For the guys in the house, if you think that to be a man is not a day’s job, then try being a woman. Even for one day. Then I bet you’d stop wagging your tongue about the purported difficulty in being a man. Aside the fact that we’ve been socialized into thinking that it’s the man’s job to make all the money, hence the pressure it mounts on us to go crazily hustling, what else? I’m a guy myself, and I’m yet to find a more pressing concern on men than amassment of cash. Truth is, with a truckload of cash, a guy is the single best thing to be on the planet. Interestingly, cash commands all worldly goods; they’re at its beck and call. And I hope I’m not very wrong.
However, not so not so for the womenfolk. From biology to psychology, sociology to economy, the average woman is in trouble. Let me explain.
Biologically. If you’re not a woman, then don’t even try to imagine what menstruation and everything that goes with it feels like; merely content yourself with the stuffs you read in books about it. If you insist on imagining, then whatever your imagination produces will at best be close to the truth. What about pregnancy and labour? Don’t even dare it. Let’s just call them hell. The only thing that makes them make sense at the end of the day is the cry of a baby. Needless to say, every pregnancy gets the woman on the death row. Yes, shit happens, especially during labour.
Sociologically. At birth we get poured into ready-made moulds called gender roles. That’s the job description of socialization. While men are poured into the mould of freedom and license, women are poured into the mould of servitude and subservience – especially in traditional African societies. What inhumanities are female genital mutilation and breast ironing! What nonsense! I know what they mean, and the mere thought of them makes me sick. In fact, the system, and I’ve kept wondering who built it, sees to it that women are alienated, that they lose their person, in the bid to filling in their gender roles. And if you’ve got no idea what this means, then you surely can’t get how difficult being a woman can be.
Economically. Thank God things are turning around for the better now. Else, women used to be denied the right of pursuing a career, to work, to earn. Of course, the man who perpetrates the denial of this right knows that real power is equal to earning power. Her career prospects are streamlined to “house-wifery,” with a job description to match: sex machine and children making factory and housekeeper. And so, the possibility of starving her of funds becomes one of the punishment options available for her. She gets to explain how she got everything that didn’t come from the hands of her lord and master, and gets to always draw up a list of her needs and wants, for scrutiny, slashing, approval and funding, as if bidding for a contract. Too bad.
Psychologically. And this is the primary concern here. There is this pathologically sense of incompleteness that next to every woman feels. It is near impossible to find a woman who is just fine, who feels great about everything about herself, who can really mean it while saying, “I’m flawless.” Pitiably, if they aren’t complaining about the size and shape of their head, it’s about the looks in their eyes; if they had their way they’d manually punch a dimple into their cheeks. Their lips, complexion, breast type and size, height, hips, legs, etc., are usually not just fine enough. And let me shock you some bit more: labiaplasty (cosmetic surgery on the labia – a part of the vagina) already shows how far this craze can go. For your information, too, next to every part of the female body part has a corresponding cosmetic surgery.
And so, it all got me thinking, “Who sets the trend, who says what the ideal is?” I’m tempted to draw the curtain on this piece here, but let me say a little more to throw more light.
At this juncture, let’s experiment something. If you’re a lady, simply try this: stand up, join your knees together and observe if a gap formed between both thighs (and you could trying using you hand to run through the gap). Now, here’s the point: “thigh gap.” That’s what the gap is called, and while it made waves, many ladies virtually skinned themselves alive to get one. Here’s the painful part of it: the “thigh gap” ideal was set by the legs of the 21-year-old British model, Cara Delevingne. For God’s sake, how on earth must every woman’s thigh produce this so-called “thigh gap” beauty ideal? There is also the “bikini bridge” and the “collar bone club” – very funny things most women aspire to, forgetting that variety is the beauty of life.
Let me leave it here, then. And I ask again: “Who decides what is beautiful and what isn’t, what is sexy and what isn’t?”