tips are somehow less "masculine", as I consider myself a very masculine man.

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