A few days back one of my friends posted a Whatsapp status looking for a female receptionist in a well-known company, which stated, “need for a female receptionist willing to wear Western attire such as dress shirt and pants”. I was saddened by the fact that our society still views woman as an object for appeal.
When will our society stop treating women as commodities? When will our society stop treating women as mere objects whose job is to fulfill the male-dominant needs of this society? When will our society stop dehumanizing women? Unfortunately, I see little hope because the objectification of women is deeply rooted in our societies.
Since the birth of an infant, the constructed gender norms come into play. Traits of physical strength, intelligence, and assertiveness are defined as masculine and linked to boys. Conversely, traits that reflect physical and emotional weakness are classified as feminine, and girls are limited to them. The inherent bias of society leads it to bring up those children in a gender-discriminatory way.
Fast forward to the when they are men and women, those associated traits are turned into a whole system where men are the smartest and strongest while women foolish and weakest. This is then translated as leadership for men and women as objects to be controlled and regulated by the sage authority. Hence, the cruel cycle of objectification begins. Women are viewed as objects that can use as an extension of man’s ego and prestige. The credit of all this goes to our socially constructed norms where men are programmed in such a dominant egoistic manner.
In a society like ours where gender toxic norms are a fundamental of our culture, objectification of women is used to enhance a man’s masculinity. They are treated as objects with no free will so that they can be controlled by men. In this male dominant society, where the majority of male see women as a piece of meat, where our educated young male lot chant “ ufff, kiya maal hai?”, where it has become a sin to go out at night for women because she might get raped, where street harassment has become common practice and considered as a masculine feature, where a woman in the bus is not safe, where a woman in her own looked car is not safe, where a woman in the grave is not safe, where a woman in her house or at the workplace is not safe, where a woman notes safe from her blood relations, free will is delusional for women because SHE is an OBJECT. The social construction of gender has given man a natural power and authority and he has manipulated this power to objectify women because she is considered and brought up as a weakling.
Giving toys like barbie dolls to a girl when she is a kid and giving toy guns and cars to a boy creates a fundamental perpetual difference in abilities and hence shaping their personalities. Girls become more sensitive, emotional, and create their fantasy world of dolls whereas boys become more active, known to strength and power. So the binaries have been created since birth which further determines roles to be played by males and females. This construction of binaries by our power dominants have unjustly treated gender.
Unless or until our young generations are not educated properly about these binaries and socially constructed bizarre norms of society; women of this society will never be treated as humans and their miseries can never be ended.