Breasts, Cleavage and Feminism

The other day, Emma Watson was under fire for a picture she had posed for were she showed quite a bit of cleavage. As the interview stated, she could not be a feminist if she was wearing something like this.  This was her response:

 

It’s an odd paradox. Feminism is surely something that is supposed to bring people together especially women, and celebrate sisterhood but why is it so often something we use to judge others and be criticize of HOW we try for this to happen?

Females are judged on a separate scale to men. Men can happily run around in running shorts bare chested and no one will blink an eye, but women are immediately judged by their appearance because it is the very thing they are defined by.

As a girl with big breasts, the subject resonates especially hard for me. I feel constantly judged and slut shamed for wearing any outfit especially if it shows cleavage. A couple of years back I had a facebook photograph of myself that I liked my smile. However people thought it was ” Slutty” and were ” Shocked” at it and asked for me to take it down.

me march

On another occasion I had a photograph of myself at the beach in a dress.  Someone joked at how ” booby” I looked and tried to mock it, despite the fact that there are countless pictures of them in tiny bikinis. It seems the double standard is clear : If you have big breasts you aren’t allowed to show in a dress, you should never run and you should be cognizant at all times of how to sit stand lean or bend down.

I am constantly finding that women are ” Horrified” if I wear a dress with cleavage, or if I bend down or even stand a certain way. Often when I was younger I would make sure I would disappear in my shirts and wear as many scarves as possible. I would purposely look unflattering so as not to offend. It took me a long time to realize that what I wear does not mean I am not responsible of how others feel about it and in many ways this is a direct result of the rape culture we live in.

Last summer I was talking to a friend of mine and I came out in a jumpsuit I was particularly proud of since it cost me seven dollars. We were talking about assault, as I told her some of my painful stories of men following me in the streets. She told me ” Well maybe it was what you were wearing or the vibe you gave out … I mean after all that gives attention”. The idea that, somehow what I wear makes me responsible of a man harrassing me and stalking me, calling me names and even grabbing me and making me fear for my safety is ludicrous. What we should wonder more is WHY this happens to so many women, why so many men think this behavior is acceptable.

Breasts are a topic that make people uncomfortable , which is absurd because the very reason they exist are not even for sexual reasons but for lifegiving ones that celebrates motherhood. We distort this ideal to think that breasts are not only just sexual, but somehow belong to others. Having big breasts mean you get a lot of unwarranted attention, or made to feel guilty because somehow you want to feel nice. It makes you feel defensive that someone who is genuinely interested in you might have ulterior motives to do with your chest. The problem is not that it’s a nice feature to have, the problem is that it is something we are taught to be ashamed of and worse, it is not something that belongs to us. Somehow , because one has big breasts, we have to be judged by some other insane standard.

As the BBC article states

Ms Smethers says: “The real issue about all of this is the pressure on young women to look a certain way, to be judged on their appearance so if we are going to focus on anything that’s what I would be more concerned to be prioritised.”

Dr Mackay questions why the debate has been reduced to a celebrity exposing her breasts rather than issues such as women’s economic positions and cuts to women’s services

One time I was temping where I had to proctor a police entrance  exam. They told us to go in our best possible dress, as it was winter I went in a basic sweater dress. I had a jacket in my ammunition as well as a scarf in case it was needed. The other temp was a man who came in a rumpled shirt and khaki pants with a coffee stain on it. The first hour at 6 am I went with the woman in charge to take out the exams. She too was wearing a sweater dress. I went to the bathroom and by then most of the men were there to take the exam. There was another woman there and she was giving me a dirty look. The first woman said  ” I need to talk to you, you need to leave…” . I was perplexed. What had I done? SHe told me ” Please you know what you are doing”. When I told her if my dress was too insulting I had a scarf I could wear to cover myself up if that was necessary. She said ” Just leave you are making a scene”. Meanwhile the man who came in completely unkempt was allowed to stay, later on they accused me of not ” being professional”.  I sent a photograph of what I was wearing as proof that there was nothing much wrong with it. I got my check. Here’s the dress I wore:

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The point of that story is to say that somehow someone’s standard is different just because you are built differently.  Instead of focusing on what we wear we should focus on someone’s character, their personality and who they are as a person. There are plenty of issues we have to fight for including wage gap, lack of education, rape culture, violence against women among many other topics. Yet, somehow, it’s easier to focus on what we can control which is what someone wears and how they conduct themselves. Meanwhile, women throughout the world are going through horrific abuse and the very real issue of male privilege is still altogether prevalent. What women wear is the least of our worries.

