Our world is so full of contradictions, it isn’t funny.
Granted, everyone has the right to their opinions, but will “Society” please stand up and publish a list of rules or something, somewhere, just so we mere mortals have a reference point. Even if it is for breaking the “rules”, we need to know what those “rules” are in the first place.
A recent piece of news sparked this post, actually. I wonder what’s up with the world. Especially, when it comes to Sex. We fall over ourselves in our efforts to contradict ourselves. Really! We do!
India: This is Our World
In India, the land where the Kamasutra was written, where we have temples dedicated to sex, where sex is also a highly evoloved Yoga practice – we don’t talk about it to our kids. If they want to conduct Sex Education classes in school, the parents protest outside the schools, claiming that these classes will make their kids want to have sex!
In India, where no woman goes unmolested (from creepy uncles and neighbors, to random loafers on the street and greasy pawing on buses and trains, to full-blown beastly gang rapes), we prosecute only the women for prostitution.
In India, where a random porn star with little or no ability for acting, becomes famous for shaking her booty to raunchy numbers, where ”item songs” are added to every movie so that they attract more audiences, the police arrest a woman who is forced to enter the flesh trade because she isn’t left with any options, while the perpetrators of the crime roam freely, unscathed.
I think, prostitution is considered to be a crime in most cultures and countries (correct me if I am wrong here), and only the women are held guilty for it.
Why is it that only women are considered to be the guilty party?
Why is it that when they are down and out, selling their bodies is the only option made available to women since the dawn of time?
USA: This is Our World
The US is slightly more sophisticated than that, I suppose. Here, things have turned on their head. We have mass media feeding us all sorts of wrong image archetypes, blurring the lines of morality and confusing the standards of right and wrong.
A noted celeb family in the USA started its journey to fame and fortune (oh yes! Hundreds of millions of $$s) when one of their daughters slept with someone, and made a tape of it. Then they got featured on a reality show, and began their journey to achieving their celebrity status. Everywhere they go, crowds cheer them on, and buy stuff they sell in their stores, and make them their idols. Blogs are rife with gossip about them, and glossy magazines pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to photograph them as they marry someone, only to dump each other months later.
Another reality show glorifies teenage girls who got themselves pregnant (oops!) and are now going through their unique issues and troubles, while making them famous. This inevitably contributes to making other girls feel as if it is all right to do what these girls did. Are these kind of idols even supposed to be present? But they are.
Prostitution is still considered to be a crime here though. Although, from what I’ve seen and heard, both parties are held accountable for it. Regardless, it doesn’t really carry much of a penalty. You can pay a fine, do a few hours of community service, get a few counselling sessions, and you are off the hook.
Mass Media Creates Mass Perceptions
I do believe that on various levels Mass Media is responsible for keeping such antiquated and wrong perceptions alive and well in the psyche of the world.
Whether in India or in the US, it is the Mass Media that keeps the hype going, while cashing in on the trend. Throw in words like “moral values” and everything is all right under the sun, isn’t it?
The Mass Media, while having the responsibility to report the facts as they are, also has the responsibility of talking about the current social problems and uncovering the dreadful hypocrisy that lurks behind these closed doors. It is their responsibility to educate the masses, and to cultivate a certain level of understanding among the mob that eats up their prose.
They have no right to distort the facts just so they can sell a few hundred thousand copies of their magazines and newspapers.
In fact, the world (by this, I mean the real world) is changing all around them, but they don’t even seem to have noticed. With the passage of time, and due to the growth of scientific knowledge, our lives have evolved from the stage of primitive man hunting in the jungles to men and women battling it out in lives rife with modern day existential issues.
While a certain level of society achieves a celebrity status thanks to the Mass Media, it is worth noting that their only claim to fame is their debauchery. Whereas, real issues and real people with real problems are simply not highlighted at all. They don’t get as much exposure simply because they don’t bring in the ratings and the sales.
Granted, no one wants to read sad stories all the time. However, there are stories of normal people with extraordinary lives, who have proved without a doubt that the gender bias perpetuated by ‘society’s morals and values’ doesn’t really exist. Or rather, it is on its way to changing for the better.
Pushing ghoonghat clad, obedient bahus into the television screens needs to be replaced by women who bravely conquer the world, sans ghoonghat but with dignity and pride.
Stepping away from celebrities who only flash their bodies to get publicity, the mass media ought to focus on the real women who handle their day-to-day with sense and acumen.
The Mass Media and the so-called ‘Society’ needs to get their collective heads out of their asses, and start doing the right thing by promoting the truth, rather than the hype.
Rather than adding their helping hand to the process of dumbing down the minds of the people (all this, while Curiosity Rover hurtles down the surface of Mars), mass media should become the channel through which intelligence and open minded discussions create a pathway for waking up the masses from their decades long slumber, and awakening them to the reality of a changed world.
Hopefully this will slowly work towards changing the mindset that exploitation of women is somehow allowed and acceptable. Those concepts need to be slowly eradicated from the minds of the people by educating them about how to treat women respectfully by setting the right example – both on our television screens and in our households .