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Misogyny at its best, insists that women have to be infallible, and women who commit mistakes in the eyes of society, can never be forgiven.
Are you a woman? Have you ever had occasion to commit slight misdemeanors, minor or major crimes, debaucheries, or even freak escapades involving moral turpitude, or just indulged in a little hedonism?
Don’t tell me no…. ! You might have sinned differently but I am sure you would not say you never did. Not just me, nobody would ever believe you. And I would even have the audacity to say those who claim to be untainted are the worst sinners of the lot!
Now, if so, tell me, have you ever overcome the blemish that stained you since? Did you ever feel that the gravity of guilt, disgrace or infamy inflicted on you surpassed that inflicted on a man in similar circumstances?
My answer to you is, yes, it is more! And what’s more, you will never be able to overcome it in your lifetime, in a society like ours! Even if you forget and forgive yourself, repent and reform, society will still not absolve you of your misdeeds. It will chase you, condemn you and stone you for the rest of your life – just because you are a woman!
Have you ever thought of the plight of prostitutes who indulge in sex work for their livelihood? Even if they show the courage to come out and start afresh by earning their livelihood by any other means, the past stigma will still continue to stain their reputation for years on end. The sad truth is that the society never ever lets them lead a normal life like others with dignity. But what about those men who sought their body for their sheer pleasure, cheating upon their spouse and family? Well, the ultimate truth is we never know who they are, and they still continue to don their coveted puritan image and live a happy yet conceited life.
Have you ever thought of those women who seek their partner by themselves or elope and marry at their own wish, or choose to live with a man out of wedlock? The man who eloped with her or lived with her goes unnoticed, but the woman forever will be referred to and looked upon as a person with loose morals and blamed for lacking the right cultural upbringing.
Have you ever thought of women accused of extra marital relationships? Not that such relationships are justified, but what I am referring to is the aftermath or the consequence of such situations. On whatever count she might have fallen into its vicious circle, whether it be the poor state of her own marital life or any other reason, valid or invalid; nevertheless, the gravity or volume of stigma attributed to such women is enormous when compared to their male counterparts who are equally involved in the misdeed.
A man who enter into such a relationship is often forgiven, by none other than his spouse itself. She in turn is advised to overlook such minor lechery on the part of her husband as a mundane fact of life…
A man who enter into such a relationship is often forgiven, by none other than his spouse itself. She in turn is advised to overlook such minor lechery on the part of her husband as a mundane fact of life, as men are often considered vulnerable to a rise in their adrenaline level which is beyond their control and hence the woman who caused its rise often ends up being blamed for creating such a scenario! How absurdly and nonsensically we offer reasons, don’t you think?
Now let me ask how, many men among you would forgive a woman who cheats on you? Would you or society ever spare her or her character for a lifetime? A big NO, I would say!
Have you ever thought about those women who are ‘forward’ in their character, bold enough to speak their mind explicitly about anything and everything under the earth, to anyone, regardless of the gender of the person they speak to, or who treat men and women alike in their circle of social connections ? They end up being accused as immoral or unchaste. They are often burdened with the insinuation that it is a sin to have an independent personality of their own and asked to cover up their mouths by the so called moral police of our society which includes a major chunk of women as well, frustrated enough to prove their virtuousness at the cost of the morality of some other woman. A man with a similar attitude on the other hand is glorified as the epitome of manhood and revered by all, especially women.
Have you ever thought why men flirting with women is considered natural, while a woman flirting , or engaged in such a conversation just for fun, is branded a slut, a whore or even worse?
Have you ever thought why we make a hue and cry over a woman who smokes, drinks or decides to stay single or in a live in relationship? Why do we show the discourtesy to interfere in her personal affairs more than that we do to a man?
Why is so much responsibility being showered upon women as regards their morality, fidelity, chastity or character? Do men not have equal responsibility to safeguard all these characteristics? Why is it that a woman is penalized and chastised more than a man in similar circumstances?
I would only say this is how our misogynist society has raised us and we still continue to take this treatment against us for granted, however modern or civilized we claim to be! We assume and take upon ourselves that we as women are infallible and if at all we fall, we are made to believe it is impossible to get up thereafter.
We assume and take upon ourselves that we as women are infallible and if at all we fall, we are made to believe it is impossible to get up thereafter.
We still seem to have not developed the cognition that it is only natural for a woman to equally fall prey to mistakes in life just as a man would. And she is no different in her ways of repentance, reformation and resurrection. She has every right to live with dignity without being taunted for her past mistakes .
I would instead remind the so called moral police of the verses, “Judge not lest ye be judged ” and “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
NB: I do not intend to advocate the commitment of any misdeeds, but I strongly recommend that we give a chance for women who sincerely repent their misdeeds, to allow them to forget and forgive themselves and last but not the least , give them a chance to live with dignity unhampered by any stains or blemishes that might have marked their past. She has equal rights as any man in similar situations to lead a life – it’s as simple as that!
Double standards concept image via Shutterstock
A legal consultant, settled in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; my first love is and has
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