While we all have standards of modesty, judging others and belittling them is not acceptable either. We waste far too much time focusing on externalized notions of what it means to be a woman and not enough time focusing on educating everyone on redefining womanhood.  Ultimately, having the freedom to make decisions- even bad ones- is what freedom of choice is. I’m not going to be ashamed of what I look like, and I am done feel responsible for other’s judgement or aggression. What matters to me is that I feel comfortable in my own skin, the only one who can truly judge is God and myself and that I am doing my utmost to help younger girls in low income situations become the best person they can be .I want them to look up to me not because of what I wear or who I am with but how we can all become active agents of change.

 

 

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Reexamining the Paradigm Shift of Religion and Science

The only way we can possibly all come together is by changing our current concepts of how we see the world. The time has come to break paradigms , and to redefine our current definitions of things are.  We need to have a serious paradigm shift in order for anything to get done.

What the heck is a paradigm anyway?  It describes distinct concepts or thought patterns in any scientific discipline or other epistemological context. ( According to wikipedia ). What it basically means is that we have certain concepts that we all have that we believe to be truths, and we stick to it until something comes along to challenge that paradigm and we adopt new ones. What makes it dangerous is how defines how we see the world, and our behavior as well. While we are not conscious of it, it is how we define a known reality. Paradigms are a bit like an internet meme, it spreads like wildfire without really having a clear idea how it started. In this day and age, we just naturally take things on as truth without knowing necessarily WHY  this is the case.

But paradigms does not have to contain truth, they are merely a way or a tool for us to make sense of the world. And our current paradigms are seriously messing with our heads. Our concept of religion, spirituality, men and women, education , relationships,etc are all following dated paradigms which I believe no longer work.  In the next couple of posts I am going to explain this a bit further ( or more like explain what I have learned from other people haha)

There is a reason why we live our lives in constant contradiction and fragmentation.  Our values at work, in how we treat others, in the world around us is consistently clashing, and this drives us to be a little like this :

 

How we choose a paradigm is sometimes arbitrary

A theory is tested, people adopt it and then consider it to be truth. Usually, though, it has more to do with the fact that it is what the majority believes than anything logical. In the advent of pseudo science this becomes even more evident. We follow a paradigm merely on the assumption that ” medical experts say so” . We believe science to be infallible and the truth. Actually, science has a lot to do with faith and has elements in common with religion.
Within our society, we think of certain concepts with a certain defnition, and a lot of times it is based on a historical assumption that this is how we should see things. However, perception is a tricky thing and at times how we define things might differ from one person to the next even if the ” concept” is clear to us.
Let’s take a very controversial topic : religion.

For Atheists : Religion is something that has caused great harm to our society, and has given way for men to force their views on others, wars, adopting falsehood and superstition, among other things.

If you consider their point of view, it’s not exactly wrong. In the name of religion , people have caused great harm and corruption. But was it really religion or the men behind it? I highly doubt that the Manifestations of God advocated superstition over investigating the truth, war and hate over love and service. All of them lead Their lives dedicated to others.

Religion, like science , is not static, but changes with action and reflection evolving constantly over time. The basis of it will remain the same, just as there are scientific principles which do not change however become sophisticated over time through investigation as does religion.

And what is spirituality? Spirituality adheres to a core belief that we all have virtues inside us. They are not material, we cannot bottle them but they are vital for our growth as human beings . When we increase our capacity to love others, others benefit and grow with this. When we increase our intellectual abilities with a desire to care for others, it has positive instead of detrimental effects in us.

When we think that we have a spiritual side, we will exploit those basic core values. Laughter, happiness, strength of love , generosity are all spiritual in nature. But this is not a spirituality that sits down and meditates all day without taking action. It is through going to serve others in some way that we increase our spiritual nature. It is by giving up our self to the benefit of others. By tossing aside the competitive nature so plagued by our current society we can progress spiritually. By deepening on what

I give this example but there are thousands more… we need to believe that our current notion of certain core concepts in our lives need to be redefined. There are basic parts of our lives that follow a broken model. Our concept of what family means, what religion is about, our concept of spirituality and the meaning of our lives. We blindly follow a set of archaic rules which no longer have any reason for being so. We need to start questioning why we do the things we do. We are living our lives surrounded by dichotomies , and it causes us to have split personalities. We need to have some balance in our lives. What’s true is that we need to grow as a society, and try to do it together by sharing our common beliefs and virtues.

The Nature of Religion