Throughout history we see that a woman’s body has constantly been trimmed, shaped, cut and moulded to suit the standard of beauty. A standard which isn’t only arbitrary, but often measured by the wills of a patriarchal society.
From feet binding in China, to corset wearing, Genitalia cutting (FGM), Clitoris and Vagina lips pulling, Breast pounding and the list goes on. All these were done and some still being done as a mark of beauty and to increase the chances of marriage.
These values are often perpetuated under the cover of religion, culture or moral teachings. To uphold the level of morality, which varies throughout history, culture and tradition and while tell this tale of morality, yet forget to hold men accountable or demand .
Still reeling in shock from the practice of FGM, Female Genital Mutilation, I stumbled upon breast pounding during my research and this made me wonder what other horrendous act women around the world are being subjected to.
While some young girls are being subjected to the pounding of their breast with hot stones and pestles to ward off the interest of men, some are having their genitals butchered to tame their sexuality, to make them “clean” for their husband. Yet some are denied education and married off at a young age or pawned off to prostitution as a means of income.
This disparity underlines that a woman’s body is often seen as a means, an instrument in the hand of the powerful, often men.
The burden of moral uprightness is often placed solely and biasedly on women. This same logic is the premise to which some have based rape preventative measures ; cover up, don’t get drunk, don’t flirt, don’t stay out late, if you do, walk in groups.
No one thinks to ask the pertinent question of: why do men think they are entitled to women’s body by default? Why does the society continue to nurture the culture of male sexual entitlement?
Perhaps, it is because “it is a man’s world”?