The feminist scholars have for decades tried to make the other half understand how patriarchy hurts them both.
The dichotomy between emotional and rational, weak and strong isn’t as clearly defined as they’d like it to be.
And thus as Foucault says, these bodies need to be disciplined. Systems of power create docile bodies.
I have to look a certain way, behave in a certain manner to reiterate my feminity.
Have a soft voice, always cross your legs, shave, wear tight fitting feminine clothing, obey.
The same goes for men as well.
My teenage brother stopped writing poetry because his classmates called him a pussy.
A dear friend of mine keeps saying that he is “not gay”, because he likes soft music and cuddling and thus people consider it otherwise.
If you know the history behind the labels, being called a pussy, dick, gay, lesbian, or woman, wouldn’t hurt you.
Because you know that those are perfectly fine functional humans/body parts.
However, society makes them think of those terms and thus those people as ‘inferior’.
It is basically a binary between “men” and “not men”.
This women’s day, I would like to remind you beautiful ladies (and handsome gents) out there that it is okay.
It is okay to be yourself.
To have the choice to define yourself.
No one has the right to take that away from you.
Keep your head held high, and give two hoots to the world!
You are your own true self before you are reduced to any label.
I spent my entire existence feeling terrible about my body.
I belittled myself, hurt myself, did all sorts of things.
I would diet, starve, run miles, do yoga. But nothing ever made me. look beautiful
(To be read as beautiful and thin).
I internalised this distorted version of beauty so much that I could never see myself the same way again.
But only worse, day after day.
“Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fattest of them all?”
“It is you and only you the great blob of fat.”
It is only now, after reading Foucault, Judith Butler and scores of other scholars that I realise that it is me what makes me unique.
I cannot find happiness by trying to become someone else.
This reductionist understanding of ourselves and of others is harmful. It makes us stereotype and generalise.
And that distorts the understanding, clouds the subjectivity.
One should have the freedom to define themselves.
The fear of judgement from society stops us from being ourselves.
The different modes of self expression get restricted.
And you get boxed up as someone that you are not, and don’t identify with.
So don’t stick to those labels.
Have the courage to define what you want to be and who you want to be associated with.
It is you that makes ‘you’. Be proud of yourself because there can be no other.
Learn to love yourself, and make yourself the person you had always wanted to be.
I am trying to make right choices and become someone I could be proud of. Its not easy, but for now its a start!